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How to assemble a reading nook - a step-by-step guide with great product recommendations

How To Create a Reading Nook (The Forever Home Project)

Interested in setting up a fabulous reading nook in your home? Julee’s here today with a bunch of super useful tips for doing so – as well as a list of her favorite reading chairs for a range of budgets. I have to tell you, I’m totally in love with this post and, coincidentally, we have the blue West Elm chair she’s featuring in her roundup.  

I can’t wait to use some of her tips to make it the center of a cozy reading nook of my very own – in fact the Target side table she features is on clearance and I couldn’t resist snatching it up. (Actually, keep an eye out for the setup here on MPMK next week. We’ll be featuring it along with some fabulous new Minted Wall Art and tips on how to arrange it!)

UPDATE: Here’s the post with the reading nook in our home, featuring the West Elm chair in the roundup below plus the Target table and Minted art!

For now, here’s Julee with the latest installment of The Forever Home Project

We have a small space just beyond the entryway in our home that was once the formal dining room. The previous owners repositioned the staircase, which left little room for a large table and chairs. When we first moved in, I wasn’t sure what we would do with a space too small to be a room, but too prominently positioned to leave empty.

We eventually settled on the idea of a reading nook, which turned out to be the perfect use for an otherwise awkward space. Once we decided on a reading nook, I knew my first step was to find the perfect chair.

Selecting the Perfect Reading Chair

We wanted something comfortable and substantial in size. Since the nook sits opposite our formal living room, we were also hoping to find a chair that blended well with the mid-century modern aesthetic of our living room.

After much consideration, we decided on the Nixon Chair from Thrive Furnishings. The chair is very comfy and large enough to sit alongside a child, and the retro look aligned perfectly with the modern vibe of our home. To add to the lounge-y quality, we also decided to purchase the matching ottoman.

Comfortable, well-designed reading chairs are available in a range of price points. Here are a few of my favorites:


How to create a reading nook - a selection of comfy reading chairs to suit every budget

Chair sources: IKEA, West Elm, Thrive, Crate & Barrel, Design Within Reach

Furnishing the Space

Once the chair was selected, I went to work on filling in the rest of the space. We had a large bookcase from IKEA that hadn’t found a place in our new home, turned out it fit perfectly along the back wall of the reading nook.  Additionally, I added a small side table (for holding essentials like coffee and hot chocolate) and a standing lamp.


How to create a reading nook - four key pieces every reading room should have.

Bringing it All Together

After the key pieces were in place, I moved on to styling the space. This is definitely a developing talent for me, and I haven’t quite mastered the skill of placing books on shelves in a manner that is visually appealing.

After several attempts that included arranging the books by color to create a rainbow effect (sadly, my books are mostly black, white, blue and red), I ended up trying to balance books and decorative elements with more functional storage.

Perfecting the shelve display will be an ongoing challenge for me, but I have pulled together a space that is very well suited for hanging out with a book, an iPad or just a warm drink.

How to create a reading nook - details for adding comfort and personality to your reading space.

Above are my essentials for personalizing the space and making it a cozy spot for our family:

  • A blanket: critical this time of year.
  • Some greenery: there’s something very soothing about plants.
  • Baskets for hiding clutter:  I find clutter very distracting, so having nearby storage to stash things helps keep me relaxed.
  • Beautiful books for all ages:  I love seeing beautiful books displayed on the shelves and it’s also fun to surprise my children with a new or not-recently-read book sitting on the ottoman when they get home from school.

Accessories Sources: Blanket, Terrarium, Storage Basket, Jane Eyre, Press Here

book nooks, reading nooks, reading chairs, how to set up a book nookLooking for more Reading Nook Ideas?

Check out our mega roundup of Kid-Centric Book Nooks.

And for ideas on what to read, check out MPMK’s aptly named resource sectionThe Book Nook for all sorts of book recommendations and tips on raising kids who love to read.






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Julee is a designer and mother of two young children. On her blog, Warm Hot Chocolate, she writes about her family, photography, home decor and life in Texas.

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