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Water Cooler: Tips for creating a reading nook

UPDATED: Thu., Nov. 5, 2020

If you opt for a bench seat instead of a chair or sofa for a reading nook, pillows with substantial body will be even more important to give you something to lean up against.  (Shutter Stock)
If you opt for a bench seat instead of a chair or sofa for a reading nook, pillows with substantial body will be even more important to give you something to lean up against. (Shutter Stock)

November has already greeted the Inland Northwest with plenty of damp and gray weather that makes you want to curl up with a good book, a warm beverage and cozy blankets. Embrace the season by creating a special space that you will want to come back to all fall and winter long for those slow, snug and restful moments. Here are some elements and ideas to consider when creating your perfect reading nook.

Quality seating is a must. Choose a chair or loveseat that provides solid support for your back but is also something you can sink into. Add in throw pillows that are large enough to be cozy but not so big that they overcrowd the space and are hard to maneuver. Avoid pillows with rough textures or uncomfortable decor like beading. If you opt for a bench seat instead of a chair or sofa, pillows with substantial body will be even more important to give you something to lean up against. Pair the seat with good quality throws made with soft fibers.

Incorporate a bookshelf. This will indicate that the space is especially made with reading in mind, but it also surrounds you with other books and materials that inspire you to dive in for a good read. The cover art will give the space a pop of color that celebrates all the different worlds and topics of books. If you have a large home library, don’t worry about trying to stash all your books near your reading nook, but take advantage of having a selection of books nearby that can display your past and current favorites.

Integrate a custom color pallet. While a lot of pop psychology perpetuates beliefs that certain colors have calming or agitating effects, it’s most important to choose the colors that you love and create the mood you want in your reading space. Maybe you want a distraction-free space with a subtle color scheme of warm grays, beiges and whites. Perhaps you want a space that makes you feel inspired and energized with bright reds and yellows. Color is one of the strongest visual elements, so make sure to put some care into choosing the perfect pallet to make your reading nook that calls to you and suits your needs.

Try to place your nook in a corner or other location that feels tucked away. This creates a sensation of safety and being in your own world with your book. It also has the added bonus of creating a nook that doesn’t take up much space in the room.

Make sure your seating is accompanied by a side or coffee table. You want to have a table top space handy for setting down beverages, keeping notebooks, bookmarks and pens as well as objects that add to the ambiance like a candle or essential oil diffuser. If your table is low enough, it can also double as a footstool.

Consider adding houseplants to your nook. Plants can have a relaxing effect and are perfect for a space that is meant for winding down. Large plants can also add to the feeling of being tucked away, as if you were reading outside under a tree.

An essential element for a reading nook is the lighting. You want ample lighting to see clearly, but not something so bright and overwhelming that it strains your eyes at night. Lamps with warm temperature light bulbs are perfect, and it can help to have one with an adjustable neck if you like to shift positions while you read. Having a reading nook next to a window is always nice for the atmosphere, especially during the cold season when you can soak in the cozy ambiance of the frost, rain, snow, fog or clouds.

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