Checklist for designing a reading nook or cozy corner

Nov 18, 2022, 16:00 PM

Light pink and purple pillow and cup of tea on white window sill with circular beige plush pillow and open book


As the weather changes and you start to put on more sweaters, you might be preparing yourself for winter hibernation season, and maybe considering what goes into designing your own home nook. Though no longer in the peak of summer, fall has its benefit, such as leaves changing colours, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Thanksgiving, Halloween or just curling up in your cozy corner in a comfortable chair, under a blanket, with a good book. Not to mention, how pretty snow can be when you're bundled up indoors looking out at it. 

You may not have space in your home for an entire reading room, but that doesn’t mean you can’t design a special space in a cozy corner (corner not required) to prepare for the cooler months.


Location, location, location

Hideaway under stairs in basement with rounded top wooden door and old fashioned windows. Kids play area


Some places people typically try to utilize within their home are the attic, the basement, hallway, kitchen corner, or the living room. Are you designing an existing nook-sized space within your home, or are you trying to create your own cozy corner in a larger room? Existing corners in your home may already have access to natural or artificial lighting, which is essential to make sure you don’t strain your eyes when reading in your cozy corner. Setting up next to a large window makes your reading nook more serene and gives you access to the outdoors, without having to brave the elements.



split screen images of hanging white christmas lights and fake candles in comfortable area with pillows and blankets


If you don’t have a cozy-corner-convertible (say that five times fast) part of a room, full of natural light to use, you’re going to need a lame – we recommend an adjustable floor lamp, but you can also find a small desk lamp, provided you have an electrical hook-up nearby.


private desk, computer and white chair tucked away under stairs


If you are designing in an open area, you can either add a sliding door, a room divider or privacy screen. When designing in a smaller area, like an attic, under the stairs, etc. a curtain or sheet can give you comfort and privacy in your reading nook.


Flat surface

Reading nook in window on second floor with light grey seats, blue and orange pillows and a small table with a TV tray


Whether you have space for a dining tray, a small table, or to build a shelf on the wall, it helps to have something to put your tea, hot chocolate, or book down on when reading in your cozy corner.



White metal bench in window with bluish purple pillows and white blankets. Storage of boxes and books under the bench with white throw rug in front


Is your cozy corner going to be a full-time reading nook, to be shared with others in your home, or does it need to fulfill another function when not in use? Having an under-storage area, especially when designing with bench-or-ledge-like seating is a great way to make the most out of the small space. If you don’t have this option, a simple storage ottoman will do the trick.


Something personal

Great blanket with open book and black glasses in window next to mini white pumpkin , small red mum flowers and grey tea cup


It’s all in the details, so when designing your reading nook, it’s nice to add something that makes it your own. This could be a wall mounted photo, a piece of artwork that your kids did, a stuffed animal – the options are endless, provided you keep it compact.



Young mixed race girl with curly hair listening to something on white over ear headphones drinking from a black coffee up with laptop on her lap leaning against grey suede couch


If you’re using your reading nook to escape for a while, it’s important to also be able to drown out other distractions, whether you’re in the cozy corner of a crowded room, or something that resembles a certain young wizard’s bedroom. Wired, or wireless, noise-cancelling headphones will either allow you to get lost in your book, or you can play your favorite reading music on your phone.


A Houseplant

reading nook in bright window. Grey pillows and blankets surrounded by plants, green and white coffee cup, open book with glasses on top, red plaid blanket and fluffy dark grey cat


There are many documented benefits to gardening – inside or out. When designing your cozy corner, a plant can help to reduce any feelings of anxiety or stress and boost your creativity. They can also help boost oxygen, giving your brain an added pick-me-up as you read, and caring for them helps you with concentration and memory – very relevant, especially when reading a very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, VERY loooooonnnngggggg novel in your reading nook.



Seating area in second floor window with four pillows. Brown medium pillow then fluffy off-white pillow, white pillow with explore written on it and another brown pillow


The single most important consideration when designing a reading nook is your comfort. Add a soft throw rug under your feet, a colurful floor cushion, and an assortment of pillows and a blanket for ultimate enjoyment – we promise, no one is judging if you accidentally nap.



Argyle white throw pillow leaning against red brick wall over purple shag carpet. Box of books, white teacup and purple blanket that matches rug.


Well, you’ve gone and designed a comfortable reading nook or cozy corner – all that’s left is to pick a good book!

Whether you’re designing a cozy corner to give you privacy, a special space that’s yours, a break from everyday routine, a mini escape, or to feel like a kid again climbing under the stairs, there are many options for accessorizing your reading nook.

Is a reading nook your next home or garden DIY project? Talk to an expert at one of our shows for inspiration, products, or accessories to help you make the most out of your design task.