12 Relaxing Reading Nooks

Last updated: August 26, 2016

Photo collage showing different reading nooks by a bedroom window, inset into a wall, and in the corner of a kid's bedroom

Many of the people who love to read books read everywhere and anywhere. This could be on the bus or subway, while taking a bath, or even on the counter while preparing a meal. The possibilities are endless!

Despite this, there is still something wonderful about designing your own reading nook and spending your time curled up there to visit within your mind’s eye other times or other worlds. A great reading nook will help transport you into the books you read.

There are, of course, many options available to you when creating your very own reading nook. The following are 12 of the most relaxing nooks around. One of them is sure to spark a design idea.

Kid's bedroom with bed, book shelf, and ladder to loft-style reading nook inset into the wall

Image VIA Merzbau

If you are looking to create a dedicated reading space for your child, why not consider something like a bunk bed? This particular design is a small section in the wall, painted in a nice feature color different from the rest of the room. This feature adds that bright pop of color. You can pick your favorite paint color, or take inspiration from an object already in the room. If you want to create the illusion of a bunk bed, create the nook high up and get a ladder to climb up.

White built-in bookcase with inset reading nook on golden pine hardwood floor

IMAGE Via Goderbauer Architects

Many people find that their reading nooks are at their best when bookshelves are nearby. Designing custom shelves and installing them in your home provides you with the perfect opportunity to create a nook directly in your bookshelf! This means that when you finish one book, your next read is incredibly close to you already.

Bedroom with two windowed, arched insets; one containing a reading nook with pillows and shelves, the other a desk and chair

IMAGE Via Home Bunch

Integrate your reading nook with your home office in an elegant design like this one! Taking a break from work never looked so good. You can choose your pillows based on the color of your walls and add in something bright as a contrast.

Children's reading nook with bench and pillows by window in attic with vaulted ceiling

IMAGE Via AMDG Architects

Reading nooks like the one above bring to mind brightness and days filled with sunshine. Repurpose a loft or attic and create a cohesive space like the one above. Install a window and place the cushions to create a window seat. If your attic or loft is dark, try a paint color like bright yellow shown above, white, or any pastel.

Children's reading nook (with bench, pillows, and overhead light) inset into the wall with a peak, along with shelving at the bottom for easy access to books

IMAGE Via Houzz

When you design a nook for a child, why not take a leaf out of the book of the person who created this space? Make sure the books are low so your child can reach them.

White inset book shelves with reading nook window seat and pillows at the top of a staircase

IMAGE Via Houzz

Do you have some unused space at the top of your stairs? Install some bookshelves and place some pillows and a small mattress. Your reading nook is as easy as that! Make the shelves the same color as your walls and your space will blend in perfectly.

Green trimmed inset reading nook with built-in book shelves, red seating area, and yellow floral pillows

IMAGE Via Susan Jay Design

Do you have a large closet you never use? Transform it into bookshelves! You can either put a comfy chair in there or create something else, as the designer of the picture above has done.

Light maple colonial-style built-in reading nook with book shelves, a green floral bench, matching throw pillows, and pot lights above

IMAGE Via Houzz

If you have a picturesque window in your home, why not design your reading space around that? This nook built in some shelves, a seat, and overhead lighting to highlight the window with a perfect place to read.

Inset reading nook with shelves above, built-in shelving on either side, a red bench, and padded metallic gold and red back wall

IMAGE Via Terri Thomas Interiors

Your choice of fabric and paint can help take you back in history while you remain in the modern day. Feel like the royalty of old with metallic gold and a gorgeous red. Many also consider purple the royal color, so consider that in your design as well!

A small reading nook inset into the side of a white staircase with wood paneled walls, a green bench, white and brown throw pillows, and a small white overhead light

IMAGE VIA JWT Associates

Do you have a cupboard under the stairs? Convert it into a gorgeous reading nook like the one above and whisk yourself away on an adventure. Choose a different color of paint or another feature to create a contrast between the inside of the cupboard and the outer walls.

A children's reading space inset into the corner with a round couch, stuffed animals, and shelving on either side

IMAGE Via Twist Interior Design

Another cute design for a child’s reading space would involve bright colors, stuffed animals, and an unusual couch like the one above. Let your princess travel to her kingdom in style!

A modern bedroom with a sleek reading nook nestled into the wall below a window, with metallic throw pillows on a cream bench


If you prefer a sleek modern design for your reading space, consider using a minimalist design like the one above. The metallic theme of the pillows enhances the modern feel, as does the stonework on the wall.