How I created a cozy reading nook in my bedroom with all the elements — a comfy chair, lighting, side table, and even a book-filled faux fireplace.

Reading Season

Do you like to read?

Reading has been shown to reduce stress and contribute to over-all mental well-being. It stimulates your brain and promotes creative thinking. Reading exposes you to new information, ideas, and perspectives.

And, well, it is often entertaining and fun!

I think this is the best time of year to curl up with a book!

When it is cold or stormy out, there is nothing better than sitting next to the fire with a mug of something hot and a good book.

Or maybe you prefer to stretch out on the sofa under a blanket to read.

No matter how tired I am, I read at least a few pages every night in bed before I turn the lights out. It helps me to detach from the day and fall asleep.

Where do you like to read?!

How about a cozy reading nook?!

What Is A Reading Nook?

What, you ask, is a reading nook?!

Pretty much exactly what it sounds like — a designated spot in your home where you can retreat from the world to focus on reading and relaxation.

Unlike a formal library, it is nothing grand — a small cozy comfy spot, tucked into a quiet corner of your home. Free of distractions like your phone , computer, tv… or kids!

Really, though, it is whatever you want and need it to be to encourage you to take the time from your busy life to enjoy a good book or other reading material.

Elements of A Reading Nook

I created just such a reading nook in a corner of my bedroom.

You can see the BEFORE and AFTER above!

By pulling together a few key elements, you too can have your own designated book nook!

I suggest the following:

  • A comfy chair and ottoman/foot stool
  • Good lighting
  • A small table
  • Soft elements such as a blanket or quilt and a pillow
  • Book storage
  • Any other design elements that speak to you!

Your reading nook does’t have to be anything fancy, but it should definitely be an environment that allows you to relax and escape into your book. A spot that feels cozy, comfortable and inviting to you.

Read on to see what elements I included in my bedroom reading nook!

A Comfy Chair and Foot Stool

A comfy spot to sit and read is the key element in a book nook.

For me, though, it was actually the last piece I added to my reading retreat. And it was certainly the trickiest for me to acquire.

I had been looking at chairs for a couple years and finally settled on one and ordered it in the spring of 2021.

We were just starting to feel like the pandemic was easing and maybe we were getting our lives back.

But, remember all the shortages?

As it turned out, furniture was one of those things in short supply.

As a result, I didn’t get delivery of my chair until March of 2022. Almost a year. First world problems, I know.

Fortunately, after all that waiting, when it did come it was everything I hoped it would be — a streamlined swivel/rocker style with soft cushions, and a casually elegant blush pink linen slipcover. Phew!

I like to put my feet up when I am reading, so an ottoman or foot stool was a must for my reading nook.

The space in this part of the bedroom is tight — a full-size ottoman wouldn’t work. The ottoman that coordinated with my chair was also more than I wanted to pay. (Remember how prices went up then too?)

I had to get creative!

Instead, I found a pretty antique wicker stool and painted it a blush pink to match the chair cover. Perfect!

Pro tip:

You can unite mismatched furniture pieces by painting them the same color. I used this trick in the guest cottage too, where I painted two different wicker end tables (one round and one square) the same coral red color.

I invite you to check it out for yourself and go for a virtual overnight stay in our guest cottage: Summer Ready in the Guest Cottage!


Of course good lighting is a must when planning a spot where you are going to be reading.

A window is nice to capture natural light during the day. And of course a view outside for a little daydreaming.

My reading nook is in front of windows that look out at the ocean. Lucky me!

The door into the bedroom is opposite the windows, though, so I wasn’t able to place the chair facing them. Not to worry — that’s what swivel chairs are for! Once seated, I can rotate the chair to face the view. And bonus — I can rest my feet on the window sill!

For night time reading, I have a floor lamp with a downward facing bulb.

I wanted something unique here — vintage but not a grandma lamp. Do you know what I mean??

Patience paid off, as I finally found one at a tag sale at our local grange. It seems to be cobbled together from vintage pieces and is definitely a little wonky. But I still love the look of it. One day I will take it to my lamp guy to have it shored up a bit. For now, it is perfectly imperfect!

A Table

It is good to have some kind of table next to your reading chair.

Someplace to rest a drink, eye glasses, and a book or two.

And of course some pretty decor!

My round table is part of an antique wicker set my mom got at an estate sale. It has the most fabulous chippy original paint!

It holds several plants, a stack of old books, and a large handblown glass seashell. All things that I find pleasing.

Get Cozy

I don’t know about you, but one or two pillows and a blanket or quilt are essential when I curl up to read. Even in the summer, I like a light throw.

It just gives me a feeling of security and puts me at ease.

The pillow I have in the chair now is a recent HomeGoods find. You know I never met a block print I didn’t like! And the soft colors are perfect as we move into spring.

The quilt folded on the back of the chair is from Etsy and the blanket was an estate sale find from years ago.

As always, I collect my decor from all different sources.

Book Storage

Not essential, but it is handy to have some book storage in your reading nook.

A small shelf or shelves do the trick. A large basket would work too.

Or you can get really creative.

I went way outside the box with a book-filled faux fireplace!

The vintage wooden mantel was an estate sale find from when I lived in Maryland.

The evolution of this piece was gradual over time.

The short story is: I painted it Benjamin Moore Yorktowne Green, a deep blue green, and then filled it with books.

Would you like to hear the long story of how I transformed this piece sometime?

As a teaser, did you know that I was a Russian language major in college and that I went to graduate school for Russian literature? There is a thick English-Russian dictionary on the bottom right of the fireplace and many Russian classics scattered throughout. Design should always be personal!

Back to the present…

Keeping with the theme of the reading nook, I used books to decorate the mantel too.

Pro tip:

Books make great decor! Look for books with colorful covers, and always check under the paper cover to see what lurks beneath! Vintage books are my favorites. They often have beautifully detailed covers. And you can find them at thrift or antiques stores for just a few dollars or less!

The fireplace mantel makes a great focal point in the room. It also helps to ground and define my little reading space. And it provides book storage too. Win, win, win!

This Week Into Next

I hope you had a great week!

I am still enjoying the simple Valentine’s touches around the house that I shared in last week’s post: From Maine With Love, Hearts, Flowers, Chocolate… and Lobster! They will stay up through the end of this month.

Then I will start thinking about early spring decor.

Even though it won’t be early spring for a while here…

A girl can dream!


For the Super Bowl last Sunday I made this easy Vegetarian Skillet Chili. Red onions pickled in lime juice are now officially my favorite chili topping!

Then for Valentine’s Day, I brought this Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie for the volunteers at the Food Pantry. Yes, you bake a giant chocolate chip cookie in a skillet! I used to make something similar in a cake pan when the kids were little. It is quick and easy and makes a thick chewy cookie which you can serve in slices. Or the recipe talks about scooping it warm from the oven into bowls and topping with ice cream. Um, yum!

When I was getting the links for these recipes from the NYT Cooking website, this Lasagna Soup recipe popped up on the homepage. It sounds yummy! I would substitute Beyond sausage.

And this Braised White Beans and Greens With Parmesan recipe. All the good things — cannellini beans, fresh fennel, rosemary, swiss chard, and the fresh zing of lemon!


My sewing tear continues, with a set of double-sided napkins I am making for my daughter Leah. I am using four different mix-and-match fabrics — two dark and two light so that each napkin has a wintery and a summery side. Give me all the patterns!

Read how I make my napkins and some other easy sewing projects in my post: Easy Sewing Projects to Warm Your Kitchen and Table for Winter.

That’s it for this week!

Be well, friends!


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