Creating the perfect reading nook
Winter weather provides the perfect excuse to curl up in a corner and crack open the spine of a new book. Creating a pleasant space to read, daydream or nap is a fairly straightforward project and may only require a little rearranging if you have the fundamentals in place already.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to build a nook from scratch, a window seat remodel could be the perfect addition to your floor plan. Whatever your starting point, here are some inventive ideas that will give your new favorite spot that comfy, customized, and lived-in feeling.
A window seat is a romantic spot to gaze out the window over the pages of a thick novel. If you have a large bedroom or living space with substantial windows, consider hiring a carpenter to frame out a simple window seat. A built-in bench can make awkward spaces more functional while also providing additional seating for entertaining.
It’s a common misconception that a window seat remodel will eat up a huge portion of space in the room. Since a window seat can be of varying dimensions and the surrounding areas can remain open or be manipulated to provide additional storage, it’s more like a piece of custom furniture.
If extra storage is what you’re after, find a reputable cabinet-maker to finish out the window seat and install built-in shelving and/or closed cabinets on each side. The bench could also be hinged creating a “chest” type storage unit. A window seat with surrounding storage serves double duty because every reading nook needs a place nearby to store all of the books!
Creating a reading corner is a great option for anyone who is starting from scratch, but doesn’t have the budget for a whole window seat. Find a cozy armchair and ottoman for the corner of a quiet room with plenty of natural light. If windows are hard to come by, invest in a bright reading lamp and hang a landscape print or painting on the wall to simulate a window opening. Lastly, re-purpose a side table for tea cups or your current novel and don’t forget to keep some bookmarks nearby.
A tall pile of durable magazines or large coffee-table books can serve as an alternative to a side table. Place a coaster on top to avoid rings from mugs or settle in for the afternoon.
If you have an existing window seat or bench, you might be searching for a way to make it more inviting. A great way to perk up a window seat is to hang some curtains inside the nook at ceiling height. This elongates the window and highlights the architectural feature.
For a cozier, “secret” window seat, hang the curtains outside the space on the two flanking walls so that when the curtain is pulled shut, the window seat is hidden. A brightly-colored collection of pillows, cushions and blankets will ensure this reading nook is always occupied.
If the bench or window seat just needs a little facelift, replace the horizontal section (i.e. the panel that serves as the seat). A great way to update the traditional painted panel is to finish it with leftover hardwood floor planks. Simply install hardwood planks onto a plywood seat base and finish the edge with stained trim to achieve a timeless, high-end look.
Any bookworm knows that a quiet reading corner is the quintessential mini vacation. Between window seat remodeling and furniture rearranging, there are plenty of options for creating a bright and cozy reading corner… the hard part is sharing your new space once it’s done!
Have you created your own little nook? Tell us about it in the comment section below.
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