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6 Simple Steps to a Cozy Reading Nook

There’s no better spot to get lost in a book (or take a midday nap) than a cozy reading nook—just ask graphic designer Pamela Hovland, who turned this sunny corner of her Wilton, Connecticut, home into a rustic retreat where she can recline and relax. Here are a few quick tips to create a comfy reading area of your own.

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1. Spread Out

One of the most important parts of a comfortable reading spot is making sure there’s lots of room to properly curl up. “This sitting area is exactly the length and width of two twin mattresses end to end, making it very conducive to napping,” Hovland says. A bonus: The mattress-sized seating doubles as a bed for overnight guests.

2. Something Extra

Give your reading nook personality by hanging art (try a gallery wall, perhaps?) or leaning framed photos on a shelf, and don’t forget what a big impact little extras can make, says Hovland. “I always have a candle or vase of flowers on the shelves, especially when our family is all gathered; it’s an easy way to make the space feel even more welcoming.”

3. Cozy Reading Nook Lighting

While having natural light in your reading space is great, it’s also important to have options. Anything from your mood to the season can dictate what kind of lighting works best for you and the space, so consider adding a task lamp or overhead light, even if you already have a window.

4. Cushion Time

When it comes to choosing throw pillows and seat cushions, make sure you’re thinking not only comfort, but also durability, says Hovland: “They should be low-maintenance in case there’s a coffee spill, or a dog or kid leaves muddy footprints behind.” Additionally, check out brands like Sunbrella that make indoor/ outdoor fabrics that are stain resistant and come in tons of colors and patterns.

5. Store Away

Having a place to stash extra throw blankets and pillows makes getting cozy in your nook a lot more convenient. Building in storage, like the drawers shown here, is a great way to utilize the space, but a large basket or trunk works, too.

6. Set Off the Space

If your reading nook is part of a larger living space, try dividing the two areas using a curtain or decorative screen; separating them gives both spaces an added layer of privacy and coziness.

By Hannah Baker | Photograph by Trevor Tondro/Otto