A reading nook can help you escape the drudgery of life, whether it helps you immerse yourself in a favorite book or daydream about a vacation. No matter where you plan to build your virtual getaway, you can make your reading nook as simple or complex as you want. A children’s reading nook can feature a canopy cascading from the ceiling, while an adult relaxing nook can maximize the space in a linen closet. Let’s take a closer look at DIY reading/relaxing nook ideas.
Reading Nook Styles
First thing’s first: figure out who your reading nook is for. Is it a space for your children, where they can grab a picture book and their favorite stuffed animal while you nestle up next to them to read? Or would you prefer an area where you can quietly reflect while wrapped up in a comfortable throw?
You can construct children’s nooks from various spots, including the extra attic space above a bed, the corner of a room, or even outside. For grown-up nooks, consider a bench seat near the window or a plush chair and ottoman in a secluded corner. You can even use a spot in your bedroom.
Find a Spot for Your Nook
Picture an area of your house where you would love to curl up with a blanket, a book, and a cup of tea. Choose a spot that is relatively quiet, as you don’t necessarily want loud noises to disturb your quiet time. You may need to rearrange furniture to find a future nook’s full potential.
Lighting is another important aspect to consider when selecting your perfect nook spot. Capitalize on the rays cascading through a nearby window for daytime reading. Pull across curtains or window sheers if the sunlight becomes too intense. If space lacks adequate lighting or if you want to read at nighttime, plug a table lamp in nearby or install wall sconces. Test the lighting conditions at various times of the day to make sure you have the necessary lighting.
Take advantage of extra space, and consider adding a nook. For instance, you can transform an unused closet into a quiet space. You can even take the unused space under the stairs and convert it into a relaxing area.
Choose Your Seating
Comfortable seating is a must for a reading/relaxing nook. Figure out what you would prefer to use for seating in your nook. Would you prefer to sit in a plush chair or would a bench seat work? The place and decor can help you narrow down your options, since you can’t place a reclining chair under the stairs, nor can you place a canopy in a closet.
Converting a Closet to a Reading Nook
To build a reading nook in a closet, empty out any shelving, wash the walls, and fill in any holes on the closet walls. Cut your lumber to the size of the bench seat, and construct two frames. One frame is for the base while the other is for the bench seat. Add a center support to the base, and screw that piece in the middle. Add two support pieces for the seat. Cut a piece of plywood for the top of the seat. Use wood glue, and then nail the plywood to the top for the seat.
Use a level to mark the bench’s location before you secure it to the wall. Locate the studs in the closet, and use framing nails or lag bolts to secure the base to the studs.
Cut a piece of foam to the specific size of your bench seat. Wrap the foam with fabric, and secure the material with a staple gun. You can use any type of fabric, including upholstery fabric, to decorate your space. If you want a temporary option, drape a sheet over the foam and tuck it in, much like you would a bedsheet. Depending on the size of the closet, you might be able to use a mattress instead of a foam piece.
Tip: One of the easiest ways to cut foam is with an electric carving knife.
Choose a color or wood stain for your space. Consider matching the colors in your fabric, or vice versa.
Construct a Canopy
Another option for your nook is a canopy, which is perfect for children since it turns an area into a magical getaway. If you want to place your canopy in a corner, you can use a 28-inch curved curtain rod. Otherwise, buy a 23-inch embroidery hoop and take the pieces apart. Thread several panels of lace curtains on the rod or hoop, and make sure to have the seams facing inside. With the hoop, clamp the two ends of it together and secure with the hardware. Spread out the curtains, and make sure they are evenly distributed.
For the embroidery hoop option, cut three pieces of ribbon about 4 inches long. These pieces will hold the canopy up from the ceiling. If you want the canopy to dangle lower, cut the ribbon longer. Position the ribbon along the hoop at even spaces. Gather the three pieces together at the top, and tie them together. Mount a hook from the ceiling, and hang the canopy from the hook. Spread apart two of the panels to create a door.
For the curved curtain rod option, mount screw hooks on both walls to use for tie backs. Wrap ribbon around several of the curtains, and hold the curtains back through the screw hooks.
Finish It Off
Once you’ve finished creating your nook, place some throw pillows and blankets for added comfort. Line the bookshelves with your favorite stories, and place some shelves to hold decorative items. If this DIY reading nook is for your children, be whimsical and include toys, stuffed animals, and a flashlight. Create themes, such as princesses or sports, and accessorize with specialized pieces.
For an adult area, buy scented candles, and light them near your relaxing nook. Add photos or flowers to bring a more personalized touch.
The Bottom Line
No matter what type of DIY reading or relaxing nook fits your needs, it’s important to have a spot somewhere for solitude and peacefulness. It’s easy to create your own space, once you figure out your needs and space. And there’s no better feeling than doing a job yourself without busting your budget.
Questions about building a reading nook? Ask us in the comments section below.