16 Cozy & Inviting Reading Nooks

by Bethany Joy Foss

This season before spring is the least exciting in my book, but the cold, rainy days turn out to be a great chance to tackle indoor projects or spend time in a good book. As a kid, I could read anywhere — on the floor, in bed, or my favorite spot outside — but lately, I’ve found the need for just enough light, quiet and lots of pillows. Coziness is essential to block out distraction and let my mind settle into a story or study. Grey skies are a chance for imagination to come alive, and these 16 reading nooks from the archives seem like just the spaces to let that happen. —Bethany

Reading Nook Roundup on Design*Sponge
This Baltimore home is a reader’s haven with pillows and cushions lining the floors of the space and this bedroom with custom cedar bookcases stuffed with classics. Homeowner Susanna shares, “I’ve always dreamed of just putting up a cot in a bookstore and a library and sleeping amongst the stacks, and now I feel like I do.” It would be hard to get out of bed in this magical place.
Reading Nook Roundup on Design*Sponge
Dubbed “The Crow’s Nest,” this quiet space is reserved for napping, reading and meditating and the very spot that sold homeowners Dawn and Ian on their cabin in California. The sunny, pillowed sanctuary hosts conversations, laughter and sleepovers and couldn’t be better suited for rediscovering a favorite book.
Reading Nook Roundup on Design*Sponge
Celia Tejada’s San Francisco Victorian is overflowing with cozy spots to curl up in a fluffy blanket. The far end of this loft space is set with a Moroccan rug and pillows for a cat nap. The closeness of the ceiling nestled overhead creates a comfortable refuge reminiscent of a kid in an attic hideout.
Reading Nook Roundup on Design*Sponge
This reading nook was created after a driver fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into the front hallway of this Connecticut farmhouse. Haldan and Gina repaired the damage, but the accident left lasting effects on the plaster walls which led the couple to add a serene, black paint and transform the space into a library. The walls are lined with custom shelves made from roofing boards and a steel ladder frame, and the books are wrapped in white paper with printed labels to create contrast against the dark wall.
Reading Nook Roundup on Design*Sponge
The net lofted above the living room in this San Francisco home makes play an easy part of the family's daily life. The sunny spot is a favorite of Julia and Dennis’ kids and is visible from the kitchen and door to the backyard. Climbing into this oversized hammock for quality reading time every day would be something to look forward to.
Reading Nook Roundup on Design*Sponge
This dark space on the edge of the living room in a Gorgeous Georgian home in Bristol provides just enough light and tranquility to bury your nose in a good mystery.
Reading Nook Roundup on Design*Sponge
In a renovated Upstate NY home, this delightful dormer window niche is a well-loved spot by the whole family. The space holds built-in shelves on either side to store special books or toys and a solid stream of natural light fills every inch of the cranny.
Reading Nook Roundup on Design*Sponge
This bright sunroom in a Bohemian home in Florida would be the perfect spot to curl up on a Saturday afternoon. Layers of pillows, textiles, patterns and an abundance of natural light make it Carley’s favorite spot to recollect her thoughts.
Reading Nook Roundup on Design*Sponge
A peaceful green home in Ghent, NY boasts this quiet alcove in the master bedroom. “There can never be too many spots to curl up and nap/read a book,” share homeowners, Ted Kennedy Watson and Ted Sive.
Reading Nook Roundup on Design*Sponge
This small nook at the top of the stairs in a Kingston, NY home seems like stepping into a rural dream. The handmade rocking chair, mini eyelash windows and warmth from the wood plank ceiling create a quiet spot to read or reflect.
Reading Nook Roundup on Design*Sponge
Kate and Ellen’s vintage airstream provides just enough space for life on the road. They designed the interior to have activity zones with a lot of hidden storage. A brass sconce and travel mementos surround the bench in the living/dining space that doubles as their daughter’s bed at night and a comfortable spot to lounge and read during the day.
Reading Nook Roundup on Design*Sponge
Leela and Ryan confide that more napping than actual reading happens in this comfortable corner of their small Brooklyn home above a bookstore.
Reading Nook Roundup on Design*Sponge
Sarai and Kenn’s cozy corner near a window in their quiet home in Portland seems like the perfect spot to grab a blanket and a book and relax. Sarai shares, “I remember reading Scott and Helen Nearing’s book 'The Good Life,' in which she says that a tapestry of books on the wall is the only decoration you really need. I have to agree that they add more joy to a room than almost anything else.”
Reading Nook Roundup on Design*Sponge
This cozy room in Ayumi and Chloe’s home in Maine is tranquil and idyllic for quiet reading or conversation. The rocking chairs and a warm pellet stove, surrounded by books and hugged with natural light feels just right for a good book.
Reading Nook Roundup on Design*Sponge
This light-filled house bus bedroom is lined with shelves for Julie and Andrew’s prized possessions. These avid readers confess that they couldn’t part with their beloved books after completing renovations and moving into their 250-square-foot home on the road.
Reading Nook Roundup on Design*Sponge
A quiet nook sits at the top of the stairs to the master bedroom in this Washington, D.C. home. The window seat provides storage for the family and a well-lit bench to snuggle up with loved ones.

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  • Oh, this first slide won’t work in earthquake country. You are asleep or reading and wake up to an avalanche o books. I love books too but not as lethal weapons!

  • I love all of these but the couple who wrap their books in white papaer just makes me sad. I think of my books as affordable pieces of art work and then I think of all the hard work that designers put into those book covers. Yes, the white books look lovely but to me, it just seems like putting a blanket over a painting.

  • I love the story behind the Connecticut farmhouse. How great is it to have a story behind a room full of stories. I noticed that several of these reading nooks featured neutral or cool tones, which I find very calming. Great share.

  • Oh my goodness these all look so inviting, I’d love to build a reading space into my home, thank for the ideas…

  • As a super active reader this was heaven for me – wish to have time to go through every story too. Love nearly all of them in their special way.
    In my house I have, only this morning, already read at the dining table, in the kitchen while making breakfast, on the cosy sofa in the living and in the bay window armchair in the living room too…. Normally, at this time of the morning I also would have read in the bedroom where we have 2 armchairs and a lovely round small table and tons of wonderful morning light… Thanks for these themed contributions, they are always great fun and much inspiration is provided.

  • I now have my perfect book nook. I’ve been looking for this my whole life (well, since I learned to read). A nook at the south end of our living/ dining room has big sunny windows on two sides and tall bookshelves on the other side. A sectional with lounge fills the rest of the space and I’ve got lots of pillows, a throw and places to set a glass or tea mug. It’s drenched with sunlight all day long in winter.

    I’ve found my home.

  • Wow! really great ideas for kids reading. I think a stylish and comfortable reading nook inspires kids reading and kids feel relax reading quality time. Thanks for sharing this idea.

  • Wow! Such a cute reading nook. Relaxing, impressive and awesome ideas. Really great through. Just impressive. Thanks for this grate idea.