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How to Create a Space for Reading in Your Home

Design Guides

Along with exercise and eating well, we’re constantly coming up with excuses to skip out on reading. “If only I had a better reading chair,” said the aspiring literary critic. But if you’re trying to get back into the habit of reading, you’re going to want a reading space that you can call your own. This is an area that should be separate from the rest of your home, while making it clear to the rest of the household that a book doubles as a do not disturb sign. While we don’t have any actual reading recommendations for you, we can give you a few helpful tips and tricks for establishing a reading area in your home.

Get a Comfortable Reading Chair

west elm theo show wood chair

Reading is a solo endeavor, and your reading space should reflect this. Whereas you might have matching chairs in a conversation nook, a reading chair should be differentiated from the rest of your home’s furniture, and should be a one-off piece. You don’t want something that will be a distraction from the rest of your furnishings, but a vintage statement piece can be highly effective when outfitting this part of the home.

Image via West Elm.

Place Your Chair Away from High-Traffic Areas

reading space separate from house

With all the distractions that surround us, it can be difficult to find the headspace to focus on a book. When creating a reading space, try to eliminate as many distractions as possible, and that includes other people. Although the living room might seem like an obvious choice, consider putting your chair in the bedroom, away from any household distractions.

Image via Ultra Linx.

Section Off Your Reading Space

reading space area rug

In case you don’t have a private library, differentiate your reading space from the rest of your home. An area rug or an accent wall is a great way to do this.

Check out the cowhide rug we placed in the reading area of this sag harbor weekend retreat.

Get the Right Lighting

reading lighting task light

Having the right lighting is key to getting some reading done. Obviously you need to be able to see the words on the page, but you don’t want overly bright light. To get the right mix, have a bit of ambient lighting for the room you’re reading in, combined with a single task light.

Image via Decorology.

A Side Table

reading side table drink

Whether you’re starting the day with a cup of coffee, or winding down with a nightcap, books and beverages always go well together. Instead of putting your drink on the floor, or even worse, trying to go without, place a small table next to your reading chair, so that you can set down your drink of choice.

Image via Article.

Throw Blanket

throw blanket reading chair

As the weather gets colder, and you’re bringing out the throw blankets, don’t forget to add one to your reading chair. On cold winter nights, you’ll want to curl up with a blanket and some hot cider, or something stronger. And feel free to contrast your blanket against your chair. If you have a solid, neutral chair, go for a bright or vivid throw blanket, and vice versa.

And while you’re at it, check out our guide to throw blankets.

Image via Craft Hubs.

Storage

storage bookcase shelves

A great way to section off your reading area is to surround it with books. Whether you’re using a bookshelf, or wall shelves, you’ll want to have all your favorite novels within arms length of your reading chair.

Image via Design Milk.

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