If you've got an unused corner or space in your home that feels a bit bare or empty, a reading chair might be just the ticket.
Offering your own private space for tucking into a good book, the addition of a simple reading chair can also work as a clever design device for breaking up a space or bare wall that's void of any personality - turning it instead into its very own destination, or reading nook.
When picking the perfect reading chair for you, think about what you want when you sit down to enjoy a good read. Comfort is important, so look at factors like upholstery and take the opportunity to test out the material in person and check how soft it is to the touch. Think about shape too - could your alloted space accommodate a chair with a reclining function or ottoman for that extra level of comfort? Look at the size you realistically have. Don't go for the ultra cozy oversized style if it's you're only going to be squeezing your way past it every day.
Whether it's an addition to a living room corner or a new piece of bedroom furniture you're after, here are 9 buys I've spotted for cozy reading nooks that will delight every bookworm.
Best reading chairs with ottoman
Material: Tight olefin fiber weave
This reading chair comes with an upholstered ottoman so you can put your feet up and relax while gobbling up your favorite read. It also comes with a clever built-in USB charger so your reading nook doesn't end up with an ugly tangle of wires at your feet.
Material: Teddy velvet
With a solid plywood frame and metal legs, this super soft chair has been upholstered in teddy short plush velvet, the perfect addition to a minimaluxe bedroom. The chair's ergonomic design showcases a rounded design with accompanying ottoman so it molds to your back.
Best reclining reading chairs
I love this low back chair that was first introduced in the 70s, working as a unique accent chair as well as a place to recline. Its curved look brings a cradling feel, and it's available in three colors - black is seriously chic but the rust red is also a great pick.
With a sloping back and extra pillow cushion for comfort, the Edia is the statement lounge piece. I like the tufted look that emphasizes the foam pillow, and the solid ash wood legs that make it look luxurious and expensive.
Best oversized reading chairs
For a touch of the 70s in your living room, this tufted sling seat has a chunky, oversized look with an authentic, lived-in feel. With a dark solid ash frame, the chair has a beautiful contrast between the buttery soft leather and the wood.
A chic armchair that brings real style and sophistication. The foam material is wrapped in velvet with two cushions for extra comfort. It's also available in a red tone but I like the jewel coloring of this midnight blue, especially with the gold legs.
I love the low profile, wide arm look with sofas, and it also works brilliantly with this plush lounge chair in this deliciously vibrant yellow. Its structure also means you can sit on it in different ways, even lying across it like a mini daybed.
Best reading chairs for small spaces
Material: Ribbed corduroy
If you're tight on room, this mid-century silhouette will easily fill a small space. I love the cozy ribbing of the corduroy to bring extra texture, and in this shade of mustard you can really see the texture and material in all its golden glory.
Material: Knoll Camel
This reading chair looks super comfortable, and what it lacks in size it makes up for with its 360-degree swivel that makes it more flexible. The chunky, boucle performance fabric means while it looks expensive, it will withstand spills and stains, so feel free to enjoy a glass of wine with your book without fear.
Material: Linen upholstery: 70 percent rayon, 30 percent linen
A perfect buy for a small bedroom, this caned chair is slightly smaller than others, but packs a punch with its sophisticated details such as birchwood caning, brass-capped fit and linen upholstery.
Where should I put my reading chair?
Reading chairs work well as an option a bedroom, but the addition of a reading corner can bring a soothing feel to any space. It doesn't have to be in the bedroom, and reading nooks can be created throughout the home. Stairwells, hallways, or bigger living areas are just some options available.
'Select a nook that is a design moment waiting to happen,' says Ginger Curtis of Urbanology Designs. 'This could be anything from a space that gets great light to a surface you change seasonally like the mantle.'
Finally, take care to ensure they don’t dominate or clutter a room. ‘Make sure that they are correctly proportioned for your space, and correspond with the surrounding furniture,' says interior designer, Naomi Astley Clarke. Look at the color palette of the space and pick something that blends in, and play around by rejigging furniture - you might be surprised at how easily you can give an old space a new lease of life.
How to accessorize my reading chair
Use the furniture to create a vignette, building on the reading chair with accessories to firmly establish the zone as a reading nook. Accessorize your new chair with a floating bookshelf or coffee table stylishly stacked with books. If you are lacking space, even a neat and curated pile of books on the floor can do the trick. 'Take the time to revisit your bookshelves and see how you can restyle them for maximum impact,' says Ginger.
'Creating vignettes is important because it creates small, special moments throughout the house,' says Susana Simonpietri, creative director of Chango & Co. 'Especially when you have a large house, small moments can be forgotten. It’s important to add decorative elements to give each space their own small moments to shine.'
If you're placing your reading chair in a bedroom or hallway, just make sure it doesn't become a dumping ground for clothes, and try to always keep it clear!
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Oonagh is a content editor at Livingetc.com and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.
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