Create a cool, calm and cosy space where you can hunker down and kick back with a bestseller or two
No space for a library or study in your home – or prefer not to sacrifice a whole room to such pursuits? Then why not create a cosy reading nook, contemplative corner or a quiet zone instead.
Of course you can lie on the sofa, or sit at the dining table to read, work or ponder life’s meaning, but if general family hubbub prevents that, a dedicated area is the perfect solution. It also feels deliciously decadent to have somewhere other than the bedroom to relax and recline. It’s important, too, to have somewhere peaceful to unwind and recharge in our frenetic and fast-paced world.
Awkward spaces, boxy alcoves, or even one end of a large open-plan living area all provide the perfect opportunity to create a calm and comfortable snug, where you can curl up with a good book, scan your favourite websites or catch up on emails and admin.
Max out the floor space beneath a bay window by turning it into a beautiful banquette seating area. With a sturdy built-in platform, squashy seat pads and plenty of cushions, this can become a comfy chill-out zone and double up as a convenient breakfast nook, too. Low-level seating can even provide extra ottoman-style storage for blankets, books and anything else you want access to.
Odd-shaped rooms, weird angles and under-stair or chimney breast alcoves all present extra space for fitting shelves and creating a library effect. Or create a quiet reading corner away from the TV, with a cherished armchair, stylish reading lamp and beautiful bookcase. If it’s possible to install one, the addition of a fireplace or logburning stove will create a wonderful and warming focal point and complete the cosy cocooning effect.
Be aware, though, that when the chilly weather descends, you may never want to leave.
Concrete and reclaimed timber has been used throughout this new-build house. The angled window was the ideal place for a snug corner to enjoy the garden views. Fluffy sheepskins and textured cushions soften the space.
Get the look: The sofa is from Sofa.com. The coffee table is by G-Plan. The trio of lampshades are by Graham and Green. The cushions and sheepskin are from a selection at Cox & Cox.
An intimate spot for breakfast or for catching up on admin and emails has been created in this open-plan kitchen and living area.
Get the look: The chairs are from Amsterdam Modern in LA – try Homeplace for similar. The table is from White on White in New York – check out Made.com for similar. The patterned cushions are made up in Grove Citron linen by Wayne Pate for Studio Four NYC and the velvet cushions are from Ochre.
This former kitchen was redesigned as a family dining area. The window seat was designed as a reading nook, with a radiator hidden away underneath to keep it cosy year round.
Get the look: The walls are painted in Calamine estate emulsion by Farrow & Ball. The sofa is covered in fabric by Casamance. These are Diamond M pendants by Pols Potten. The bespoke table is by Designed by David, with Wishbone chairs by Hans J Wegner for Carl Hansen & Søn.
An informal dining nook is tucked into the bay window at the front of this kitchen, and is much used for family meals. The table is a bespoke creation made using an Eero Saarinen Tulip base.
Get the look: The white chair is from Ikea. The built-in appliances are by Gaggenau.
A double-height void forms the ideal location for a reading corner, with ample natural light flowing down into the lower-ground floor, while lush plants create an indoor-outdoor mood.
Get the look: The armchair is by The Conran Shop. The mirror is by Lombok. The cushion is by Blackpop.
The angled shape and low ceiling in this room make it an ideal spot for a cosy reading corner. Pops of colour unite it with the rest of the flowing space.
Get the look: The Stars and Stripes artwork over the fireplace is by Ann Carrington, while the photograph of Marilyn Monroe swimming, by an unknown photographer, was a vintage find. For a similar print, visit 55Max.
Situated at one end of an open-plan room, this library area was created with a gentlemen’s club in mind, and is a comfy spot to read a book, make calls and catch up on those emails.
Get the look: These are Matthew Hilton’s Balzac armchairs for SCP, covered in Zoffany’s Quartz velvet in Berry. The library shelves are bespoke and made by Andwoodcraft, then painted in Little Greene’s Lamp Black eggshell. This is the Estadio pendant by Miguel Milá for Santa & Cole.
This reading platform makes great use of an awkward corner. The black window frames and sheer curtains turn it into a dynamic space.
Get the look: Visit The French House for an antique armchair like this.
A new logburning stove and partition wall has helped to create a cosy snug in this home.
Get the look: Chair, Skandium, rug and side table, Moroso.
Even In a quiet corner, beautiful design takes priority. Striking artwork sits alongside a distinctive oversized lamp and chic contemporary chair with elegant curves.
Get the look: The oversized standing lamp is by Foscarini. The chair is by James UK. The photograph is by Two Faces. The steer head was custom made in Sweden.