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.

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