Reading corner ideas – inspiration for the cosiest nook in your home

These reading corner ideas will inspire you to create a private, quiet, cosy and indulgent space to retreat in – whether that means actually reading that book you’ve been meaning to, flipping through the pages of your favourite magazine (Livingetc, we hope), or even just doing some online shopping from your phone.

We’ve pulled together 31 chic and cosy reading corner ideas to create an inviting nook in your living room, snug, home library or bedroom

1. Consider a swing chair

Suspending a seat from the ceiling will free up floor space, and can therefore help to make a room feel roomier or less cluttered. Plus, what’s not to love about curling up in a swing seat, or having your legs blissfully dangle below you?

swing chair

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

Draping a sheepskin or other furry blanket over an armchair or tub chair will make it an even cosier space to crawl into.

reading chair with sheepskin and cushions

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

3. Create a corner window seat – so you can lean against the wall while still enjoying views

We all love a good window seat. Aside from being a compact and space-efficient seating option, usually with handy storage built-in underneath, it’s also a great way to really take in the views. Below, windows wrap around the corner to offer views in both direction, while cushions are propped up against the wall to offer somewhere to lean against when reading.

window seat corner

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

4. Upgrade a bay window to a reading bed

This open-plan loft apartment in Barcelona makes the most of a bay window are with a built-in raised bed. 

reading corner in barcelona loft

(Image credit: Montse Garriga Grau)

It stores books and reading materials underneath, while the mattress offers an indulgently comfortable place to curl up, read, enjoy the views or even nap.

reading corner window seat

(Image credit: Montse Garriga Grau)

5. Place a reading chair by the fire to encourage more use

What could be cosier than sitting by an open fire or little log burner? Keep a side table nearby for perching books and cups of tea on. It’ll become a favourite spot on rainy, cold and windy days.

cosy reading corner by open fire

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

6. A pair of armchairs are more inviting than one

A pair of mustard velvet armchairs create an inviting corner to retreat to. Having a pair of armchairs creates an ideal corner for a side table too, plus we feel that a pair of chairs can often look more inviting than a lone chair.

pair of mustard coloured armchairs in living room

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

The same applies to the bay window below, which features two identical armchairs separated by a side table.

cosy reading corner by window

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

7. Invest in the ultimate staple: the Eames lounge chair

The Eames lounge chair is as iconic as it is comfortable. Don’t be put off by it’s leather look – the reclining chair with accompanying foot rest will prop you into the prime position for dozing off with a book.

eames lounge chair with grey cat

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

Pair it with a floor lamp to create the perfect reading corner.

eames lounge chair

(Image credit: James Merrell)

8. Find the perfect sized piece to slot into a gap

The below seat isn’t quite a sofa, nor is it an armchair – it sits somewhere in between, as a ‘love seat’. It makes this area of the home look cosier and homelier, plus it’s the ideal spot to perch while putting on or removing shoes. Your pets will no doubt want to claim it as their own, for staring longingly out of the window.

small sofa by front door entrance hall

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

9. Give vintage pieces some love

This old vintage armchair wouldn’t look out of place in your grandparents’ conservatory, but it makes for an inviting reading corner in this modern home too, thanks to the fresh upholstery and contrasting modern floor lamp.

reading corner with vintage chair and cushions

(Image credit: Mark C O’Flaherty)

10. Treat yourself to a rocking chair

Forget your associations with rocking chairs. A rocking chair has nothing to do with age, and you don’t have to take up knitting to justify buying one. We all secretly love rocking back and forth in one, so just go on and treat yourself. You know you want to, and your inner child will thank you for it.

colourful living room with cosy corner

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

11. Togo or not Togo?

Bow down to Ligne Rosset’s iconic Togo sofa. You can spot the signature design instantly, it’s a design classic, plus it’s sooooo cosy. This double Togo sofa with raised sides will cocoon you and invite you to recline lengthways, stretching out and unwinding with your book.

reading room togo sofa

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

12. Pile on the texture

This beach house in Cornwall may be a concrete den, but it’s layered textures make it feel cosy. Here a concrete window seat is made more inviting with a mattress cushion, a sheepskin rug and piles of cushions.

window seat reading corner

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

13. Embrace boucle

Designer Suzy Hoodless tapped into the boucle armchair trend long before it became popular, with this super shaggy high backed armchair in her bedroom. The teddy bear like texture is so snug for curling up in.

teddy armchair reading corner

(Image credit: James Merrell)

14. Put a reading corner in the spotlight with a statement lamp

Illuminate your reading corner with a statement lamp, as was achieved in this cool, industrial-style home below.

reading corner with floor lamp

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

15. Go for minimalist furniture pieces for a clean, serene look

This reading corner might not exactly be beckoning you to spend hours reading in this spot, but you can’t argue about how stylish it looks. The rug that leads to it makes it a little more inviting, as does the cushion, but ultimately the result is that it’s created a super chic nook in an otherwise unused space. 

minimalist reading corner

(Image credit: Davide Lovatti)

16. Consider vibrant upholstery

Tired of your armchairs? Give them a new lease of life and turn them into a feature with a bold colour or vibrant pattern. The red velvet armchairs below punctuate this blue room and add fresh energy into the scheme.

reading chairs

(Image credit: James Merrell)

Similarly, hot pink velvet instantly energises the snug below.

colourful reading corner

(Image credit: James Balston)

17. Utilise hallways and corridors

A wide corridor could be the perfect place for showcasing books and magazines. Create an inviting seating nook nearby to make the most of the space.

reading corner in corridor

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

18. The plumper the better

The plumper a chair or sofa, the more it will lure you into it, and the longer you’ll want to nestle into it for. The below armchair has us longing for its comfort – just look at those plumped up sides.

cushioned armchair reading corner

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

19. Bean bags aren’t just for kids

In architect Michaelis Boyd’s home (the Round House in West Kensington), he contrasted modern, minimalist furniture pieces with this super-sized beanbag by the fire. We know where we’d be sitting…

bean bag seating area reading room in michaelis boyd house

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

20. Free up surfaces with a wall light

An angled, extendable wall light will free up side tables and floor space. The reading chair below now has plenty of space next to it for placing a book and a cup of tea, without worrying about knocking anything over.

reading corner

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

21. Transform a box room into a home library

As these home library ideas will show you, floor to ceiling bookcases, a ladder and a reading corner can be a great way to transform an unused box room. most box rooms get very little use – either as an occasional guest bedroom, or for most of us as a dumping ground for storage. The below reading corner is cosy and oh so chic.

reading corner

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

22. Invest in linen

For a fresh, clean and cosy look, nothing beats linen fabric. Linen sofas and armchairs tend to be pricier than others, but trust us – it’s worth every penny.

reading corner with two armchairs

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

23. Clad walls in panelling for a gentleman’s club vibe

Painted panelling and a dark colour palette gives this reading corner below a gentleman’s club inspired vibe.

reading corner with wood panelling

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

24. Consider a chaise longue for maximum indulgence

Why sit up when you can be practically horizontal? Chaise longues ooze indulgence, comfort and a little bit of grandeur.

reading corner in basement with chaise longue

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

25. Spin around in Arne Jacobsen’s egg chair

Another design classic, Arne Jacobsen’s iconic egg chair is an armchair that cocoons you.

reading corner with egg chair

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

26. Create an outdoor reading corner

Even (covered) courtyards, balconies and patios deserve some plump seating in a cosy corner.

reading corner in courtyard garden

(Image credit: Montse Garriga Grau)

27. Create an adults only enclave

The below loft is a private space where the homeowners come to escape family life. It’s a quiet place to work and read, with French doors that open onto a chic roof garden.

reading corner in loft

(Image credit: Future)

28. Forget about a reading corner – create a reading room

Photographer Paul Craig created an elegant and sumptuous reading room in his Victorian villa below. There’s no TV and no distractions – this is a grown up space to sit, read, talk, and enjoy the fire.

reading corner

(Image credit: Paul Craig)

The library room in Alice Temperley’s Somserset mansion also beckons for cosy afternoons curled up with a book. Walls are lined with books, there’s an old comfy sofa to swallow you up, and a floor lamp for task lighting – plus a painted ceiling to give it a cocooning feel.

reading room

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

29. Wrap bookshelves around the room for a reading den effect

Floor to ceiling bookshelves wrap around the below home library, and even frame the doorway.

reading corner snug

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

30. Choose sculptural furniture pieces for statement style

This reading room is grown up and super chic, thanks to the dark colour palette, sculptural seating and modern coffee tables.

reading corner

(Image credit: Frenchie Cristogatin)

31. Honour a mid century scheme with a retro chair

An orange wool armchair and footrest perfectly complement this mid century modern scheme.

reading corner

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)