How to Create a Cozy Reading Nook For Fall and Winter

Settling in for winter at home? With social distancing measures in place and cold weather on the horizon, it’s more important than ever to make smart investments in your home that will make your time there comfortable, happy, and nourishing. 

Looking to make sure your time at home this fall and winter is as comfortable and cozy as possible? Adding a reading nook is a home project that can go a long way — both for your own enjoyment now, and for wowing any future potential buyers.

Ready to carve out the perfect space for reading and relaxing, all winter long? Here are four important things to consider when designing a cozy reading nook for your home.

Get Creative With Your Space

It can be fun to look at the space you already have and imagine it being used in a new way. Take a look around your home for any empty corners, bay windows that aren’t being fully utilized, or closets that can serve a better purpose than they are currently. You may even have a decorative fireplace hearth you can turn into a cozy spot perfect for curling up with your favorite book. Finding a way to use the space you already have can make your home feel exciting again.

If you can’t find a spot, you can always create one. Could you make use of that empty space underneath a stairwell? Do you have bulky furniture that could be swapped out or rearranged? If you’re willing to take on more of a renovation, is there a wall that you could push back to free up some space? 

Wherever you find the space, make sure it’s large enough to get comfy, with enough room to lie down, sprawl out, plop down an overstuffed chair — whatever position you and your family will be most comfortable reading in. 

Make Sure Your Lighting is Spot On

Lighting is probably the most important element to consider when creating your reading nook. If it’s too dim, you won’t be able to see the pages without straining! On the other hand, if it’s too bright, you won’t get the comfortable and relaxing atmosphere you may be looking for. 

If it’s possible, set up your reading nook in an area that gets lots of natural light during the day, either next to or across from a window. When a nearby window isn’t an option, you can still create a well lit nook with lamps. Choose a standing lamp with an adjustable head, or a lamp that you can clip on to something nearby to position your light at a helpful angle.  

Your best bet is to use daylight LED lights, which are less straining on your eyes, offer serious energy saving potential, and provide a comfortable light color that makes it easy to see indoors. Looking to take on more of a project? Consider adding a dimmer switch or adjustable smart lighting, which can help you set the mood for a comforting night in. 

Give Yourself Ample Storage

Once you get comfortable in your cozy new nook, you’ll want to spend as much time there as possible — and you definitely won’t want to get up to get a new read! Look for creative ways to add storage, such as installing shelves, purchasing a bookshelf perfectly suited to your space, or even adding multi-functional furniture, such as bench seating with storage. 

All of these options can help you keep all of your reading material stocked close by, so you can stay put for as long as you want. 

Similarly, add a table or small surface nearby to hold a drink or some snacks, and keep baskets or incorporate built-in drawers to hold extra blankets or cushions to make the spot comfortable for everyone in your family. Clever, custom storage that adds additional space to tuck things away not only helps your home stay tidy, but also increases the overall functionality and might even help make your home stand out to future buyers. 

Include Lots of Comfortable Décor

It’s extremely satisfying to curl up with a warm blanket and watch the leaves or snow fall outside of the window, isn’t it? Make your reading nook as cozy and welcoming as possible by layering the space with comfortable cushions and thick, warm blankets. Make sure to keep a couple options so you can layer up if it’s extra cold, or remove one if you start to get too warm.

You can make your reading nook even more cozy when you incorporate comfortable materials. Hang thick curtains over the windows, use plush blankets and foam filled cushions that provide extra comfort when you sit for a long time. Think about what other choices bring you comfort and peace — from warm scented candles, to hygge-inspired finishes like wooden tables and trays. Finally, it’s a good idea to remove any electronics from your reading nook! You’ll be the most comfortable if you’re not hearing the ding of your phone every few minutes.

Make The Most of Your Time At Home This Winter

No matter the season, your home is where your best memories happen. It’s the place you enjoy Chicago’s hot summers and hunker down through the cold winters. We understand, because Chicagoland has been our home since 1855.

Looking for new ideas to make the most of your indoor spaces during fall and winter? Curious about what steps you can take to get your home ready to sell in the months ahead? Whatever your real estate goals may be, we get you — and we’re here to help make things easier, at every step of the way.