Our Latest Decor Obsession: The Reading Room
Here at Brit + Co, we love sharing our latest reads, whether it's non-fiction, seasonal fiction (a recent B + C favorite: Sally Rooney's Beautiful World, Where Are You?), even poetry. So the idea of creating a space in our homes dedicated to just reading really piqued our interest. This could be a creatively designed nook, an actual library (a girl can dream), a coffee table, a window seat, or even a porch or patio. Think cushy chairs, reading lights, accessible shelves, and a perch for your favoritewarm drink.
"As any book lover can attest, reading isn’t just a hobby or a weekend pastime — it’s an essential form of self-care," says Heather Goerzen, design editor for the online interior design service Havenly. "Books can be an escape somewhere exotic, a glimpse into another culture or era, a way to embark on a grand adventure from the warm, cozy comfort of your own home. Yet, besides that very crowded shelf, bookcase, or nightstand, our favorite books have rarely been given the same space in our homes."
So what makes an ideal reading room? And can you achieve one with very little space? "It isn’t any one thing, it’s a whole vibe," says Goerzen.That is, tap into your inner biblio-style, whether that's boho chic, modern luxe, Grandmillennial or something else. The idea is to make it personal, comfortable, and inspiring.
"Regardless of size, you want a dedicated space with some sense of separation between the demands of your everyday life, from emails and checklists to errands and childcare. A way to transition from all you have to “get done” to simply “slow down” with great book in hand," she adds.
The rise of She Sheds and Zen Dens, in fact, proved that our homes can be tailored to our lifestyle. We no longer have to go with traditional uses for dining spaces, home offices, or utility spaces. We can think outside that four-wall box.
To get started, Havenly curatedfurniture and decor bestsellers that lend themselves to a good reading nook, making you want to sit for one more chapter. And here are Goerzen's tips for essentials:
- It begins with a comfy reading chair that you can really sink in and slow down. Plush cushions are a must. Ability to curl up a plus.
- Don't forget a side table or some space to rest your coffee, wine, or anything in between.
- Ambient light is crucial. Nothing settles you in for reading time more than soft lamplight (versus sterile overhead lighting that can feel cold and harsh). Consider a table lamp, floor lamp, or even sconces or a hanging pendant if it works in your space.
- A place to stash, and display, your literary collection. If you don't have room for a bookcase, don't sweat it. Consider an artistic carefree approach with stacked books on the floor along the wall, or a basket for storing your more recent page-turners, or even transform a small bar cart into a mini styled library (add in a decanter and glassware if that’s your thing!).
- Layer for the ultimate in coziness -- pillows, throw blankets, candles, and rugs. These important details set the tone for the ultimate in self care.
But the key to the perfect reading space? Stick to reading in it. Put the phone away, pour a glass of wine or cup of tea, light a candle and cozy up with your latest read for the ultimate self care ritual. "You want to create a calm and peaceful environment that allows you to unplug from agendas and to-do’s and get lost in a great story," adds Goerzen.
All images courtesy of Kylie Fitts for Havenly.
Theresa Gonzalez is a content creator based in San Francisco and the author of Sunday Sews. She's a lover of all things design and spends most of her days momming her little one Matilda.