My daughter is a true-blue bookworm. Since she was a young toddler, she’d flip through picture books with animated gestures and nonsense words all her own. By 2 years old, she had emptied out the bottom portion of her closet, dragging in a basket of books and a pile of pillows to while away an afternoon. Over the years, I have found her curled up reading inside a kitchen cabinet, in a makeshift nest behind an arm chair, and in any number of supremely pleasant little shelters.
All this to say that for anyone who longs to get comfortable with a bunch of books, the right reading spot can truly transform the experience. To help you create the perfect reading nook for your little ones, I nudged interior designers to spill their secrets. What makes a reading spot magical and transportive? Read on for expert tips on how to create a cozy book nook for kids—plus, check out lots of kids book nook inspo photos!
Choose the Right Space
For Tamara Day, an interior designer and host of HGTV’s Bargain Mansions, the magic of a book nook lies in finding the right space. “Often times I find hidden square feet under the stairs, in the hallway, or at the back of a closet,” she said. “It might only be a small space, but kids are tiny so that makes it cozy.”
Often times I find hidden square feet under the stairs, in the hallway, or at the back of a closet. It might only be a small space, but kids are tiny so that makes it cozy.
For a book-lover’s hideaway inspired by a children’s classic, Day suggested transforming a deep closet into a nook reminiscent of the portal to Narnia. Bringing the hanging rod forward allows kids to push past rows of clothing before embarking on their next literary adventure. “Put in a plush beanbag, some wallpaper, and a few cute wall sconces and you have yourself a secret hideout,” said Day.
Need help visualizing how those unused and awkward spaces around your home might make the best reading corners? Check out a few inspiring, cozy nooks below.
The Space by the Stairs
A small, unused space makes for a charming and unexpected reading area. With a fresh coat of paint and some cozy-making accessories, this otherwise unused space turned library would be a dream for any young kid.
A Built-In With a Small Footprint
Demonstrating that a good book nook needn’t take up valuable real estate, this built-in bench and shelf combo leaves plenty of room for play.
A Creative Escape
Make good use of extra space by transforming it into an oasis for book-lovers only. A big floor cushion, a tent for the ultimate ‘nook’ experience, and a wall of their favorite titles are enough to entice any bookworm to dive in.
A DIY Hidden Library
If you’re up for a bigger home project, consider creating a hidden library where reading is sure to become a next-level magical experience. This Narnia-style space will leave them feeling like they’re transporting to a whole new world.
Make the Most of Small Spaces
“The good news is you don’t need a ton of space or furniture to make a reading space cozy and special,” said LA-based interior designer Bre Hance. With a few tricks up her sleeve, Hance has created tiny libraries that pack a big punch. Her secrets? Mounting fixtures to the walls, such as shelves and lighting, and making use of beanbags and fluffy poufs in lieu of larger chairs. Scroll on for a few designer-approved ideas for the smallest of spaces.
When every inch of space matters, take to the walls. These slim, wall-mounted shelves double as displays, showcasing the enchanting covers of your little ones’ favorite books.
A Library on Wheels
Who needs a bookshelf when you can bring your little library with you wherever you go? Let this charming space serve as proof that all a book-lover really needs is a place to sit and a stack of good reads.
A Bookish Corner
Don’t let an empty corner go to waste! Take a cue from designer Leslie Saul and create a corner bookshelf. She suggested adding a touch of whimsy by hanging sheer curtains from the shelves for little ones to draw closed while they read.
Consider the Right Seating
The right place to sit can mean the difference between getting lost in a book and abandoning ship. Find comfy seating that invites little ones to curl up for the long haul. Need creative ideas? Keep scrolling.
A Stylish Swing
If your little reader is one who simply can’t sit still, consider a swing chair to gently sway them while they read the day away.
A Cozy Armchair
An armchair is a classic reading spot, and for good reason: it’s supportive, versatile, and oh-so-stylish.
Comfy Floor Cushions
For the ultimate relaxed and cozy vibe, you can’t beat a pile of inviting floor cushions.
Designer Carissa Miller cheered parents on to make big, bold design choices in order to let their little one’s personalities shine. “It’s a small space, so I love to use a bold, floral wallpaper or fabric, or even a [bright] paint color,” she said. When it comes to decorating with kids in mind, a fuss-free and playful design always wins. For three ways to add some charm and character, check out these adorable spaces below.
A Bold Dose of Pattern
Nothing puts a playful personality on display quite like a whimsical wallpaper. Especially in a small space, going big and bright can really make a splash.
Up the cozy factor by bringing in your little one’s favorite things. Forget being Instagram-ready and encourage your kiddo to make the space their own, with toys and playthings that make their heart sing.
The Right Accessories
A little artwork here and some fancy garland there are all you need to make your child’s new space as dreamy as can be.