How to make (and light) the perfect reading nook

There's nothing quite like hunkering down in a cosy spot with a good book (or even a not-very-good book if you’re in the right mood). Whether it's a bay window with a view, a corner of the bedroom or that unloved space under the stairs, find out how to use lighting and accessories to create your perfect reading nook, whatever space you’ve got…

What do you need to create a reading nook?

You don’t need to have a home library, or even a large space, to create a great reading nook. In fact, you can create a reading nook almost anywhere – all you really need is the right lighting, something comfy to sit on, and a book or two. Add in a small side table, a stylish throw and some plump cushions, and you’re well on your way to creating the perfect space.


What’s the best kind of lighting for a reading nook?

Good lighting is essential for creating the perfect reading nook. With the right lighting you can make sure there’s enough practical light for reading comfortably, while also creating a space that’s warm and inviting. There are plenty of reading light options to choose from when lighting a reading nook, including wall lights, floor lamps and table lamps. 

Pooky's Galore floor lamp - styled by Carlos Garcia

Use a window space as a reading nook

A window space is a lovely place to create a reading nook. If you already have a dedicated window seat or some built-in storage you’re halfway there, but if not you can easily create a comfy seating area by placing a storage chest or ottoman in front of the window, and adding in some covered padding or a set of stylish cushions. 

Pooky's Stella pendant light in a lovely window nook by Fiona Parke

Once you’ve sorted your seating, it’s time to think about the lighting. A pair of matching wall lights on either side of the window space will provide plenty of task lighting for reading, while also creating a lovely layer of warm, atmospheric light and framing the space. Wall lights come in a huge range of shapes, sizes and materials, from traditional styles to sleek contemporary designs, so you can find something that suits your space. Pooky have a range of stylish reading wall lights, such as the bendy LED Limber light:

Limber LED reading wall light


Create a cosy corner reading nook 

Even if your space is lacking in feature windows or interesting alcoves, you can create a dedicated reading nook in a corner of the living room, the bedroom, or even the kitchen, using just a comfy chair and some beautiful lighting. Floor lamps are a brilliant way of helping to delineate a reading area within a large, square or open plan space, and they’re great for making a statement – even when they’re not switched on! Pair a stylish armchair with a beautiful floor standing lamp for a relaxing reading nook with a touch of sophistication.   

Finally, to make your reading corner really super cosy, add in a side table, a small bookcase or a low level cupboard, where you can park your book (and a nice cuppa). If space is at a premium, a portable book trolley offers some added flexibility.  

Photo: Victoria von Westenholz


Make a snug reading space under the stairs 

That awkward area under the stairs might seem like something of a dead space, but it’s a great opportunity to create the perfect reading nook.

To create a snug reading space under the stairs, start by adding in some bookshelves to make the most of the vertical space. Next, install a padded bench or an oversize armchair and team it with a beautiful designer table lamp. Table lamps are lovely decorative items in their own light, and will cast a gorgeous warm, ambient glow around your space. What’s more, with our cordless rechargeable table lamps there’s no need to worry about cables or plug sockets, so you can settle down, get snug, and get reading! 

Pooky's Roxanne floor lamp making an appearance in Deliciously Ella's lovely MaE Deli. Image credit


Turn a half-landing into a handy reading nook 

A half-landing is another one of those spaces that can seem a bit empty and underutilised, but with a few simple steps you can turn yours into a useful reading nook. A pair of vintage chairs or a small sofa will create a dedicated area which really helps to make the most of the space. Or if there’s room, why not go the whole hog with a luxurious chaise longue! 

Take advantage of any natural light by placing your seating next to the window if there is one; you can then supplement the available light with a striking floor lamp. Complete the look with a small side table or bookcase and a striking pot plant.  

Create the perfect hideaway with an attic reading nook

Sloping ceilings and odd nooks and crannies are ideal places for a reading nook, and an attic room is just perfect for curling up quietly with a book, away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. 

Here’s a chance to have a bit of fun, and create your own little personal oasis. First, add in some funky seating, such as a reclining chair, a daybed, or a hanging egg chair. Next, opt for a striking light feature: our Cooper wall fitting in antique brass is beautiful, unusual, and highly adjustable – making it great for an attic space. It will direct the light wherever you need it, and folds away neatly against the wall when not in use. What’s more, it has an external flex, so you can avoid any rewiring! Finish off your attic reading nook with a set of low level bookcases, or fashion your own from a set of crates. 

cooperCooper wall light

Accessorising your reading nook

With a few extra touches, you can really help to make your reading nook your own. If you’re looking to create a calm, neutral space, opt for lighter decor and warm, natural materials such as wood and rattan, together with some leafy hanging plants. You can introduce some colour accents in the form of blankets, cushions and lampshades. See our huge range of beautiful lampshades. 

Meanwhile, if you want to make more of a bold statement, add a bit of drama with a colourful pouffe, a vibrant rug, some feature wallpaper or a striking wall hanging. Finally, give it the personal touch with a quirky vase or a piece of artwork, and an eye-popping lampshade.

Pooky create gorgeous lighting solutions for beautiful homes. See our stylish reading lights here and our full lighting range here.