Craft the perfect reading nook
Sometimes I feel I need to find a little hideout to escape, you know, family life. This used to be my office but, hey, the little man likes to come running in here to show me his latest Lego invention plus my Eames chairs are lovely but not so comfy for seating back and relaxing to read a book. I am thinking of turning the she-shed into such a little hideout, maybe install a wood burning stove in there as well. Wouldn't that be just fabulous. So reading nooks in my own little reading corner, that's all I have in my head the last day or so. I hope you didn't expect me to have been thinking about such a trivial thing for more time?
Image: Jonathan Adler
So what makes a great reading nook? Well, first it's all about the chair. Of course it is. Reading chair = lounge chair and a lounge chair is good - great - when it is low and deep. That means you can sink in it. So yes, the Mama Chair by Ian Archer (Archer and Company) is in my mind, pure reading nook perfection. See it styled further down together with my chair + light + side table combinations!
Top row: Mama Chair by Ian Archer, Clippings; Bienno Chair, Made.com; Abel in Charcoal and in House of Holland design, both Habitat; Salone armchair by Conran and About a Lounge Chair, by HAY both Clippings
Slim, smart and sophisticated, the Bodil chair from Made.com has a generous back that makes for the ultimate in lounging chic. This chair takes after Tom Dixon's recent design and looks far more expensive than it is. I would splash out on a FLOS floor lamp, as this design is now almost iconic. The little glass ball balancing on the slim lamp frame, makes the perfect partner for this reading corner. Colours I would use include Purbeck Stone, Skylight and Stiffly Blue (Farrow & Ball).
This one is for my husband but I will gladly share. The Riley chair from Swoon Editions (be quick, this edition is almost sold out) is rather low which for me, being 5 2'', is perfect. I hate when my feet don't touch the floor. The lower the better for a reading nook, if you ask me! For this scheme I would like to have Cornforth White, Mouse's Back or Worsted (all Farrow & Ball) in the background and a deep red oriental carpet for contrast or a light Beni Ourain if you want to keep the scheme lighter.
This is meant to be fun and colourful of course but without too many colours being thrown in. The Kubrick chair from Made.com is one I can imagine myself hanging my feet over the chair arms in a completely relaxed state. An arc lamp fits nicely with this look and will provide direction light which is always practical. A floor lamp with a dimmer would also provide for a bit of atmospheric lighting when you're NOT there reading. The low shelves are from Habitat. I picked green as it was on the chair, but you can instead choose blue, teal or go for a walnut nest of tables to complete the look (especially if you don't have enough space). Use Cabbage White, Arsenic or Vardo (Farrow & Ball) on your walls.
For this scheme I chose a chair that is rather deep - the Rosita chair from Swoon Editions fitted perfectly with what I had in mind. It is upholstered in a gold velvet fabric. Ok, gold + fabric, that's two boxes ticked in the luxury domain. At £399 it is an excellent value for money, and the colour will make sure this is on trend for years to come. The side table from Vondom is unique and is also on trend with origami like features on the face. This can be used as a side table or as a planter stand. You can find it on Amara. Finally, I placed two Solo suspension lights (Clippings.com) which you can fix at different heights for a greater effect. Obviously, a Louis Vuitton bag fitted right in.
For wall colours, something dark like Mole's breath and Downpipe would look great but if you are not happy to go this dark, try Pavilion Grey (Farrow & Ball).
Mix materials for a modern vibe with the ultra low and comfy lounge chair by HAY (via Clippings) combined with the Piston side table by Diesel for Moroso (available through Amara) which has a concrete like finish. For extra originality go for a mid century original floor lamp, which you can find on NOREPRO.
I would love a saturated Blue Black in this scheme but something soft like Pink Ground will contrast with the side table and the burgundy tones of the lamp whereas Plummett has an almost industrial feeling to it.
I told you I loved the Mama Chair the most, so here's how I styled it. I like the look to be overall minimal so I chose a slimline mid century lamp to go with it and a Kartell side table with a colourful top to match my floor lamp. This is a dream reading nook. This chair is so comfortable and cosy (tried it the other day!). What does yours look like ?
And now for the page turners...
Check out my favourite interiors books right here.