Get This Look: Relaxing Reading Room

I think every little girl who saw Beauty and the Beast dreamed of being Belle in a library full of books, am I right? While this mini library and sitting area doesn’t have quite the same romantic appeal, it will still work great for an escape whether you’re reading, knitting, or napping. Read on for our tips for creating a relaxing reading room, in any corner of your home.(image via Better Homes and Gardens)

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Get This Look: 6 Tips for a Relaxing Reading Nook from #getthislook #library

6 Steps to Creating a Relaxing Reading Room

1. Make the books a home

You can’t have a reading  nook without bookshelves. (Well, I suppose you could if you only ever purchased for your Kindle library, but where’s the fun in that?!?) You can turn any nook, cranny, or corner into your own personal library with our built-in bookshelves tutorials. Read here for the start-to-finish instruction on building a traditional bookshelf, or go here to build a corner bookshelf.

2. Curate a beautiful collection

I’ve confessed before: decorating bookshelves is not really in my comfort zone. Building them, sure! But decorating a bookcase?…. not my strongest talent. Thankfully, there are plenty of people in the world who DO have that talent. Check out these decorating tips + 5 things every bookcase needs over at Thistlewood Farm, plus some basic tips for styling a home library that we’ve picked up and then some rules of bookshelf aesthetics to get you started.

If you’re lamenting that your books are not magazine-pretty, don’t feel like you have to give up hope or throw out your library: make the colors work for you like Megan did, or you can cover the books with paper, fabric, lace, etc. Worried about finding the right book when you need it? Just follow this tutorial to print the book titles on the paper covers for a classy look that also makes it easy to find what you’re looking for!

DIY Book Covers via
a: brown paper covered books via Design Sponge
b: paper covered books via Elizabeth Anne Designs
c: fabric covered book tutorial from Homespun Threads
d: paper-covered books from All Things Thrifty
e: patterned bookcase on Pine to the Pacific 
f: diy book covers from Twig and Thistle
g: printed graphic book covers by Juniper Books
h: recovered books with titles from Precious Little Things
i: vintage embellished books from Thrifty and Chic

3. Decorate with more than just books

One of the hardest part about decorating a bookshelf is making it beautiful and balanced, not just stuffed chock full of books. Using baskets on a shelf or two creates clean lines and lets you hide magazines, craft supplies, snacks — whatever! — without making the shelf look cluttered. Woven baskets never really go out of style, but if you’re looking for something more than traditional wicker, try a basket made of seagrass, rattan, or water hyacinth and maize to add both storage and natural texture. Or if you prefer the book look, use this tutorial from Shannon at Sewing Barefoot to make a hidden book storage area!

4. Make it inviting

Add a comfy chair in your style of choice, a throw blanket, and maybe a pillow or two to ensure that your reading room is as ready for a nap as it is for a deep study session. A simple slipper chair, like pictured, is comfortable without being too bulky.

5. Tie up loose ends

Keep your book and snacks close at hand with a simple end table. The simple two-tier one pictured is perfect for displaying books on the bottom tier while leaving the top tier open for use. Here’s a similar inexpensive option, or you could refinish one you already have, use a furniture hack to make the perfect table for you, or build one (like this Moroccan-inspired side table or these modern end tables).

6. Remember: colors make the room

For your special relaxing space, decorate in colors that you love. Generally, lighter tones are considered more relaxing, but if you love bright and bold, don’t let someone stop you from decorating that way! This is YOUR space and it needs to fit what you want. Don’t know what you want? Start collecting images of rooms you really love (this is what Pinterest was built for!) and focus on the feel and mood that you want the room to have, and then start creating your own mood board to guide your color and decor choices. Go here to learn more about using inspiration images to create your home’s best look.

PS: I also love the painted door. I finally finished painting all of mine and I am so in love! 

Get This Look: Relaxing Reading Nook on #getthislook #decorate #tips


More lovely reading rooms to inspire you:

children's reading room
by Mona Ross Berman
colorful library reading room
via Apartment Therapy
home library
Better Homes and Gardens
library wall, bliss at home
Bliss at Home
via lox papers
via Lox Papers


Need more home inspiration? Try these other Get This Look articles:

organized armoire thumbOrganized Armoire warm wood tones in a white kitchen thumbWarm White Kitchen yellow and navy shared bedroomKids Shared Bedroom
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Lorene has been behind the scenes here at Remodelaholic for more than a decade! She believes that planning projects and actually completing them are two different hobbies, but that doesn't stop her from planning at least a dozen projects at any given time. She spends her free time creating memories with her husband and 5 kids, traveling as far as she can afford, and partaking of books in any form available.

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  1. Love this room! It’s so relaxing and comfy. Perfect for reading. Thanks for sharing your tips!