Everyone loves to curl up in a cosy corner with a book. These 8 ideas will help you create your cosy nook.
ReadingReading might seem outdated to pass the time, but there may be more interest in creating a reading corner at home.
A cosy spot to read a book or relax by a window is a great place to go. Gil Schafer, a New York-based architect and author of A Place to Call Home, says that these built-ins can trigger many memories. It could be the bunk bed you slept in as a child or memories of other places, such as belowdecks on a boat. Whatever the reason, the appeal is universal. Below and here are some of Schafer’s favourite nooks.
A World Away
A bunk niche offers separate-but-together seclusion in this lower-level game room in an upstate New York lake house. The nook’s unique identity is given by the sea-blue grasscloth and the crisply painted millwork. The nook is adorned with frames and bookshelves at each end. It also features plush cushions and an articulated sconce, making it a great place to read a novel or daydream.
The living room featured a bay window and a built-in chair. This was the focal point of activity in the childhood home that belonged to the owner of this house. The family gathered around the table to eat, play games or read the paper. Schafer created a similar feature in the home to bring back fond memories and foster new ones.
This reading nook is in a family room with a fireplace and floor-to-ceiling bookcases. There are also French doors to the outside. The robin’s-egg blue panelling helps it blend into its surroundings. It’s a great retreat for rainy days and can also be used as a place to sleep overnight guests, a common need in a home with many children.
In a California casual home, two custom mattresses extend from toe to tip along the length of the living room wall. The walls are lined with mismatched, reclaimed wooden boards. The daybed is long enough to allow two people to relax and enjoy a good book. The skirt detail and storage drawers add a more elegant dimension to the bench.
The custom built-in is a three-cubby, 3-inch bench with inset drawers and slides that allow it to move on under-mount. The raised platform supports it, and the skirt is cut out.
The top-floor guest bedroom in Schafer’s Maine house featured a unique niche that allowed for an extra-deep window seat in the new dormer. Large casement windows provide fresh air and beautiful views of the water. It is large enough to place a bag on the seat while unpacking. Extra comforters can be stored in drawers, which is a great addition to a climate with high temperatures day and night, even in summer.
Schafer annexed a space in an adjoining room to create a “nook for livability” and “comfort” in the girl’s bedroom. It’s an architectural highlight that brightens the room by covering the ceiling and three sides with fabric that matches the curtains. The built-in bench is slightly higher than the recess, allowing for less depth but not diminishing the sense of privacy.
A built-in bedroom bench can be made from chimneys on either side of a windowsill. The nook is given extra prominence by framing it with trim in the same blue colour as the bench seat and adding more blue to the window sashes.
You can use built-ins to create a peaceful space that inspires your imagination. This under-the-stairs space was designed by Schafer and can be furnished with furniture.