Before and After: These 5 Ultra-Cozy Reading Nooks Are a Bookworm’s Fantasy

published Aug 10, 2023
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After: Reading nook with a daybed and two rows of shelves mounted to the wall
Credit: Luke Lusk

A home library is one of those features that sounds like something far too luxurious to be within reach. But you don’t have to have a ton of space (or a ton of money) to create a beautiful, organized space for your books — or an ultra comfy spot in which you can read them.

Skeptical? Look to these five reading nook redos for inspiration. All of them are small-space friendly, and some are even rental-friendly, and all of them provide practical book storage that will give any bibliophile heart-eyes.

Whether you have a bookcase that’s seen better days, you’ve been saving images of expensive built-ins and wondering how you can recreate them on a budget, or you want to create a spot in your home where you can get away from it all with a good book, you’ll find an idea (or two) here.

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A $300 Project Turns a “Doorway to Nowhere” into a Dreamy Mini Library

All sorts of changes happen to old buildings over the years — and sometimes those changes leave quirky features behind. In this particular apartment, a doorway was closed off, but the paned glass doors remained. It was a charming door to nowhere, but renter Kate had bigger and better plans for it. Shelving with vertical supports was added within the doorway to create a take on built-ins, and now, it’s a mini library enclosed with French doors.

Credit: Rachel
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Custom Wall-Mount Shelves Turn This Reading Corner into a Bookworm’s Fantasy

These rickety brown shelves probably look familiar to anyone who’s accepted hand-me-downs from friends and relatives. But in this DIY before and after, Rachel (a pro architect) decided it was time to upgrade to a more secure and stylish look. She created custom mounted bookshelves using brackets, custom cut lumber, and a talent for exact measurements. The result is an impressive arrangement of movable shelves.

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A $255 Redo Transforms an Awkward Alcove into Dreamy Reading Nook

This one’s for anyone who’s ever had a floor plan filled with nooks and crannies they weren’t sure what to do with. In their rental digs, Luke and Brian had a head-scratching little alcove off their living room that they weren’t totally sure what to do with. It turns out that the space was the exact right size for a spare twin-sized mattress, so the couple decided to turn that into a lounge-worthy daybed and create a cozy reading nook. Wall-mounted shelves above keep books close-at-hand for marathon reading sessions.

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A Creative Mix of IKEA Shelving Maximizes the Functionality of a Cozy Reading Corner

This tired reading nook got a budget-friendly makeover utilizing not one IKEA bookcase style, but two. DIYer Riti paired two BILLY bookcases with two IKEA LACK shelves running horizontally to provide most of the reading storage. Floating singular shelves provide some visual interest — and so does that vibrant blue accent wall! The best part? This redo is rental-friendly.

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An Unused Closet Becomes a Cozy Reading Nook for Less Than $100

An unused closet was the basis for this ultra-comfy reading nook. DIYer Lindsay added seating with a built-in bench, then added shelves for books at either end of the space. Adding a cushion and some pillows makes the nook all the more inviting.