What is a reading room? Well, as any book lover will know, finding a secluded space to enjoy your favourite novels can be difficult, especially while still living with parents and siblings or with a noisy family of your own. People will be constantly wandering in and out of the living room, kitchen or even study, finding reasons to interrupt your reading; maybe they’re searching for someone, or passing through, or making food. Life won’t stand still just because you’re reading, even though it may seem like it does! Even pets can pose a challenge to finding time to read, as much as we all love and adore them, so having a small space for yourself and your books only can be a perfect safe haven, to pass the hours away with your nose deep in your favourite story. So, here are some suggestions to create a relaxing reading room, and how to store the books within.
Wallpaper or paint color and style should be a large consideration: calm, comforting colors, like greys or pastel colors, can really help to keep the atmosphere chilled out and good for escaping into a book. However, vibrant patterns on this color can become a distraction or eyesore, so try and keep details minimal and colors soft.
Think back to the classrooms of your childhood: underneath the eye-catching students’ work, there would usually be a plain, one-colour paint or wallpaper, to make sure that the teacher could minimize distractions to the class during important times, like tests or learning key bits of information. Your mind needs that same, comforting environment to read properly, so make sure that you help it to absorb the words of your favourite novel, and don’t have ‘noisy’ decorations like wallpaper ruining your concentration. “While lighting is always best when its natural (think a large window or skylight to allow light to properly flow into the room) your late night reading binges may require some artificial lighting, for when the romantic moonlight just isn’t enough.” Aiden Cawthorn, a design blogger at australia2write.com and nextcoursework.com, suggests. “Work with the space that you have and consider the colour scheme - bulbs with different colour options can be a fun and useful addition to any room, and don’t limit yourself to structural lights.”
Lamps or even candles can be added into your reading room - as long as you address and keep in mind the fire hazard that candles in particular might pose - and can even add to the atmosphere, with scented options available for candles and mood lighting with lamps. Although it can be nice to curl up in a comfy chair (more on that later) with a book, sometimes you need support from something solid to read, and this is where a desk or table comes in handy.
Although they’re a staple in many home offices, which are increasingly common in home all around the world as of late, you may not have realised that putting a desk in your reading room could unlock a lot of hidden potential. Not only can you grab a matching chair and give your reading room a smart, professional look (if that’s your thing), but desks are storage for stationary, notebooks and other writing utensils, which are often just as important to a reader as their books! People who read the most make the best writers, after all! Of course, to finish off the furniture, you need a comfy reading chair where you can curl up and read to your heart’s content. “Here, comfort is key, so find a material that doesn’t irritate your skin, a color that pleases you and fits the color scheme of the room, and add as many accessories (cushions, blankets, etc.) as you need!”
Grace Hobbs, a lifestyle writer at britstudent.com and writemyx.com, says. “Keeping any lighting such as lamps near your chair will be useful, since most of your reading will be happening here.” Even though a ‘grandma’ style chair might seem old-fashioned to you, they’re popular for a reason: they’re just so comfortable! Could you think of a more perfect piece of furniture to settle into when you’ve got an epic reading adventure awaiting you, especially once you’ve personalised it with blankets, cushions and, no doubt, a somewhat messy array of your ‘currently-reading’ books?
Didn’t think so! As soon as you’ve finished with everything else, it’s time to work out where to store your beloved books. Although it’s not very exciting, a conventional bookshelf - either completely traditional and old-fashioned, straight out of a Brontë novel, or something more minimalistic and modern like pictured above - does the job, and can hold many books as well as literature-themed decorations, plants and even lighting like small lamps.Pile-esque furniture can be a fun way to avoid messy book piles which are impractical and can make your room look cluttered. Furniture which has layered shelves can hold books and make them look like they’re in staggered piles, which can be very aesthetically pleasing and make your room look homely, while avoiding actual mess. If you still want something that looks a little like a traditional bookshelf, but also unique at the same time, then why not utilize some stair space - if you have it - and install a bookshelf into the underside of our stairs? This will wow any visitors to your reading room, and make your books blend in seamlessly with the rest of the house.