In our hyper-interactive world where glaring screens rule the roost it can be tricky to nail down some quiet time. With winter upon us locally, the need to hibernate and rejuvenate intensifies. However, this inactivity inevitably leads to idle hours.
So, what’s a magnificent bastard to do when he’s devoured everything in his Netflix library? Curl up in your reading corner with a decent longform and feel the serenity of words on paper.
Here’s how to create a cool mini library in any given man space. Because intelligence is damn sexy.
Enter The Nook
If you have an unused space, an awkward corner under the stairs, or even an empty closet, then you’ve got the bones for a cosy reading corner. Because reading corners take up such little square footage, any empty corner can double as a literature-loving nook. From the bedroom to the garage, you can put them anywhere. Whatever spot you decide on, first take into account the amount of noise and foot traffic the area experiences. A reading nook next to the fridge might not be the best spot. Likewise, a reading corner too close to the living room will see you contending with TV fodder as you try to read. And don’t even get us started with a reading corner right behind a toilet seat…unless you love the serenity of bowel movements set against Moby Dick.
Watch The Throne
Aside from reading material, a plush chair is the most important aspect of any successful home library. Nobody wants to read on a stool, so boost your relaxation with an oversized chair with armrests (and massage functions if you’re a total boss). It’s hard to go past leather, but other seating options we’re frothing over are daybeds, built-in window seats and egg chairs. We also love this traditional southern-style look with leather, wood and gilded mirrors.
Side tables and dainty little bedside numbers are generally overlooked by dudes. But a reading corner without a table just doesn’t function properly. You’ll end up with your coffee on the floor, your ashtray on the armrest and books that become tripping hazards at your feet. Do yourself a favour a put a little table next to your chair. Don’t have room? Try a floating table attached to the wall, or find tiny round varieties that can fit almost anywhere.
Throw Shade With A Lamp
Unless you’re a shift worker, a reading nook will see the most action after dark. Ceiling lights are too harsh, so a good lighting plan is important. Comfortable reading conditions demand light that is not too bright and not too dull; it needs to be just right. A combination of ambient and focused lighting works best – this could include a floor lamp with pendant lighting. Floor lamps perform better than table lamps, but if you can’t squeeze one in, a desk variety will suffice.
Look The Business With A Bookshelf
Books need a home, so your reading nook needs a bookshelf, or storage of some description. Depending on your collection, a few floating shelves or recessed nooks could be enough, but in general a dedicated built-in or stand-alone bookshelf is the ideal option. Some shelving solutions come with glass sliding shutters (perfect for leather-bound beauties) that keep your books on display and dust-free.
If you’re a stacker, you could use piles of books to outline the space and define your nook, but don’t use this system for you first editions or books you read on the regular. It’s like playing Jenga trying to fish out the book at the bottom of the pile.
Little Effort, Lots Of Flair
Depending on how much space you have to fill, consider the following extras when fitting out your reading corner.
Foot-rest: ‘Put your feet up’ is one of our top five favourite phrases. It’s like music to our ears. A foot-rest, a pouffe, an ottoman, whatever the heck you want to call it, just find one that matches the rest of the setting and put those puppies in the air.
Rug: A rug will define your reading space and add warmth underfoot.
Pillows & throws: Amp up the comfort with a couple of pillows and textured throws. For cool rug inspiration check out our guide.
Plants: Big ones, small ones, everything in between. A few potted plants will purify the air in your reading nook, and add to the tranquil atmosphere.
Art: Jazz up the reading corner with an injection of personality. This could be a piece of local art, a painting your kid made at school, or a framed photo of particular significance. Whatever it is, add a touch of personal style to ensure your reading experience is A+. As long as it’s not a life-sized cut-out of your ex.