Cosy 'book nooks' around the world – and tips for designing your own

The write stuff for cosy relaxation: Beguiling ‘book nooks’ around the world, from ski chalets to castle hotels (and top tips for designing your own)

  • Charu Gandhi of the London-based interior design firm Elicyon shares advice on crafting a space for reading 
  • Lighting is ‘key to creating the perfect reading nook’ and it’s important to add cosy elements such as a throw 
  • READ MORE: The jet-shaped house designed by a 12-year-old that looks like it’s flown out of a cartoon 

Here’s a novel idea – build your own book nook.

And for inspiration here we present an array of cosy alcoves designed specifically for laid-back afternoons of page-turning and tea sipping, tucked inside everything from grand London townhouses to stylish New York City office blocks.

Crafting a reading nook is easier than you think, as Charu Gandhi, founder and director of the London-based interior design firm Elicyon reveals.

Gandhi says: ‘An ideal reading nook is essentially any peaceful and comfortable space where you can escape with a good book. If you are lucky enough to have lots of space this could be a dedicated area such as a window seat with a view or in some instances even an entire room devoted to the pursuit of reading with floor-to-ceiling shelves ensuring your books are close at hand and beautifully displayed.’

The secret to the ultimate book nook is all in the lighting, Gandhi reveals: ‘Lighting is an element that is usually considered an afterthought but is, in fact, key to creating the perfect reading nook. Natural light is obviously ideal but make sure you have factored in an artificial light source that will suffice for different times of the day.’

Staying toasty as you leaf through a page-turner is also a priority. Ghandi explains: ‘Consider creating your nook in an area which is easy to keep warm either by positioning your seat above or next to a radiator or through the addition of a beautiful blanket or throw.’ With that in mind, scroll down to see an array of reading nooks that will set any book lover’s heart ablaze… 

This charming reading nook is nestled in a Deluxe Junior Suite at Hotel Le Coucou, a five-star retreat in the French ski resort of Meribel. The hotel says that after a day spent schussing down the Alps, it’s a pleasure to retire to the ‘soft and cosy’ atmosphere of the suite 

This book nook, enveloped in shades of inky blue, was designed for the office of a UX design firm in New York City. It’s the work of U.S company GRT Architects 

LEFT: London-based interior and architecture studio Celine Interior Design dreamt up this fun dinosaur-themed reading nook for a seven-bedroom family home in Fulham. RIGHT: You can take in spellbinding views of San Francisco from this reading nook, which is built in a private apartment in the city’s St Regis Residences complex. It was designed by Californian firm Jay Jeffers

These elegant reading alcoves – designed by the Dorchester-based firm VSP Interiors – are set inside a private country house in Oxford 

This clever reading nook, put together by London firm Salvesen Graham, doubles up as a storage space, with drawers built into its base 

You can imagine curling up with a good book in this sweet reading nook in a Victorian home in Battersea, London. It’s designed by Salvesen Graham

Filled with patterns and prints, this nook is set in a Georgian home in Surrey. It’s designed by Salvesen Graham

LEFT: Set in a new build in Highgate, London, this light-filled nook is the handiwork of London-based firm Cave Interiors. RIGHT: This colourful reading nook for kids was built in an apartment in Belgravia, London, by the design firm Elicyon

This chic nook features in a converted warehouse apartment in Bermondsey, London. It’s designed by the firm Pandora Taylor, which says that the colour palette was inspired by the ‘honey tones’ of the building’s brickwork 

LEFT: Set inside a private home in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this reading alcove has been crafted by London designer Laura Hammett. RIGHT: This sophisticated nook can be found in a converted oak barn on the grounds of a country house. It’s the handiwork of London designer Natalia Miyar

This enticing little reading nook sits in Consensio Chalets’ five-bedroom Chalet Blackcomb chalet in the world-class ski destination of Val d’Isere. MailOnline Travel Editor Ted Thornhill stayed there and described the alcove as a ‘fairy-tale corner book nook’ 

This quirky seating area can be found in The Fable, a gastropub in London’s Holborn area that’s ‘inspired by fairytales and Aesop’s Fables’. Fittingly, the nook is nicknamed the ‘Aesop Table’

LEFT: This striking reading space sits in Pulitzer Amsterdam, a five-star hotel housed within a cluster of restored 17th and 18th-century canal houses in the Dutch capital. The hotel was founded by Peter Pulitzer – grandson of Pulitzer Prize founder Joseph Pulitzer – and the nook lies in the hotel’s lobby library, which showcases Pulitzer Prize-winning books. RIGHT: Complete with a daybed, this nook welcomes both reading and napping. It’s designed by the firm Sims Hilditch, and sits inside a private Chelsea townhouse

This children’s reading nook, known as the ‘book burrow’, is nestled inside Moat Brae, the house where author J.M Barrie wrote Peter Pan. Today the building is a tourist attraction and also serves as Scotland’s National Centre for Children’s Literature and Storytelling 

Nestled in the heart of central London, this reading alcove lies in the library at the city’s Royal Society of Chemistry 

LEFT: This book nook is tucked inside the Chelsea townhouse of interior designer Nina Campbell. ‘The ceilings are painted in a reflective lacquer that adds light and life to the interior,’ the designer notes. RIGHT: This bijou nook lies within Holkham Skies, a holiday rental cottage in the Norfolk countryside, near the coastal town of Wells-next-the-Sea. Set in a low-ceilinged space at the top of the building, the ‘small snug reading room’ is an ideal size for children, though adults can enjoy it too if they watch their heads 

You’ll find this old-world reading nook in the drawing room at the 14th-century Langley Castle, a castle hotel in Northumberland

Children can get lost in a book in this whimsical reading area in Soneva Kiri, a five-star eco-resort in Thailand 

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