A beachy, coastal vibe helped the Newby family settle into their new home after moving from Hawaii to Utah. The two identical nooks, which are tucked into a wall of the upstairs playroom, make for ample reading space for their three kids. Jessica loves the look of the farmhouse wall sconce and the bright coral pillows. And not surprisingly, “the octopus is a huge hit with everyone!” Floating shelves house a rotating collection of books, and the custom bench seat lifts for added toy storage. “Our kids use this spot for everything,” she says. “Playing, napping—and reading, of course!”
Tucked under a main staircase in Joni Lay’s parents’ farmhouse in southern Georgia, this reading and play space is a grandchild’s dream. Joni’s dad built the mountain shelf and plywood chalkboard, and she chose kid-size armchairs, layered rugs, and a clean white-yellow-green color scheme. The space was designed to work well for kids of all ages, too, even the bigger ones. "My oldest is grateful to have a little space that only she can reach,” Joni says of the mountain shelf that’s situated a little higher on the wall.
An odd indent in the room of Lauren Folkmann’s son became a charming library corner after the addition of removable wallpaper and bookshelves. Lauren says that getting the wallpaper (livetteskids.etsy.com) just right on her old home’s uneven walls was the trickiest part. Now, it’s the perfect place to display new stories. “There are so many wonderfully illustrated children’s books out there, I’m constantly swapping and rearranging as our collection grows,” Lauren notes. “The nook is really an everchanging piece of art in Magnus’s room.”
In the Pendred house, diagonal painted stripes accentuate the natural shape of a corner that's tucked under an attic staircase. “My older son has always been a reader, but this nook has a lot to do with the younger one loving books as well,” says Meera. She added acrylic display racks as bookshelves, geometric-print throw pillows, and a sheepskin rug to give the family a soft spot to read every night. “Our boys love to ‘read’ to each other in here, as well as build forts!” she says.
When the Bryan family recently renovated their attic, they installed a laundry chute and created a book nook to conceal it. “I’d always wanted a little hidey-hole where we could curl up with a good book,” Beth says, and this was the perfect spot. The big round bench cushion is actually an extra-large dog bed from Costco, and family photos, string lights, a handmade dream catcher, and a purple-and-gray palette complete the bohemian vibe. “When it’s stormy outside, you can hear the rain pattering on the roof,” she says. “It’s a truly magical little space.”
An underused closet received a fresh look after Janel Hutton turned to one of her son’s great loves. “He was obsessed with 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, so that inspired the nautical theme,” she explains. Janel made the stripes with duct tape and DIY’d the pendant from a metal-funnel-and-light kit. A whimsical illustration framed in a porthole window completes the space. While she initially worried the nook’s novelty might wear off, she’s been pleasantly surprised: “I love how often I find my son has snuck away into his nook with a book,” she says. “It’s exactly what we imagined!”