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Space of the Month, Colorful Reading Nook

Space of the Week: A Happy Reading Nook for Kids (and Kids at Heart)

A sunny alcove designed for curling up with a good book? We’re in!
By Leslie Corona
March 16, 2021
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Joni Lay, an interior designer and creator of Lay Baby Lay, a parenting and lifestyle blog, was thinking strategically when she renovated and decorated one end of the attic space in her suburban Atlanta home. At first she thought it could be a huge closet, but then she considered its proximity to her kids' bedrooms—and turned it into a reading nook for them. Her four kids often hole up in there, which Joni loves when she and her husband want quiet time. But when the little ones are off at school, she nestles in the colorful spot as well.

Space of Month, Kids Reading Nook
Credit: Joni Lay

Get the Look

Surya Elaziz ELZ-2301 Area Rug
Credit: Courtesy

Select a Cozy Carpet

$290; rugstudio.com

In this space, the large area rug not only grounds the design, but it doubles as a soft spot for the kids to sprawl out with their books. 

Erastus Armchair
Credit: Courtesy

Choose Pieces to Grow Into

$290; wayfair.com

Don't buy kiddie furniture for a kids' room. Adult-size chairs make for extra-cozy seating for tiny humans. 

Fading Peonies No.2 Unframed Print
Credit: Courtesy

Art for Everyone

$26; kellyventura.com

Opt for artwork both kids and adults can appreciate, like pretty florals or an interesting landscape. 

glitzy gold paint sherwin williams
Credit: Courtesy

Pick a Poppy Paint

sherwin-williams.com

Bright yellow was a bold choice, but it contrasts nicely with the pale blue in the adjacent bedroom. To keep the color from overwhelming the space, Joni paired it with a graphic wallpaper (below). 

Chasing Paper, Smitten Kitten in Pink
Credit: Chasing Paper

Play With (Removable) Patterns

From $40, chasingpaper.com

The "Smitten Kitten" wallpaper is fun—and nearly identical to one in Joni's old home. She used it here to help ease the transition for her kids when they moved. 

Applying wallpaper to a low, sloped ceiling is easier than hanging it on high walls, says Joni, because you may not even need a ladder. Peel-and-stick paper simplifies the installation. 

nathan leather pouf
Credit: courtesy

Put Your Feet Up

$227; allmodern.com

Colorful, cushioned poufs are an adorable alternative to ottomans, and they serve as additional seating for the kids. 

martini side table
Credit: courtesy

Add a Side Table

$159; westelm.com

A sturdy, sculptural side table offers a landing spot for books and a cup of tea (or warm milk and cookies). 

Blabla Kids Rainbow Pillow
Credit: courtesy

Have Fun With It

$76; maisonette.com

Get playful with the accessories that are easy to swap out, like throw pillows in a rainbow motif.