Space of the Week: This Cozy Reading Nook Is a Genius Idea for Small Spaces

Create your own oasis—even if you don't have square footage to spare.

There's a thin line between a small space that feels cozy and one that's stuffy. Decorating a small space comes with a unique set of rules, like taking advantage of corners and incorporating multi-functional furniture. For a crash course on successfully following these small space decor guidelines, look no further than this lovely reading nook from designer Sarah Dorsey of Dorsey Designs.

Reading Nook with Rattan Chair, Dorsey Designs
Dorsey Designs

The laid-back literary haven is Dorsey's contribution to the One Room Challenge, in which the designer transformed a basement storage area. In the design, Dorsey smartly executes a well-known small room decorating trick: utilize vertical space. Not only does the hanging chair accomplish this feat, but the boho chic seating option adds character to the area and takes care of the nonnegotiable reading nook requirement of maximum comfort.

The hanging rattan chair in Dorsey's nook design is a vintage piece purchased from a garage sale (for just $15!). A generously sized piece of sheepskin covers up an area of tattered rattan, while simultaneously giving the chair a major style upgrade.

Another must-have nook element is a sense of privacy, which Dorsey created with a warm gray wall paint and custom-built ledges. The shelves to the right of the chair separate the space, while allowing natural light to filter through so the nook doesn't feel completely isolated. The shelving on the back wall holds multiple square frames with dyed abstract paper art, introducing a modern element to the design. And we can't forget that gorgeous gray barn door leading to the laundry room on the left, which Dorsey's husband made.

Feeling inspired to design your own reading nook? Let the tips and product picks below be your guide.

Get the Look

01 of 07

Find the Perfect Seat

Rattan Chair, Space of the Week
Serena & Lily

To make a hanging chair the centerpiece of your reading nook, Serena & Lily has a gorgeous option that's available in natural rattan or white.

02 of 07

Separate the Space

IKEA Kallax Shelving Unit in Brown

To create a visual barrier without actually building shelves or a wall, position a KALLAX shelving unit. It will make your reading nook feel more private, while also offering a spot to stash books and collectibles.

03 of 07

Build a Gallery Wall

Black Picture Frame from Target

Recreate Dorsey's elegant artwork display with these simple (and affordable) black frames from Target.

04 of 07

Add Stylish Storage

Space of the Week, Woven Seagrass Basket
West Elm

Whether you use them to hold books or fluffy blankets so you're extra cozy in your reading nook, step up your storage game with a few stylish woven baskets.

05 of 07

Make It Moody

Kendall Charcoal Paint
Benjamin Moore

To achieve the luxurious vibe of Dorsey's nook design, consider covering your walls with the same paint color she used, Benjamin Moore's Kendall Charcoal.

06 of 07

Low-Maintenance Flooring

Space of the Week, Cork Flooring

For a durable, antimicrobial flooring choice, Dorsey opted for cork flooring from Calibamboo.

07 of 07

A Soft Landing

IKEA Sheepskin RENS

Toss a fuzzy faux sheepskin on the seat. The only problem: with a reading nook this comfortable, you'll never want to leave.

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