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For Your Reading Pleasure

For Your Reading Pleasure

Left: A quiet corner in the home of San Francisco-based architect Ken Linsteadt.

Right:Tall library shelving designed Austin-based firm Chioco Design. Photo by Casey Dunn.

Last week in Fall Reading List, we brought you the titles our favorite interior designers are reading this fall. In a décor companion piece, we’ve reached out to architects and designers for the lowdown on how they create spaces conducive to curling up with a book. From a hallway transformed into a casual library to a hideaway in a young girl’s bedroom, we look at a handful of reading-friendly rooms. For more of the same, peruse our Niches + Nooks board on Pinterest.


Photo by Shai Gil 

Architect Anne-Marie Fleming of Boxwood Architects in Toronto created a bedroom window seat that provides an inviting reading nook for her client’s young daughter in her favorite shade of green. The white painted custom cabinetry includes lots of storage for books and toys, and there is also concealed storage behind the backrest of the window seat. The stained mahogany window frames the view, making this a comfortable and bright place to read.


Photo by Michael Hsu

Architect Carina Coel of Restructure Studio, a firm specializing in sustainable living and design in Austin, was faced with coming up with a good use for this long hallway, which connects the master bedroom with the rest of the house. She decided to take advantage of the space, make it a little deeper than a standard hallway, and create a cozy reading area with views out to a heritage live oak. What could have just been a hallway now provides storage for the homeowners' book collection as well as a sunny spot to curl up and read. With four young kids at home, the owner says this is one of her favorite places in the house.


Denise O’Connor, director of Optimise Design in Dublin, Ireland, explains that this small room is tasked with fulfilling a number of functions: home office, library, music room. Working with the chair that the clients had sourced in a vintage store, O’Connor kept the walls neutral and brought in orange to complement the tweed fabric. The shelves are simple and easily adjustable modular system.


Left: Photo by Joe Fletcher. Right: Photo by Richard Leo Johnson of Atlantic Archives for Savannah Magazine.

The bedroom on the left was decorated by Jennifer Robin Macdonald of Jennifer Robin Interiors in San Anselmo, California and conceived by Wade Design Architecture. Macdonald says, “I always like to make reading nooks deep and long enough for an extra sleeping spot.” To make the nook extra cozy, she wallpapered it in a textural burlap covering by Phillip Jeffries.

The window seat on the right is part of designer Mary Jo Bochner’s own master bedroom. Bochner, who heads Bochner Design, chose a plush, creamy velvet on the seat cushion so that she can easily transform the look by alternating pillows. The dark window mullions keep it fresh and current without it feeling too trendy. She says, “I adore design that is simple, clean and elegant.”


Right: Photo by Lindsay Hunter. Left: Photo by Tad Davis.

Lindsay Hunter of Nashville-based Hunter Design understands how precious a slice of outdoor space can be. Using reclaimed wood and windows, along with creeping potted plants, and a daybed, she turned an urban porch into a peaceful respite.

Thewindow seat on the right is a well turned out nook in a model home built in Raleigh by the firm Saussy Burbank. The painted wood slats lend a cozy feel, suggestive of the outdoors, while the wood topped bench and arched millwork add interest. With cubbies below and shelves above, this could easily be a quiet spot to take a breather with a book.