Now and again, our designers are asked to turn a closet into something else. One of our favorite conversions we do is the reading nook because almost all closets have reading nook potential just waiting to be unleashed. The tricky part is tapping that potential without getting overwhelmed by the possibilities.
But don’t worry! Our expert designers are here to help you sift through the noise and choose the best ideas for turning your closet into the perfect reading nook. Below, we’ll share just a few ideas to get you started.
How to Turn Your Closet into a Reading Nook
The big question to consider when converting a closet to bookshelves or a reading nook is the size and shape of the closet you’re making it out of. A reach-in closet will yield a nook in the truest sense of the word—a small enclosed space just comfy enough for a single person, perhaps even a child, to nestle into with a good book. For a reach-in, you’ll want to start with a bench covered in cushions and pillows. Put in customized lighting appropriate for reading—that is, somewhat bright and angled inward from the head side. This leaves space beneath for storage too. You can put sturdy chrome baskets there for general extra storage or have custom-made drawers installed for more specialized uses.
If you incorporate adjustable bookshelves, you will probably have to access them before entering your capsule-like closet book nook. That’s not hard. Grab your book and curl up. You can close the door behind you and say goodbye to whatever commotion is going on one room away. This is a great option for children too. Put in shelves on the foot side of the closet nook and fill them with books. It can be a permanent pillow fort, a submarine, or a spaceship, but it will always be their own personal magic library.
With more space, such as in a walk-in closet, you have a lot more creative freedom. When considering custom closet shelving, plan to include more shelf capacity than you can actually fill with books. This way, you can accommodate future additions to your library as well as leaving room for décor. You can create a nice airy feeling in your reading nook with some empty shelves, and you may enjoy having a few decorative or sentimental items on the shelves alongside the books. A little space for a picture or a mirror wouldn’t hurt either.
Someone learning a new language or continuing their education might want more of a closet-to-office conversion, with a desk or countertop to sit at, good overhead lighting, and a chair with a lot of support. Have a few notebooks at hand and a place for your laptop too. If you are a book collector or have expensive reference books, you might consider a bank of glass-fronted cabinets to hold your prized tomes. They can even be lit with interior LED lighting, if you like.
For tastes that run more toward mystery and romance, a chaise longue might be preferable. If you have the space for it, you might even want a second chaise for your partner. On the other hand, if you have a long, narrow closet that you’ve been struggling to find something to do with, you can use the same strategy as in a walk-in closet, with shelves surrounding your capsule. In any case, make sure the lighting is adequate.
Think about what other comforts you want. Maybe a minifridge—or even a minibar. How about a mini-media center? You don’t have to include a screen (although you could if you wanted to; who’s going to tell you no?). Speakers are a good idea. Listening to an audiobook with your eyes closed counts as reading, too, and they say that playing soft background music encourages concentration.
Make Your Reading Nook Perfect and Long-Lasting
When you’re ready to turn your closet into a reading nook, your first step should be to talk to a designer who can help you plan the ideal nook for you and make that plan a reality. You can schedule a free design consultation with a Closet America expert, who will come to your home at a convenient time on any day of the week and create an interactive 3D model using CAD technology to show you what your custom reading nook will look like.
Of course, before you crawl into a cozy space and lose yourself in a good book, you want to know that your nook is sturdy and your closet design will last a long time. That’s why Closet America makes every piece to order using the highest quality materials—such as ¾-inch thermo-fused laminate shelving that never sags, with metal tab supports for the greatest possible safety and durability. As a matter of fact, we are so sure of our work that we place a lifetime transferrable warranty on everything we make.
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