11 Reading Nooks That Perfectly Balance Comfort and Panache

These chic spaces will inspire you to kick back with your favorite throw and delve into the latest page-turner. Here, interior designers tell us how they created the ultimate cozy coves for a relaxing night in.
A Hoedemaker Pfeiffer-designed library in Seattle
Photo by Haris Kenjar

“The sultry mood of the den suggests a modern English clubroom,” says Tim Pfeiffer, partner at Hoedemaker Pfeiffer, of this Seattle space. “Vintage Swedish club chairs remade in oxblood leather contrast with a large format photograph by Isaac Layman that’s hung above a teal Chesterfield sofa. A Tom Dixon brass and glass side table adds another modern layer.”

Open concept by Alexander Design in Venice, California
Photo by Shade Degges

“In this open-concept Venice, California, loft space, delineating smaller cozier living areas was really important to make it feel like a home,” says Vanessa Alexander. “Vintage rug, lighting and this large L-shaped sectional helped create a warm and inviting living space with a plant serving as a sort of boundary. This area was a great opportunity to inject textures with throw pillows and live edge coffee table, which balances the industrial touches inherent to the loft.”

Living space by De La Torre Design Studio in Soho, New York
Photo by Peter Murdock

“This library was the only traditional style room in the modern and cavernous Soho loft,” says Ernest de la Torre of this calming cove in New York City. “The client wanted a place to curl up with a book and be surrounded by her family heirlooms. The color for the woodwork was chosen to accent her collection of Ming Dynasty porcelains.”

San Francisco space by Brian Murphy
Photo by Sergio Villatoro

“I wanted to design a cozy room that could hold its own against the amazing view,” says Brian Murphy of this San Francisco library, which faces the Golden Gate Bridge. “I started with an unusual 19th-century Turkish Oushak carpet and upholstered the walls in an Indian paisley print. The comfy club chairs combined with the 18th-century Louis XV and Italian antiques makes for a warm and sophisticated touch.”

Maryland home office by Brown Davis  Interiors, Inc.
Photo by Gordon Beall

Todd Davis of Brown Davis Interiors says: “Our architectural inspiration for this Potomac, Maryland, two-story space was the quintessential English library. The interior design is a nod to the traditional with a unique update courtesy of the white curtains and a contemporary rug.” He adds: “Our hallmark has always been striking the right balance between classic and contemporary, which is why this room is so inviting.”

Nate Berkus Associates' reading room in Greenwich Village
Photo by Miki Duisterhof

“The built-in bookcases and the antique marble mantel both frame the room beautifully, making it the perfect place to relax. The upholstered sofa and the well-worn antique chest feels warm and inviting,” says Nate Berkus Associates’ Design Director, Lauren Buxbaum Gordon of this Greenwich Village library. “Everything about this room makes me want to reach for a book and never leave.”

Library by Kerry Joyce Associates, Inc. in Santa Monica
Photo by Magnus Marding

“The outside of this quiet mahogany-paneled room is surrounded by lush tropical gardens. Four handsome chairs covered in deep green velvet circle a French deco coffee table,” Kerry Joyce says of this Santa Monica study. “The room doubles as a quiet reclusive library as well the perfect place for a digestif.”

Colorful nook by Commune in Los Feliz, California
Photo by Richard Powers

“This study is tucked behind a large dramatic living room in a historic Spanish-Moorish house in Los Feliz, California,” says principal designer at Commune, Steven Johanknecht. “We actuated the transition and intimacy of the space by lacquering the walls and covering the ceiling in textured jute wallpaper. The custom sofa and built-in bookshelves tuck into a corner niche and we used a variety of textures and rich colors. The vintage chandelier is Robert Sonneman and the table is Roger Capron.”

Library in the Hollywood Hills by Amy Kehoe
Photo by Amy Neunsinger

“This is the quintessential cozy library. Although there are other rooms where the family can all be together, this smaller room has all the draw,” says Amy Kehoe of this intimate space in the Hollywood Hills. “We hung some of the client’s treasured art on the face of the bookcase,s so she can really live with the beautiful and meaningful pieces that she and her husband have collected.”

Tom Stringer-designed library in  Lake Forest, Illinois
Photo by Werner Straube

“This Lake Forest, Illinois, Georgian-style library retained its historical structure during renovation, but we lined the walls and the bookcase backs with an embossed faux crocodile wallcovering in a bittersweet chocolate color for contrast and drama,” says Tom Stringer. “Hot pink accents add punch and personality and indulge the owner in her love of bright colors.”

A chic living space by Nicole Fuller in Suffern, New York
Photo courtesy of Nicole Fuller Interiors

“The overall concept for this Dutchess County, New York, house was to complement its old bones with a contemporary and transitional interior. In this master suite, I especially wanted to create a space that felt luxurious, calming, cozy and sexy all at the same time,” says Nicole Fuller. “The whites, creams, silvers, taupes and grays blend together like a perfect symphony. The textures bounce off one another to create an very chic spot to curl up with a fabulous book.”