“So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookshelf on the wall.” – Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Every child is born with the potential to become a fanatic reader. Since children love to imagine and dream about impossible things, they will easily fall in love with books because they can take them to the most improbable places. Developing the love of reading starts by reading bedtime stories to them, and continues by letting them choose their own books, and creating a comfortable reading environment. Here are some tips on how you can design a cozy reading nook.
FIND THE RIGHT SPOT
At first glance this step seems very easy, but in a small kids’ room that fits only the bed and some storage, it can be much more difficult than you think. Here’s a hint: kids are not so big either, so one small corner will be enough. It would be useful if it is located somewhere near the window so that the kids can spend most of their time reading at the daylight. One idea would be to use a chest that serves as toys or books storage too and placing a mattress on top of it.
A COSY PLACE TO SIT
Kids are restless as it is, and if they don’t have a comfortable place to sit and read they will give up within minutes. If the place looks soft and inviting, they will be tempted to enjoy it. It is enough to throw some comfy pillows or comforters on the floor/bench or put an ottoman or a chair. Choose happy colors that encourage imagination, yet muted enough so they don’t steal attention from the books.
STORING THE BOOKS
Since the reading nook is all about the books (and comfort) the question of storing the books is the most important to resolve. Floating shelves are usually the most practical for small spaces, but you can be a bit more creative than that. Make shelves out of fruit crates or store books in baskets, bins and wines crates, ikea spice racks or why not create your own diy shelf like this one below.
GET THE LIGHTING RIGHT
Regardless of the access to natural light, there should still be artificial lighting fixtures for evenings and darker days. Usually the overhead bulb in the center of the room is enough as ambient lighting, but you should still install task light near the nook – table, wall or floor lamp, to make the reading more pleasant.
FILL IT UP WITH ACCESSORIES
An empty wall and a cushion on the floor do not make a reading nook. You should fill up the space with some accessories, such as a canopy for the cosy hide-in effect, a plushtoy companion, artwork, kids’ drawings, wall stickers, a pouf and of course lots of fluffy cushions! For extra inspiration use artwork and stickers with children’s books quotes or quotes about reading.
GO THE EXTRA MILE
Make the reading nook a kids’ dream come true. Make it inside a teepee, paint the wall with chalkboard paint, hang flag banners, design a little house instead of a simple bench, put a canopy above the seating area, or build a nook by sectioning the space with storage units.
Remember, the comfier and inviting – the better. You want reading to evoke happy thoughts for kids!
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