In the midst of 2020, we’ve all needed little escapes now and again. Some days that looks like binge-watching the newest show on Netflix, other days it’s self-care like an at-home facial with a glass (or two) of wine. Another favorite activity on our team here at Modsy? Curling up with a favorite book.

We’ve been turning back to some tried and true favorite novels this year as a way to get lost in another world or another time, but in a way that doesn’t take as much of a toll on our brains. (Re-reading a book is equivalent to the ease of getting together with your best friend vs. a brand new friend, don’t you think?)

As we hunker down for the winter, we’re trying to balance out TV shows and movies with some screen-free time—and that means adding to our stack of books! And the perfect thing to pair with a good book? Good armchairs and accent chairs! (That, and a steaming mug of tea or a tall glass of wine!) But really—what better way to inspire yourself to read more than to create a cozy reading nook somewhere in your home? (Or a window nook if you’re short on space!)

Today, just for fun, we created some reading nook design ideas, inspired by some of our team’s favorite novels! Read on for an inspirational escape. (And hey, you may just find the next book on your reading list from our list!)


Victorian inspired reading nook with wingback chairs

The Book: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

If ever there were a literary home we’d want to move into, it might just be Orchard House, the home of the March sisters in Little Women. Taking place in the Victorian era, during the Civil War, their New England home was cozy and comfortable. Dark, heavy upholstery and the sisters’ personal objects (and personalities) gave their home an intimate and welcoming ambiance. A novel that explores and fights against gender stereotypes, this space is neither overly feminine nor masculine but instead creates a space that is welcoming for all—much like the March home!

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Classic forms meet antique-inspired decorative items in this cozy, traditional reading nook. With the rising popularity of the wingback chair trend, we felt that this was just the reading nook to include this traditional armchair. Ever-restless, Jo March loved sprawling herself out on the sofa or rug—so we made sure to layer a vintage-inspired oriental rug beneath the pair of wingback chairs. A bookcase offers the perfect space not only for a personal library but also for personalized collections of trinkets and knick-knacks. This is exactly the type of space a modern Jo March would inhabit, don’t you think?


eclectic reading nook with colorful accent chair

The Book: 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

A book filled with magical realism, 100 Years of Solitude, while at times grim, is a story filled with life and color. Based in the fictitious Columbian town of Macondo, the story follows several generations of the Buendía family as they establish and fight for their utopian existence. Playing with themes of alchemy and the circular nature of time, this otherworldly story uses colors and objects to convey deep symbolism.

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To create a reading nook inspired by 100 Years of Solitude, we used a lot of bright colors and gold accents, which capture the vibrancy of Latin American culture, the town of Macondo, the gypsies who would visit this isolated town. We brought in touches of the tropical with a large house plant—reminiscent of greenery you might find in a South American jungle. We opted for accent furniture in whitewashed woods and natural materials to support that tropical vibe and inserted symbolic uses of gold throughout the space. (Can you spot the goldfish and the homage to the gold chamber pot?) Make yourself a cup of coffee and get comfortable—because you could easily spend hours, days, or even a century here curled up with a good book!

Great Gatsby inspired reading nook

The Book: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Jay Gatsby, the main character in The Great Gatsby, is known across Long Island and Manhattan for his opulent parties and extravagant wealth. Taking place in the Roaring 20s, this story highlights the reckless jubilance of this era, alongside the story of a man trying desperately to recapture the lost love of his youth.

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This space is outfitted with Art Deco-style furniture—most notably this pair of curved and pleated reading chairs. Stylistically, they’re a bit over-the-top (in all the right ways). And, paired with this plush jewel-tone rug gives this space an air of opulence. We also layered in rich materials, like mahogany wood, brass, and marble to support the glam, Deco vibe of this space. And, of course, this reading nook wouldn’t be complete without a nod to the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg!


rustic reading nook with leather lounge chair

The Book: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

The first of many Middle Earth epics, The Hobbit is a fantasy full of peril, bravery, and adventure. But, like both this story and The Fellowship of the Ring, it begins in The Shire, which is inhabited by peace-loving Hobbits. This space is reflective of Bilbo Baggins’ eclectic home that’s inspired by his travels throughout Middle Earth.

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We started with a leather chair that has wood-carved arms and legs that have a slightly mystical and eclectic quality. We surrounded it with lots of cozy textures and materials, plus a couple of plants—because hobbits love their gardens and being out in nature! The archway is reminiscent of the architecture of a hobbit hole, built into a hillside. This reading nook—and the space surrounding it—is filled with saturated earth tones, mismatched woods, and natural textures, which give the reading nook a cozy, collected quality. Be sure to keep a tea kettle and snacks nearby for Elevenses!


teal reading nook with curved sofa

The Book: Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

Holly Golightly, the heroine of Truman Capote’s novella, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, has become something of a cultural icon thanks to Audrey Hepburn’s portrayal of her in the film version of this story. Taking place in a brownstone apartment in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Holly has transformed herself from a country bumpkin to a New York socialite. (Or at least someone who rubs shoulders with socialites.) She’s dreadfully chic—so we made this reading nook a reflection of that glamorous idealized version of herself. But we took a minimalist touch to the space—giving it an almost unfinished vibe that’s reflective of Holly’s inability to truly put down roots and settle down in a place.

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A mere chair wasn’t enough for a reading nook inspired by the infamous Holly Golightly. Instead, we opted for a small sofa that’s perfect for decadent lounging. Gold accents throughout contribute to the glamorous vibe, while a sheepskin rug offers opulent comfort. Inspired by the color palette of Tiffany & Co., we used accents of white against the classic Tiffany blue. Pops of bright pink bring in elements of Holly’s girlishness and zany personality—breaking up the glam minimalism of this space.

Love these literary takes on cozy reading nooks? Check out our other pop culture designs to see the homes of some of your favorite TV show characters and real-life pop culture icons!

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