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How to Create the Perfect Nook

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How to Create the Perfect Nook

Sometimes a little out-of-the-way space is just the retreat you need for a little R & R.
Here's how to make the perfect nook for your needs.

We all have them; those awkward areas in the home where nothing really seems to work. But that might just be because you haven't looked at them as the perfect little spaces they could be—pretty, multi-purpose nooks.

For many, the idea of a nook delights with its petite dimensions, unexpected locale and, often, whimsical and innovative décor. That's the kind of nook you can have, as long as you go about it the right way.

Nook Design Basics

Image courtesy of Erin Kestenbaum

For a nook design to succeed, it has to highlight its limited confines and possibly unusual structure without feeling claustrophobic. It should be comfortable, functional and charming. Here's how to achieve all of these things:

  • Choose furniture pieces that both fit the space and will provide comfort and support for the intended task to be performed inside the nook.
  • If a nook cannot accommodate all the pieces that would normally be required for a task, consider pieces that can multi-task or fold away.
  • Due to limited floorspace, choose overhead or .
  • Have fun with color and pattern. A small nook is a great way to express yourself with brighter décor you might not otherwise feel good using throughout the rest of the home.

So, what kind of nook are you considering? Take a look at the following kinds of nooks to see if any of them speak to you and your needs:

Reading Nook

For yourself, your children or both, a tucked-away reading nook is the unexpected and private space that makes reading even more fun. It can be in a corner of the living room, hidden under a staircase or anywhere someone can sneak away to get a little quiet time. For a reading nook, all the furnishings you need include somewhere comfortable to sit or lie down, good reading light, a place to stash reading materials and a surface to safely set a cup of tea and cookies.

In some spaces, a fluffy pile of pillows could work quite well, while in other spaces, a single plush lounge chair would do the trick. A nearby side table or built-in bookcase can keep books and snacks in order, while a well-appointed reading light would properly illuminate pages without hitting a reader in the head or taking up valuable lounging space.

Home Office Nook

Not everyone can have an entire room dedicated to a home office. Fortunately, all that most people need is a nook to create a perfectly functional workspace. You can take over a corner of the bedroom or transform an unused coat closet by adding a work surface, ergonomic seating, storage and task lighting.

Most desks tend to multi-task in that they provide a work surface and at least some storage. For additional office supply and equipment storage, rolling carts or wall shelves are convenient, compact and customizable to many applications.

To really make your home office nook a space that you'll use, you need to choose the right . It doesn't have to be a big, cushy executive chair, just something that provides you with adjustable support where you need it. Finally, an adjustable or wall sconce can supply you with the bright, flexible light you need for any task.

Breakfast Nook

Image courtesy of Mary Iteriano of This Thrifted Abode

A breakfast nook is a traditional architectural element designed for quick and convenient dining right in the kitchen. With today's more open floorplans, dining spaces have taken over the space where breakfast nooks used to be. But that doesn't mean you can't still create a space dedicated to the most important meal of the day.

To create a breakfast nook, your main foundation piece should be a smaller dining table. (The exact size should work in proportion to the actual dimensions of your nook.) It can be round or square, with flexible seating to match. against a back wall, with portable side chairs around the other side, keeps things functional and compact. The cherry on top is a flashy (yet compact) ceiling light right over the center of the table.

Or, you can design a nook where you can work, read and have breakfast. It's entirely up to you. Whatever you decide its function(s) should be, with proper planning and a little creativity, your nook can be the small space that creates a big design impact in your home.