Reading nook furniture quandary
November 2, 2016 7:53 AM   Subscribe

I have a room (closet) with a window, approximately 5 feet by 5 feet. I would love to make it into a cozy nook for reading and relaxing, preferable with a comfy chair/pillows and fabric hangings. Added level of difficulty - since it's a closet, the door is only 24" wide, so I cannot fit large furniture through. Any thoughts on how to do this?

I spent a while on pinterest last night, and the best thing I have come up with so far is to use an IKEA Kallax, turn it on its side, and build a top for it. However, I thought other people might have some better ideas.

How can I make this a comfy reading nook? I tend to like to either sit on a chaise or curl up in a chair to read, feet to the side and under me. I love all the reading nook images on tumbler that show flowy curtains and comfy pillows. What is the best way to accomplish this? Are there furniture options I haven't thought of?

I'm currently leaning towards either ottoman plus pillows, or papasan cushion on floor plus pillows, but am wondering what else is out there.

I did see the previous askme that overwhelming recommended the poang ikea chair, which I will check out, but I feel like it may not be cushion-y enough.
posted by needlegrrl to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Beanbag. Chair
posted by brujita at 8:04 AM on November 2, 2016

What's your budget? Simplicity Sofas sells modular sofas and chairs. They advertise that the pieces will fit through a 15 inch doorway. No personal experience with their products yet, but I've been considering them.
posted by alapo at 8:21 AM on November 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

Pop the door off the hinges so you'll not have that getting in your way as you negotiate larger pieces of furniture into this space. Also: take off any feet and/or legs of chairs, and in that way get a few more inches clearance getting what you want in that small room; put the feet/legs back on once inside that room.

Hire someone with experience moving; they'll be able to do things that you just do not imagine can be done, as they have experience as wonder workers. (I cut the wood on a box spring, to get it to get around and through an *impossible* staircase and then into the room where that queen size bed was wanted, then screwed together the flopping box spring -- done!)

You should be able to get a very comfortable love seat in there, or a corner piece of a sectional which you could find on craiglist. Maybe one of those elongated papasan chairs, rather than just the round one. Also, since a queen size bed (or futon, also) is five foot wide, you could get it in that space onto a frame you've fashioned, or had fashioned to your specs; it's not like the old days, where every futon was hard as a rock and less comfortable, I have a futon on my bed, on top of the box spring, and it's more comfortable than any mattress I've ever had on that bed, which I've owned almost 40 years now....

Dependent upon where the window is and what size, you're probably going to want to use it as a focal point, with plants around it; depending upon how much sun you get there you could put many different types of plants, adding life to the room...
posted by dancestoblue at 8:37 AM on November 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

Something like this wouldn't fit the space if fully extended, but it's just one example of many, many options that can be assembled inside the space (so the doorway isn't an issue) and has an actual mattress (so it's probably cushiony enough for curling up to read).

If you go with something like the IKEA Kallax, or really anything that means you'll be leaning the "back" cushions against a wall, you're likely to find yourself constantly tugging at any fabric or tapestry you have hanging on that wall. For that reason alone, I'd go with seating that has it's own back, even if you have to assemble it inside the nook.

What's the lighting/outlet situation? A fun pendant lamp can add to the drapey, cozy feel.
posted by whoiam at 8:39 AM on November 2, 2016

If you have a beam in the closet ceiling, I think a hammock chair is the best chair for both curled up and stretched out reading. No issues getting it in, and you can do a sort of a boho curtains, pillows & ottomans on the floor look for the rest of the room.

Or, take a look at the Dr. Pitt sofa for inspiration. Dr. Pitt is way too big for your space, but I think filling the whole room with sectional pieces could be awesome if you can find some that fit well.
posted by snaw at 8:43 AM on November 2, 2016

This is a little DIY, but my floor cushions are worn-out and/or cheap bed pillows covered in doormat size rag rugs (I also see them sold as chindi rugs) that I got for $5-10 each. Sew two of those together while watching a movie or something and you have a pillow case. There's something about the thickness and firmness of the rag rugs that makes the pillow feel more supportive than the floor pillows I've seen sold in stores. I really like them for reading and lounging. I would happily fill a closet with them.
posted by a sourceless light at 8:44 AM on November 2, 2016

Instead of a full sized bookshelf like the Ikea Kallax, I'd recommend just keeping a few books in the room (the ones you're currently reading and rotate as needed). That will save space and you can mount them on invisibile bookshelves like this.

I'd also forgo the furniture entirely in favor of cozy floor pillows and cushions, a nice fluffy chenille blanket, a beautiful wall tapestry, curtains for the window, a tiny table for your cup of tea and you're good to go!
posted by LuckySeven~ at 8:49 AM on November 2, 2016

Eero Aarnio Ball Chair, or Bubble Chair, either pedestal or hanging.
posted by at at 9:15 AM on November 2, 2016

Go to Ikea. Assemble furniture inside closet, eliminating need to squeeze it through the doorway. Done.
posted by easily confused at 11:50 AM on November 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

You're basically living out my dream. I have a lot of thoughts about this.

I think I would want a huge, slack and comfy beanbag chair, up on a platform, as I don't really like being near the floor, it feels sneezy to me. I'd maybe build a new storage floor for the closet that's basically a large plywood box, about 2 feet high, with the length and width taking up the entire closet floor, with a hinged lid or a drawer so you can store things in it). Then you pop the beanbag on that (maybe cover the top of the box with cheap carpet, as the beanbag will probably skid on the wood). That way the beanbag kinda slouches against the walls and gives you a lot of options for how to get comfy.

Get a few very soft cushions in there too. Velvet, furry, sweatery- go for soft snuggly textures you yearn to bury your face in.

Mount nice little shelves on the wall- small, but generously sized enough for your tea and books, tissues, etc.

Paint the two side walls a clean bright glossy white, and paint the back wall a nice warm colour like pink or burgundy for maximum coziness- it will make the reflected light feel warm and pretty.

Include a direct light to read by (maybe hang a big paper lantern from the ceiling), and also include some delicate mood lighting with white incandescent christmas lights in little paper lanterns (not LED lights though, they are horrid and cold).

Have a pretty extension cord and phone charger right in there with you.

Figure out a music system that you can control without moving (jambox type speaker)?

Also- treat yourself to a heated sherpa throw and you will be so happy. The sherpa texture is kind of imperative- it is 10000% better than any other heated blanket you've encountered, so soft and fluffy, like being in a warm cloud.

Hang a thick white curtain across the door (Ikea has nice velvet curtains) to block out the world. Maybe a teeny fan poking out the curtain at floor level so the air doesn't get stale.

Oh god I'm so happy for you
posted by pseudostrabismus at 12:33 PM on November 2, 2016 [3 favorites]

So, I'm not sure what your preferences are and how much you'd like to spend, but here goes:

A chaise for launging;

Lace curtains for your window;

A floor lamp for light, if there is space. I think an industrial lamp could work well if you find one slim enough;

And a slim table (maybe even a slim plant stand or nightstand that doubles as a table).

Maybe some shelves to keep books on.

Seating alternatives:

A sort of bamboo bench, with lamp and cushions;

An outdoor/ indoor hammock;

A comfy-looking bean bag divan;

Some really beautiful Moroccan poufs.
posted by miorita at 12:41 PM on November 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

There is an outlet in the room, so I will have lighting capability. I want that lounging chaise with a fiery passion, even if it doesn't fit in my room, miorita.

I'd like to spend under $200 on furnishing the room, but I could do it in bits, it doesn't all have to be done at once.

I am so excited - thanks!
posted by needlegrrl at 2:43 PM on November 2, 2016

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