My Ideal Reading Space

In my last post I talked about finding balance between your goals, the everyday things that need to happen, and the little things that recharge your creative well. I’ve officially switched gears from writing and editing to formatting and all the other marketing things that go along with publishing a novel, but I’m also taking a little time for myself.

I’ve been a reader my entire life, but when I began writing, I started viewing reading as a reward rather than something I just do. For years I would only read when I finished a draft or a round of edits. It took my husband pointing out that I’m happier when I read for me to realize how ridiculous that was, and I’ve made it more of a priority ever since.

Which leads me to the point of this post. I’m fortunate that I have a chaise chair THAT I LOVE for writing, but lately we’ve been talking about adding more shelves to my closet, which has led to me imagining my dream reading space. So if you’ll indulge me…

(WARNING: I’m obsessed with gray.)

First up, color. If I could have every room in my house be a dusty, blue-gray, I would. And obviously I’d have white baseboards.
I’ve always wanted an accent wall that’s all birch trees. This wallpaper is a little more cream than I’d like—I’d prefer more stark white with green showing through—but as a break from the grays and blues, this is perfect.
Let me introduce my new best friend, Preston. I’m barely over five feet tall, so a chair like this is PERFECT for sitting sideways while I snuggle in with a good book. Yes, I could also sit forward like a normal adult (I really thought that by 42 I’d be a normal adult) but I prefer to be sideways. This could also serve as a writing spot, provided I add a giant ottoman.
We’re all about conserving energy, so I’ll definitely need a blanket to keep warm. Or serve as a pillow. Or to just make sure I’m extra snuggly. I’d also like one of these in dark blue or gray.
Because my ideal reading space has hardwood floors, I’ll need a rug to both soften the space and give Owen a place to hang out. Since I plan to have color on the walls, I’m okay with MORE GRAY beneath my feet. Plus this has a pattern, and I’ve learned that blankets and rugs are basically the only place I’m not afraid of a little busyness.


In all seriousness, this is the picture that sold me on this rug. Dogs = yes.
If I’m going to read, I’ll need light, yes? This floor lamp has a bark texture that ties in perfectly with the hardwood floors and my tree wall. Basically I’m trying to create a cozy space in the woods.
Because one floor lamp isn’t QUITE enough light, I’ve chosen this delightful table lamp. If you’ve guessed it’s because when I first saw it I thought it was a birch tree, you’d be correct. Arhaus has a ton of cool lighting options to meet any book-lovers’ desire.
And because a table lamp needs, well, a table to sit on, I present this charming wood table that looks rustic enough to be perfect in my woodsy reading room.
As cute as the little round table is, I need a bit more space than that. These nesting tables match my hardwood floors (not my actual floors, my dream floors. My actual floors are a bit too light for my taste) and as you can see, tuck beneath each other when not in use. Perfecto.
In my graphic designer days, I used to complain about rooms that lacked color, but I’ve grown to appreciate the simplicity of a gorgeous black & white print. (Besides, the walls have color.) This print is one in a series and let’s be honest, all three would most likely end up on my walls.
JUST TAKE MY MONEY. Seriously? Besides the wainscoting, the shelves to display all my books (that’s the other way I get color in this room), and the cupboards to hide the less-than-eye-pleasing possessions, IT HAS A MOVEABLE LADDER.
And finally, an upgraded writing chair, Cecilia. The one I currently own has small armrests which are low enough that I can be on my laptop without fighting for elbow space, but I’m thinking losing the armrests could be helpful. I love how this dips a bit in the middle, and I can already imagine it cradling me as I write.

Now I want to know—what’s your ideal reading space? Do you like soft textures and light, or do you prefer something different? And am I the only one who wants to read in the woods?

About Melanie Hooyenga

Writer. Designer. Jock. Reader. Wife. Puppy-Mama. SCBWI member since 2015.


  1. Marian Walker

    Gorgeous – I love your choices of both color and design. You can always be a professional designer when you get tired of writing!

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