Reading Nooks & Books
06/08 Design Tips

Reading Nooks & Books

A place to get your summer reading in

Our mission to Make Life Beautiful has taken on various meanings since we started this journey, but our goal from the beginning has been to inspire people to make their homes a more beautiful place, and it remains the same. We want to continue to inspire people to create beauty around them and believe that good design has the power to draw us in and spend more time with the people we love. It all starts with love at home.

Today, we want to share a bit of joy in this small space of the internet by talking about one way we have been creating beauty around us at home — books. Books have the power to teach and transport us and we’ve been carving out small spaces to enjoy them.

Xo - Shea McGee

We can appreciate a bookcase that’s actually filled with books! Love the layering of the artwork. Design by @mikelwelch

We can appreciate a bookcase that’s actually filled with books! Love the layering of the artwork. Design by @mikelwelch

We’ve always had a thing for reading nooks, but after months of staying inside and social distancing, we’ve found a new level of appreciation. From window seats to any corner we can find, there's something about them that feels charming and sophisticated all at once, and we love the way they instantly make a home feel lived-in.

Scroll to the bottom for our summer reading list!

Step One: Start with a Cozy Chair

Nooks & Books

The first thing you need to create the perfect reading nook is a cozy chair, ideally one with a place to rest your arms and curl up for a long, post-read nap.

In The McGee Home, we created a little reading nook in the master bedroom with a soft, linen chair, a modern floor lamp, and deep-hued leather ottoman. Add a single pillow and throw over the top, and the look is complete!

shop the look

Step Two: Add In a Floor Lamp

Nooks & Books

Once you have your chair, adding a floor lamp is a perfect way to add some height and light for late-night reading sessions.

In this bedroom-corner nook, we paired a tall, streamlined floor lamp with an abstract painting, classic rounded leather chair, and a striped pillow for the perfect mix of tones and textures. This look is the perfect example of the fact that all you really need to create a reading nook is a place to sit, a lamp, and a little decor to set the scene.

shop the look

Step 3: Mix in a side table


You don't need a large side table to do the trick, but it's always ideal to have something large enough to hold a candle, drink, or snack. We tend to choose side-tables with more solid bases for nooks because they don't compete with the legs of the chair.

shop side tables

Step 4: Layer in a Throw


Last but not least, adding a cozy throw is a must! Especially for enjoying chilly early morning and settling in for quiet evenings. If you can't get that picture-perfect, lived-in drape, then don't worry. Just fold and place your throw on the back or over the arms for easy styling.

shop our favorite throws

Step 5: Add a good book! We have a few recommendations

And for the kids


A few inspiration pics for styling those books

A skateboard mixed in with a few of your favorite books — we’re all for it! Via Paula Rallis

A skateboard mixed in with a few of your favorite books — we’re all for it! Via Paula Rallis

Love how Ajiri Aki let’s the spine of her books shine. It’s practical and beautifully incorporated with that wall color. Design by @ madamedelamaison

Love how Ajiri Aki let’s the spine of her books shine. It’s practical and beautifully incorporated with that wall color. Design by @madamedelamaison

Show Comments
Studio McGee
  1. I am profoundly disappointed that you have continued business as usual while saying nothing about #BlackLivesMatter—yes, a black square with no words on Instagram counts as nothing. If you want to know what you would have done in the civil rights movement, it is what you have done today: the absolute least. As a reader, I’m very sorry to say that I can no longer support your business.

  2. AVK, Stop trying to bully and pressure companies into being your mouth piece. I follow Studio McGee because of their design inspiration, not for the latest political issues and lack of human morals in 2020.

  3. Jessica,
    You took the words right out of my mouth! I’m sure the fact that Shea has not posted for the last 10 days has SOMETHING to do with the fact that she was taking a pause due to recent events, as are many other interior designers with their blog posts and/or instagram. Regardless of the reason, I too, am glad she’s back. I’ve missed her posts. I look for them everyday. She inspires me. And AVK, in case you haven’t heard….Shea is trying to make LIFE beautiful. Yours, mine, EVERYONES! So with that being said, let’s try to keep politics out of the places we go for interior design inspiration.
    Shea, thank you for helping to make life a little more beautiful.

  4. I always wonder why people give anonymous criticism online, and now here I am doing it…I hope this doesn’t cause drama (please feel free to take this comment down), but I did want to give feedback. I LOVE looking at pretty homes so I have watched a bunch of your YouTube videos, but I always seem to notice how all your staff seem to look SO similar. Even my husband has commented on it when he glances over at my computer. It’s glaringly obvious with your team, while I’ve never noticed this in the other design blogs by white women I follow. I guess my ultimate point was to express my disappointment in your lack of acknowledgment of #BlackLivesMatter in your life and business, since one of the biggest asks is just acknowledgment.

  5. Just because they didn’t post it online doesn’t mean nothing is being done. ?‍♀️ I missed your content Studio Mcgee! Always on the lookout ? ?

  6. BLM is a human rights issue not a political one! That being said, I am glad to see Studio McGee doing something and not thinking they are set apart from this just because it’s an interior design space!

  7. Everyone still had to live and work. I’m sure we are all thinking hard and trying to change for the better but that shouldn’t impact on people’s work and livelihood.
    Thanks for the wonderful post Shea! Really missed your content in the last week!

  8. The Studio McGee blog is an interior design blog. I’ve been following you since the very start of your business and have been a customer for years. You have developed a very talented team of designers. Your articles are very inspirational and informative. I greatly appreciate it that the topics of your blog posts are about interior design. It is very refreshing that you do not get into political, religious, environmental, personal rights discussions in your posts. Everybody and their grandmother is writing about the negative things happening in our world. It is refreshing and uplifting to read your articles. I visit your blog every day. I too noticed you did not post for quite some time, which is not the norm. I assumed it was out of respect for George Floyd’s death, the civil unrest, the riots, and the resulting deaths of others. Please continue doing exactly what you are doing. You do inspire others to make life and our homes more beautiful. Thank you! xxxx

  9. hi,

    I love the beautiful interiors, Could you share your source for the big white pot with the olive tree? Is the tree real?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Loading Next Post...