Sooooo I finally built a reading nook. All by myself.
No, of course it’s not as fancy as all the beautiful nooks you see on Pinterest, though I did borrow some ideas from there for the design and decoration. (For the inspiration, I actually even searched through tips to make reading nooks for CHILDREN :P)
I forgot to take the “before and after” pics, but my balcony originally looked like the one in this picture below, only a little more narrow.
It was not as hard as I thought it would be. I actually spent only half a day on setting everything up, except the lighting.
I built it in a very small balcony in my apartment, half of which is occupied by an army of basils, cactuses, orchids, and Bougainvillea.
First, it’s the rearrangement of the plants for more space. Next, I hang on 2 small bamboo curtains for in case I might be home some hot afternoon and want to read when the sun is shining right on my balcony.
Then, I threw there an armchair with a blanket and some cushion on it, and behind it, a narrow but tall bookshelf. I filled it with as many books as I could, admittedly even with the ones I’ve already finished reading, just so it looks cool. Only one of the cells is left free of the books – it’s where I was going to leave my coffee mug.
Perfetto. Perfetto! – I thought.
Then went the sun and came the night and I realized I had no light to read at the time I read most often.
My Lighting Solutions for the Little Balcony
There is a ceiling light in my balcony, but the only function it serves is to show people walking past our building that the balcony is there. The light is no way enough to read by.
Left with no built-in light, and knowing that I’m not going through all the nuisance to install them, I first thought of a table lamp. The balcony is obviously too small for a table, but I thought I could put the lamp on the shelf.
Anyway, it didn’t take too long before I realize that the lamp I use for my bedside table is too big to stay comfortably in the small cell of the bookshelf. In all fairness, it can fit in there if I bend it a little so that the light head comes forward. Also, the lamp does offer enough light. However, it is not balanced in that position and threatens to fall off the shelf every time I reach up to turn it on and off without looking.
Then a friend suggested using a clip-on light.
What a brilliant idea, I thought. I could clamp it onto the shelf and never worry about it falling off again. More importantly, it requires no table at all.
In reality, however, it didn’t work that way. The light I found was way too small for my need. Also, the light was too focused. It was a little too intense on my book, and so when my eyes got back to the pages after darting out to other areas, it felt very uncomfortable.
I furiously googled “how to set up the lighting for reading in a small space” and sure enough, I found what I wanted.
Lighting for the Reading Nook – It’s Easy!
Turns out all I need is a bright floor lamp with a thin body and a small base.
See the crescent shaped light head poking out from the corner? The floor lamp I’m having for my nook look exactly the same. It’s the Arc LED lamp from Brightech. This is not my picture though – I still haven’t figured out how to take a photo when the light is on.
It’s just the perfect solution for my little nook.
As the lamp is skinny, I put it right next to my armchair, a part of the base hidden under the chair. While being a floor lamp, it has a much smaller footprint than the table lamp I had, simply because it’s on the floor instead of my bookshelf.
The lamp offers various intensity levels, and I usually read with the lowest mode. Its arc body stretches over the chair, diffusing light evenly on my book. The light is warm white – very soft, pleasant, and very cozy. It not only offers light to read by, but also augment my little corner.
If you’re having problem setting up the light for your reading nook, seriously consider a floor lamp. They are not only for decoration – they can be incredibly bright, versatile, and can help setting the perfect mood for a read in your nook.