Get your Hygge On!

Zoe Hewett Interiors Hygge

There is no better way to cosy up the home as the cold and dark sets in than to transform a quiet corner into an inviting book nook. Curling up with a good read is the most wholesome of pastimes for the bleaker months. It evokes images of our pre-television Scandinavian counterparts enjoying the Sagas, and other heavy tomes, at the cosiest of firesides during seemingly endless winters.

This book nook I put together has roots in warmer climes and more of a mid-Century modern feel, with the Brazilian design classic BFK butterfly chair and vintage Italian Iguzzini mushroom table lamp. Whether your taste is classic, country or contemporary, the essential ingredients for creating a good book nook are few but choice.

Firstly, a comfortable chair is a must, to enable at least a few chapters to be enjoyed in one sitting. The definition of a seriously comfy seat may vary from one person to another so make sure you are happy with your selection. 

A side table of some kind is a practical must-have, to provide a place to put a cup of something warming or a glass of something more celebratory, and any other accessories such as page markers and reading glasses. Positioning a handy table next to a chair also creates a more complete scene, anchoring the chair, so it isn't lost and lonely in the space, and offers up more styling opportunities for placement of candles, plants and objets d’art.

Good light is necessary to prevent eye fatigue, and will also add a gentle warm glow (something interior designers love to add to corners of rooms). Consider investing in a warm white LED bulb with a lower lumen count, as standard bulbs can give a harsh cool light. If the bulb is on view at all, be sure to use an attractive one or cover it with a globe if the lamp-holder allows.

Textiles visually make spaces more cosy, even before you have snuggled down under them. A blanket, cushion or throw will finish off the book nook nicely. Texture is an underused tool in decorating, so embrace a variety of materials. Mine combines leather, wood, metal, glass, paper and wool and the way the low sunlight falls on the detail of the sheepskin texture is most pleasing. Try varying the scale too with chunky cable knits against finer fabrics, for example.

Placement of a book nook is important, but ideally a quiet, incidental spot that perhaps needs an injection of life would be the ideal choice. Under the stairs works well, a spot onthe landing if large enough, or a neglected corner. In open plan living rooms where the furniture is far away from the walls, behind the sofa is a great spot for a separate nook and to liven up the view of the sofa-back. Or simply in the most obvious location of all, the good old fashioned option of armchairs either side of the fireplace.