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Reclaim Your Home: Nook Know-How


What is a nook, after all? A spot? A space? A corner or a cubby? Yes!

I see a nook as any small, typically underutilized space in your home that is just begging to be put to good use. As this article will explore, nooks are great for a wide range of family activities, they can add a fun splash of style to a room, and make efficient use of space (like those awkward spots under dormers or sloped ceilings!).

Here are some ideas to get your nooks living up to their full potential.

Reading Nooks

A reading nook makes a great space to ease into the morning or take a quiet break throughout the day. Make it cozy, bright, whatever suits the resident reader's mood. If you don't have natural light, get creative with a cute lamp. No bookshelves? A basket or set of stylish bins will do.


Photo Source: Apartment Therapy


Photo source: Houzz - Ester Hershcovich

A dedicated reading nook for kids is a great way to make reading special and fun.


Photo source: Literacy Launchpad

Creative Play Nooks

Every kid needs space to play. Every parent, however, doesn't necessarily want play space to take over the entire house. Play nooks to the rescue!

Whether dedicated to dragon slaying or dress up, play nooks are a great way to indulge your child's creative interests. And if you have more than one little one at home, dedicated nooks help prevent toy chaos and squabbles by giving everyone space to do as they please.


Photo source: Babble


Photo source: Houzz - Twist Interior Design

I love this for a family art and game area.


Photo source: Houzz - Visbeen Architects

Work/Family Business Nooks

Even if you don't work from home, a small desk and writing space to pay bills and track family activities can be a great sanity saver. If you want to keep tabs in the midst of family hubbub, the kitchen is a natural choice. If you need a little more peace and quiet to think, a basement or bedroom may be a better fit.

Remember, it doesn't have to look like an office to function like one. Work space can be creative and should feel as inviting as the rest of your home. Re-purpose existing furniture by adding or removing doors, install some basic built-ins, or purchase affordable, mix-and-match pieces that are ready to go. Think outside the boring metal file cabinets, and have fun!


Photo source: Houzz - Sara Eizen


Photo source: Houzz - Janet Paik


Photo source: Houzz - Hamilton-Gray Design, Inc.


Photo source: My Ideal Home


Photo source: Houzz - Amber Hopman

Sleeping Nooks

No one said the bed had to be in the main space of the bedroom. Converting an old closet creates a super cozy nook your child will love. Plus, just think of all that extra space in the rest of the room.


Photo source: Houzz - Corynne Pless


Photo Source: Pinterest


Photo Source: India pied-a-terre

Kitchen Nooks

Kitchen nooks are both charming and practical - a win win in my book! By using a bench to allocate seating to outside walls, a nook frees up vital kitchen real estate for other activity. If you already have a more formal dining room, a nook is a nice alternative for casual family meals. And if you need to monitor homework during dinner prep, a nook makes an out-of-the-way study space that's close enough for collaboration.


Photo source: Houzz - Sutro Architects


Photo source: Houzz - Schrader & Companies

Entertaining Nooks

Living room nooks add depth and visual interest to a room while creating intimate seating space for quiet conversation. While a sofa or love seat of the same size might be too dominant, a cushioned nook creates comfortable seating without interfering with the layout of the room. And when your company leaves, a living room nook makes a sweet space to unwind away from it all.


Photo source: Houzz - Teri Thomas Interiors


Photo Source: Houzz - Susan Brown Interior Design

With minimal cost and effort, nooks can have huge payoff in terms in both style and function. I don't think you can go wrong, or have too many. I know Seattle is brimming with creative folks who are savvy to making good use of their space.


Sara Eizen is a Seattle-based interior designer and home organizer with a passion for helping busy families reclaim style and space in their homes on any budget. In a bi-weekly column for Seattle's Child, Sara shares creative, fun, affordable tips and tricks for clearing clutter, sprucing up rooms with minimal effort, creating systems that simplify family life, and much more.

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