Nothing says “summer” like curling up in a comfortable spot with a good book. Some people have a comfy chair they like, or prop themselves up with a few pillows on their bed, and some spread a blanket under the trees and lay on the grass with their favorite story. There’s something about slowing down, taking the time to turn the pages of a book, and listening to the wind in the trees that relaxes the mind like nothing else. Why not create that kind of relaxing spot right on your front porch, next to your new custom front doors, where you can greet friends as you read?
The Perfect Book Nook
The best reading nooks all have the same elements: comfort, quiet, and light. A front porch, unless your house sits right in front of a freeway, usually has the potential for all three of those. We don’t always think of the outside of a home as being “quiet”, but if your home has young children home from school in it, then sometimes outside is the quietest place you can be.
For comfort your nook needs to have at least two items:
- a comfortable place to sit
Your comfortable place to sit can be an old-fashioned rocking chair, a wicker settee, a padded bench, or maybe an Adirondack style chair. Choose a chair that makes you happy, a color that makes you smile every time you see it. You’ll be traveling through space and time on that chair, you definitely want it to be comfy.
Pillows are a necessary addition because as you read you’ll want to shift, prop, or adjust how you’re sitting for greatest comfort. Pillows can be the perfect accessory to give you both beauty and back support.
A front porch can serve multiple purposes; a gathering place for friends, a discussion place for spouses, and a quiet spot for private reading or meditation. If you have a really busy street in front of your house then quiet might be harder to attain, but for most people the sound of cars becomes something of a background noise the longer they are around it. To keep your front porch beautiful and to create a space that is both welcoming and private here are some things to do:
- plant trees
- build a porch cover or add an awning
- add soft background music
Trees are a natural way to buffer sound and to protect your front porch. The sound of the wind in the trees can mask other, more distant sounds from the street or neighboring homes
Porch covers or awnings are a good idea not only for making your reading nook more comfortable, but also to protect your front door, especially if it is made of wood. The covering will keep the nook cooler in the summer by providing shade from the direct sun and a covering when a summer thunderstorm passes through.
Background music, especially instrumental music, can help to disguise the sounds of kids playing in the backyard, or yelling through the house at each other, or declaring “I’m bored!” for the billionth time. The sound of cars starting, doors shutting, and people talking can easily be hidden by some soft background music.
A front porch typically has enough light, just from natural sunlight, to provide enough light for reading. As the days begin to get shorter you may need to add some extra lighting. Most front porches have electrical outlets where a light can be plugged in when additional lighting is warranted. If you do plan on adding a lamp, it’s important to remember that the front porch is an outdoor space and susceptible to wind, rain, and other weather. To keep you well-lit but also safe, consider adding another porch light fixture where you arrange your reading nook.
Add a Little Library
You may have noticed the “Little Library” movement that has swept across the United States over the past year or two. These cute freestanding book collections are typically kept in small weather-proof containers, like glass fronted doll-houses in front yards and along country roads. The idea behind the Little Library is that anyone who wants to borrow a book must bring a book to trade. In this way the library is ever changing and easily accessible. If you add one other chair to your reading nook and let your friends and neighbors know that you’ve created a haven for readers, you may find yourself enjoying being an armchair traveler with a trusted companion.
Images from pinterest