9 Reasons Why You Need to Add Wallpaper to Your Reading Room STAT

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY Rebecca Deczynski

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Published on August 12, 2022

With a good book and a free afternoon, it’s easy to feel satisfied—but the perfect Reading Room can certainly make your time spent flipping pages even better. Who wouldn’t love their own home library? 

Designing such a space can be a particularly fun project for book lovers. When it comes to reading corner ideas, you probably know the importance of a comfy chair, nice lighting, and—of course—a nice, sturdy bookshelf. But more decorative elements can help to elevate the ambience of your Reading Room. Consider this the case for adding wallpaper to your reading corner (we’re of course partial to our very own line, Havenly Print Co.). 

It’s hard to overstate the impact that wallpaper can have on a space; even a simple accent wall can add dimension and detail, creating a slightly cozier atmosphere. Just as rugs and throw blankets add texture to your space, wallpaper brings visual interest in spades. Here, Havenly lead designer Kelsey Fischer shares a few of her favorite reading corner ideas involving our favorite accent wall trend.

1. Try a Dramatic Contrast

floral wallpaper in book nook

In a space with light gray walls, a dark floral accent wall makes a bold contrast, giving your Reading Room a cozier, more romantic vibe. “If you want to make a striking impact, opt for a contrasting base color with details that pull in color from your existing chair or rug,” Fischer says. In this space, the pink florals of the wallpaper play off the sweet pink armchair.

2. Keep it Classic

classic reading corner with navy chair

If your style errs traditional, you don’t have to opt for a trendier accent wall. Instead, look to timeless patterns—like this striped wallpaper, which pairs nicely with this Reading Room’s navy armchair and ottoman. “A more classic wallpaper offers a subtle opportunity to add color to your space in an understated way,” Fischer adds.

3. Elevate an Awkward Space

boho reading room with rattan chair

For most people, a massive, Beauty and the Beast-level library is a fantasy—but that doesn’t mean you can’t make do with the space you do have! In this attic, wallpaper helps make an awkwardly-sized Reading Room feel a bit more intentional. “A vertical stripe can add lift to a low ceiling space and create a cozy atmosphere that you wouldn’t have with blank walls,” Fischer explains.

4. Make a Pattern Play

botanical wallpaper in reading room

“When you really want to get lost in a story, nothing sets the mood better than creating your own little reading escape,” Fischer says. In this sweet Reading Room, a floral print rug, striped ottoman, and a leaf-printed wallpaper work together to create a hideaway that feels ever so slightly like magical forest—while still looking perfectly refined and elevated.

5. Go Subtle

modern black and white wallpaper in book nook

If you’ve written off wallpaper as too loud for your modern aesthetic, it’s important to remember that there are so many different options to choose from. “If florals and whimsy aren’t your thing, go for a modern minimal pattern,” Fischer suggests. A simple lined wallpaper makes this Reading Room feel sophisticated, adds texture, and plays up the lines in the accent rug. 

6. Create a Mood

moody floral wallpaper with bookcase

If the rest of your home is bright and airy, a slightly darker, moodier Reading Room can become a cozy, welcome respite. A dramatic, deep-hued floral accent wall adds an incredibly romantic touch to this already elegant reading room, pairing beautifully with the chandelier, dusty pink chaise, and ambient lighting.

7. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

light gray feather wallpaper in reading corner

You might feel a little more hesitant about using a patterned wallpaper in large, high-traffic spaces, like your living room or kitchen. So, smaller spaces—like a Reading Room—are a great place to experiment with something new. The lavender-toned wallpaper in this room is much more interesting than a simple painted wall, but it’s not so trendy or distracting that you’ll tire of it quickly. 

8. Lean Into a Cohesive Color Palette

nature wallpaper in reading room

Not sure where to start when it comes to designing your reading nook? Pick your wallpaper, and let its pattern inspire your color palette for the space. “A gorgeous, natural-toned wallpaper is such a great jumping off point for creating an elevated look,” Fischer says. Complement the palette with your reading chair, rug, throw blanket, and window treatments.

9. Go Full-On Maximalist

bold wallpaper with reading chair

If you’re a self-proclaimed maximalist, you surely don’t need anyone to wax poetic about the power of wallpaper. But consider this the thumbs-up you might be seeking to go all out on a totally eclectic reading room. A bold wallpaper, like this botanical number, can help give your Reading Room an “enveloping, library-type feel,” Fischer says.

Pick up a few reading design essentials from our collection with Reese’s Book Club, or start from scratch on your very own Reading Room by taking our Style Quiz

Words by Rebecca Decynzski