Since ancient times, people have had interior rooms in their homes specifically designated towards prayer. In Matthew 6:6, Jesus tells his followers:
“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you”.
I have found that creating a separate intentionally designed space in my home for the purpose of centering myself has brought me clarity and peace time after time.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to create a special space in your home that is set aside for your mind. I think that we often tend to use our bedrooms (more specifically, our beds) for reading, praying, meditation, or just quiet time to re-set our minds. What you do regularly in different spaces can become habit-forming and change our mental and emotional response to that space.
Your bed should be the space where you are supposed to shut off your mind and body to go to sleep. But many of us are guilty of also making our beds the same place that we watch tv, read, write, pray, and sometimes even eat. Doing these things in our beds can cause the very space in which we are supposed to be the most relaxed to become a place associated with productivity or even stress. Plus, how often do you try to pray or meditate in bed and find your mind wandering, or even find yourself drifting off to sleep? It is so hard to pray or meditate with intention if we are in a space dedicated to something else.
I know that some of you may not have a large home to work with and think that you are limited in designating different areas of your home to different purposes. But the nice thing about a “reading nook” is that you don’t need a separate room; you only need a small area to make the world of difference in your home. You can create your nook in a bedroom, living room, or sun room if you don’t have a separate room for this purpose. I think it’s important to differentiate that this space is not your work space. Think of a reading nook as an in-between from your desk and your bed.
Although I use my “reading nook” for not only reading, but journaling, praying, and drawing, I refer to it as my “reading nook” because, let’s be honest, it’s just a really cute phrase and makes it feel more inviting. My ideal place for a reading nook would be by a window. The idea of being able to see outside adds just another element of relaxation and daydreaming that can help me be more creative. If you don’t think that’s possible in your home, my first suggestion would be to think outside of the box and look at how you can rearrange the entire room to allow space near a window to become free. If it still isn’t possible, then I encourage getting some warm and comforting lighting for your nook.
Depending on the space available to you, you could simply add some comfy floor pillows or a chair that allows you the space to curl up with a good book and cup of tea. I also recommend a side table and/or shelving to keep your favorite books and set your mug of tea or coffee. I think it also goes without saying that you must have a big cozy throw blanket in your reading nook!
Now that we have identified how to find a space to make it into your reading nook, let’s talk about decorating it with purpose. There is significant research that shows the color of rooms can inspire you in different ways. While red is said to raise the energy level of a room, yellow is believed to inspire joy and happiness. Green (especially in earthy natural tones), is the most restful color for the eye and encourages unwinding and comfort. An easy way to incorporate green is by adding plants to your reading nook. There are many indoor and easy-to-maintain (which is an important thing for me) plants that actually help to detoxify the air around you! Aloe Vera, Peace Lillies, and bamboo palms are just a few.
However you decide to decorate your reading nook, I hope that you will find the peace and serenity that I have found in mine. Please contact me if you need any more suggestions or want help creating a space to be your own!