Family LIfe

Add a Children's Library Corner to a Family Room
by Jessica Ackerman

Without a bit of organization, a child's books can slowly consume a family room. Parents want to encourage reading, but without the threat of their family room decor being obliterated by Dr. Seuss and Mercer Meyer. The solution is to add a children's library corner to a family room. Choose a quiet corner where there is little distraction from a television or opening door and create a special reading retreat.

Contain the Books
Secure a low, two-shelf bookshelf to the wall for the quickest book storage. Important things to consider when purchasing the bookshelf are the height, quality of workmanship and its aesthetics. The height of the piece should be perfectly sized for a small child. Three shelves are typically too tall, but two shelves provide a great deal of storage while being the perfect height. Choosing a well-built piece will ensure that the bookshelf lasts for many years and will be able to withstand the wear and tear of a child's use. Since the family room is more than just a child's play room, it is also important to consider how the bookshelf looks in regards to the other pieces in the room. A bright, primary color shelf will look glaringly out of place in a room decorated with beiges and browns. Although the area is a special retreat for a child, it should also be unobtrusive and blend with the rest of the room. Baskets, bags and clear buckets can be placed next to the bookshelf to hold extra-small or extra-large books that do not fit on the shelves.

Child-Sized Seating
What better way to ensure that the child enjoys the reading corner than by providing a comfortable place for him to sit and read. A well-built, child sized chair is the perfect addition to the library corner. When considering options, do not forget to evaluate how the chair will look in the family room and how comfortable and inviting it will be. Place it at a slight angle toward the bookshelf and nestled in the corner of the room for a truly relaxing feel.

Child-friendly wall sconces provide optimal lighting and appeal. Hang them next to the reading chair and bookshelf to give the corner a cozy glow. Many wall lamps made for children's rooms are bold and bright, so there is always the option to install a lamp not specifically for a child's room that will coordinate with the family room decor. Make sure that the lamp is firmly attached to the wall and that the plugs and cords are anchored and out of the way.

Curl Up on the Rug
Sometimes children prefer to sprawl out on the floor to read, so it is important to have comfortable, soft flooring in the library corner. Choose a soft throw rug that matches the family room decor to place in front of the bookshelf and reading chair. The rug will provide comfort, warmth and delineation between the rest of the family room and the library nook. It will be the perfect place for browsing through books when a chair just seems too confining.

A separate library nook will allow children to explore their passion for reading without taking over the family room with books. When designing the special corner make sure that it coordinates with the rest of the room. Encourage children to read often and visit their library corner often to read with them.

About the Author:
Professional designer Jessica Ackerman, writes for, and is an authority on decorating with wall art store and wall mounted vases.

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