Creating a Family Reading Room

Among all the rooms in the house, the spare room tends to be the most neglected and under-utilized.  After all, it's called a spare room because no one really uses it.  The room can come in handy for a lot of things though.  Having a spare in case friends or relatives stop by is great, but let us take a look at a more useful and useable idea for this room that your family will love:

Create a Family Reading Room

This is one idea that is making a quick comeback. In today's age of technology and the Internet, the desire of children and adults to read is steadily declining.  Families used to get together and read books and tell stories.  But now, good quality family time is decreasing as fast as their desire to read.  So what can you do to help your family start reading again?  Change your spare room into a reading room - a.k.a. a home library.  This can be done with simple, easy, and practical decorating. 

If your spare room has a bed in it, then it needs to be removed before you can turn it into a library. You might consider replacing the bed with a futon or daybed though, so it can still be used for guests when needed, yet double as sitting space in your reading room. Put the old bed in another room or into storage.  Once the bed is removed, take a good long look around.  Jot down notes on what colors you would like
to use, what types of decorations, what type of lights, accents, and so on. Once you have your ideas down on paper, go and purchase a couple of bookcases.  These do not have to be the extravagant five to seven shelf solid oak bookcases.  These can be as simple as a two shelf aluminum bookcase, or even wall mounted shelves.  The goal here is having a structure to hold the books that you plan on adding to this room.

Once the bookcases have been bought, placed and stocked, search for a container for a few magazines.  Old wicker baskets or milk crates will work fine for this.  Grab a few magazines that you know will be read and stock the basket with them.  It's also a good idea to have plenty of lighting in your room as well.  If you need to, purchase a couple of floor lamps.  These will serve as the extra lighting that your family will need during their reading sessions.

The overall theme that you should try to achieve is a literary and educational theme.  Try to promote the art of reading with the decorations that you place.  For instance, purchase wallpaper border that has designs of books and pens, and place it along the top of your walls.  If you can find some accent pillows with a literary theme, those would be ideal decorative accents for this room.  And in order for your room to work to your advantage, you must set aside some reading time for your family.  This may be hard at first, (to get them to commit to a weekly reading time), but do not give up!  After a while they'll get into the habit of coming into this newly decorated room and spending their time reading and enjoying it.  And what a joy it will be when your child says, "Mom, turning the spare room into a library was such a great idea!"

© 2006, Kathy Burns-Millyard. Find excellent floor lamps for your reading room at our Lamps & Lighting Decor Boutique.

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