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If there’s anything we’ve learned from self-isolating, it’s that we could really use a book nook. Sure, you can prop yourself up in bed or curl up on the sofa, but there’s something about crawling into a cozy alcove that lets you fully escape. The hideout we have in mind is a lot like Reese Witherspoon’s nautical-inspired reading spot. 

The Big Little Lies star shared a photo on Instagram earlier this week of herself and her son lounging on a floral blue bed that’s tucked into a shiplap-clad cubbyhole surrounded by shelves. The space definitely has a strong seaside vibe going (there are boats on the pillows and in the artwork) without skewing too theme-y, so we did a deep dive into the casual-cool setup. Here are three ways to get the look.


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Story time is going very well today…??What’s your favorite children’s book?

A post shared by Reese Witherspoon (@reesewitherspoon) on

Don’t Go Overboard on Bedding

You don’t need anchors and oars everywhere for a room to read as nautical. The blue-green comforter in Witherspoon’s space beckons images of the water, but a floral design keeps it feeling fresh. (Re-create the vibe with this palmetto fabric from Sister Parish.)

Display Art in Unconventional Places

Where is it written that frames have to hang on a wall? Witherspoon put what appears to be an old photograph right in the middle of the upper bookshelves. Textured walls made up of wood panels don’t have to be left bare either. For an old-world touch, nail a large painting in between the grooves. 

Frame Your Perspective

If you really want to take this arrangement a step further, build the porthole-like corners. (Designer Sarah Sherman Samuel showed us how to DIY a similar frame for a bunk bed with plywood and a nail gun.) The job requires some extra materials and tools, but you can’t put a price on story time. 

It’s hammer time: Follow @reno_notebook for easy rental updates, clever DIYs, and tips to nail your next project.