Eco Oasis: The Reading Corner

Ah, the reading chair.  Or reading nook.  Whatever you like to call it, this is one of my favorite spaces at home to relax, take a nap or, naturally, enjoy a good book.

The recent issue of home décor magazine Domino profiled a few such spaces and inspired me to share my own sustainable mini oasis.  Here are some ideas for creating your own eco reading place.

A comfy, plush chair and soft throw are key to making the space inviting.  Before splurging on a new armchair, go on Ebay.com or visit your local consignment shop.  I purchased my chair and matching ottoman for $40 at the Salvation Army!  And the blanket is a beautiful handmade and naturally-dyed afghan from my grandmother.  Make your own by visiting Ravelry for free patterns, or support an artisan in your community and visit a local yarn shop.  Ask if a hobby knitter would be willing to take on a custom project.  Be sure to select locally-sourced yarns made with natural and non-toxic dyes! 

Have some paper and pencils handy for when you’re hit by a bolt of inspiration.  I like to keep a recycled Ecojot notebook and branch pencils at the ready.  The playful writing utensils are made from the branches of sustainable Tamarind Trees, which are trimmed yearly and farmed for their fruit, and make for colorful notes.

During graduate school, I logged many hours studying in this chair.  To stay focused, I had a bottle of sandalwood essential oil nearby to smell or apply a few drops to my wrists (diluted in sweet almond oil) when I needed to concentrate.  When I’m looking to unwind, I replace the sandalwood with lavender or jasmine oils. 

No reading spot is complete without a mug for warm or refreshing beverages.  I frequently use my Healing Touch Pottery mug made in New Hampshire.  From the color to the company’s signature healing stone located on the thumb rest of the handle, this handmade mug is lovely and adds a nice ritualistic touch for whenever I retreat to my reading corner – which is looking pretty good right now…

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