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Two nooks for curling up with books.

To celebrate the pleasures of reading, architect James Cutter of Bainbridge Island, Washington, placed these cozy little reading nooks in two houses. Each is a comfortable, private spot where you can curl up with a good book yet still have a view through the house or out a window.

In the example at left, he placed a reading platform off the stair landing, with a wall cutout overlooking the living room below. Built-in bookshelves step down the stairwell walls. Bands of fir that are spaced 1/2 inch away from the gypsum board trim the seating platform, the rails surrounding the nook, and the bookshelves, tying in visually with the wood used for the stairs.

At right, he built a small, overstuffed reading couch into a wall of his own bedroom. Bookshelves and wiring for a gooseneck reading lamp were built in above the head of the couch. The shelves rest on 1-by-2 blocks mounted to the sides and back of the recess. An interior window at the corner, which can be shuttered for privacy and heat retention, open the alcove to views of the living room below and the woods beyond.
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Date:Jul 1, 1984
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