Stacey Solomon’s guide to creating the ultimate book nook

The bestselling author has amassed a loyal following of millions for her ingenious home hacks. We set her the ultimate challenge: how to make a beautiful place to read.

Photographs of Stacey Solomon with the cover of her book
Tidying expert Stacey Solomon. Image: Alicia Fernandes/Penguin

Stacey Solomon’s bestselling book, Tap to Tidy, takes the broadcaster’s belief that tidying can be a way to find calm in a messy world and breaks it into bite-size chunks for even the least organised person to make change and find comfort in organising and crafting.

Tap to Tidy offers readers a personal guide through the course of a normal day in Solomon’s life, with tips on everything from organising the dreaded wire drawer to making fun snacks and gardening.

At Penguin.co.uk, we’re always keen to hear about a new way to organise our books. So we set Solomon that most literary of challenges: how to create a beautiful, calming book nook. Here are her tips.

Embrace the mess

While there is nothing more satisfying than transforming a space and making it feel cosy and relaxing, the reality is that life is messy. Whether it’s the kids or guests (when possible), nothing stays perfect for long. It’s a constant effort and it doesn’t make you any less of a person if your space isn’t absolutely perfect all of the time. Embrace the mess!

Go one step at a time

I always start with one space first otherwise it can feel overwhelming. Whether that’s a drawer, a shelf, a cupboard - just take it one step at a time. I’d start with a bookshelf first, so you know how much space you have, then find a system that works for you. Whether that’s books on one shelf, papers arranged into files or boxes on another - there’s no rules for this, just whatever will make your life easier and makes you feel good. 

Lean into shelves

Shelves are a great way to save space and a lovely way to display books. I like putting wicker baskets on some of my shelves, especially for papers as they can be hard to organise in a beautiful way and also if they’re something you need to reference regularly then it’s much easier to grab them from a box. 

Colour-coordinate what you like, and hide what you don’t!

I love colour co-ordinating my books! It makes me so happy. I also have some plinth drawers, which you can put under cabinets for extra storage. They’re great to store away anything, but if you’ve got some old books that you don’t want to get rid of but don’t have room to display then that could be an easy way to store them. 

Bring the outdoors in

I love a fejka! Also known as a fake plant. I love having a selection on my shelves and throughout the house, best thing is that they’ll never die! I also love pampas grass, I made a vase out of an old fabric conditioner bottle and filled it with pampas grass so that’s one of my favourite crafts to look at and brings me happiness. 

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