This is a perfect combo of my two favorite ideas for that space under the stairs leading to the basement. A reading nook AND book storage and shelves . assuming that there is enough space for this there.
Candles in glass boxes - perfect combination of cozy and contemporary. Using flameless/electric candles for this would be a good idea to not have to worry about melting wax oozing into the bottom of the glass box and onto the other decorative objects