Are you a passionate fellow reader than can’t find a place to fit all of his books? Would you like your small, private reading getaway at home? How does a cozy home library sound?
Creating a home library design will ensure you a personal relaxing space, where you can dive deep in the ocean of literature you’ve collected for years.
In fact, designing a home library can provide you with a place to rest even when you’re not reading, and that’s already a solid reason to give that extra room at home a proper purpose.
A modern home can’t go without home library design ideas, or at least an office with home library bookcases. That means that you don’t have to live in a fancy mansion or to have a saloon for the purpose-you just need a beautiful, dedicated corner to place your home library furniture. Before you start, check the following tips:
Pick the location
Image source: Benvenuti and Stein
You need to pick the perfect location that provides enough space, and fits well with the rest of your décor. If it is a small corner, you can hang few shelves or put a single book cabinet with a chair designated for reading.
It could even be a corner in the living room, since it all depends on the space’s traffic, and the serenity you need to count on. Needless to say, if your home allows it, pick a spacious and beautiful room, and make it your library.
The universal rule is to pick a location next to a window, in order to benefit from natural light and a nice view to rest your eyes on. Think of some strong fixtures too, and avoid dark corners because they will certainly not inspire you to read or to relax.
Count the books that you have
Image source: Carpenter & Carpenter Ltd
For some of us, the library is supposed to be a peaceful haven with few decorative book sets. For others, however, it is the one stop storage for large collections. Therefore, you may need a simple cabinet, or multiple shelves to store all of your books.
Choose appropriate bookshelves
Image source: Pierre Paul Design
Passionate readers perceive books as precious belongings, and they will put a lot of energy and time into choosing equally valuable bookshelves.
However, beauty is not a priority-more attention should be paid to proper installation and maintenance, since you don’t want to damage neither the furniture nor the walls by putting too much weight on them.
Another recommendation is to keep things simple, since books are decorative enough, and they will look a bit overdone if displayed on a colorful, carved shelf.
As for colors, choose the one that suits your overall décor, or paint the bookshelves yourself. Another aspect you should think of is airiness, because you don’t want your books to suffer unpleasant humidity effects.
Use bright colors
Image source: Owings Brothers Contracting
Even if you already have a bookshelf or a cupboard you’re planning to use, consider repainting it with a bright color coat (either the inner or the outer part).
Another way to introduce brightness is to use bold assents, or to display pops of color in various locations. Bright colors ensure cute and charming contrasts, and they will make your reading experience dynamic and exiting.
Consider the color of the books, and arrange them accordingly
A very common mistake in home libraries is to arrange books/objects in different colors randomly. Such schemes can look nice, but only if you’re displaying the objects on neutral surfaces (a white bookshelf, for instance).
In the rest of the cases, you should order books by their colors, because this strategy will make the library look amazing and feel fresher.
Plan the furniture
Image source: Jodie Cooper Design
Your priority is a comfortable seating place. Depending on the space you have available, you can choose a nice rocking chair, few stools, or even a sofa, all of them compulsory enriched with a small table and an easily-reachable lamp.
Don’t forget curtains
Image source: Lizette Marie Interior Design
You will definitely enjoy the natural light coming from your window, but you still need to preserve a certain level of privacy. It would be good to ‘backup’ your collection while not reading, and a floor-length curtain is an excellent tool to achieve that. In case your library is located in a multi-purposed room, you can use the curtain to cover the books while not reading.
Libraries in home offices
Image source: The Berman Building Co.
Home offices are perfect for libraries, especially if your reading interests are connected with your job. It means you’d need constant access to your collections while working, instead of going to a completely different room to find them.
Obviously, not all offices allow you to do this (there is the desk, the computer, the printer, and large boxes of files to accommodate), but try to afford at least one corner for the most relevant books you have.
Get a ladder
In case you opted for classic shelves that extend to the ceiling (and especially if your ceiling is vaulted and high), you’ll have no other choice but to get a ladder.
Ladders are not simply practical: if incorporated properly, they can serve as a beautiful addition to your classic library.
Keep plants away from the shelves
The reason is that plants attract insects, and those could cause some serious damage to your book collections. Therefore, place them far from the outskirts of your nooks, and do a regular infestation inspection.
Make sure you’re also watering plants outdoors, so that they won’t cause any damage to your furniture.
Make lighting your priority
Image source: John Milner Architects, Inc.
Together with comfort, lighting fixtures are essential when designing a home library. Assuming that your library has a window, that would be enough during daytime, but in order to continue reading in the evenings, you’ll need sufficient artificial light.
We suggest classic overhead lighting, side table lamps, or accent lighting displayed on the wall. Light adjustments and dimmers are also great ideas, having in mind that the library will also be a place where you will snuggle up with a good movie and a cup of hot chocolate.
Consider wall-mount ledges
Image source: Classic Remodeling & Construction, Inc
Instead of choosing traditional wall-length bookcase units, add wall-mount ledges or storage cubes with shelves. Group them in accordance with their shapes and colors, and you will obtain an interesting and cohesive look.
Make the most of your vaulted ceiling
Image source: Gordon Gibson Construction
Living rooms with high ceilings offer a unique opportunity for you to place your home library in the top area of the space.
The solution is just breathtaking, and it doesn’t look crowded at all. The walls will still look high (sometimes even higher because of the catwalk), and the contemporary cable railings make them even more beautiful.
Bookshelves inside the window frames
Unless you have an admirable plant collection that cannot be placed elsewhere, use deep window boxes for unique bookshelves. An additional benefit to his original solution is that books are an arm’s length away from you when you feel like reading.
Get a desk
Image source: ek Reedy Interiors, Inc.
A desk in the home library is always a good idea, since you’ll use the room for studying or working as well. Depending on the space you have available, choose an interesting side-to-side desk, and benefit from its positive, brain-energizing capacity. Don’t forget that desks offer additional storage space, both on the surface, and beneath.
Homes with open floor plans can use their bookcases to divide the room, and store books at the same time. In such case, shorter books should be placed on the upper shelves, in order to diminish the effect of absolute visual barriers between the two spaces.
A library in the hallway
Image source: Whitten Architects
If you happen to have a wider-than-average hallway back home, transform it into a library. Hang bookshelves on both sides, or place an entire floor-to-ceiling bookcase for larger connections. You can even consider a small cabinet under the staircase.
Inspire youngsters to read
Image source: Silvergate Homes Ltd.
If you love books that much, there is a big chance your kids will share the same affection. However, technology is developing and kids are constantly busy on their devices, and you have to find a way to take them ‘back to basics’.
Work on it since they’re very young, and look for attractive ways to inspire them to read. For instance, you can use an entire wall to display interesting books, and hope that they will catch the eye of the child. If possible, expand the choice-kids need to discover their real reading passion.