Though electronic books have become increasingly popular, there’s still no replacement for physical books and the home library. Just decades ago home libraries were commonplace and located either in the main living area or the office of houses. These days homeowners are able to come up with incredibly creative and stylish ways to house their book collections, and it’s possible to fit a home library anywhere.
Whether you’re working with a lot of square footage and can dedicate a separate room to your library, or you have just a corner or need to make your space dual purpose to fit in a reading nook, there are two essential elements that it should have: comfortable seating and adequate shelving. From there, you have a world of options at hand to create your perfect library space. Here are ten home libraries that are beautifully designed.
The warm tones used in this library’s design give it an inviting feel, and the beautiful furnishings and art bring an air of sophistication to the room. There’s plenty of seating for guests and lounging, and this setup would work well for anyone who regularly hosts a book club. Ample task lighting from an assortment of lamps makes reading more comfortable, and a round table in the center of the seating area provides a perch for tea or coffee.
There’s so much to admire about this library, which is classy and well-designed. It has tons of style but is just as practical as it is beautiful due to built in task lighting, plenty of seating, and a shelving system that keeps all of the books in this collection easy to access. The marble fireplace is one of the most stunning parts of the room, as is the matching bar sitting off to the side of the library.
Colorful and classic
Traditional libraries don’t have to feel stuffy or boring, and this one is full of interesting details and lovely color. A light shade of coral is used here, but you can easily choose a soft teal, green, or just about any other color that you prefer instead. Aside from color, pattern plays a big role in why this library is so appealing — though the fabrics are mixed, each complements the others and helps bring the design together.
A grand setting
This library isn’t very large, but it’s still opulent and impressive. By adding a chair and a round table to an alcove it was transformed into a gorgeous library with refined character. Torchlight sconces on the walls add a unique touch, while opting for a chair with vibrant upholstery keeps the design from feeling too uptight and formal. The architecture and wood in this area are so beautiful and ornate on their own that few decorative elements were needed.
Library and office combo
It’s common for home libraries to serve two or more purposes for the sake of saving space, and this one is both a library and an office. A plush window seat and comfy couch give room to lounge, and an office chair and desk in the center of the room is the ideal spot to tackle work and studying. Choosing white paint for the walls and bookshelves uplifts the design and makes it seem brighter and more spacious. The way the books are arranged is attractive as well, as some were purposely stacked horizontally to break up the space and provide visual interest.
Dual purpose space
Here’s another home library that’s used for two functions, but it reflects a different trend: incorporating a reading space into one’s dining area. If you have an extensive cookbook collection this is a perfect idea, but it also works well for any genre of books. The key is ensuring that your dining chairs are comfortable and practical enough to use for reading and eating. These bold red chairs fit the bill and look gorgeous combined with the style of the table and a modern chandelier with red accents.
Two story stunner
This library has a classic style and it’s huge, spanning two levels of a home — it’s easiest to achieve this look if you turn your living room into your library space. Even if you don’t have a two story home but like the style, take a cue from this design and incorporate furniture with rich leather and fine wood into your library. Go with timeless decor and traditional wooden bookshelves and you’ll hit the mark.
Beautiful basement library
The style of furniture and use of color give this library a fashion forward and contemporary look. The mustard yellow couch in the seating area easily stands out, especially because of how it contrasts with the slate color used on the bookshelves. A fireplace filled with candles and dimmed lighting make all the difference for the vibe of this library.
Cozy and intimate
If you’re really short on space but you want a dedicated reading area, this is the way to go. It’s another dining room and library combo, but it’s quite smaller and tucked into the corner of a room. Lack of space doesn’t make the design look any less fabulous, and the shade of powdery blue chosen for the seating, window treatments, and bookshelves looks wonderful. One key to making this area look bigger than it is was hanging the window treatments from the ceiling and making them fall all the way to the floor — this lengthens the room and complements the scale of the bookcase.
Carving out a niche
Many people don’t have gigantic homes or enough space to set aside an entire room for a home library. In that situation, the best thing to do is maximize the space you have and create a small reading area. This one is set in a corner of a living area, and a design like it would be ideal for renters or anyone with a modestly sized home. A plush chair, pillows, throw, and built-in shelving are all that’s needed to create an attractive and cozy library.