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Ask any avid reader or book collector and they will tell you: Their dream home includes a home library. For them, reading and literature are more than a hobby or a way to pass the time. It’s a part of their life. And what better way to celebrate their love of books than by building a shrine-like study? But besides hanging shelves along the wall, how does one create the perfect home library? From adding a few cozy stuffed chairs to playing with color schemes, here are eight creative home library design ideas to incorporate in your home.
1. Create Charm with Decorative Wood Details
When it comes to a home library, a bookshelf is an absolute necessity. However, don’t just go out and buy shelving from a furniture store. Instead, take time to design and construct a built-in shelving system that offers a more complete library. Built-ins also provide many advantages, like the ability to add decorative wood accents, such as ornately carved trim molding and appliques that can give your home library that refined old-world charm.
2. Add a Rolling Library Ladder
Does your home library feature tall bookcases with high shelves? Reach those higher nooks and crannies with a library ladder. While you can find several standing ladders available, give it that old-world charm with a rolling ladder that allows you to gently and effortlessly glide it from one end of the bookcase to the other.
3. Add Cozy and Inviting Seating
When you dedicate an entire room as a home library, you need a cozy place to curl up with a good book. Whether you choose Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired built-in nooks or deep, plush upholstered furniture, be sure to add a seat or two for yourself and other library patrons. Add classic armchairs for a traditional look or a chaise lounge for kicking up your feet and relaxing. Keep a throw blanket and other creature comforts for an all-day reading adventure. Also, spread out a few side tables or a large coffee table for a cup of warm tea or notebooks to gather thoughts on your latest read.
4. Include a Long Reading Table
Incorporate a long and spacious table, similar to a communal library table, for a traditional library flair. Whether you choose a sleek glass-top or a farmhouse style table, it can offer additional space to spread out or showcase items. Add some separation and decorate the center with your favorite photo books, a bouquet or a centerpiece. Or, keep it wide open, inviting you to complete a puzzle or keep an assortment of research material for writing the next great American novel.
5. Showcase Artwork and Cherished Collections
Showcase artwork, photographs and cherished collections to add a truly authentic look to your home library. Even if your bookcase covers every inch of wall space, you can hang artwork directly from the shelves and dividers, adding depth to the room as well. If you have spare shelves, display a few mementos or a collection of items from your worldly travels to break up the stacks of books and reams of reading materials. Allow your built-in shelves or bookcase to hold other items until you expand your book collection. As you consider different things to incorporate into your shelves, remember to keep your library organized, too. Instead of placing a sculpture smack in the middle of a favorite author’s compilation, use it as a bookend to designate the space.
6. Make It a Multipurpose Space
No matter how much you appreciate reading, the chances are that you don’t have an entire spare room to dedicate to your book collection solely. So, instead of wasting valuable space, why not turn your home library into a more flexible multipurpose room? For instance, you can add an antique leather-top writing desk to get double use out of your home library, making it into a home office space, too. Even if your extensive book collection becomes less of the focus, well-placed seating or tables can turn your home library into a relaxing respite or study.
7. Play with Color Schemes and Patterns
Another creative home library design idea is to simply play around with color schemes. While a well-chosen color palette is important in any space, you want your home library’s colors to offer inspiration and exude a particular style, whether it’s a cozy modern cafe or old-world charm.
For starters, use Pinterest or Instagram to get inspired by real libraries and indie bookstores. While dark wood tones come to mind, remember to be playful, too. Instead of sticking with neutrals, use a contrasting color scheme and a perfectly balanced mix of warm and cool colors. Choose something dramatic and energetic, like deep emerald greens and gold finishes, pairing it with vivid classic patterns like animal prints, plaids and stripes. While your library might be quiet, it certainly won’t be boring.
8. Hang Curtain Dividers or Sliding Doors
This creative idea works exceptionally well when your home library doubles as a multipurpose space. However, it can also simply give the room a more tidy and clean appearance overall. Instead of leaving your book collection front and center, conceal the shelving with a curtain rod, drapery hardware and long flowing curtains. Sliding doors provide similar benefits, treating the shelves as cabinets. But instead of a curtain that softens the space, they offer a supportive structure for hanging artwork or family photos. Both a curtain and a sliding door can also hide modern devices like a television or workspace with a monitor, only allowing that old-fashioned classic library look to remain.
Ready to officially unplug and start a new chapter in your home? Use these creative ideas to design the perfect home library. However you decide to design your library, be sure to make the most of it! With our lives being constantly bombarded by television and pinging handheld devices, a home library can offer a pleasant retreat.