A home library is the most elegant of throwbacks – a glamorous representation of a time when the cultured denizens of society lovingly piled shelves high with literature. The library was both a place for family to relax on leather couches and spavined chairs, and guests to convene for lively book discussions.
It is no wonder, then, that home libraries have seen a resurgence in recent years. Outfitted with every design element from cabinets to built-in wall units, the modern incarnation makes great use of technical advancements that transform imagination into reality.
Are you craving a home library of your own? This article explores intriguing décor elements including built-in wall units, shelves and cabinets to help achieve your design dreams.
If traditional is the route you prefer to go for your reading oasis, shelves soaring the entire height and length of the room make quite an impact. To further enhance this effect, expand shelving to above doors and windows. An antique ladder for access to top shelves completes the classic look.
And those who wish to branch out into more unconventional or space conserving designs have a wealth of options from which to choose.
Open box shelving offers plenty of flexibility with compartments in a variety of sizes to accommodate a mixed bag of books. These shelves work particularly well for a mini-library tucked away in a corridor, hallway or upstairs landing.
If you want to truly feel surrounded by your books, bookshelf doors may appeal to you. This shelving option offers the ability to enhance the appearance of a standard wall while adding storage space for books as well as other personal items like pictures and plants. Plus, you can build bookshelf doors in an existing space by staining and finishing them to match your other walls.
Shelving that flows with the shape of the room can transform a book collection into art. A skillful designer can mold book shelves so that they become part of the room’s design. For example, bookcases that curve in symphony with the walls of an oval room lend a subtle yet powerful grace note.
A distinctly modern home library infuses books into rooms of different categories entirely – for example, the dining room or kitchen. It may sound odd, but when executed well, it creates a memorable and fresh visual.
Elevate your dining room by installing shelves replete with books that encircle the table and provide a striking conversation piece. Think about the impact it will make when you casually place a book on the table to discuss during an intimate or boisterous dinner party.
Enhance the cozy feel of a kitchen by expanding the books you store in this central room beyond cookbooks. Regardless of the type of book, protect your tomes from heat or steam emitted by cooking by displaying them in cabinetry like wall cabinets that is either located a solid distance from the stove or designed with doors.
A child’s nursery feels even more welcoming when their beloved books are close at hand. The ultimate kid-friendly design marries function with whimsy. Turn eye-catching covers outward to spark curiosity, and add toys that coordinate well to the mix. In this scenario, you can choose between meticulous order – for example, grouping books from the same genre or author together in an artfully arranged basket – or simply grouping books according to size.
When incorporating a library of knowledge into a home study, cabinets and shelves each play an important role. Cabinets conceal private, sensitive paperwork while keeping it easily accessible to the appropriate people. And a smart design scheme ensures that cabinetry blends in seamlessly with the shelving that keeps books conveniently within reach of your workspace. The result? Improved productivity.
Certain home library design elements work beautifully when created while building a new home or adding living space to an existing residence. These specialized features are at their best when incorporated into new design, as opposed to being added after the fact.
With careful planning for anticipated book collection growth, building recessed shelving into one or more new walls is a classic choice that never goes out of style. And because recessed shelves exemplify the concept of custom-built, you can task your design team with virtually any style. Elements that can add a special touch include glass doors, marble bases and framed recessed shelf.
The main benefit of recessed shelving its ability to conserve space. By virtue of its design, it can be built deep into a wall. In fact, depending on the function it is mean to serve, certain shelving units can be lengthened as far as several feet inside of a wall. This allows for the placement of items on top of the shelves, without eating into space inside the boundaries of the walls.
What sounds more inviting than a book nook that wraps you in serenity while you drift away on the pages? Build a cushioned seat into a wall of books, leave plenty of space to lounge and finish it off with several cabinets for storage. Add warmth with soft lighting, throw pillows and an ultra-soft faux fur throw. You will have your very own instant retreat.
Another extra special feature is a “suspended” library, which consists of shelves that hang over the room. The shelving is often built into the ceiling and framed to offset any harsh lines. A circular shape is most common, but certainly not the sole option for this design element. Books are easily accessible via either a retractable or standard ladder. Imagine your guests’ faces when they enter the room and see your book collection soaring above them!
Regardless of how you choose to bring your home library vision to life, remember: with many different design options at your fingertips, you are limited only by the scope of your imagination.