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The Charm of a Home Library

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If you are a voracious reader with a book collection to prove it, then it’s time to create a retreat within your home where you can unplug from the daily grind, and decompress and relax among your favorite books. What better place to do this than in a home library?


Decorating a room with books never gets old. It provides warmth and character to the space instantly drawing you in. Relaxing among books somehow warms our souls as we surround ourselves with longtime friends and curious adventures.


Whether your home is spacious enough for a dedicated library, a mini library, or a transformed corner of a room, there are a few key elements to keep in mind:


  • Designate a quiet area within your home where traffic is at a minimum.
  • Take inventory of your collection and assess whether the newly designated wall space is able to house them all; if not pick those in the best condition and donate the rest.
  • Make sure that this space is able to tolerate floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and the excessive weight of the books it will hold.
  • Prevent the shelves from bowing by increasing their thickness to 1 1/2” thick.
  • Design the shelving to reflect the style and integrity of the home and have them fastened together and scribed to the wall for greater strength.
  • Select a material and finish that best showcases your collection. (Shelves painted a dark blue or black allows for the books to pop!)
  • Provide a functional floor plan/layout. Have the shelves easily accessible with ample seating to curl up in. A simple furniture arrangement such as a pair of oversized chairs, side tables, and lamps may be all you’ll need.
  • The proper lighting in your library will have a great impact over the space—and highlight your gorgeous collection. The combination of natural, general (overheads, preferably on dimmers), task (lamps with tri-light bulbs), and accent lighting (lighting shelves, plants, art, etc.) will provide you with the best overall result.


Home libraries can be implemented anywhere. So take a good look around your house and see if any of these locations work for you.


  • Nestle a mini library directly beneath the stairs creating a multifunctional living space.
  • Wrapping shelving around doorways and windows highlights the neighboring space and creates a focal point within the room.
  • Within the living room
  • An unused corner of a room
  • Loft or upper mezzanine landing
  • Bedroom
  • Family room
  • Home office
  • Dedicated library retreat (its own space)
  • Incorporating window seats and bookshelves into a hallway immediately transforms it into a highly functional and beautiful space.


So where is the best place for your library space?

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