This can be a great place to get work done from home as well as a great place to relax.
To quote Marcus Tullius Cicero, a Roman philosopher, writer and speaker: “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” And yet, it’s so easy for self-proclaimed book-lovers to keep their reading materials perpetually scattered throughout their homes! Maybe you never got around to unpacking those last few boxes after your move, leaving a quarter of your book collection sitting in storage. Or maybe setting aside space for your beloved reading materials keeps making its way to the top of your to-do list, only to be back-burned until next season yet again.
Whatever your reasoning, your favorite literature deserves better, and so do you.
Creating a cozy home library enriches the design of your home as much as it augments your lifestyle. Not only can you reach for your favorite book and curl up on a rainy afternoon, but your home will benefit from the appeal that a composed library brings to the space. Whether you’re working your way through the classics or you just can’t get your hands on enough modern mystery novels, it’s high time you considered how to set up the library your home deserves.
Shelving with Personality
When it comes to home library shelving, you have options. Will your shelves run floor-to-ceiling, or will they end at hip height? Are you leaning toward classic finished wood or contemporary minimalism? Will you wall-mount your shelves or set up a freestanding piece of furniture? All you need is a wall or two and you’re ready to start. You can even turn a spare walk-in closet with existing shelves into a crafty library cove, as Real Simple demonstrates.
After you’ve set up your shelving, the true fun begins. Whether you’re J.D. Salinger’s number one fan or you have every Nicholas Sparks book ever printed, now it’s time to populate your shelves with familiar titles. Some people choose to arrange their titles alphabetically; others prefer to group books by color, author, subject matter, or size.
At the end of the day, it’s your home library. You’re the librarian and the patron. Don’t be afraid to show off your personality through the design and the contents of your new bookshelves.
No personal library is complete without seating that’s comfortable enough to facilitate hours of reading, but not so unstructured that you immediately want to nap as soon as you settle in. You can’t go wrong with a bold leather armchair to complete your reading nook! If you’re short on space and simply can’t fit an imposing chair or loveseat, consider placing an unobtrusive modern chair near the edge of your bookcase instead. Or, go funky and playful with a beanbag or papasan chair. Top off your chosen seating scheme with at least one blanket and pillow for cozier evenings.
You don’t want to pour your heart and soul into designing the perfect library only to strain your eyes trying to make out printed words in the dark. During the day, natural daylight may be sufficient. But for reading or studying afterhours, you’ll need focused lighting that illuminates every page. Placing a modern floor lamp next to your designated reading chair will provide much-needed task lighting, especially a fixture with an adjustable overhang that lets you control the intensity and direction of the light.
Play with Location
If turning an entire room into a library seems like a pipe dream at this point, don’t worry. With a little creativity, you can incorporate all the charm of a home library into a tight space with ease. Apartment Therapy recommends tucking bookcases into your existing living room directly behind the sofa. Sure, the bottom-most shelves are harder to access, but it creates a pretty and functional backdrop that ramps up storage in a room you already have established.
If you’re working with a limited floorplan, consider any room fair game for adding a library. You can incorporate everything you need to create a humble home library in your bedroom, home office, or even a transitional space.
Your personal library will likely never reflect the grandeur of the Library of Congress, and that’s perfectly fine. Work with what you have, and don’t feel like you must stick to an ultra-traditional design scheme to create a library worthy of respect. Your modern library is in business as soon as you have a place to sit, the right light fixture and a place to store your books.
Written by Natalie Bracco for Working Mother and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.