While they’re definitely from a bygone era, I suspect they’re here to stay because of the luxurious and genteel nature of a home library. It’s a symbol of sophistication and being learned.
In fact, arguably, the home library will enjoy a resurgence as we are beginning to yearn for breaks from our attachment to technology. The home library could be our respite from gadgets and screens.
Putting together this gallery
One struggle we had assembling our library gallery is distinguishing home libraries from some home offices, dens and reading rooms. In some cases, there is definitely crossover.
Our solution is to err on the side of inclusivity. Accordingly, you’ll find that some of our library design examples are also in our reading room and home office galleries (and vice versa).
With that, here’s our full gallery. Enjoy.
We suggest bookmarking this page because as new library room photos are added, this gallery will automatically update.
Library vs. Office vs. Reading Room
How do we distinguish these similar rooms?
While sometimes the crossover is too pronounced and so we include designs in multiple galleries, here’s how we distinguish these 3 rooms.
- Library: The focus of the room must be extensive shelving for storing books.
- Reading room: The focus of the room must be comfortable seating for one to four (or more) persons. The room also requires extensive shelving for books to distinguish a reading room from a living room.
- Home office: If the home office has extensive book shelving, we qualified it as a library (and an office). If there aren’t extensive shelving, it’s just a home office.
In a few instances, a room is all three in that the home office has extensive book storage and a reading area.
As you can see, home libraries are no longer the dark, wood-panelled, stuffy masculine rooms from the 19th century (although some contemporary libraries do replicate that style).
In fact, today’s most popular library style is filled with light and uses white throughout. White bookshelves is now an iconic look with the colorful books juxtaposing the white shelving. It’s a very effective design effect. I particularly like it.
Moreover, your home library can be crafted in any style you seek and so it can be designed to fit whatever interior design style your home is.
Home Library Design Elements & Ideas
Probably the best way to design a library is to hire a company or contractor with extensive experience building these rooms. They aren’t cheap due to the extensive cabinetry to create the shelving.
However, it does help to be somewhat familiar with library design elements. Below we set out some custom design features you can include.
All design elements below can be found at Closet Factory.
The best thing about angled shelves is the fact that not only it adds more to the room, you’re able to actually judge the book by its cover. Now, that might go against everything you’ve been told but some books like on home interior or on DIY’s you actually have to judge them by their cover.
In the 21st century, not everyone is going to model their home libraries exactly like the public libraries. Strip lights are an example of what you wouldn’t typically see in a normal library but hey, it’s your home make it as pretty as you want.
Even in the examples given above, it was clearly mentioned that a home library doesn’t necessarily restrict you reading books there. It can also be your workspace and if that’s the type of a room you made then you need wall safes to keep everything you can’t leave out in the open.
It is particularly useful for writers who save the first draft in a locker.
Rolling ladders are so useful you have no idea. You only really understand the importance of these ladders when you have to balance yourself on a stool everytime you want to get up and reach something on the top shelf.
If you have a table or a chair nearby then worry not about adjusting your chair to the light, adjust the light instead with minimal effort!