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Design For A Home Library


Love books? offers some tips to build a haven for your favourite reads

For many, a library should be a happy and restful place. According to interior designers, library refurbishments and renovations are gaining traction in modern homes. While libraries have long been an element of the housing realm, they are often limited to the more grandiose developments. Currently, however there has been a massive increase in the in-home library redevelopments. Acting as an extension of the traditional study spaces, in-home libraries are as much about form as they are about function.

Talking about the importance of a good library a home library needs to be comfortable and functional. While dark colours and woods were preferred earlier, modern libraries are light, airy spaces that appeal to children and grown-ups alike.

Space aesthetics 

Depending on how much space you have, choose a room or an area. The number of books you have and the storage needs will determine the kind of space you need. While even one wall could function as your home library, dedicating an entire room creates a wonderful space, where the family can spend some quiet time. Ensure that the room is large and makes allowances for future additions so that your collection can grow. Your library could also double up as a home office, or else, make it multi-functional as a lounge or a guest room with a pull-out bed. Accessorise the space with rugs, lamps, artwork, etc.

A personal library can be a great addition to the home for people who love books. A home library can not only be functional but also impressive design-wise. A library doesn’t have to be big to impress but in terms of design and style as well as decor, if it’s a separate room, a library can significantly to the overall design.

Smart design

Depending on the features of each home, a library can be extended horizontally or vertically. Sometimes, creating a home library can be as simple as arranging a few bookcases. Two stand-alone bookcases can be pushed together, to fill a bit of unused wall space. You can also paint the bookcases to match your decor. However, many don’t have much space to design a separate room as a library. As apartment sizes are getting smaller, owning a personal library is becoming a luxury

These days, due to a lack of space, designers are thinking of unique ideas to create ‘smart spaces’ and improve storage.Instead of a traditional headboard, a bookshelf enables storage while creating a style statement. Built-in lamps provide ample reading light and baskets placed on lower shelves offer storage for items such as bookmarks and reading glasses. In an open living area, use a bookcase as a room divider and to arrange books. Placing shorter books on the top shelves creates less visual barrier between the spaces.

Bookcase options

Freestanding bookcases are available in a variety of sizes, patterns and prices. If you want to invest in your library, recessed or built-in bookcases offer immense storage possibilities. Hanging wall shelves and bookcases built under staircases are other alternatives. If short on space, an option is to run your shelves up to the ceiling.

Weight and load

Since shelves are the backbone that keeps your books up, ensure that they are hung with proper anchors, supports and brackets. It is best to hire a professional carpenter to figure out weight and point loads. Choose from materials such as wood, blockboard, plywood, metal or glass. The deciding factor is the weight limit but wood and glass work best. Often, the shelves tend to sag under the weight of books. A rule of thumb: a shelf that is about 36 inches long should be at least an inch thick. If it’s longer, go for a thicker shelf. Overhangs, at each end beyond brackets, should not be more than 20 per cent of the distance between the support brackets.

Colour code

An important aspect is the colour used in your library. Choose colours that allow you to relax. You can even use your favourite colour for the library or you can use browns and greens, as in earlier times.


Lighting is crucial in a library. While natural light may be ample during the day, but by night, you may need overhead and accent lights along with table lamps. Poor lighting while reading can lead to eyestrain, cause headaches and fatigue. Position your reading lamp over the shoulder, so that the light does not hit the eyes.

Design your library with large windows to afford a view of the outdoors and allow natural light to come in. You wouldn’t want a library that is dark and boxed in. However, strong natural light can lead to bleaching, fading and deterioration of books. If your books are stacked near the windows, put thick paper on the panes and draw the blinds to keep harsh light out.

Book care

Caring for your books is really important as insects can damage your lifelong collection in a matter of weeks. Silverfish, cockroaches, bookworms and book lice thrive on book paste, glue and even eat away paper. Rodents also attack books. In case of an infestation, isolate the affected area and call in professionals. Control moisture and dust in the library to discourage the growth of fungus, mould and mildew.

Space for recreation

Home libraries are not only for those people who love books because you can actually turn that space into an area for board games. Kindles, iPads, and e-readers are all fine but at the drop of a hat, the information on them can be wiped away. Books, unless you burn them, are a permanent asset.


Category : Flatons Advisors Blog



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