After some decades in the wilderness, reading books has recently seen something of a resurgence. Libraries are fashionable again and can be a wonderful space to spend time improving the mind or simply relaxing. Let your library be your own little sanctuary, your own personal sinecure within your home. Here are some handy tips on how to furnish your home library.
1. Dedicated Room or Converted Space?
If you have a dedicated room to call a library, there is a lot you can do with it, but not many of us would have the luxury of an extra room to make into a library. In the latter case, consider carving out a portion of the living room with the help of shelves or partitions. You can also make use of the space beneath the stairs, store room, attic or loft to create a library space.
The main furniture in a library would of course be bookcases. Consider whether you want a wall unit that includes racks to store books only or whether you want to display photos, family memorabilia and other décor items too. If you decide to have floor to ceiling shelves, make sure you also get yourself a step ladder to access those high up books. Also consider cabinets or enclosed shelves to protect your books from dust and damage (and to save yourself a bunch of backbreaking cleaning).
A good library should also have a good writing desk. In the modern context, a work station with a desk top, full connectivity, printer and scanner etc. will make more sense. So an ergonomic desk and chair would be a good value addition to any library space.
Do you enjoy curling up in a glider or rocking chair with a book? Or do you perhaps enjoy sitting on a window seat enjoying the view as well as your book? Whatever your preferences, good seating is very important for the home library.
Good lighting is as important as good seating to maintain comfort levels in your home library. Use track lighting, to light up entire book shelves for easy browsing. Use focus lighting or area lamps near seating spaces to encourage comfortable reading.
Ideally the décor in the library should be muted and elegant rather than bright and in your face. Books and bookshelves are great décor in themselves – in addition you can have prints or large monochrome photo frames on the wall. Family memorabilia and interesting lamps can be other décor additions to your library space.