Home Library Ideas Out of an Interior Designer’s Playbook | Skillshare Blog

When you walk into a well-designed space, you should feel something. In a light-filled kitchen, you might feel inspired to cook or make your favorite matcha latte. 

If you’re looking to design your own home library, you might want to create a space that makes you feel called to pick up a good book, get some work done or even enjoy a catnap. Above all, when you’re designing a new space like a home library, it should feel like it belongs in your home and is representative of who you are.

Use this guide to work step by step through different library ideas and how to add the exact feel you want to have in your space. Soon you’ll be identifying all the furniture, decor and lighting you’ll need to create a perfectly designed space

Big Ideas for a Small Home Library

Creating a space that feels lovely and represents your goals and interests is definitely possible with the realm of small home design. When looking through ideas for a small home library, it can feel easy to get boxed into a small space or feel like you can’t do everything you want. 

A black armchair sits next to a dark wooden shelving unit with three horizontal shelves to the left and one tall vertical shelf to the right. The shelves are completely full with a variety of different colored books.
Photo by Anoop Surendran on Unsplash
Home library decor doesn’t have to be complicated when you completely fill your shelves with books. 

First, you should first consider the exact way you want to use the space. Creating a space for function and flow will help it be both pretty and practical. If you’re just looking for a place to store your books, a built-in bookshelf and maybe a pendant light is all you’ll need to set the reading mood. For a reading nook, a few shelves on the wall and a single seat will do the job. 

Creating Your Dream Home Library on Any Budget

One of the biggest misconceptions about interior design is that it’s expensive and that you have to start from a completely blank slate. Budget-friendly interior design experts recommend working with the pieces you already have, as well as thrifted and found pieces. 

If you’re looking for some home library ideas on a budget, you can definitely still create a plan for a perfect room. Try sifting through the things you already have that may work well in a library. A little ceramic statue, a big lightbulb, or a potted succulent will work well to fill a small empty space among your books. 

If you’re searching for shelves or a bookcase within your budget, try looking on online used marketplaces like Craigslist or Facebook. Thrift shops and sidewalk corners can also be surprisingly fruitful for fun furniture finds. 

Inspiration for a Home Library Reading Room

On the other side of the spectrum of a small library is an entire reading room. For those lucky enough to devote an entire room to your home library, you have a lot of space to fill. This means more opportunity, but it also means you’ll need even more reading room ideas. 

A small white couch sits behind a towering wall lined with gray bookshelves. Every shelf is filled with books besides one that contains a small, vintage silver stereo. A lamp, two chairs and a wood burning stove are also visible.
Photo by Jelezniac Bianca on Unsplash
With a wall full of books, a few comfortable seats are all you need for a beautiful sitting room. 

The first step to designing a reading room is lots of books. A stereo, comfy couches and extra seating will always make a great addition. You can also add in some plants and a standing lamp to fill extra space and enhance the ambiance.  

Adding Furniture to Your Reading Space

When it comes to a home library, furniture can truly transform your room. A tufted cushion on a stool will work in a small area, but it won’t be the best for long hours spent reading. A big, feather stuffed couch will mean afternoons sprawled out with a pile of books in arm’s reach. A few separate arm chairs will encourage reading among the whole family. 

Home Library Light Up Ideas To Spark Inspiration 

Two white couches sit in front of a wall entirely covered in built in gray bookshelves. Four lamps are visible between and above the couches and someone stands behind the couches looking at the books.
Photo by Radu Marcusu on Unsplash
These four lamps will create a cozier lighting design than overhead lighting would. 

Lighting design can transform a room. A single pendant light from above can create harsh, unflattering shadows on everything below it. A few warm-bulbed lamps sprinkled around the room can produce a ball of cozy light that engulfs the room.

Here you can also focus on the exact shade of your light bulb. A bright LED strip will create a very white light, while a more vintage bulb will generate a yellowish shade. If you’re looking for warmth, a soft white light will work best. You can also try color changing bulbs to change the mood as you read. 

Put The You In DIY Home Library Ideas

Now that your mind is swirling with home library ideas, it’s time to learn to take those expertly informed ideas and infuse them into your DIY home library. Professional interior designers design each space with care and now you can too. 

Get Deep With Your Home Library Decor 

Four wooden shelves are attached to a white wall. Each is filled with a variety of books, picture frames and various knicknacks. Right in front of the shelves, a white table and chair and a white vase filled with tulips and a computer is visible.
Photo by Vladimir Mokry on Unsplash
Organizing your bookshelves by color can help make your books stand out from the rest of your space. 

When it comes to home library decor ideas, it can feel like there are endless possibilities. What you decide on will depend on how you want your library to function. If you love to enjoy your book with a warm cup of tea, a side table will be essential. If you’re someone who wants to get extra cozy, a basket of blankets will surely add to the space. 

Spend some time thinking of exactly how you want to enjoy your library and let that inspire which decor you want to add. 

The Best Home Library Shelving Ideas for You

The shelves you choose for your home library will play an important role in the feel of your space. A metal shelving unit will feel industrial and add a cooler feeling to your room. Built in shelving will help your space feel more like a library and help you fill your room from wall to wall with books.

Other home library shelving ideas include floating shelves, a tall bookcase, or a few cube storage units to create a library in a smaller space like beneath a window. You can also get creative and dive into some DIY shelf design

Find Yourself a Place to Sit in Your Library

A blue velvet chair sits in front of a glass and gold desk. Next to it is a small built-in bookshelf filled with books and two bookends.
Still from Skillshare Class Interior Design Basics: Simple Steps to Your Perfect Space by Lauren Cox
Your bookshelf doesn’t have to be the center of attention in your home library. 

You already know how a comfy couch and a few armchairs can be appealing for long hours of reading, but different home library seating ideas might work better depending on what you want for your space. A bookshelf with a desk and chair will be the best idea for a home office library design. A few beanbags are fun and inexpensive which make them great for creating a cozy reading nook for children. 

Ideas for How to Organize Your Home Library

Now that you have decor, lighting, seating and shelving ideas, it’s time to actually organize your home library. Start off by listing everything you’d like to add to your space and then see how it would fit into the room. If you’d like to have a general idea of your home library before making any final design decisions, take a picture and then add sketches of where you would like everything to be.

Finally, take some measurements and make sure your furniture and decor pieces will fit. With that, you’re ready to get creating your home library. 

Time to Stop Reading (But Just Until Your Home Library is Complete!)

Designing your own home library is a project that should end up being as unique as you. If you work off the inspiration you love and the specific ways you want to use your space, you’ll be sure to end up with a space you can enjoy for years to come. Flip through your final inspiration, write down everything you’d like to add and spend the next weekend making your changes. In just a few easy steps, you’ll have your very own home library.

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