Books – sure, they make you smarter. But they make your living space look pretty too.
Once upon a time the word ‘library’ conjured up images of fusty, dusty rooms filled with weighty tomes. Well, not any more. In today’s fast-paced world of digital media, the slow-burn pleasure of real printed books is not only being rediscovered but the library is now an inspiring space in which to enjoy your latest read.
From dedicated rooms boasting bespoke book jackets and colour-coded spines that transform a humble bookcase into a work of art, here are some home library ideas to suit every taste and budget. (Unless you are Gwyneth Paltrow, of course, who has reportedly hired a curator to create her own dedicated library space).
Step up your reading
This is a clever space-saving alternative to a traditional home library: alternating tread stairs with open risers double as bookshelves that lead up to a mezzanine. This look squeezes a smart staircase into a shallow space, making it perfect for smaller homes. And regularly walking past the books means you’re more likely to grab one to read.
At Teatulia, a tea shop and library space in London’s Covent Garden, the Living Bookshelf is a monthly rotation of titles put together by musicians, artists and filmmakers, the first of which was curated by actress Tilda Swinton. For similar art deco-inspired floor tiles, try neishacrosland.com. For similar velvet lounge furniture, visit swooneditions.com.
Rework a classic
No room to display books? Paper your walls with literary classics instead for year-round inspiration. Featured here are the opening two pages of The Great Gatsby, £415 for a 2.96m x 1.4m panel, andrewmartin.co.uk. Other titles include Nicholas Nickleby and Pride and Prejudice, as part of its Scholar collection. If your walls are doing the talking, contrast the look with simple, contemporary furniture.
Books can add a sculptural element to a scheme – especially if you use ‘invisible’ storage to contain them, such as this floating shelf from containerstore.com, which creates a natural focal point and packs a punch. Stack larger books at the bottom, going smaller and lighter as you work upwards. Colour-code for a sophisticated note and change the look often.
Report: Emma J. Page