"A personal library is a reflection of who you are and who you want to be, of what you value and what you desire, of how much you know and how much more you'd like to know."
I don't think there's a better way to say what a personal library means than with the above quote. It encapsulates the very essence of a personal library, it is a reflection of who you are, your personality and life. I do believe every home should have a library of some sort, whether it's a collection of books, music, artwork or anything else.
As it's world book day, we'll talk about libraries with books. If you're lucky enough to have an entire room dedicated to books in your house, then that is amazing. If you don't then it's okay, you can create fabulous small home libraries in corners of your home. It does not matter what size your library is, if it's designed beautifully, it will have a lasting impact.
I put together 5 tips which will help you design a fabulous home library.
Know Your Space
It isn't just the question of putting up some shelves or assembling a bookcase. It is a design feature in itself. Consider the style of the room, the colours, the materials. You want your shelving space to flow freely within the room. Match your shelves with the furniture in the room, use the same material and colour. I know this seems obvious but if you are setting out to create a library of sorts, plan the design of the room around that. And also around the volume of books you plant to showcase.
If you're planning on using it a multipurpose storage space, with doors and drawers to store and showcases stuff aside from books, then you need to make sure your layout is balanced and you're not cluttering the room up.
Built In or Free Standing
Another important point to consider. Built in shelving is very permanent and also costly. If you're the kind of person who likes to change layouts every couple of years, free standing might be better for you. It will give you the freedom to freshen things up in your room, and if you grow tired of it then you can remove it easily.
Built in shelving is ideal for the room dedicated entirely to the library. It also works well if you have an awkwardly sized space with irregular angles which you need fit shelves into. Tall rooms will also benefit from built in shelving as a lot of freestanding bookcases are available in a standardised height.
Another alternative would be to have bespoke made to measure free standing book cases designed if you are not too keen on drilling holes into the walls. But this is something which requires a lot of thought and planning.
Source: Dering Hall
Get The Right Lighting
A reading lamp is must, especially for small library spaces. Floor lamps can be used as well to create a subtle lighting scheme. With built in book cases you have the option of integrating cabinet lights within the frame work. I'd advise you to consider that. Recessed ceiling lights near the shelving is another alternative.
For a quick fix, battery operated down lights or LED strips also would work. It's just important that the lighting is soft, subtle and warming.
Count Out Your Seats
If you're home library is a part of your living room, then you've already got the seating sorted out. If it's not in your living room, then you want comfortable seating, which allows you to relax. If more than one person is using the library then maybe consider a small sofa, an armchair or two. If children are using the library then small chairs, floor cushions or bean bags might be ideal. Don't clutter the space with seating but don't have too less as well.
Source: Apartment Therapy
Your collection of books will already add personality but to keep things interesting add a few accessories. Simple things like a small side table or a coffee table, a rug, and some cushions would work well. Plants thrive well in libraries and they add a sense of freshness to the space, Candles can used, as long as they are away from the books, don't need to start any fires,
Art and literature go hand in hand, so a few select pieces of art work will help amp up the atmosphere. Any items you've collected through travels and sentimental pieces such photo frames are also another way to make your library personal to you.
So here you have it, my 5 tips to a fabulous home library. Hope you enjoy creating and designing your library!