Possibly, like many people, when you hear the word library you think of an old city building, fluorescent lights, and row upon row of old worn wood or metal shelves brimming with books on subjects you didn’t know could fill a book. Maybe there are some wanderlust-filled childhood memories, checking out more books than you were allowed. Maybe there are some cringy thoughts of dull carpets, dated technology, and a complete lack of aesthetic value. Home library ideas might start to sound a little dull and uninspiring.
A home library might present some conflicting emotions. You want the value of books, especially in a world where technology is at your fingertips, it can be especially grounding to hold a book. Plus, a physical library is probably a good thing if you have a prepper mindset. But you want your home to retain its home qualities, right? Here are ten stylish home library ideas you can use to transform your home to include the magic of books without sacrificing your aesthetic.
Types of Shelves
First things first. Home library ideas are only as good as their foundation or in this case their bookshelf. It’s easy to get hung up on traditional bookshelves, because, let’s face it, they’re a little dated and don’t match every homeowner’s style. But this is where you get to have fun and brainstorm the home library ideas of your dreams and add some fun wall décor. Here are two tips to get you started.
- Built-ins/shelves—Not all bookshelves have to be a classic box shape with simple wooden shelves. Built-ins can take the form of a classic wood frame bolted to the wall or a highly stylish feature designed to match and blend with your wall. Done right, a built-in becomes an architectural feature where your home library can be an extension of your style. Other shelves can be more versatile and budget-friendly, like floating shelves. Floating shelves are a less permanent option, but give you the chance to play with depth and size a little more freely.
- Bookcases/furniture—There are still some bookcases that can work with your style. If you have the time and ability to search, a classic bookcase can become a statement piece in any room. But you don’t have to have a formally dedicated bookshelf to put books on. You can use any flat surface—the top of a piano, sofa tables, coffee tables, nightstands—to stack your books. (These less conventional shelving options also have the benefit of making for great conversation starters.) Home library ideas are endless, so get creative!
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Organizing Your Shelves
Once you have your home library ideas in place with a solid shelf foundation, it’s time to add the books. But you don’t want to just pile books everywhere. Remember those cringy city library vibes? Let’s avoid those and style your books in ways that lend value to your space. You can get fancy and add labels or other organizational tools to your books, but these five tips can get you started, and you can even mix and match to add layers to your styling.
- Genre—Organizing by genre is simple and makes for an easy way to find a specific book quickly. Keep all fiction, nonfiction, poetry, philosophy, kids’ books, etc. together in one space by genre.
- Color—While it may not help you find a title quickly, organizing books by color is a great way to maintain your style and add flair to your home library.
- Height—Tallest to shortest, or vice versa, adds a quick and punchy textural interest to add to your home library ideas.
- Author—This organizational method is primarily useful if you have a large collection by the same author, otherwise, the next method might be a bit more practical.
- Alphabetically—You can have a fancy system like a public library, or you can keep your home library ideas simple and practical with basic title alphabetizing.
Books as Décor
All of the above home library ideas are great ways to get started housing and organizing your books. Choosing the shelves and organization method that reflects your taste and aesthetic is what this is all about. To take it to the final level and keep your home library true to your style, here are three final tips to add to your list of home library ideas.
- Bookends—Décor that comes in many shapes, sizes, and styles. They can be vintage or modern. Metal or stone. Statuesque or whimsical. There is not a right or wrong choice here as long as it makes you happy. Have fun and cap those books with the bookend that feels best to you.
- Stacking—Let’s leave that rigid city library structure at the city library. The classic upright placement of books is space-efficient and makes for easy systematizing, but your home library ideas aren’t the dewy decimal system. Try stacking your books horizontally instead, or alternating, using the horizontal stacks as a type of bookend. This changes the entire texture of a shelf and makes for a great way to style tabletop books too.
- Trinkets—Unless you’re tight on space, try leaving a little room between sets and stacks of books for trinkets to add those final touches of texture and style. A potted plant, favorite picture, or other odds and ends figurines and trinkets break up the visual clutter that books can sometimes create and add that little extra touch of you.
These home library ideas can bring life to any space and add new layers of aesthetic and style to your home. Ultimately, there’s no wrong way to go about it, so have fun! Go thrifting for that perfect bookshelf, trinket, or new title to add to your library. Maybe build your shelves yourself from scratch or repurposed materials. Try a few different ways to organize your library.
If you’re reading this in the first place, it’s probably safe to say you understand the value of a home library. Now you can style the library of your dreams and show off your killer book collection as part of your home and décor with these home library ideas.
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