Modern Home Libraries

Inspiration for Creating the Perfect Reading Nook

Whether you gravitate towards mystery and detective fiction, or are a lover of memoirs, books tend to be a very personal and nostalgic part of our lives. Yet, too often, books are relegated to unkempt piles or shoved into a teetering bookshelf just to make space for other things. But, why not embrace our favorite reading essentials and prioritize a home library instead? 

To help you pull together your dream library, we’ve compiled our top five tips for displaying those beloved titles. Because once you’ve embraced book style in your home, we’ve got a feeling you’ll want to spend every spare moment cracking open those spines.

Tip #1 - Don’t Shy Away from Color

While a monochromatic library can be stunning, books aren’t usually bound in the exact same neutral shades over and over again. To reflect your eclectic taste in genres, don’t be afraid to embrace a little color in your design. It doesn’t have to be floor-to-ceiling boldness, but even a touch here or there can help to make your home library feel inviting and filled with personality. We recommend choosing an anchoring color or two, then peppering it around the room to help things feel curated and cohesive. If there’s any room in the house to experiment with a splash of a unique shade, it’s definitely the library.


Tip #2 - Prioritize the Cozy Factor

A structured chair or two in your home library is great, but you also want to be sure to prioritize that cozy factor and incorporate plenty of areas for comfortable reading and lounging. After all, this is bound to be one of your favorite spaces in the house, so making sure it’s a place you can kick back and truly relax is essential.


Tip #3 - Let the Light In (Natural/Windows & Artificial)

Good lighting is a must have in a home library. For obvious reasons, you need light to read, but it can also make or break the room’s overall aesthetic. Try to set up reading nooks near windows for access to ample natural light, and if your space isn’t filled with those jaw-dropping floor-to-ceiling windows we all love, be sure to incorporate plenty of other light sources (e.g. uplighting on your bookshelves or floor lamps near seating areas) to make the room feel as intimate and well-lit as possible.


Tip #4 - Give New Life to Unused Spaces

Don’t forget that a home library doesn’t have to have a predetermined set of dimensions. In fact, if all you have is an unused space at the top of your stairs or a previously blank wall above an entryway, that can be the absolutely perfect library. Before lamenting that you don’t have an entire room for your books, consider areas in your home that are unused or oddly shaped – a custom built-in bookcase with a comfortable chair can be a total home run.

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Tip #5 - Organize for Maximum Visual Impact

Finally, one of the most important finishing touches for a home library is its organization. Sure, you can toss books any which way on a shelf, but there’s something so visually stunning about an organized bookshelf. Whether you prefer to organize by height, color, or outward vs. inward-facing spines, keeping a catalogued system that helps to accent the room’s vibe will give things a streamlined and purposeful look.


Creating a home library isn’t as impossible as it may seem, and you don’t have to have vaulted ceilings and a sliding ladder a la Beauty and the Beast either (though we do love a good library ladder!). Working within the confines of your space is key, and if you incorporate these tricks, there’s no reason you can’t display what you love and create the ultimate lounge getaway in the process.

By Megan Johansson