The Bibliophile's Secret Guide To Building A Smart (And Pretty) Library At Home!

A room without books is like a body without a soul -  Cicero.

If you are a book lover, there can be nothing more relaxing than a cozy home library.

A home library should not only have an aesthetic appeal, but should be functional and easily accessible as well. So here are some tips for building a smart and pretty library at home.

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A Few Tips for A Smart Home Library

1. Earmark a Dedicated Space:

Once you have decided to create your very own library the first step would be to choose a proper location to display your books proudly. Creating a dedicated space depends on how many areas you can allocate for books given the layout of the house.

While some may be lucky enough to dedicate an entire room, others can get creative and use even the smallest of spaces or share spaces inside an existing room to build a small library. If required a little nook can also be created from previously unused space.  So here are some ways to create space.

2. Access Storage Necessities  

Take stock of the books you own and that you plan to own. Stock-taking will help in deciding the type of storage and the kind of bookshelves needed.  

3. Mode of  Storage:

Once the storage needs and dedicated library space are assessed, one can design the mode of storing books like creating a floor to ceiling wall shelves or cabinets, open shelves and so on.

4. Choose a Wall:

If you are lucky enough to allocate enough space, then you can choose a big wall.  Vertical storage on walls provides ample space for furniture.

One can choose traditional floor to ceiling shelves or go in for innovative designs.

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5. Bookshelves:

If there are too many valuable books, then it is better to go in for a proper bookshelf. Try to keep the bookshelf simple and ensure that the bookshelves are made of Termite-proof material and allow adequate air circulation to avoid books getting brittle due to humidity.

Some Creative Shelving Ideas:

One can get creative by thinking out –of the box when it comes to storage.

  • Placing one or more bookshelves below the windows or in the corners is an ideal way to store books across several rooms.

  • For bedtime readers, it is better to have a storage space close to the bed. Built-in storage shelves underneath the bed or a small storage side table beside the bed will be an ideal storage option.

  • A bookshelf below the staircase will be a novel and smart way to save space. The space below each step can be a landing place for books. A bookshelf that runs across parallel to the stairs would also be a good idea as one can easily pick up any book while going up or down the stairs.

  • Another creative idea would be that of an unused attic that could serve as the perfect place for a cozy reading room.

  • In case your home has an open space design, a partial wall that divides the living and dining or hallway can be used to store books.

  • For those who have the habit of reading in bathrooms it is ideal to create a separate built-in space for a few books that can be rotated when done.

6. Ceiling Space

In case of shortage of space to accommodate bookshelves or wall shelves, then simply widen the attention by looking at the area above …..Yes, the ceiling!!!

Well, the ceiling can act as a beautiful (and secret) storage space. The ceiling is a practical way of using hitherto utilized area, and it will save a lot of space in the room. Having a ladder will help fetch books easily from the ceiling.

7. Movable Storage:

In some cases, books have to be moved frequently from one point to another. In such cases, one can use adjustable Pill Shelves. The advantage of these shelves is that they can be stacked or hanged together or placed individually at different places around the house in various shapes and combination patterns.

This is especially useful to take a few books for short reading, or if there are multiple readers at home and each wants some temporary space for their books.

8. Shelved Doors:

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Why not turn the back of doors into storage spaces for books.  Sounds interesting, isn't it? In this way, one can have multiple reading points in various rooms.

9. Utilizing Waste Space:

In the case of those living in studio apartments, where space is a premium, it is hard to find space to accommodate books as well as reading furniture. In such cases, if one is lucky enough to have a proper ceiling height, then such high walls can be utilized to store books, and this can be paired with a small hammock as seating space.

10. Rounded Architectural Lines

If your home has a rounded architectural wall, then this space can be transformed into a library.

11. Ensure proper Arrangement of Books:

In addition to creating an exciting storage and display one has to ensure functionality and versatility as well. While books are traditionally arranged by their Titles or Authors, here are some exciting ways of arranging books.

  • Arranging books by their colors will not only create a pleasing display but also be useful to pick up required books quickly. One can go a step further and arrange books in the colors of the rainbow.

  • The latest trend that is becoming popular across social media is the backward arrangement of books. This is done by stacking books backward with their spine – in, for achieving a monochrome look. This as most feel would not only please the eye but also seamlessly blend into the room and will not clash with the other room colors.

    However, this method has led to a heated debate across various bibliophiles as it becomes difficult to find a book whose titles are hidden inwards.

  • Other options would be to arrange books by segregating hardcovers and paperbacks, by genre, by subject or alphabetically.

  • Books can also be grouped based on unread books, favorite books, height and size, contemporary and classic, fiction and non-fiction and so on.

12. Choose The Right Furniture and Seating Space:

The second most crucial aspect next to books is comfortable seating. After all one should comfortably slip into the world of words. While it is advisable to have at least a small table and chair, it must be ensured that the furniture is comfortable and simple.

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13. Proper lighting:

A library near a window will allow penetration of natural light and inspire one to read more. It will also give a good view of the outdoors.

However artificial lighting is also essential for night reading and to avoid eyestrain. Floor lamps with adjustable heads can be fitted next to a comfortable reading chair.

In the case of space constraints, an adjustable wall lamp would suffice. Lights with a floor dimmer switch that can be operated by the foot will give uninterrupted reading fun. For bedside reading opt for flexible bedhead light or halogen swing lights that come with a dimmer switch.

14. Other Accessories:

  • Accessorizing the library is the final step. Beautiful rugs, vignettes, artwork, quirky flea market finds, etc. adds charm.

  • A ladder can give an exciting look to a library and is also useful to access the books stored in hard to reach spots or in ceiling.

  • One can use curtains or dividers to hide the books when not in use to prevent people from snooping with your favorite personal collections.

  • A mobile library cart is a useful addition to carry and store temporary books in various places like kitchen etc.

If you are looking to get your home done up by the experts, get in touch with Hipcouch today!

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