Even though we live in the age of technology, with our faces frequently in front of screens, there are still some among us who enjoy the feeling of holding a physical book in their hands. However, over time, the question becomes where to find space to put all these books. That all depends on how much space you are willing to dedicate to a library. Fortunately, beautifully designed home libraries can be large and formal or small and cozy. Again, the driving factor will be how much space is available.
Library shelves are the main feature in a library to keep your books well organized, thoughtfully displayed and easy to access. The first thing to do is take a walk through your home and assess how many books will be housed in the library so you can estimate how many shelves will be needed. While it may be a hard thing to do, this is the time to take a hard look at your collection and think about "thinning the herd." Ask yourself if the book is still useful or if you will read it again. If not, local libraries, schools, retirement homes, veterans' groups and social aid charities are places where you can donate books.
The next question to ask yourself is where you can set up your home library. Libraries can be set up in dedicated rooms or in a shared space within another room. A section of a living room, dining room, guest room, home office, den or child's room is a practical place to accommodate a library. A pair of bookcases flanking either side of a large window could work well.
There are many ways to organize books, but one way experts suggest is to group the books by color for an aesthetically pleasing look. Decorators suggest putting the darkest-colored books on the bottom and the lightest colors on the top; all the other colors go in between on the remaining shelves. Your rainbow-colored library is certain to be the focal point of any room.
Another way to organize your collection is by size. For example, large heavy art books should be stored on the bottom shelf while lighter smaller paperbacks should be on top. Paperbacks and hardcovers can also be sorted this way. Yet another way would be to arrange the groups by genre or alphabetically by title or author.
Feel free to decorate
Once books have been organized on the shelves, you can think about adding decorative touches. The rule of thumb is to fill each shelf only two-thirds of the way with books, leaving space to highlight interesting objects. Personal objects such as framed photos, shells, baskets, collectibles and travel treasures would work well here. Think about blending a variety of materials, such as metal, glass and wood, to keep it interesting. A book stand can be used to hold a favorite book. You can arrange the objects in between the books or stack the books to make a platform to create a visually appealing bookcase.
Another consideration is having plenty of natural light or lighting to brighten the room and to make reading easy for the eyes. Seating is also important. An upholstered window seat surrounded by lots of soft pillows offers natural light as well as storage. Position a comfortable lounge chair, preferably one with armrests, in a cozy spot in the room.
Don't forget to take a photo of your completed library. In case you move, you can re-create each bookshelf in your new home.
Home libraries are not just the domain of grand English manor houses. They are meant to be enjoyed by book lovers everywhere. Contact us when you are ready to find a home to enjoy reading in.