24 Stunning Home Library Design Ideas

Home library designed with white shelves and books organized by colors next to houseplants

The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

It's true, we live in a time when things that appear on video screens get more attention than things that appear written on a page. Even so, there is still nothing better at the end of a long day, or the beginning of a long weekend, than to curl up with a good book. Grab an old favorite, hit the couch, and tune out for a few hours with a snack or your favorite drink.

Some of us take it a step further. Our books are more than a hobby or coffee table dressing, they're a passion, and like any other collection curated over years and years, the books in our homes deserve more than just storage. They should be displayed and celebrated in home libraries that are as beautiful as every other room. If you're looking to create a shrine to the written word for your own home here are some inspirational masterpieces that will get you going.

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    Black Shelving

    Library in a home office
    Bo Bedre

    Like any room in your home, much of the feeling and style of your library will be determined by the furniture you put in. If you want to add a dash of elegance to your book area, start with something simple like a few classic chairs

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    Built-In Seating

    Woman sitting in nook in home office
    Courtesy of Glam Shelf

    The most important part of enjoying your library isn't the books—it's the seating. Comfort is king when you're slipping away into the world of words, so if you've got the space, building a reading nook into your shelving is a natural choice and a great way to save space. Best of all, you'll have no trouble at all breezing through your reading list when all of your books are right there at your fingertips.

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    Artistic Touches

    Home library with art
    Courtesy of Loom Brand

    To give your home office or book area that real library feel will take more than stacks and rows of books. Give your space a little extra personality by adding some art to the mix. In this space, the artwork is hung directly on the bookshelf, making everything part of the same display.

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    Featuring Collections

    Home library with storage
    Courtesy of Camille Styles

    Storage is always an important part of keeping every room in your home looking its best. If your book collection isn't quite enough to take up every inch of shelf space that you have allocated, it's OK to donate space to other items you have that are in need of a permanent home.

    The key to keeping it all looking good is to keep clear divisions between the types of things that you have on your shelves. A stack of bowls in the middle of your collection of biographies is not going to give you a curated look. Keep things in separate areas and keep each area neat and tidy. Other good ideas include finding ways to link your bookshelves to the rest of the room via color as this room does with its use of red on the shelves and in the seating. Also, note the built-in nook for the love seat.

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    Traditional Design

    Home office with neutral color palette
    Courtesy of Yoyo

    A home office is a perfect spot for a home library. Even if every book on the shelf isn't dedicated to business, it's a wonderful place for a bit of peace while you're reading. Also, when break times eventually do come around, you won't have to go far to find a way to pass the time.

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    Blue and Brown Color Scheme

    Colorful home library in shades of blue and gray
    Courtesy of Home Decor Library

    Color is as important for designing an alluring library as it would be in any other space. While browns and blacks are wonderful colors to choose from, you're hardly limited to these when planning out your space. This space offers a beautiful look at what can happen with even a simple combination of blue and brown. The mix of ​warm and cool colors in this space strikes a perfect tone of balance.

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    Dramatic Green Walls

    Home library in green with leopard
    Jessica Gordon Ryan

    Libraries need to be quiet, not boring. Visually, you can have as much fun as you like. This space makes the most of its color palette with a bold, energizing green accented by fun seating in leopard prints. The combination of green and yellow is a classic, and the fun prints help to ensure that there's more to look at in this library than the books.

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  • 08 of 24

    Wrap Around Shelving

    Massive wrap around home library with seating area
    Courtesy of Fandom Central

    Even the largest book collections can be stylishly displayed with enough space and the right planning. For the book lover extraordinaire, this wrap-around bookshelf is a dream come true. When putting together storage for a very large number of books, white is a good choice of color to keep everything looking clean and modern.

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  • 09 of 24

    Gilded Details

    Home library with classic architecture
    Courtesy of Crush Cul De Sac

    A library can be an ideal complement to classic architectural moments in your home. A luxury feature of fine homes for centuries, it's a great way to make the most out of some of your home's most interesting areas.

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    Architectural Details

    Home library in room with classic architecture
    Courtesy of The Cool Hunger

    This is another intriguing example of how a library can take advantage of the architecture of a classically-constructed home.

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    Light Blue Bookshelves

    Wrap around home library
    Courtesy of Bookshelf Porn

    If purchasing bookshelves isn't giving you all of the space you need or if they just don't fit into the space that you have, consider building your own. Though slightly more labor-intensive, custom-made shelving offers a number of advantages to the industrious homeowner who is willing to either build them or commission their construction. The most important of these is the flexibility to adjust to small spaces or awkward angles. If you find yourself in a position where you can't build across, build up.

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    Pink Chaise Room

    Colorful home library with pink chaise lounge
    Courtesy of SF Girl By Bay

    Even though the emphasis in any library will always be on the books, you have more options when it comes to bringing color into the space than stacks of books arranged by color or painting the shelves. All of the pieces that you use to furnish and accessorize your space can add to the color story of the room. In this library, it's the pretty pink chaise lounge and colorful Moroccan boucherouite rug that give this room its colorful character.

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    Pops of Color

    Colorful home library
    Courtesy of Arkpad

    In this space, it's the vibrant red table that takes center stage, accentuated by yet another colorful rug. Decorate your home library with as much life and vibrancy in the furniture, rugs, and textiles as you would in any other room of your home and you're guaranteed to have a library space you're going to love.

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    Green Curtain Divider

    Home library with hideaway curtain
    Courtesy of DecorPad

    If you're big on books but low on space, one option is to keep the reading area separate by using a curtain. In this home, a simple green curtain is all it takes to create a hideaway library that can appear and disappear whenever it's needed.

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  • 15 of 24

    Floor to Ceiling Shelves

    Home library with floor to ceiling book shelves
    Courtesy of Decouvrir Design

    If your collection of books is sufficiently colorful, you can build your bookshelves from floor to ceiling, using your library as a kind of makeshift wallpaper.

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    Library With Artwork

    Home library with collection displays
    Courtesy of Buzzfeed

    Bookshelves don't have to be just for displaying racks of books. Collections of all sorts can find a place in your library. So take a few rows to set aside for showcasing other things that you love. It will make the best use of your storage and give your library some character as well.

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    Dramatic Shelves

    Home library with elegant furnishings
    Courtesy of Decofeelings

    One of the main reasons why classics remain classics is that they can fit into almost any situation, and when it comes to color palettes, there's nothing more classic than black and white. This full library space maintains a clean and modern look with a color story that is simplicity itself.

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    Pink and Blue Library

    Colorful home library in pink and blue
    Courtesy of Decorar Una Casa

    Of course if classic and conservative isn't your thing, there's always colorful and bold. The pink, gray, and blue color palette of this space is just the thing for a lively, energetic library where you can read and read and not fall asleep.

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    Two-Story Library

    Two story home library
    Courtesy of Dezeen

    This two-story book unit is a marvel of built-in architecture that any book-lover would adore. On the other hand, getting to some of the books on the highest levels might be a little tricky.

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    Diagonal Shelving

    Home library with diagonal book shelves
    Courtesy of Vantage

    Turn your book collection on its ear with beautiful shelves built on a diagonal. With just a slight turn, these bookshelves add a bold geometric pattern to the walls that brings instant interest to the room.

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    Library and Entertainment Center

    Home library and entertainment center
    Courtesy of Kvart Blog

    While to some purists mixing a television in amongst the books would be the height of sacrilege, for most of us it's just a fact of life. To address these logistics with a bit of style, mount your television inside your entertainment center to give it the look of framed wall art and the feel of being just one more piece in your collection.

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    Featuring Colorful Books

    Home library with colorful books
    Courtesy of Marcus Design

    Even if your books are not color-coordinated, it's still possible to create layers of color in your space. In this room, just one purple chair is all it takes to make every other purple moment—and even a few of the pink—burst off of the shelves. 

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    Bright Red Table

    Bright red table in a home library
    Courtesy of Nuevo Estilo

    Whether it's your book club or a business meeting, a long table in a home library or study is unlikely to go unused. In this space, a bright, lacquered red table provides plenty of space for a group study session or an epic all-nighter.

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    Pottery Collection

    Colorful home library with patterned rug
    Courtesy of The Urbanites

    Sometimes the best way to bring out what you have on your walls is through what you put on the floor. The bar pattern on this black and white rug echoes the pattern of the books on the shelves. At the same time, the neutral colors of the rug help taper down some of the brighter colors on the shelves. With a bit of art and a few eye-catching accessories thrown in, this is a colorful and stylish place to dive into a good book.