28 Home Libraries To Bookmark For Inspiration


If you love being surrounded by books, chances are you’ve dreamed about creating the perfect home library. Whether your ideal room consists of a cozy reading chair or simply shelf after shelf of captivating novels, you’ll find plenty of inspiration in this round-up.


Living room with dark wood paneling

Photo: Costa Christ

Visible from the library, the custom front door is painted Sherwin-Williams Smoky Blue. Designer Tiffany McKinzie carried the exterior paint color, Benjamin Moore White Dove, into the entry and throughout most of the first floor. Visual Comfort lighting from Taylors hangs above.


An office with black leather chairs, a gray couch and rows of wood open shelving.

Photo: Werner Segarra

To create the feeling of what she calls “a gentlemen’s retreat” for the library, designer Anita Lang incorporated a textural wall covering by Phillip Jeffries, a plush sofa and leather chairs from The Collector’s House and a custom cocktail table.


Library with purple painted shelving

Photo: Trevor Tondro

Farrow & Ball’s Brinjal lacquers the library’s new built-in shelving, which is accented by metal grilles and sleek hardware. Battista reused the clients’ George Smith sofa, ottoman and armchairs. “This fabulous pattern works so well with the stripes on the club chairs,” designer Dana Battista says of the plush Stark carpet, which also came from the couple’s previous residence.


The library is painted gray.

Photo: Vivian Johnson

Designer Ashley Canty chose a Barbara Barry sofa, an Oly coffee table and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams swivel chairs for the library’s sitting area. The fireplace surround is a custom design made by Del Rio Stone. The chandelier was purchased from Flegels Design and the picture lights are from Circa Lighting. The rug is by Stark.


A glimpse into the library shows a brightly colored painting.

Photo: Christopher Stark

Viewed from the entrance hall that’s illuminated by a Curtis Jeré brass pendant, the Kehinde Wiley painting Portrait of Garry Dabonne sits like a jewel nestled among the library’s dark millwork. “We want to create a sense of walking through an art gallery, where you’re guided through by different pieces hanging in each space,” says designer Eche Martinez, who was tasked to revive the personality and historical charm of this 1926 Presidio Heights home.


library with wood walls and ceiling and tangerine armchairs

Photo: Eric Piasecki

The library’s tangerine armchairs, in a Jane Shelton textile, hold pillows in the same Lee Jofa linen that covers the sofa, decorated with pillows in a Scalamandré jacquard. A Mitchell Denburg Collection rug covers the floor. The hanging light, over a coffee table from John Rosselli & Associates, and lamps are Soane Britain. Wood & Hogan chairs face an antique desk.


contemporary library loft black shelving white sofa poufs

Photo: Haris Kenjar

Oregon Custom Cabinets supplied the built-ins for the cozy library loft. Light streams through the Kolbe windows making the clients’ existing sofa a perfect place to enjoy a good book. The poufs are from RH.


contemporary sitting area study room blue

Photo: Karyn Millet

Decorative artist Nicolas Pasquale Valle painted a ceiling mural of the cosmos–designed to inspire–for the children’s reading room, just off the library tower. The table and seating are from the client’s previous home. Overhead is a light from Mass Beverly.


A gray double-height home library with a fireplace and a large leather chair next to a light gray ottoman.

Photo: Michael Robinson

“The husband wanted a man’s library,” designer Andrea Goldman says. She used Kendall Charcoal by Benjamin Moore in the two-story room to create that desired vibe. A Lincoln Schatz photograph hangs above the fireplace.


A library with a brick fireplace.

Photo: Dustin Halleck

Nestled between the foyer and the front staircase, homeowner Natasha Trethewey father’s book collection shines in a designated memorial library. The antique 1890s bronze-and-crystal chandelier and Glendale candle sconces on the hearth harken to the home’s genesis.


Photo: Francesco Lagnese

Custom shades in Schumacher’s Lotus Garden and a striped rug from Stark inject a dash of verve into the library. The cerused oak desk from Jasper paired with a McGuire chair provides a dedicated work perch, while the Rose Tarlow sleeper sofa makes for flexible additional guest quarters.


Wood-paneled library with books, swivel armchairs and Chesterfield sofa

Photo: Brie Williams

The library “is perfect for sipping cocktails or lounging with a book,” says designer Barrie Benson, who paired Thom Filicia’s Nottingham sofa for Vanguard with a Hollywood Regency bench updated in the same Osborne & Little wool tartan used for the Roman shades. Swivel chairs from the designer’s collection for Highland House don Lee Jofa’s Flying Ducks linen, cueing to the owners’ outdoorsy interests.


Dark green library with velvet sofa

Photo: Annie Schlechter

“We wanted to do something different in the library,” says designer Brittany Bromley, where she coated the walls in Benjamin Moore’s Essex Green with a high-gloss lacquer overlay. To steer away from the traditional masculine pairing that often comes with dark green—plaids or dark browns—she incorporated a velvet Pindler sofa, an ottoman and pillows in a floral Penny Morrison fabric and swivel chairs in a Kathryn Ireland pattern.


contemporary library multi-colored books glass pieces

Photo: Brantley Photography

Architect Thomas Kligerman built cantilevered shelves throughout a transitional space to create a library, which now holds glass pieces commissioned from Long Island artist Michael Davis through Comerford in Bridgehampton, New York. The book chair is from the clients’ collection.


traditional library bookshelves fireplace

Photo: Joshua McHugh

For the library, designer Michael Aiduss made sure there were plenty of comfortable–and cozy–places to read and chose a muted palette inspired by the spines of the books on the shelves. The foulard pattern of the Marc Phillips rug was scaled to match the generous size of the room, and Stark shade fabric and Samuel & Sons trim accent the hanging fixture. Flanking the fireplace are slipper chairs in a Scalamandre fabric, while the hourglass-form side chairs have a Marvic Textiles windowpane check on the backs and a Pollack fabric on the seats.


industrial library neutral palette

Photo: Matthew Millman

In the library, a tilt of a book reveals a secret door leading to an office outfitted with an Alexander desk by Palecek and a Porter chair from Industry West.


contemporary study library brown hanging light

Photo: Nathan Kirkman

The whole family uses the library, where Kadlec refinished a table from the homeowners’ collection and added Lee Industries chairs from Jayson Home; draperies from Tres Joli Designs frame the windows and French doors. The rug is from Stark Carpet, and the Kevin Reilly hanging light is from Holly Hunt. Phoenix Day portrait lights from A. Rudin top the painted white-oak cabinets by Exclusive Woodworking.


pastel living room with built-in bookshelves

Photo: Tim Williams

“We wanted the loft-like living room to be a palette cleanser,” says designer Cheryl Setting Mosher, who alongside fellow designer Erin Fearins, chose Benjamin Moore’s Glass Slipper paint for the custom bookshelves. Anchoring the room is the clients’ own drum coffee table and a set of heirloom wood chairs recovered in a Pierre Frey floral fabric.


cypress-paneled library with antique blue velvet armchairs

Photo: Julia Lynn

The octagonal, cypress- paneled library—one of the home’s newer additions—also serves as the family’s “garden room” (windows overlook the garden and harbor beyond). The antique blue velvet armchairs are Italian and the club chairs are vintage.


green library with midcentury modern furniture

Photo: Chris Edwards

To counterbalance the blue in the dining room, designer Alexander Doherty selected a statement-making hue, Benjamin Moore’s Forest Hills Green, for the library. He sourced a daybed and lounge chair by the Danish designer Frits Henningsen to lend midcentury modern flair. Both circa 1940s creations are newly upholstered in Holland & Sherry fabrics.



master bathroom soaking tub with bookcases

Photo: Paige Rumore

In the main bathroom, all cabinetry and woodwork are enrobed in Benjamin Moore’s Newburg Green. Surrounded by built-in bookcases and completed with swing-arm brass sconces by Visual Comfort & Co., the soaking tub proffers the little luxury of having tomes at one’s fingertips. A vintage Turkish rug and antique chair emphasize the library-like feel.


Library view facing fireplace

Photo: Trevor Tondro

A custom Farrow & Ball hue defines the library’s paneling. In a room that could read traditional, designer Andrea Michaelson took it in a fresh direction with the addition of a coffee table made of a stone block from Stoneland USA and glass from Sky Glass Custom Mirror and Antique, an oversize pencil sculpture by Speziari Fabiano, a Karl Benjamin painting, and a Swedish-inspired carpet by Marc Phillips. The armchairs are the client’s existing pieces.


Library featuring a marble fireplace and walls lacquered in black paint by Fine Paints of Europe

Photo: Claudia Casbarian for Julie Soefer Photography

The library features a marble fireplace and walls in lacquered black paint by Fine Paints of Europe from Boxwood Interiors. Elsewhere are built-in shelves with custom brass detailing by Peck & Company, a Schumacher wallcovering on the ceiling and a Jonathan Adler chandelier. The abstract painting is by Alexis Portilla; the figurative work is by Michael Carson.


Photo: George Ross

Inspired by the designs of Jean-Michel Frank, the library of this New York apartment designed by Michael Aiduss features leather-clad walls, a sofa by Jonas, a solid bronze table with a suede cushion top from Cinabre Gallery Paris, and bronze-and-copper lamps from Lucca Antiques.


modern library blue walls and rug and sofa

Photo: Nick Johnson

The library features cast-plaster walls painted with Benjamin Moore’s Cumulus Cotton, while a Patrick Naggar sofa from Ralph Pucci in New York provides a cozy resting spot; the cast-bronze accent table is by Elizabeth Garouste. Behind the sofa is a Robert Polidori photograph from his Havana series, and hanging on the left wall is a Thomas Struth work.


modern brown library paneling sofa armchair

Photo: Aaron Leitz

Hidden openings in the library’s restored paneling contain a TV and closet-sized whiskey bar. The custom sofa, armchair and ottomans are George Smith; the brass trays are by Studio Romo and the ceiling light is by Soane Britain.


mid-century modern living room library neutral coffee table

Photo: Hector Sanchez

Located in the one-story section of the house, the cozy library has been outfitted with a mix of comfortable furnishings, including two linen-covered sofas from RH. The coffee table is a custom piece by designer Kevin Dumais with gray travertine and cerused oak, and the woven-wool rug is from Mark Nelson Designs; the dark wall paint is Benjamin Moore’s Kendall Charcoal.


Cool, modern finishes elevate the office space

Photo: Laura Moss

Adding shelving to the entry created the feel of “walking into a library,” says the designer. The custom table pairs with a Dennis & Leen wing chair and an Ashe Leandro rug. Above them is a Lindsey Adelman chandelier.