Designers have long delighted in creating home libraries. In fact, legendary decorator Dorothy Draper even encouraged the idea among her bibliophile clientele. “Don’t hesitate to start a library, a collection of books on any subject that interests you is a joy to have!” remarked Draper. But today’s libraries serve as more than just a refuge for reading—they are spaces to gather with family and entertain guests. Ranging from studious to swank, home libraries can project a refined spirit or a joyful energy.
Whether you prefer books, magazines or reading on your favorite device, a home library provides “a different environment within the home,” explains designer Michael Aiduss. “It’s about shutting the rest of the world off, collecting your thoughts and feeling a sense of relaxation.” But designer Joe Lucas warns playfully: be ready to shop as it always takes more books to fill a library than one anticipates! Here, Luxe highlights some bookmark-worthy home library ideas.
“We turned this Charlotte, North Carolina, living room into a snug library, but it’s really like a family room. Wood built- ins and gold-flecked red wallpaper feel unexpected, while a hidden bar makes it a great place to have drinks with guests or simply enjoy the cozy atmosphere.” –BARRIE BENSON, BARRIE BENSON INTERIOR DESIGN
“Adding a little whimsy, like the velvet tête-à-tête in the middle of this Los Altos, California, library, makes the space feel fun, plus there’s a games table for the kids and a pair of wing chairs for the adults. It shifts the center of focus away from the kitchen to create a place where this family of readers can relax together.” –ANN LOWENGART, ANN LOWENGART INTERIORS
“It’s all about creating an enveloping ambiance with comfortable places to sit, beautiful lighting and good acoustics to quiet any noise. Books help to create an alluring atmosphere, but don’t forget to think about a ‘wow’ factor and scale, too—like the large antique globe we used in this Greenwich, Connecticut, library—as well as displaying collections that resonate with you.” –MICHAEL AIDUSS, MICHAEL AIDUSS INTERIORS + ARCHITECTURE
“Give your library a more modern vibe with a pretty paint color—try picking a shade from a book spine and add pull-out shelves to create an extra work surface. To enliven the stone fireplace in an Agoura Hills, California, library, we used a scratch-resistant semi-gloss paint.” –JOE LUCAS, LUCAS STUDIO, INC