As the ancient Greek philosopher Plato once quoted, “A house that has a library in it has a soul”, and we couldn't agree more. There is something very special about books, and print in general, as we move ever closer to a paperless world. Will this then mean our homes will be soulless? As iPad and Kindle sales continue to grow, will a library simply be a place to sit an read an eBook? As many switch to reading digitally, there will always be those of us who enjoy the feeling of holding a real book in our hands, turning the pages as we go, and the relaxing feeling that comes with it. Books in your home should not be stored away out of sight, but rather made a feature of. Whether you live in a home that is afforded the space for a whole room dedicated to books, or just a simple nook somewhere quiet in your home, every home should have a space devoted to reading.
What better way to relax than spending a peaceful spring morning in the sun, with a captivating book to hand? This reading corner is part of a refurbished barn in the Cotswolds, that turned a previously derelict 300 year old building into a stunning and modern family home. Complete with a timeless Eames chair for comfort, this cosy corner is perfect for relaxation or work.
This home has been dubbed “the book tower house”, and it's not hard to see why. The refurbishment project is centred around a double-height library at the core of the house. Both levels of the home are joined by the stunning oak staircase we can see here, which is also wrapped in bookshelves housing the home owners diverse book collection. The second floor is where you will find a built-in desk and study area, with views over the ground floor. While many say the kitchen is the soul of the home, it is hard to deny the righteous soul of this London home, making the library the focal point of the entire house. No Kindles here.
Want to make a real feature out of your books, and allow your bookshelves to become instantly noticeable? Colour coding is a simple and visually impressive way to display your books, and will ensure visitors will instantly notice your once inconspicuous collection of books.
Classic libraries of bygone eras were not complete with the essential addition of a rolling library ladder. Originating during the Victorian era of the 1800s, rolling library ladders were reserved for the extremely wealthy and powerful, used to to reach the upper shelves of their libraries. Today, a rolling ladder can add character and charm to a home as much as serving a functional purpose, as shown here in this home in Wimbledon.
The key to keeping a home library organised and eye-catching is in the shelving. By simply placing shelves at varying heights, the books become more noticeable, and easy to categorise when the time comes to find that particular novel. Dark timber has always been a staple in libraries, so to keep it classic choose dark stains in mahogany or other hardwoods.
This modern home library in a home in Wandsworth, London, has a cosy home office designed around a small library of same-size pigeon holes with books again arranged in a colour-coded system, giving it a uniform and balanced look.