“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” – George RR Martin
Owning a home library conjures up feelings of excitement as well as promises of comfort, privacy and growth. Imagine walking in to find an almost forgotten world, where light, furnishings and scented books hold the collective key to diving into unique experiences of the mind. Whenever faced with someone’s home library, I avidly scan titles in search of that distinct feeling of comfort: aesthetic, sensory-based and promising. Classic library design holds the key to that specific feeling. As soon as you enter a classic home library, you bask in the ambiance of this promise of adventure, romance and transcendence. This dedicated space in your home is the fantastic realm of your imagination entangled with each author’s strain of though. When Groucho Marx said:“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book” he might have been thinking about a dream home library like the ones you’re about to see. And trust me, details will stick with you for a long time.
- Meeting the standards for a luxurious foray into the world of perspectives and artistic visions, the traditional home library is part of a remarkable home overlooking a golf course in Arizona where life unravels differently. Part of this differentiated lifestyle is the existence of a two-story traditional library with hidden reading nooks around the covered limestone fireplace. Reading in this home was definitely crowned as need.
- Fabulous home library decor can really make the difference between a boring sequence of shelves and a unique place to relax while comfortably enjoying imaginative ventures and adventures. The Ellison Bay Manor library showcases a classic design that calls to all readers and could easily be the perfect background for literary endeavors or a private book club. Travel enthusiasts and adventurers with a passion for reading would be extremely comfortable here, do you agree?
- Some prefer the freedom and openness of a garden library, others vibrate at the thought of a private library with a soothing light color effect. Bright and elegant, the sophisticated home library above connects the reader to a bright and warm environment to serve as a reality check. Inspired by this mix of vertical bookcase lines and square ceiling geometry you can create your own reading heaven within a dedicated room of the house.
- Bespoke shelving in a modern home can be seen alongside classic furniture in a successful effort of adding high-class and sophistication to this reading and writing space. A library ladder helps the reader reach high up while grounding the library design. Madrid-based multi-disciplinary designer Luis Bustamante guides his work towards creating a refined atmosphere reflecting his history as a sculptor and a painter.
- A custom round library design speaks about space possibilities entangled with an adventurous design spirit. You can’t talk about classic library design ideas without at least mentioning a rounded staircase. This is a two-story traditional library and den in stained ribbon mahogany in Newmark Custom Furniture and Interiors‘ portfolio – we can’t help but love it.
- Having just mentioned the rounded staircase in the library, it’s time to see how one of these beauties would fit in your idea of a perfect library design. The example above seems to have descended from a mysterious book – this classic library with wooden bookshelves and cabinetry hides its doors behind bookcases. Designed by Wiedemann Architects in Bethesda, this traditional library design proves that some clients appreciate the atmosphere and smell of library-kept books even though they might read e-books while in this blissful space.
- Open bookshelves holding incredible adventures, a classic library ladder to reach every book and a cozy chair with ottoman is all you need to prepare yourself for diving into a world waiting to be discovered page by page. And although you can take the modern road and hide clutter behind book spines with these creative storage bins, it will never feel as authentic as a classic library room.
- It’s easy to find the perfect library design when working with talented design professionals. The library above – by Doyle Coffin Architecture – features a corner fireplace that illuminates and creates a comfort zone around it, so that your readings can be accompanied by the crackling fire. Imagine writing love letters from that desk. After all, we might be the last generation that remembers a time when letters were the norm and romance traveled via scented papers.
- Linked to a desire to maintain the effortless feelings of elation sending shivers down the spine at the sight of an unopened letter, a library desk or table seems appropriate to any library layout. Book nooks and warm flames, fresh flowers and cozy armchairs – what else would you add to create your dream home library? Take inspiration from the luxury Jefferson Hotel in Washington, DC – their library is stunning – readers break free from immediate reality while anchored in a beautiful space.
- Books and family memorabilia go well together in a classic library room, reminding us how every memory is linked to an object. This is not unlike the way feelings attach themselves to fictional characters in books we read and remain with us as personal memories. This is the very private and customized contrast of this public library in an abandoned industrial landscape – what they have in common is the continuous desire to know more and understand different perspectives on the world.
- In a vertical library you would be tempted to add plenty of books, encouraged by the apparently extra space. But keep in mind that simplicity should rule in a kingdom already heavy with complexity. This residential library was imagined as a “shuttle” into any world you choose to enter via books on shelves. And since modern libraries start adopting a contemporary design, classic library design that moves you is becoming increasingly important.
- Libraries with a masculine vibe can be seen throughout history. This Victorian Gothic library design showcases how serious knowledge was taken back in the days as opposed to our experience of fun and exciting studying. With fully paneled walls and fire crackling under a large emblem, this space promises privacy until you choose to re-join the material world.
- Library design encapsulated in wood might seem claustrophobic for some, but others figure it’s the best setting to enjoy the fight between good and bad or an evening with a couple of friends discussing your latest read. See the Minnesota-based family-owned boutique building company Stonewood‘s portfolio for a deeper dive into their style.
- Library design including an office space is not only functional, but also a great help for those studying and working from home. Imagine lifting your eyes off the paper only to see such an inspiring interior design! Part of a hauntingly beautiful estate near Santa Barbara, this fantastic library will have adventurous readers and travel enthusiasts dream about it over and over again.
- A home library in a Mediterranean custom estate looks like the one above. Part of a peaceful retreat just above Mount Eden Estates in Saratoga and overlooking impeccable landscapes, this home also shelters a library where knowledge, art and family rise at the highest level. An imposing masculine desk, armchair and library ladder provides the bare necessities in a space dedicated to reading and writing.
- A sculptural classic library and office space can put a smile on my face any day. With a sculptural desk under a fascinating ceiling, this classy library by Taylor Craft Cabinet Door Company exudes a decadent elegance seen in the intimidating spaces inhabited by admirable people. Vintage furniture is on our list of 15 Fresh Furniture Trends to Watch For in 2014 – incorporating “something old” in modern home roots us to our history.
- Toning down the regal feeling given by a truly classic mansion library, this apartment-version library instigates to reading your way into royalty. Imagine lying on the chic day bed after grabbing a great autobiography. Flooded with natural light oriented at the book’s pages as you rest your head on the rounded pillow, the rooms seems bright and cheery. The multitude of seating possibilities is one of the 10 interior design lessons everyone should know.
- We’ve seen around the library before, but nothing like this impressive library/media room space shown above. Under a large, decorative wooden ceiling, a world of amusement and entertaining opens. Books on shelves, a spacious sofa escorted by a wood and glass coffee table and an envy-worthy media system, plus the office desk and armchair with a lampshade – this space has it all! That’s one way for avid readers and movie enthusiasts to make their home feel like a luxury resort!
- This light-flooded classic library and office example above is one I would definitely place on the masculine side of the scale. Warm wood radiates a feeling of belonging, light is filtered through the window frames, fresh air can be enjoyed beyond the large glazed doors while books provide the right knowledge to support the evolution of a healthy body. It seems masculine in its essence and if I was to guess, a men walk-in closet would link this office/library to the master bedroom. But that’s just my imagination.
- Bookcases that run all the way up to the ceiling on two opposing walls make for a roomy library. Grey was chosen to create a neutral tone, while yellow was used to bring energy and color. Alongside these 10 must-have items luxury home buyers want most, I would definitely add a home library for those who understand George R.R. Martin’s perspective on reading: “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”
- A custom library ensures not only uniqueness and functionality within a given space, but also the aesthetic pleasure that comes from hand-made details like the custom round rug Julie Dasher designed especially for this enchanting private space. This is the library at the ASID Showcase Home designed by Angela Parker and it will convince you to take the custom road to having a dream home library.
- Facing the fireplace, a cozy armchair invites you to take a seat and warm your legs with a book in your lap. This residential library appearing in a Connecticut home in Crisp Architects‘ portfolio hints towards the owner’s love for gardening, entertaining and relaxing in their country home. Everything that brings joy to the soul, knowledge to the mind and vivacity in the body is worth investing in. Within a naturally rural landscape, a country home library seems to be the crowning of relaxation.
- Imagined by Peter S. Balsam Interior Design Associates in warm walnut paneling, this English style library design marries new and antique furnishings in a warm synonym and inviting environment. With light creating the perfect reading atmosphere, the library seems to lack modern technology. But don’t be fooled, a TV projector and screen drop from ceiling when you need them.
- Custom library design starts with custom cabinetry and shelving. Imperial Design creates fine custom cabinetry for the entire home environment and the library example above is part of their portfolio. Showcasing a mix of deep, warm colors, this library provokes you to take a trip down memory lane while looking through your photo albums or share an adventure with fictional characters in a comfortable setting.
- Re-purposing spaces in your home might get you that fabulous library you kept dreaming about. See Pierre Paul Design‘s work on a home library that did not exist in the original footprint of the house. The designer imagined this cozy library in a space reserved for the home’s second story open foyer.
- This Far Hills home library and office boast a welcoming atmosphere, a symmetric library layout that cocoons you into a protective space while you sail adventurous imagination waters. Millwork & More created this delightful library showcasing mirroring bookcases, a distinctive area rug in the middle plus two different armchairs where you can have a cup of tea while reading your favorite novel once more.
- This wood-paneled library provokes the mind to take a darker road, one mustering with adventure under the carefully dissipated lights. Susan Fredman Design Group knew how to create a classic home library design that acts as a quiet retreat and employs the aesthetic power of textures and subtle tones.
- This is actually a clubhouse library and it holds inspiration for building your own home library inspired by classic design. Part of the Village at Tuscan Lakes, this elegant library beautifully displays a wooden-paneled comfort zone where socialization and reading entangle in an effortless good time. Do you belong to a book club?
- The Dome Penthouse at the legendary Plaza shelters a library you are rarely given the chance to see. This fabulous home overlooking Central Park and 5th Avenue was designed to bring together classic stylish elements in a very modern setting.
- There’s one last example of a home library in our list – a comfortable, simple, and serious library that bounces us from luxury library design back to cozy, welcoming reading/writing spaces within the home. This dedicated space can be seen in Ruth Mortensen‘s design portfolio – a library where there’s a place for everything and everything is in its place. Now that we’ve seen 30 classic home libraries bordering on fairytale, we would love to know that people inspired by Freshome read the coolest books. We’re curious what book would you choose to read in which of the libraries in this list? So share with us your dream library setting in the comments below.