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DIY Home Library Design & Organization Ideas

Are you a book lover dreaming of building a home library? It’s more attainable than you think! Whether you live in a small studio apartment or a multi-bedroom house, you can design the home library room you’ve always wanted without breaking your budget! Learn how to make your own library with these these DIY design and organization tips!

Find the Right Spot for Your Library

With any home library, location is key. Whether you have an entire spare bedroom you can convert into a library room or just a wall, the location of your home library should be the first thing you think about as you begin the design process. Ideally, you should choose a space with enough room to get cozy for long reading sessions. Here are a few excellent library room ideas!

Living Room

modern home library with floating shelves and comfortable seating photo by Instagram user @madedotcom

Photo via @madedotcom

Living rooms are one of the best places to set up a library at home. For one, you’ll already have comfortable seating available for reading, so you won’t have to buy couches or chairs. Adding bookshelves along the walls or installing built-in bookshelves is a good use of space regardless of how big or small your living room is. Think of it like a two-for-one deal—you get an in-home library and your living room looks well-designed!

Office, Study, or Den

A study, den, or office is an ideal space for a DIY library. Because the room is intended for studying, getting work done at home, or tackling creative projects, it’s a great spot for reading! Swap uncomfortable office chairs for a structured but soft armchair to add a cozier feel while keeping your new library room looking put together and professional.

Nook or Closet

small reading nook with cushion and pillows with books photo by Instagram user @nj.sterling

Photo via @nj.sterling

Have a cozy nook next to a window or under the stairs? Or maybe an unused closet somewhere in your home? Turn it into a small home library! It’s easy to build bench seating and bookcases into these spaces. Simple touches like pillows and shelf decor can help make these DIY home libraries extra comfortable.

Attic

Rather than storing a bunch of empty moving boxes and holiday decorations in your attic space, why not turn it into a library room? Just be sure your attic is finished so it has the proper bracing to support the weight of bookshelves and all of your books. You’d be surprised how heavy they are!

Hidden Room

Hidden library behind bookcase photo by Instagram user @belleandjune

Photo via @belleandjune

Having a hidden library is every book lover’s dream! Quiet and intimate, it’s the perfect place to escape and catch up on your reading. If you have a bonus room, walk-in closet, or nook in your home that you haven’t found use for, transform it into a hidden room for your own personal library. Close it in with a large piece of art, wall panel, or bookshelf on hinges that you can use as a hidden door to mask your secret space!

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Select a Style for Your Library Room

Once you’ve picked the right spot for your books, it’s time to think about home library design! Consider what designs you like, as well as what colors set the mood for reading. Here are some library design ideas to help you figure out which suits you!

Classic

classic home library style with lots of mahogany wood photo by Instagram user @okuryazar.tv

Photo via @okuryazar.tv

The traditional library design has a rich, elegant Victorian style. Use wood as the primary material in the room, along with leather or velvet furniture and large area rugs. Antique desks, globes, and grandfather clocks also work well with this home library style.

Fairytale

fairytale style home library with cello in the corner photo by Instagram user @decorativefair

Photo via @decorativefair

If you want to feel like a Disney princess, take your inspiration from fairytales. White, gold, and pink are the main colors of this library design idea, which helps you create a light and airy atmosphere that’s great for losing yourself in your favorite fiction novel. Don’t forget quirky decorations and comfy blankets!

Minimalist

A minimalist home library is the perfect option if you’re low on space. Not to mention, this low-key library style will allow you to stay focused on your books. With a minimalist library design, everything from your walls and furniture to your book collection itself will be stark and simple. Focus on keeping the room open and light.

Modern

Clean lines, industrial furniture, and efficient use of space are all components of a modern library design. Keep palettes to blacks, whites, grays, and other understated colors while designing. Also, try including art with bold shapes or typography to jazz up your new library room.

Rustic

Bring the outdoors inside with a rustic design for your home library. With neutral colors, repurposed wooden furniture, and houseplants, you can make your favorite reading spot feel like an outdoor escape.

Pick Out Library Furniture Essentials

No matter what style you’ve settled on for your library room design, there are a few pieces you’ll need to turn your space into the paradise you’ve always wanted. Check out these home library furniture ideas!

Shelving

When it comes to home library shelving, your options are limitless. Built-in shelving, standard bookcases, quirky wall shelves, repurposed furniture—no matter, you can buy or DIY for your personal library!

Ladders

home library with small ladder installed to get to higher shelves photo by Instagram user @jennykomenda

Photo via @jennykomenda

If the shelving you plan to use for your in-home library is tall, you might consider building or buying a ladder. This could be anything from a sliding ladder that goes all the way around the room to a simple wooden ladder you can prop up against your bookshelves.

Seating

There are a ton of seating options you can use in your home library. Armchairs, floor cushions, loveseats, sofas, chaise lounges, desks with chairs—whatever you have space for in your personal library, just be sure it’s something you could sit in comfortably for hours!

Lighting

unique lighting in home library photo by Instagram user @okuryazar.tv

Photo via @okuryazar.tv

Having good light is necessary for a home library. Even if you have a window where you get nice sunlight during the day, it’s worth it to have another light source in your library room for nighttime reading.

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Decorate & Organize Your Home Library

As you set up a library at home, it’s important to think about how organization plays a role in creating the perfect reading environment. To avoid distractions and feel comfortable, follow these useful decorating and organizing tips for your reading space!

How to Organize Books

well organized bookshelf in home library photo by Instagram user @bellevuegstaad

Photo via @bellevuegstaad

  • By Title: The simplest option for book organization is to arrange books by title alphabetically. This makes it easy for you to find a specific book quickly.
  • By Author: Arranging books by author last name is how most public libraries organize their collections. So if you’re used to this system, it may be your best option.
  • By Genre: Separating fiction and non-fiction books, as well as organizing by specific genres like mystery or romance, is ideal for anyone who searches for books depending on the mood they’re in. You can even organize books further by arranging by title or author within each individual genre section.
  • By Color: A popular option that incorporates both decorating and organization is arranging books by color. In fact, this technique is great for those who recall what a book looks like more than who wrote it or what genre it falls under.
  • By Size: Whether your bookshelves are oddly shaped and slanted, or you simply have a variety of shelf heights to work with, organizing your book collection by size makes fitting your books into these spaces easier.
  • By Surprise: No doubt you’ve seen this unique organization on Pinterest and Instagram. Though it technically isn’t an organizing system, turning your books backward (i.e., spines facing the back) makes selecting a book from your bookcase an exciting adventure. You never know what you’ll get!

How to Style Bookcases

styled home library bookcase with knick-knacks throughout photo by Instagram user @carolynmackin

Photo via @carolynmackin

  • Try Different Layouts: When styling your bookshelves, mix up your book arrangement. Position some vertically, some horizontally, and some at random angles. This adds visual flair.
  • Add Decorative Pieces: Whether it’s bookends, artwork, small plants, photos, or vintage knick-knacks, weave them in among your books to break up space and provide pops of color.
  • Focus on Layering: Especially if your book collection is small, you can create depth by layering items of different heights and adjusting where they’re positioned on the shelf.
  • Keep It Simple: Remember not to go overboard with your styling. Your bookcases shouldn’t look cluttered. More importantly, you should be able to grab books without difficulty.

How to Arrange Furniture

  • Comfort Is Key: Ensuring your home library is cozy is important. Always leave clear paths to your bookcases and seating, and have blankets and throw pillows close by in case you feel cold or need to adjust your position.
  • Be Mindful of Clutter: When it comes to library designs for small spaces, don’t add more furniture and decor than is necessary. If you’re the only person who plans to use this space, you don’t need multiple seating options. And if the point of the room is to focus on your reading, a cluttered space full of distracting trinkets won’t be good.
  • Sit Next to Light: Whether you have an overhead light fixture, a lamp, a fireplace, or natural lighting from a window, position your couch, chair, or cushions in the place that receives the best light.
  • Keep Tables Close: Having a small table within arm’s reach of your reading spot is ideal. This way, you have a place to set your book down, include additional lighting, or put a beverage.

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