Modern home library

DIY Home Library Design & Organization Ideas

Are you a book lover who has dreamed of having a beautiful library of your very own? We’re here to tell you it’s more attainable than you think! Whether you live in a small studio apartment or a multi-bedroom house, you can get the reading space you’ve always wanted with just a little bit of planning. Check out these DIY library ideas!

  • Step 1: Find the Right Spot for Your Library
  • Step 2: Determine the Style of Your Library Room
  • Step 3: Add Library Furniture Essentials
  • Step 4: Decorate & Organize Your Home Library

Find the Right Spot for Your Library

With home libraries, it’s important to find the perfect place. You don’t need a space as big as the one in Beauty and the Beast—though that would be amazing. But there should be enough room for a cozy chair, bench, or sofa so that you can enjoy reading without feeling like you’re cramped. 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

Creating a home library in a living room is one of the best options. For one, you’ll already have comfortable seating available for reading, so you won’t have to buy couches or chairs. And adding bookshelves along the walls—or building them into the walls, if possible—utilizes space well in both large and small rooms.

Office, Study, or Den

home office library with large area rug on floor and rustic seating photo by Instagram user @undecorated_home
Photo via @undecorated_home

A study, den, or office is an ideal space for a DIY library because the room is already intended for studying, getting work done at home, or tackling creative projects. Simply incorporate bookshelves along the walls of the room to give it a studious feel that will inspire your reading!

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? Turn it into a tiny home library! It’s easy to build bench seating and bookcases into these spaces. Even a closet can be transformed into a cute reading spot!


attic library with floor seating and natural lighting photo by Instagram user @uk_interiors_collective
Photo via @uk_interiors_collective

Rather than storing a bunch of empty moving boxes and holiday decorations in your attic space, why not set up a trendy reading space? Just be sure your attic is finished so that 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!


Determine the Style of Your Library Room

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


classic home library style with lots of mahogany wood photo by Instagram user
Photo via

The traditional library design has a rich, elegant style. Wood is the primary element in the room accompanied by leather or velvet furniture and large area rugs. It’s the type of place where you’d expect to see your grandfather sitting down to smoke his tobacco pipe while reading a book.


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 home library with colorful books and white furniture photo by Instagram user @wonderlandonalice
Photo via @wonderlandonalice

A cluttered room can distract you from your reading. With a minimalist design, everything from your walls and furniture to your book collection itself will be stark and simple. Focus on keeping the library open and light.


modern home library with large ladder and tv in middle photo by Instagram user @cottagesgardens
Photo via @cottagesgardens

Clean lines, industrial furniture, and efficient use of space are all components of a modern library design. Keep palettes to blacks, whites, grays, and metallics while designing, and include art with bold typography to jazz up the room.


rustic style home library with wooden ladder and christmas tree photo by Instagram user @jenniferrizzodesigncompany
Photo via @jenniferrizzodesigncompany

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.

Add 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!


home library with lots of shelving and comfortable seating photo by Instagram user @margomargoshechca
Photo via @margomargoshechca

When it comes to shelving, your options are limitless. Built-in shelving, standard bookcases, quirky wall shelves, repurposed furniture—no matter, you can DIY or buy! Learn how to build a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf from The Family Handyman.


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. Get step-by-step tips for how to create a DIY rolling ladder from HGTV.


comfortable seating, purple lounger in large home library photo by Instagram user @dvmndsnmybkyard
Photo via @dvmndsnmybkyard

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! Try your hand at making your own reading nook bench with storage from Making Manzanita.


unique lighting in home library photo by Instagram user
Photo via

Having good lighting is necessary for a home library. Even if you have a window where you get natural light during the day, it’s worth it to have another light source for nighttime reading. Get crafty by making a DIY crystal chandelier from La La Lisette.


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

comfortable blue home library designed around a reading nook photo by Instagram user @buxtonelsternwickcaulfield
Photo via @buxtonelsternwickcaulfield
  • 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.

Looking for more ideas that can help you transform a spare room or flex space in your home into something unique? Check out one of these guides for how to make your own home gymdream closet, or ultimate game room!

DIY Home Library

DIY Home Library Design & Organization Ideas via @extraspace

One thought on “DIY Home Library Design & Organization Ideas

  1. Beautiful, except for the practice of turning books so that the titles don’t show. Doesn’t even look better.

Comments are closed.