With winter on its way, there’s nothing better than curling up with a good book, so we’ve come up with our favourite home library ideas for both bookworms and design lovers alike, plus some handy tips on how to store your collection.
Inevitably a project called the ‘Writer’s Shed’ was going to have to accommodate plenty of books. This cosy cabin was created by Weston Surman & Deane Architecture – on the gable wall, a bookcase meanders around the wood-burning stove, providing a centrepiece for the author to store his treasured library.
This genius Bibliochaise design from Italian brand Nobody&Co means you don’t even have to get up off your seat to grab your favourite tome and settle in for the afternoon. It’s a smart idea if you’re tight on space.
If you’ve got space, a double-height bookshelf is an eye-catching way to fill the vacant void. This house in London has won awards for its clever renovation by firm Stiff & Trevillion, including the floor-to-ceiling bookcase feature wall.
Adding shelving behind your headboard is a clever idea if you love to stay up all night with your favourite page-turner, or lounge around on a Sunday morning with the papers. Ikea handily has a ready-made design – the Brimnes model is an affordable £255 for the bedframe and storage headboard.
Making the most of otherwise wasted space is a smart idea, like in this family home by Zminkowska de Boise Architects. Shelves have been cleverly incorporated into the stair risers, while the steps have becomes a central place for family members to sit, read, chat and play.
Create a cosy reading retreat away from the chaos with an incorporated bookshelf into a recessed wall. The dark painted wall in this design by Thomas Kroger Architects creates a calm cocooning affect.
This wooden feature bookcase by La Shed Architects also acts as a dividing screen that lets in light while shielding the staircase. It also adds texture to the space, breaking up the solid block of red behind it.
This is a simple update that can be done on a weekend afternoon – create a vertical ladder of floating shelves to pile up your books. These cost just £8 a pop from B&Q.
Take a leaf out of the book of old-world country houses and install a secret bookcase door that blends in with the wall panels. This design was created by Peter Pennoyer Architects for a house in Maine.
Essential design tips
Now you’ve got the inspiration for your perfect bookcase design, take on board Heal’s furniture designer Matt Elton’s advice on storing books to the best visual effect for the finishing flourish:
– Organisation draws the eye for all the right reasons – you might want to display your collection alphabetically, by one colour per shelf or even through the colour spectrum along the shelf.
– Size matters – I find keeping larger art and design books lower down and smaller novels and poetry collections along the top shelves creates balance both physically and visually.
– Freestanding shelving units are making a huge come-back, allowing you to make a real feature of your favourite tomes, either front on to showcase the cover, or side by side to display the spine.