Published: Oct 21, 2020 | Updated: Oct 21, 2020

Inspiration for a Book Lover's Home

A custom-built-home for a book-lover needs a unique home library. Because "There is no friend as loyal as a book." —Ernest Hemingway.

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Holding a book and flipping through the pages, breathing in the scent of the paper and ink, is one of life’s greatest pleasures. There is a certain luxury when you can curl up somewhere comfortable, a cup of coffee or tea in hand, and lose yourself in the magic of a good book.

Home Library Ideas

If you want to design a book lover’s space, you may want to plan your dream home around your cherished book collection. Whether you decide to house your books in the dining room, living room, office, the stairway, or every room in the house, it’s important to choose custom-built shelves that are beautiful and functional. 

Our best home library design ideas include:

Backyard Library Building

One cozy home library idea is to build a gorgeous outbuilding or cottage in the backyard for your book collection. Enjoy perfect solitude in your personal reading oasis. 


Built-in Shelves Around the Fireplace

There is nothing more welcoming than a library room at home full of glorious books and a glowing fire in a fireplace in the middle of it all. 


If all you need is room for a good reading chair and a quiet corner or nook, this may be the plan for you. Use the alcove for creative shelving or have some bookcases line up along both walls along the corner and you have a wonderful reading space and library. A quiet loft or upstairs hallway may do the trick.

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Dedicated Library

The ideal situation for many book lovers would be a room dedicated solely to books and cozy reading. Such a room would need built-in shelves all the way around and space for a comfortable reading chair or two.

Home Office/Library

A home office can coexist nicely with a library wall or two. This design gives you plenty of workspace and a beautiful background for your Zoom meetings with gorgeous built-in shelves and cabinets behind you.

Stair Landing Library/Staircase Library

If space is in short supply or you want something dramatic and visible to guests, you may want to create a large built-in bookcase under the stairs and maybe even on the landing of your stairway or along the side of the staircase ascending to the second floor.

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Types of Book Storage

There are several options for bookshelves as you design your perfect home library. If you have a cat, be sure to keep a few shelves reserved for them. Cats love bookshelves as much as books do!

Built-in Bookcases

Built-in shelving ideas are beautiful, classy, and can be customized to fit your sense of style and the amount of storage you need. Perhaps having closed in cabinets on the bottom of your bookcases would provide storage for some of the books you don’t want to showcase.

Some homeowners cover their bookcases with sliding doors to keep the library hidden when not in use.

Librarian Ladder

A rolling ladder is a must-have if you have tall home library shelving. A library ladder rolls along the floor on wheels and leans against a track higher up on the shelves. 

Shiplap Accent Wall Fireplace Floating Shelves Living Area

Open Shelves

Floating shelves look modern and fresh while not drawing attention to themselves. They provide plenty of space for books, knick-knacks, and framed pictures.

Library Cabinets with Glass Doors

Add glass doors to your shelves or cabinets to protect your books and treasured art pieces from dust.

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Reading Nook Design

The ideal book lover’s space has to have a good design. Consider having a kids’ reading nook and an adults’ reading nook. 

Here are some of our favorite reading nook ideas.

Built-in Reading Nook Beds/Reading Nook Bench

Another option is to have an alcove with a small built-in bed that serves the purpose of a couch or bed. Choose closet doors or curtains to provide privacy for the reader. 

If you don’t have enough space for a bed, perhaps a bench in an alcove would work well. 

If there is no place for a reading nook with built-in shelves, a chaise lounge in a reading corner or another favorite reading chair surrounded by bookshelves can work in a pinch.

Closet Reading Nook/Under-the-Stairs Reading Nook

Build a custom bed in a closet with a wall lamp or a sweet little alcove hideaway under the stairs. Surround the bed with plenty of fluffy pillows. Then people can always find a private, comfy place to read.

Window Seats

A cozy window seat is one of the best book nooks. With a wide built-in bench, extra storage below, and a plush seat cushion, it’s the perfect reading spot. Another fantastic window seat idea is a bay window with built-in bench.

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Best Reading Light Ideas

It’s important to have a natural light source in your cozy home library or reading area. Ideally, you would sit near a large window or under a large skylight or perhaps even in a glass-walled room where you can enjoy the outdoor scenery and sunlight.

But you may also desire to read at night, so it is important to have table lamps, floor lamps, or other reading lamps in your nook.


Ready to Build a Custom Home Library Near Lexington, SC?

At Blythe Building Company, we build luxury homes for homeowners with discriminating taste. We’d love to see if we could help you build the home of your dreams and all the custom built-in storage of your dreams, as well.

Contact us today and let’s get started!

We build in areas like:

Lexington, Irmo, Ballentine, Chapin, Columbia, Blythewood, West Columbia, Forest Acres, Pine Ridge, the Lake Murray area, and more.


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