Home library ideas: 15 beautiful designs for bibliophiles and bookworms

Beautiful home library ideas will display your most notable novels and thrilling finds in the best way.

AW20 Carpetright Madagascar Wilton Carpet In Denim Zebra £39.99m2 in home library by Carpetright
(Image credit: Carpetright)

If you're one for stacking books by your bedside table or keeping them in the corner of your lounge, you'll know that things can start to look messy quite quickly. With so many beautiful home library ideas around, you'd be a fool to keep that clutter right? Now it's easy to create an enviable reading space for the whole family and any visiting bookworms to enjoy.

Team yours with your favorite home office ideas for a stylish and seamless finish on all fronts. Whether you're into hardbacks, comics or magazines like RealHomes (of course), a good library will deliver on aesthetics and functionality.

Home library ideas to house your books and magazines

1. Zone a living room space with a colorful home library

Home library ideas in living room by Habitat

(Image credit: Habitat)

'Zonal living was the driving force behind the design for this bookshelf.' says Rachael Fell, Habitat furniture buying manager.

'Having noted the demand for our screen dividers last season, we wanted to take this partitioning idea further with a more permanent solution to carve out space at home.'

'This flexible, extendable mechanic within the open shelving allows the sectioned space to feel fluid and open, and the shelves themselves can be personalized with decorative art and accessories.'

Colleague Andrew Tanner, design manager adds: 'Color plays such an important part in our homes as it allows us to create style and increase our mood, our emotions and our feelings.

'After spending more time indoors than ever before, we've turned to uplifting palettes, bold and vibrant hues that evoke the senses. We've paired these with sculptural and playful forms to accentuate movement and explore shapes that ultimately make you smile.'

2. Create interest around the stairs with a home library

White staircase home library by Carpetright

(Image credit: Carpetright)

Bedtime can be a battle for adults and children alike. From kids that try and fight off sleeping, to grown-ups who can't keep off their smartphones, getting a few hours kip can be a challenge.

So why not make going to bed exciting with by placing your home library ideas near a staircase? By doing so, you can choose a book to take upstairs. Books are much better than electronic devices which emit blue light and can disrupt your circadian rhythm, or sleep cycle.

And just like white living room ideas, choosing a light color creates the illusion of a larger space.

3. Use a four-poster bed for a studio apartment library 

Vox 4 You Poster King Bed used in home library design by Cuckooland

(Image credit: Cuckooland)

Unless you've a studio apartment, a bed in a living room can sound a bit bonkers – especially if its primary purpose is not for sleeping!

Home library ideas are great for open plan layouts, and this four poster bed with shelves by Cuckooland is an idyllic set up that functions as a sofa bed and bookcase for your literature.

4. Jazz up a home library with a wild flooring design

Home library design with zebra print carpet and velvet sofa by Carpetright

(Image credit: Carpetright)

'Typically quiet and relaxing, home libraries represent a calming space to unwind with a must read.', says Jemma Dayman, buyer, Carpetright

'The styling of your library can be the difference between a cold study space and a room you love to while away the hours in.If you enjoy being bold with your design, a library is the perfect place to get imaginative and introduce pattern and color.'

'Even the slightest of prints can lift the feel of a room and add interest and personality to your scheme. Opting for an animal print in a neutral tone creates a subtle yet distinctive look that can be built upon or toned down with plain accessories, so you won’t be distracted during a strong reading session.'

'When using animal print on a larger area in the room, such as flooring, try to keep furniture and free walls plain to ensure the look isn’t too overpowering and your room remains a place you enjoy spending time in.'

5. Incorporate a home library in your guest bedroom

Arched pink shelving ideas in guest room by Covet House

(Image credit: Covet House)

Guests come and go, but a good book is for life – so you'll want a permanent spot for pages and pages of entertainment.

This arched pink shelving idea is perfect for storing books alongside smaller trinkets and accessories. Impressive in a spare bedroom or as part of a feminine bedroom too!

6. Go dark and dramatic with a black bookcase design

Black bookcase design in home library idea by Neptune

(Image credit: Neptune)

If you're obsessed with collecting thrillers or crime novels, you'll want a dark and dramatic environment to match.

As well as opting for a black wall decor ideas, you might also want to consider a dark bookcase too. Keep things classic with a good leather armchair and a patterned rug to break up the black and brown and stop the scheme from looking too like a scene from the latest narrative you're following.

7. Regal looks with smart navy and purple

Firework Glow Carpet by Lifestyle Floors with navy bookcase in home library idea

(Image credit: Lifestyle Floors)

'Often associated with royalty and tradition, purple is perfect for adding drama and character to a room.', says Helen Shaw, UK marketing director, Benjamin Moore.

'Saturated shades envelop a room, so consider introducing the rich hue into a space that benefits from natural light to create an intriguing interplay of light and dark. Look to incorporate purple with grey undertones which deepens with intensity as the day draws to a close, perfect for creating an ambient feeling in libraries.'

'To add further depth and texture, pair with dark woods, rich velvets and metallic embellishments which are best displayed in dark, characterful rooms. To create a contemporary contrast and a sense of calm using aubergine hues, consider layering various tones for a monochromatic scheme in a room'.

8. Opt for a cozy home library by the fireplace

Home library ideas around fireplace by Garden Trading

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

A good book is one thing, but your experience can be enhanced by your environment too. In summer, you may want to laze by the pool, but come winter and you'll be pining for a perfect spot by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa.

As well as a cozy nook, you'll want a place to display your prized possessions. This alcove idea makes the most of an awkward space while making sure that your books are given the space they truly deserve.

9. Create a modern library in your living room

Home library idea in living room by Caffe Latte

(Image credit: Caffe Latte)

In a time-poor world where we're constantly multitasking in front of the TV, a home library idea in the living room makes perfect sense.

That's because this space is ideal for multifunctional living. So while the kids are watching their favorite movie, and your husband enjoying a late-night snack, you can collect a book from behind the sofa and still be part of all the family action.

Soft as a marshmallow, this sofa with teddy-like material is the ultimate homage to comfort, appealing to the coziness and warmth of the communal space.

Small yet effective, the mirror idea on the wall reflects off the adjacent garden to cleverly create an outside-in illusion.

10. Turn your orangery into a library with lots of light

Malbrook orangery ideas with home library

(Image credit: Malbrook)

If you want to create a home library that's bursting full of light, and can offer a quiet, tranquil space away from conventional eating and communal spaces – consider orangery design ideas.

Situating yourself in this location will allow you to hear the birds sing and the rain pour – the perfect soundtrack to accompany your reading list.

11. Create a micro library in a bedroom corner

Home library ideas in bedroom by IKEA

(Image credit: IKEA)

Whether you want to inspire romantic dreams or cram in a bit of after-hours studying, home library ideas in the bedroom are superior to scanning your smartphone.

Blue bedroom decor induces a sense of calm and tranquility. This cozy book corner further emphasizes the atmosphere that IKEA have tried to create.

The coordinated paisley print chair and duvet add style to your bedtime story space, and the high-pile rug a tactile touch underfoot.

12. Inject industrial charm into a library with wood

Dark home library idea with zebra rug by Havwood

(Image credit: Havwood)

Exuding a sense of serenity with contrasting elements and quiet layers, this  apartment overlooking Sydney Harbor has been exquisitely resurfaced with Havwoods’ barn rustic floorboards, creating a contemporary home with an industrial chic home library idea.

A calming palette of warm greys, raw steel and natural stone have been used throughout, with expansive steel shelving units to complement the scheme.

Is it just us, or is this scheme giving you Ollivanders wand shop vibes from Harry Potter?

13. Fake a library full of books with printed wallpaper

Chinese library wallpaper in home library ideas by Mind the Gap

(Image credit: Mind the Gap)

If you are just beginning to build up your book collection, or want to create the illusion of owning lots of books - fake it until you make it!

This printed wallpaper by Mind the Gap can help disguise the feeling of a bare home library idea.

14. Create a mid-century vibe with earthy hues

Classic Mid-Century Library by Essential Home

(Image credit: Essential home)

If you want to create an environment that evokes feelings of nostalgia, why not create a retro home library idea that's inspired by the sixties and seventies. The good news is, you won't need to invest in expensive vintage books or furniture. This scheme is all about the color palette.

We love the creative spirit that this space is transmitting with its unique rug and the combination of two armchairs upholstered in Illuminating Yellow - one of Pantone's Color Of The Year in 2021!

Respecting the eco-conscious thinking of these eras, a built-in bookcase can be constructed using reclaimed or recycled wood. This execution is brought to present times with a lighting scheme that frames the room.

15. Create a bookshelf that you can see at eye level

Home library idea with dog by Benjamin Moore

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

There's nothing more nostalgic than cozying up with a parent or grandparent to read a story as the sun goes down. But as we all wind down to bedtime, reaching a book can be a bit of a pain - especially if you have to reach for it on your tiptoes.

Ergonomically speaking, book storage ideas that are at eye level make grabbing a good book that little bit easier. It's particularly perfect for older or less-abled people or children who can't reach taller spaces.

How can I build a library in my home?

'Our homes are spaces to celebrate individuality and find joy in cultivating our own collections. Creating an at home library filled with all your favorite novels and trinkets is the perfect way to both personalize and refine your space.', says Nadia McCowan Hill, Wayfair’s Resident Style Advisor.

'When building your library consider the size of your current book collection and how far you intend on growing it.

'Choose a sturdy bookcase with lots of separate compartments and don’t be put off by the thought of empty shelves, these blank spaces are the perfect spots to showcase unique decor items or fill with an abundance of greenery.'

'Don’t be afraid to add color, floating shelves in neon hues provide a stunning, standout backdrop for your favorite novels or even consider adding some quirky bookends to help separate your genres.'

Home library ideas by Wayfair

(Image credit: Wayfair)

What should every home library have?

'Whether you are just dedicating a corner of your home or a whole room to your library make sure not to neglect the surrounding space.', says McCowan Hill.

'Place fun graphic art and vintage prints around your bookcase and incorporate plush seating options, perfect for lying back and getting lost in the world of fiction.'

'A stylish floor lamp is a must when building out your library, opt for a large, arched model with a soothing glow to help you enjoy your favorite tales on even the gloomiest of days.'

Christina Chrysostomou
Former acting head ecommerce editor

Hi, I'm the former acting head ecommerce editor at Real Homes. Prior to working for the Future plc family, I've worked on a number of consumer events including the Ideal Home Show, Grand Designs Live, and Good Homes Magazine. With a first class degree from Keele University, and a plethora of experience in digital marketing, editorial, and social media, I have an eye for what should be in your shopping basket and have gone through the internal customer advisor accreditation process.