12 Libraries That Lightened Up

When you hear the term”library,” what comes to mind? Professor Plum with the candlestick? For me it’s plenty of dark wood paneling, a deep burgundy Chesterfield couch, an oppressive amount of leather-bound novels, a heavy desk, brass lamps and perhaps a lot of judges having their weekly poker game, complete with lots of cigar smoke.

As a dark and cozy library may be a great part of a conventional home, I’m more excited about the ways designers are kicking heritage to the curb and producing airy and open library spaces. They have kept the comfy stuffed furniture but gotten rid of the stuffiness. Another exciting aspect is they are finding room for libraries in that which would otherwise be wasted space. Get ideas by a look at a number of library layouts that are fresh.

Griffin Enright Architects

This home includes a wood-burning floor plan, however, the contemporary library space is demarcated by a change in altitude and rich dark wood. Using shelves which go only halfway up the walls as well as glistening ivory floor keeps things light.

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Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects

This library is also situated in spot using a transitional elevation within the floor plan. The architect must have taken careful notes on how best to maximize the natural light whilst maintaining the room sheltered from direct sunlight.

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Mark English Architects

This spacious library provides a spot that is sleeping for guests around the contemporary sleeper couch and borrows light.

Studio Bergtraun AIA

This open and comfortable library is actually a portion of a kitchen renovation.


Instead of shutting the library off in the usual traditional manner, this spacious library keeps the space airy and leaves the entire first floor feel larger. Planked walls and a planked ceiling lend a cabin feel.

Chang + Sylligardos Architects

The upstairs hallway can be a wasted space; just a small addition to the thickness allowed for long bookshelves here. The walkway is available to the floor below.

Tip: Take notice of the monitor lighting, art lighting and library lamps utilized to spotlight the shelves in many of these photos. Shining light on your books and objects will change how you experience your library distance, especially at night.

Watch more ways to integrate libraries into other areas

Richard Bubnowski Design LLC

Here is another great library spot which makes excellent use of every square inch of space in this upstairs hallway.

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Exedra Architects

Putting this library space in the end of the stair landing is just another brilliant use of space that is often wasted.

Emily A. Clark

This designer has made numerous moves I admire: the library desk complete with studying light (reminds me of faculty ), the oversize lantern, the light walls, the dark paint inside the shelves…

Tip: When figuring out furniture positioning similar to this, have your electrician put in a plug from the floor so you nobody trips over unsightly cables.

Chloe Warner

This bright library space is the best spot for hosting a contemporary salon.

Chang + Sylligardos Architects

There are no rules that say bookshelves need to hug the walls; they are also able to function as room dividers in a large, open space. This chamber can go out of breakfast area to research and homework area with one clearing of the table.

Belsey & Mahla Architects

This is a gorgeous illustration of a library that is transitional-style. It’s the bones of a conventional library but has lightened things up with paint colour, fabrics and light fittings.

Where and how can you store the books in your home? Let us know in the Remarks section.

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