When a client asks for room to display their book collection, my answer is always a resounding YES! Even in the age of the Kindle, everyone needs books in their home. I don’t have anything against reading on on a tablet, I do it all the time. But nothing replaces a good old fashioned book. Plus, books show your personality more than almost any other object.
One needn’t devote an entire room to books, though a dedicated library is a fabulous luxury. Bookcases can be inserted in any room: living room, dining room, hall, bedroom, home office, all can be spruced up by a book or two, or two hundred. The above inviting living and dining room almost demands that you pick up a book and stay awhile. The photo below of a dedicated library that also serve as a dining room is a bit of '50s wackiness, but charming nonetheless.
I love a dedicated shrine to books, a room that celebrates them as an art form. Not everyone has the room or desire for a library, and that makes them all the more special. The libraries in the photos below are a study in contrast. Architect Amanda Levete created a minimalist shrine to books as her library and the designer in me is in awe of the engineering required to float those core-ten steel shelves without visible support.
And below, on the opposite end of the scale, is an over-the-top library designed by Kelly Wearstler that I can only describe as a modern Baroque fantasy. This client was serious about their books!
A private library is the ultimate luxury, but rooms that celebrate an individual's love of reading are probably my true favorite - just a personal collection of works they love. Eyes may be the window to the soul, but so is a book collection! In the below photos, don’t you feel like you know a little about the owner’s personalities from their collections?
For more literary inspiration, please visit my “Luxe Library” Pinterest board.