How to Design a Dream Library

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Image: Architectural Digest

For me, bookshelves will always be a requisite to any living space I have. Aside from the practicality of holding some of my favorite things in the world, they’re a great décor feature. Books atop a shelf add in texture and variation, which help keep a space from looking one-dimensional. Much like Disney’s Beast who has an opulent collection and space, there are a number of gorgeous libraries that are perfect inspiration in creating a home library. But sometimes we can’t afford that dream library or don’t have the space to do so. Here’s how to create a dream library in any circumstance.

How to Design a Dream Library

  1. Little Green Notebook. One of my favorite DIY bloggers is Little Green Notebook. She recently created her dream library (with a rolling ladder!) in the home she’s been renovating. This custom-built shelving unit is for someone who plans to invest in their home long-term.
  2. The C Word. If you don’t have the option to do floor-to-ceiling built-in shelves, select a portion of your wall and add in your own shelves. These can be done on your own or you can get some simple Ikea shelves for not very much.
  3. April and May. One of the coolest ways to display books is an invisible stand. Try stacking a number of them in neat columns to create this cool look.
  4. Elle Decor. If you don’t have a large place to display your collection, enhance the tone of your shelves by displaying books with bold colors or patterns.
Design a Dream Library
  1. Nuevo Estilo. If you have the space, use the entire wall for shelving. This will create an immediate focal point to the room and is especially helpful if you have a large collection.
  2. The Inspiration Room. If you have the option to have your very own room, go with built-ins!
  3. Martha Stewart. Color-coding your books is a recent-ish trend and is great if you have a lot of art books. It looks particularly dreamy on white shelves.
  4. Lonny. Framing a mantle with bookshelves is also a classic approach. I love the traditional feel it creates as well as the invitation it creates to select a book around a fire.

(top image) Don’t forget to make the rest of the room a cozy place to read. Use comfortable furniture to accessorize the space!

What does your dream library look like? 

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Brittany Watson Jepsen is an American designer and crafter who just returned to America after 2 1/2 years in wonderful Copenhagen, Denmark. Her motto is "a creative mess is better than tidy idleness" and she lives each day accordingly. During graduate school for interior design she spent one summer working for designers Jonathan Adler and Celerie Kemble and another summer studying textile design at the Danish Design School. She created her blog, The House That Lars Built, as a way to keep her designing and crafting. She currently runs her blog and her etsy shop, where she sells her home accessories and paper flowers.