Your home library might have been important at one time, but as suburbs developed and families grew, so did the need for claiming all the extra square footage for bedrooms. Now, libraries are back in fashion, and you’ve got several ways to interpret them.
The resurgence of the home library shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s just about as low-tech as any home feature could be. Although most of us live in a digitally connected world, there’s a big trend toward unplugging. Elizabeth Segran wrote in Fast Company that unplugging helps encourage better sleep, better friendships, and even improved memory. It doesn’t matter if you have a multi-level space to line with books or can only carve out a tiny niche. Giving books a proper residence makes any house feel more like a home and it helps you ground yourself away from technology. Here are 6 different ways that you could interpret a home library.
#1: The Grand Library
The grandest home library has everything that you might imagine. There’s plenty of wood paneling, comfortable seating, banks of windows for ample natural light, and two stories of books, some of which peek out from the upper railing. Think of the library in Beauty and the Beast.
You might even incorporate a spiral staircase made of wood or wrought iron. This kind of traditional library won’t work in an average house because it’s just too big. But it’s exactly right in a home that’s regal and spacious.
#2: Study / Library Combination
A more approachable type of library is the combination study. It functions as a home office as well as a place to relax with a great book.
A fireplace works perfectly in a cozy study, and comfy conversational seating arrangements welcome the whole family to relax without the hum and glow of anything electronic.
#3: Entertainment Room Library
When we think of entertainment, we often think of games, movies, and music. If you have an entertainment room or want to add one, a library can work there, too. After all, what’s more entertaining than a great story?
One thing to consider in this kind of space is lighting. A home theater or similar area is typically dark by necessity. You’ll either need windows with heavy coverings that you can open or close as needed, or eye-soothing full-spectrum lighting to switch on when it’s time to indulge in the written page.
#4: Kids Library Alcove
Kids love books just as much as adults do, and sometimes even more. If you want to add a separate library for the little ones, an alcove is a perfect spot. Add a window seat where kids can stretch out, and keep book cases low enough so that they won’t need to climb.
The space can also grow with them. Just as with the adult version of the library study, kids could make good use of a library that’s also set up for homework.
#5: Reclaimed Library Loft
It seems like every 2-story home that was built throughout the 1990’s had its own version of the odd little space near the stairs. Some had a wide landing partway up where nothing besides art and urns really fit well. And some had a sitting area at the top, which for some reason always looked beautiful but hardly anyone ever used.
Reclaim this spot for books, and you’ve got a trendy home library loft where a couple of chairs and bookcases make the space look finished. Freshome says libraries evoke comfort, privacy and growth. Add that to the appearance, and you’ve got a space that’s worthwhile instead of just pretty.
#6: Library Reading Nook
Maybe your home is already filled to the brim and there’s really no space to locate a library. If you have a staircase with nothing important underneath, you have a great spot for a nook.
A reading nook can be as tiny as a closet with a small bench at the bottom and shelves up high or as large as the space under the stairs allows. Leave it open all the time, or attach doors to close up the nook when it’s not being used.
Libraries aren’t just for the wealthiest of homeowners in the largest of mansions. Nearly any home has a spot that’s sadly underused. And you can appropriate it for books, comfy chairs and good conversation that has nothing to do with typing and everything to do with connections of the non-digital sort.
Is a home library in your future? That seems to be a growing trend these days, and Greene Construction can make it happen. Contact us for your home project and we’ll create a reading area with plenty of space for all of your books exactly the way that you want it.