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Designing your dream library

November 08, 2012

Do you love to visit your town's public library? Perhaps you have fond memories of your college's library and sitting in the stacks 'til late hours, deeply engrossed in a novel. Partly because of their consistent calm and partly because of the immense wealth of knowledge they hold, libraries are special places, potent with possibility.

It's no wonder then that so many people decide to build libraries in their own homes. While not everyone can afford soaring ceilings with ladders and catwalks - not to mention all the books to house in that space - there's no reason you can't turn a study or even hallway into your personal library space! Consider these essentials and you'll be on your way.

As anyone who's ever strolled through either a major city library or the local branch can tell you, the spaces aren't only about function. Libraries should be beautiful, with a relaxed and yet pleasantly formal ambiance. Of course, nothing mixes style and efficiency more than hardwood flooring. A collection like Anderson Floors' Eagle Lodge is ideal for your space, with its richly textured hickory boards and individually hand-scraped style.

Naturally, shelving is one of the key components of any home library, and you'll want plenty of it - but not too much. When designing your home library, consider exactly how much of your space you want occupied with books, then make sure you've got the volumes to fit the space. A little empty shelf space is a great idea - indicative of the many literary adventures to come - but too much can be a minor eyesore. So, gauge your space, gauge your shelving needs and get building! You may even want to install recessed shelving, if you have the space. Or consider going with old-fashioned glass-fronted bookcases!

Cozy armchairs
While you may prefer to indulge yourself with a stylish leather sofa, armchairs tend to be a bit more conducive to reading (and not snoozing) for most folks. Either way, be sure to go as cozy as can be and perhaps invest in a few wool throws or blankets for the cold weather!

Ambient (and functional) touches
Looking for some other additions? Have you ever wanted a home library with its very own fireplace? Now may be just the time! Or how about widening and heightening those windows? They'll make for a great breeze come the dog days of summer.