Design Architecture

11 “Novel” Ways to Design a Home Library

No matter the size and style of your home, incorporating a reading room will give your book lovers a space to curl up and while away a cold winter afternoon.

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn More ›

Book Nooks and Stately Libraries

While a dedicated room just for reading feels like a luxury, the standard elements of such a space are pretty basic—good natural or artificial lighting, comfortable seating, and strong shelves. If you’re a book lover in need of a place where you can read undisturbed, take some inspiration from these 11 reading rooms, which run the gamut from cozy to clever to cool. Whether you have a vaulting two-story space at your disposal or only a tiny closet, you’ll find some smart ideas in these book lovers’ lairs.

Modern Library

Taking advantage of a ton of books and lots of wall space, an open staircase with a wrought-iron banister mirrors the shelving style, providing visual appeal and connecting the first and second floor. 

A-Frame Archives

Make the most of your A-frame attic or home by taking the shelves right up to the roofline, creating an interesting and functional feature to a top-floor reading room.

Comfortably Traditional

Dark shelves, a classic leather sofa, and a plaid ottoman give this space elegance, while natural light from the double French doors and high window aids reading and adds warmth. Accent lights call attention to a row of art books used as a display, drawing the eye up.

Recess for Readers

Angie Hranowsky

Twin wall sconces and a velvet sofa enhance the recess in this wall of books, providing a cozy seating area amidst the light shelves.

A Home for Books

Incorporating a feature
wall of books instead of trying to carve out a separate reading room makes sense for open-concept homes. This two-story space employs a mixture of woods and white walls, keeping the reading room bright, modern, and central to the home.

Room for Epic Adventures

Lori Eanes

Ready to dive into The Odyssey? Then you need a truly epic reading room. This beautiful family library, complete with a catwalk, is cozy and classic, featuring wall sconces and a comfy bench seat with drawers underneath.

A Great Divide

Why have just one reading room when you can have two? This floor-to-ceiling open wall provides shelf space for books and magazines, while the large windows offer natural light and a view of the greenery outdoors.

Laddered Library

With this laddered, kid-friendly library wall, half the fun of reading a book is getting it down. The built-in bench is a great place to flip through a picture book and could provide space for additional shelves as the kids and library grow.

Cozy Alcove

A blue-gray color palette, washed oak floors, and an unusual angle over built-in seating makes this reading alcove light and airy. Recessed shelves and deep drawers provide extra storage, while inset light fixtures keep things bright.

Teeny Tiny Reading Nook

Do you have little ones but no space for a reading room? Good news — teeny tiny readers need teeny tiny reading rooms. Formerly a closet, this book nook now offers shelves and comfy cushions for the smallest readers.

Blue Surroundings

Crisp Architects

This delightful reading room steers away from traditional dark wood shelves yet stays classic with its blue and mustard palette. Accent lights illuminate the book collection, and a timeless leather chesterfield anchors the space.