Library Inspiration

One the rooms I’m most excited about in the new house is our “Library”.

Jace and I were surprised when looking at houses that so many still had formal dining rooms. It’s certainly not something we would use, especially given that in most modern homes there is ample space for a table between the kitchen and living room areas. Currently we don’t even have a dining table – we eat on the sofa with our lift-top coffee table.

At first I lamented the waste of space that a formal dining room would be – but then inspiration struck. We could turn it into a library, lined with bookshelves and a comfy chair or two. Currently we have three black bookshelves from Ikea in our living room that would be the perfect start. I’ve always daydreamed of a room like this but thought it was beyond my reach.

Rainbow Library from Freshome

Grand Library from House Beautiful

The common elements that I love are the black floor-to-ceiling bookcases, simple area rugs, chandeliers, and comfy looking armchairs. The way books pop against a monochromatic color scheme is delightful. It’s the kind of thing I’ve seen so many times in movies and daydreamed about. Reading has always been a huge part of my life, so having a room that encapsulates that love is only natural.

Here is one of my inspiration boards for the room:

  1. ZigZag Pendant light by Access Lighting
  2. Anonymous paint by Behr
  3. Lack coffee table from Ikea
  4. A splash of color from plants or flowers like these Tulips
  5. Hanover Armchair from West Elm
  6. Billy corner bookcase from Ikea
  7. Wire Capiz Mirror from
  8. Alvine Trad curtains from Ikea
  9. Hand-tufted Grey New Zealand Wool Deco Wave Rug from

We plan to begin painting the weekend we close, choosing some sort of grey paint that will pop against the white trim.

I’m very excited to see  how this room comes together. It will be the perfect place to curl up with a book, or just my Kindle. The Ikea corner bookcase is a definite purchase, but the rest of the room elements still have to be decided upon.

Our book collection overflows the space allocated to it now, so I’m also happy to have more room to organize them. Even with the switch to reading mostly e-books, we still enjoy purchasing nice hardcovers from authors that we love. We also get quite excited by leather-bound books, like the new set of classics that Barnes & Noble released.

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4 Comments on Library Inspiration

  1. Lisa says:

    I agree with the formal dining room, it’s a useless room. A library sounds like a great idea! Some people would turn this into the office as well, but I’m willing to bet you’ll have one of the extra bedrooms become the “work from home/play WoW” computer room. You already have your Ikea bookshelves to put in the room, maybe add a corner piece and another shelve unit for the bigger space you’ll have? Also, how is the lighting in the room, I assume one light in the middle of the ceiling? Perhaps some under bookshelf mood lighting or floor/desk lamps? Or rope light on the top of the bookshelves? You want it cozy!

    • kirsten says:

      We have more rooms than we really know what to do with, which is a very odd problem to have. There is actually a room across the entry-way that will be an office, and then one of the bedrooms will be our “gaming” room for our PC and old consoles.

      All good suggestions! We’re probably getting more shelves and at least a corner unit. The lighting is really hard to tell yet as I haven’t been in the house at night. If the center light isn’t enough I will definitely add more. I also love some of the bookshelf/cabinet lighting that Ikea has – definitely adds to the ambiance.

  2. Night says:

    I was always partial to Professor Higgins library from My Fair Lady… One day I will have something like this…

    • kirsten says:

      Very nice! I love the libraries with multiple stories and sliding ladders. That sadly, will have to wait until I win the lottery.

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