Top 10 Ideas For Creating Reading Areas In Your Home

Tara Dickinson
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In honor of this year’s back-to-school students across the nation, the following in-home library design guide will offer you tips, ideas, and inspiration for installing a study room, reading nook, or mini library in your home. As any avid reader will attest to, collecting books never stops. Small piles turn into hazardous leaning towers all too often. To manage this issue, there are stylish organization methods and clever storage ideas to get your reading nook started. There are several valid reasons to add a library section to your home.

  1. It’s a stunning focal point and begs for gathering and attention. People love to browse friends' book collections and most owner's love to show them off, feeling proud of their curated selections.
  2. Having a designated quiet space is essential for every member of the home. Offering the kids a place to study, adults a place to relax and escape, and guests a place to rejuvenate.

Let’s look at the 10 ten ideas for creating the reading space of your dreams.


TIP: Before beginning, choose an organizing system that you can adhere to and will easily remember, either by author, subject, or favorite collections.

1. Staircase Storage 
Take advantage of any open space under staircases in the home. You can choose whether to make this little library nook open seating or a closed cave (Harry Potter fans will definitely relate!). Once shelving units are installed, arrange appropriate seating for the space, either on the ground if minimal room with a lap desk, or a small cozy couch. If there’s space on the shelves, adding additional art and other comforting trinkets make your book nook complete.


2. Attic or Loft Space 

Many homes have small angular rooms at the top of the house, close to or in the attic. These ignored spaces can easily be turned into reading rooms that are perfect for quiet study time and relaxation. Paint it bright white if there are no windows or natural light. Be sure to add adequate reading light as well, maybe strands of twinkle lights to inspire dreamy contemplation. Plush throw rugs, a rocking lounge chair, or a chaise lounge with soft pillows will make this home library an oasis for escape.

3. Home Office

Sometimes home offices or dens are in constant use for work-at-home folks. Other times they sit unoccupied and are more of a place where book collections might be stored. To turn this kind of home office into a home library as well, spice it up with some comfortable accents and fresh greenery. Arrange sitting areas with side tables for students to palace school accessories, for parents to place refreshments. Add floor reading lamps and personal touches so everyone in the home will feel welcomed into the space.

4. Book Wall

For the full in-home library effect it’s floor to ceiling shelving, essentially creating a wall, or walls, of books that makes a statement. ​​This choice works ideally with high ceilings. The top shelves can be used for displaying art works and the very bottom shelves for collections of accent decor. Any room can instantly be turned into a library once you have a wall dedicated to books. Add an inviting couch, coffee table, and spot lighting to complete the decor.

5. Coordinated Stacks

One book organizing tip not often seen is the stacking method. This approach is quite stunning visually, color coordinating the same tones of books together in stacks along shelving that spans the length of a wall. This vertical technique creates visual interest and organizes the books to perfection.

6. Collection Displays

Rows of law books. Antique collections of encyclopedias. Endless numbers of small titled books. If you have one of these situations in your home, there are ways to add some dimension, interest, and warmth to the space. First breakup the monotony by inserting framed art or photos, favorite keepsakes, or succulent plants. Switch up the book placement by mixing horizontal and vertical stacks. Again, adding warm table lamps or floor lighting will soften the overall effect. One fun idea in a rustic cottage setting is to use the bottom shelf for firewood to compliment a cabin vibe.

7. Kitchen

Creating a book nook in your kitchen is another practical option for comfortable studying and reading spots in the home. If possible, setup close to a window or off to the side of the main kitchen action. Books can be stored in a kitchen island, on floating shelves, or open cabinets, with cookbooks placed in the most easily accessible spots. Mixing in some serving pieces or prized dinnerware into the display is a great way to add dimension to the whole set-up.

8. The Backwards Look

One of the newer trends in book displays that follows along with a minimalist look is to flip books backwards creating one consistent display of color. Choose a bold shelving color to contrast your freshly-organized books, and accent darker colors with bright furniture and various materials throughout the room.

TIP: If you love the flipped look of white pages, an easy way to find your favorite titles is to arrange the library with spines facing up to read titles from above while keeping the forward view feeling sleek.


9. Modern Shapes

If modern decor is your style, rather than simply standard bookshelves for your home library, consider different sized display boxes instead. Then hang them at various heights along the wall ultimately creating a sort of ‘gallery’ like styled wall. Using several different wood choices or different colored painted boxes further enhances the design, while the inside of each box is organized in a clean, sleek manner to keep it feeling fresh.

10. Repurpose Furniture

And saving the best for last, a sustainable, inexpensive, and eco-conscious option: upcycle! Turn your old furniture, pallets, doors, benches, boxes, headboards, or other furnishings you already have on hand or can easily acquire at secondhand shops into bookshelves to use in your new home library.


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