I can’t wait to dive into my next book. Of course, I want to get lost in a captivating story plot and get to know colorful characters. But the real reason has to do with the place where I’ll be reading it.
As the leaves begin to drop and I slip into a warm sweater, lounge pants, and a pair of slippers, there’s no place where I want to be more than my library. I love how a library cocoons with warmth, oftentimes created by design that layers rich colors and textures that coordinate with visual tension.
In a house that I designed for a client several years ago, I wanted the interiors to provide a similar experience for their reading needs that my own library provides to me. Before I started installing the decorative parts of the room, architecture was addressed. Because after all, what’s a library without ample shelving to house rows and stacks of biographies, mysteries, historical fiction, and classics?
For most libraries, built-ins are in order. It’s my opinion that you can never go wrong with classic built-ins that melt into the room with a paint finish that matches the rest of the walls. Here, I left enough space between the two shelving units so a tailored sofa could nestle in between and feel cozy no different than I do when I’m on my sofa with an ultra-soft throw blanket taking in my latest literary wonder. I had the room painted in a deep blue (Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy) that served as a handsome almost neutral base for blue pieces including geometric pillows on the sofa, a pair of armchairs with an oversized floral print, and two matching ottomans covered in a brushed cotton fabric that feels like suede. We had the coffee table custom painted with a crisp blue stripe to border the creamy finish, a detail that I couldn’t resist to tie the other selections together.
A library is meant to house books first and foremost. But it’s also a room where a host of other personal favorites can land, too. Think accessories, like a collection of blue-and-white ceramics that I placed to mingle on the shelf above the sofa. On the other shelves, books are styled to stand upright and stacked to create platforms for meaningful objects. Left completely blue and cream, this cozy space could read a little flat. But remember, I’m always game for a little texture, especially when it comes from artwork and live things. An abstract painting that ranges in color from cool blues to fiery oranges and yellows hangs above the sofa, while chartreuse and copper-colored hydrangeas add an additional surge of zest.
I’m sure you’ve made a list of reads that you want to indulge as the temperature starts to cool. So be sure to give your library a little design attention. I promise that a fresh approach to your library will be cozy for you and is sure to turn heads as you turn pages.