Creating the Perfect Library

I am currently working on reorganizing a library for one of my clients.  It has always been a dream of mine to have a room in my home that I could call a library.  A room with floor to ceiling bookcases, a beautiful mahogany desk, maybe a cozy window seat where I could curl up in to read a good book.  This week, along came a job where I get to create that exact space!  It’s missing some pieces, but by the time I’m done, it should be pretty fabulous!

Step 1: Categorizing Books


A lot of design magazines have books categorized by color or size.  That’s wonderful when books are simply accessories and not books that you are actually going to want to read.  Searching through your blue book collection isn’t really going to be super helpful when all you want is a good mystery.  Categorize books by genre.  Keep the books that you are going to need access to the most frequently on the shelves that are eyelevel.  Books that are only there for occasional reference can go up on the highest shelves.  Move tech books closer to your computer.  Children’s books can be placed on the bottom shelves so that your little ones can easily get their hands on them!

Step 2: Positioning Books


Don’t push back books into the shelves.  It makes it harder to read the binding.  Also, since not all books come in the same dimensions it leaves the shelves looking messy.  If you bring all the books up so that the bindings sit at the edge of the shelf, it makes everything look much cleaner and more organized.  You should also play with stacking some books vertically just to break up the monotony.  It’s also a good idea to leave some empty spaces for decorative accessories such as photo frames or fancy book ends.  This also gives you the opportunity to grow your book collection.

Step 3: Magazine Files


Magazine files are key to maintaining a clean and organized library.  Magazines and pamphlets are just too flimsy to keep standing upright.  They are also great for loose papers that you may have lying around.  For my current project we are using them to keep old artwork that her son has created for her over the years!

Step 4: Create a Comfy Sitting Space


In the room I am working on, I am fortunate enough to have a window seat to work with.  It’s a beautiful architectural feature, but it isn’t exactly warm and inviting in its current state.  To remedy this, I will be having a seat cushion made.  This is a lot easier than it may seam.  There are lots of different upholstery companies around.  Some even have their own selection of fabrics you can choose from.  You can not only select how thick your seat cushion will be, but also what material its made out of, and how stiff you would like it.  I will be providing them with fabric that I found at a fabric store so that I can better coordinate it with the rug that I have chosen for the space.  Add in some decorative pillows and a throw, and you’re all set!  If you don’t have a window seat to work with, consider bringing in a comfortable reading chair.

Step 5: Accessorize


Now that your space is cleaned up, you need to add some finishing touches to not only personalize it, but also to make it feel homey.  Add an area rug (be sure that it’s not too thick so that there your door still has enough clearance to open!).  This will ground the space and make it a room you will want to spend time it.  Lighting is also very important.  Floor and desk lamps may help if the overhead lighting is not enough.  Depending on how high your bookcases go it may also be important to bring in a stepping stool so that you can reach all your books. Now all you have left to do is find a good book (which should be easy since everything is so amazingly organized) and enjoy your new space!