How To Design a Home Library for Book Lovers

Designing and then incorporating a library into an existing or new home is an exciting exercise – particularly for those of us who are true book lovers. However, the fact that a library can also become a useful and multi-purpose space for you and perhaps the entire family means that careful planning and design factors should be considered throughout the process. This blog will explore some of the important options to consider during the home library planning and design phases so that the end result exceeds your needs and expectations.

At Bucks County Cabinetry and Design in Doylestown, PA, we have assisted clients with the opportunities and exciting challenges associated with the differing options available once a decision has been made to add a library into their homes, always with a goal to delight the client by creating a library space that is both functional and beautiful. The initial step in the process revolves around a discussion that seeks to understand the breath and scope of the envisioned project.

Let’s begin with a set of questions that we ask clients to ponder relative to incorporating a library into one’s home:

How Much Space Do I Have for a Library?

Whether the intent is to design a library into a new construction or major renovation project, to convert an existing room into a library exclusively, or to make a currently functioning room such as a living or family room into a dual-purpose space via creating a “library-nook”, the ability to influence the project is greatly enhanced via the inclusion of custom designed and built cabinetry and finishes. This is an obvious but important initial consideration.

The good news is that regardless of whether there is a large room that can be dedicated to housing a library, or a much smaller space in an existing room, good designers – like the team we have assembled at Bucks County Cabinetry and Design – can work with you to arrive at a design that will be perfectly suited to your needs and preferences.

What are my unique needs?

Perhaps you already have – or you desire to eventually have – a large collection of books that will require floor to ceiling bookshelves. Maybe you have rare collector’s books that you want to keep locked away within a portion of the library space. Will your library have “sections” to separate out genres, a children’s section, and/or other unique literary motifs? Or, perhaps, you have books of all sizes that will require diverse shelving options to accommodate them. Each of these unique needs – and virtually any other – can be accommodated at the design stage due to the fact that custom cabinetry affords limitless options, and also enables the new library space to be tailored to match the style and décor of the home.

Will the library be used as an office or study space from time to time?

The design stage is the time to think carefully about this topic. If the space is truly going to be restricted to reading, perhaps design touches such as soft seating, the provision of lighting enhancements to showcase particular books, and noise reducing finishes will be desired during the room’s construction. Conversely, if the library is expected to occasionally morph into an office for your spouse, or a study space for your school-aged children, it might be prudent to also consider the addition of a desk, plenty of outlets for charging computers and electronic devices, space for a printer, etc.

What personal touches and finishes should be incorporated into the library?


Will the design of the bookshelves and finishes be elegant wood products, or contemporary finishes that might include metal and glass? Will the walls be comprised of wainscoting, topped with elegant crown molding? Are you looking for a look and feel of an early century historic library, a more modern, technology-capable space, or something altogether different?

Your library absolutely deserves your personal touches and preferred finishes, and Bucks County Cabinetry and Design is ready to assist you on this exciting journey. We encourage you to check out our gallery of projects to gain a sense of the quality and elegance of our designs and craftsmanship.  Contact our dedicated team in Doylestown, PA to get your library journey started!