Ideas for Home Libraries: Homes in Our Good Books

Read all about our best home libraries in this guide to how you can bring your own book collection to life

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Living room with bookshelf against wall

Whether you like a classic novel, a page-turning thriller or an inspiring autobiography, we can all agree that the joy of reading is one of the greatest.

Yes, the Kindle might be more practical and portable nowadays, but we’re sorry, there is simply nothing better than the smell of a good book. (Seriously, if they bottled that scent up and sold it as a perfume, Plum Guide's home critic Margot would never go near her No. 5 again.) There’s also something special about watching your books build up into a beautiful library of stories within your own home.

Because of this, our home critics always rate a well-curated library highly (incredibly so if it's colour coded). Here are some of their absolute favourites. Bookworms, prepare to swoon...

A staircase feature

A staircase that doubles up as a home library. We'd never thought about it before, but now we can't stop thanks to La Biblioteca. This Milan home's staircase feature makes for a great way to save on storage whilst splurging on great design. Safe to say this was something that our home critics were definitely on board with when testing this home.

Classic meets contemporary

A splash of yellow against dark mahogany and leather-bound books galore. Oh, stop it... Although our home Frutteto in Rome provides a classic take on the home library, the addition of colour elevates it to a contemporary and sophisticated look that we really can't get enough of. If you think your home library could do with a little refresh to bring it into the 21st century, experiment with the use of colour rather than opting to get rid of any prized antique pieces of furniture. (You'll thank us for that tip once you find out what they're worth.)

A living room centrepiece

We can understand where the 'Pride' in our home Pride Rock's name came from. We'd be feeling pretty proud of ourselves if we had that book collection too. Set within a typically Parisian apartment, with high-ceilings and plenty of natural light streaming through the large, open windows, this living area is a great space to bring a collection of books to centre stage. When it comes to ideas for home libraries, displaying your books in a room where you (as well as your guests) can enjoy them is one of our favourites.

Colour coded books

One of our favourite ideas for home libraries simply has to be the colour coding of books. (We don't pride ourselves on being finicky beings for nothing.) This home's level of colour coding ticks all of our obsessively meticulous boxes and serves as a great reminder that organisation is not only great for the mind, but for the interior design of a home too. A double win if ever there was one.

A bookcase wall

Wallpapers and paints are fine, but a bookcase wall is better. Are we right, or are we right? Show off the best of your literary collection (and hide the beach reads somewhere else) with a statement wall brimming with books just like this one in our home, Rifugio d'Artista.

Angled shelving

We love the angle(s) they're going for here... If you want to showcase only a small selection of your favourite books – or if you're just not really the bookish type – then combine your home library with ornaments, plants and the like too. Go one step further, like they've done in this home, by opting for more of a feature shelf to house this curated collection of your most prized possessions. [

A complemented collection

It's common knowledge (amongst the most informed of us, at least) that no home library is 100% complete without an Eames – or at least Eames-style lounger. It's clear to see the hosts of this particular home took note of the design-focused books within their collection when creating their library. Modern units, mixing materials like concrete, combined with the dark mahogany flooring? It's a yes from us.

A floor-to-ceiling statement

What came first – the architect's blueprints or the idea of an angular, floor-to-ceiling home library? We're not entirely sure, but we really hope it was the latter. This home library is one of the most striking within our collection and makes for quite the conversation starter at a dinner party. Whatever you do, just don't ask for a book from the top shelf. [

For the bedtime reader

Forget sleeping under the stars, it's all about sleeping under your books here. One of the more unique options on our list of ideas for home libraries and ideal for any bedtime readers out there, this feature is a great addition to a bedroom set up. Just promise us one thing – make sure to screw the shelf in well, ok? A sore head should be from one too many malbecs rather than one too many Margaret Atwoods.

If these ideas for home libraries have made you think of your next read, take a look at our ultimate list of travel books for some inspiration. Should coffee table books be more to your liking, then our list of the best cookbooks across our global destinations should do the trick.

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