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Designing A Home Library: Advice From An Interiors Expert

Designing a home library needn’t mean having a dedicated room. In fact, it can be easily incorporated into an existing space. A home library’s design, however, does infer that it’s grander than just book storage – more of a dominant but beautiful element amongst your living room ideas, that makes for a perfect corner in which to unwind with a book. Choosing a quiet location – a space you can shut yourself away in – ensuring good natural or artificial light, and, of course, furnishing the room with plentiful book shelves and comfortable seating are all givens when designing a home library. However, real insight comes from design experts in the field – with Emma Sims Hilditch a leading light. Here, she explains the elements that she includes in her library designs.


‘Why not consider installing a library within the bounds of another room? This is a great way to save space in your home. We incorporated a library into the south-facing study of our Grade I Regency Townhouse project in Bath (above). ‘The natural light that floods the space makes it ideal for both working and reading for pleasure, and its dual purpose creates an environment conducive to regular breaks from work in a less formal setting. ‘Plenty of comfortable armchairs close to the bookshelves are the perfect way to finish this versatile space, creating a welcoming haven for our client. With more people working from home, we find this a great way to balance work with leisure time throughout the day.’


‘When most people picture a library, they see row upon row of books standing in columns from floor to ceiling. At Sims Hilditch we consider each home individually, thinking outside the box to create bespoke solutions which work well for our clients,’ says Emma. The library in Emma’s Wiltshire home is a great example of this. ‘We installed a bespoke library overhanging the open-plan sitting room and kitchen, filling what would otherwise have been a blank wall with an eye-catching feature which conceals the master bedroom on the first floor. Why not consult a local carpenter on how you might replicate something similar in your own home, thinking about how you might best use the space?’


‘Although a home library should be a relaxing and welcoming space, that’s not to say you can’t be bold with color. Make your space full of personality and character by selecting your favorite shade and painting the bookshelves in this color. ‘A smoky or deep blue is a bold choice, which works well for smaller spaces, creating a lovely, cocooned feel. Make this pop by using lighter colored furniture and furnishings, or using a light colored flooring. This may seem fairly simple, but it is a very effective way to personalize this space, making it somewhere inviting to spend time.’

Text by Emma Sims Hilditch | Photo by Sims Hilditch | Read More Here

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