A library gives a house a sense of sophistication and intelligence that few other touches can. It shows that the owners value knowledge, and that they treasure wisdom enough to stockpile and organize it within their home. This can have a powerful effect on how visitors perceive you, elevating your status and respect to new heights.
Unfortunately most people don’t believe they have the resources, or even capabilities to add a library to their existing home. However, a library is actually a very simple design consisting of only three necessary components; books, shelves, and the space to put them in. Once you have these, any room, even any part of a room, can be transformed into a repository for knowledge and wisdom. In this way the creation of a library is merely the strategic implementation of those three elements, into your homes existing design.
A library should ideally have a room of its own. This prevents the space from getting muddled, and losing its focus. However not everyone can devote that much space to such an endeavor. However it is possible to create a room which is both a library, and serves some other necessary purpose. In some cases, such as in a computer room, the non literary materials such as DVD’s, CD’s, or tapes can be integrated with the books to create a seamless space, while the computer can be placed in a small corner as if a reference material itself. In this way you allow the room to retain its identity as a library. Another example of this is a game room, where board games are stacked and categorized right alongside the books, and where the game table can double as a reading stand.
Even in rooms which are impossible to pass off as pure libraries, such as a bedroom, or laundry room, it is still possible to decorate with book décor. This consists of covering as much of the walls of the space with shelves, and using books as the rooms wall décor, rather then wallpaper or paint. This can take an otherwise normal or boring space, and turn it into a refined and elegant destination. If it is done in a bedroom, it will lend much of the respect and sophistication to its inhabitant that a library in the home would, while taking up a lot less room.
If you have a whole room for your library, then the ideal space will have few windows or other features in the walls. Such structures are difficult to position shelves around, and can complicate the décor of the space. The area does not have to be huge, although a tall room does create an impressive display when books are stacked all the way to the ceiling. Other considerations are that you want a quiet space that is clean, has hard flooring to support shelves, and does not suffer from dampness or mold.
There are three types of shelving units you can use to create your library. Recessed shelves have the most finished look, but they are also expensive and require architectural installation. More frugal and less permanent options include free standing shelves, and hanging shelves.
Free standing book cases can be as elegant as you are willing to pay for. If you purchase them all at once, you should be able to get matching sets, which will make the room look more finished. The only problem with these units is that they have pre defined shapes and sizes, which don’t always fit into the spaces you are using. They also almost never reach to the ceiling, leaving valuable storage space unused in your library.
Hanging shelves are the least expensive option, and they provide the most flexibility in your designs. Unfortunately the freedom they provide can also lend itself to chaos if they are not installed in a precise manner. In order to maintain the appearance of professionalism it is very important that these units are hung in straight, precise lines, and linear columns.
The books are the content that will fill the form of your library. The type of literature you choose is completely dependant on your taste, although you should be aware that those you show the library to will probably read a sample of the titles in your collection, and will make judgments of you based on that. For this reason rare and expensive tomes should be displayed prominently, in positions of honor, while less important books are relegated to the shelves.
A great place to find cheep books which can fill your library are used book stores. You can get a lot of book at discounted prices, and they will often sell large lots in bulk, at an even greater discount. You can also check yard sales, and online stores, to find great deals on literature for your space.
There are many items you can use to decorate your library. Many of these can help to solidify the ambiance you are trying to create, and make the room more of a personal creation. Some items such as a lounge, chairs, or even a plush carpet, are tailor made for plopping down and pouring over your favorite book. Others such as globes, old maps, and historical artifacts can be impressive displays that add grandeur and power to the room’s décor.
Unlike in most rooms where the walls control the ambiance, in a library the walls are covered in books. Therefore your accents should be small, dimensional, and shelf based objects, such as statues and free standing displays.
A library is not that difficult to implement into your home, even if you don’t have much room. The major things you have to consider are books, shelves, and space. As far as ambiance, you have the choice of making your library feel any way you want. What you decide on, will dictate the way the room is used and enjoyed.
Joey Lewitin is a professional designer and artist working for PebbleZ.com where you can find Rustic Home Décor, Stone Tile, and more at =>http://pebblez.com
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