Modest Home Libraries (page 4)


This fine room contains one wall of built-in, white-painted, traditional book shelves with closed cabinets below, flanking an ornate fireplace. The wall not shown in the photo could possibly provide more shelves, which would make this a substantial library, but it is just as likely that this is a modest, but handsome library/sitting room.


1032 (from Town & Country)

This beautiful library, designed for socialite Brooke Astor by Albert Hadley, has unique red-lacquered, brass-edged bookcases and a Chinese-inspired furnishings. A truly lovely library.



This library isn't about the shelves, it's about the incredible architecture of the room: the ornate plaster and frescoed ceilings, the grand plaster cornice over the doorway, the herringbone-laid floor. In my opinion, these shelves are not right for this room. They are too modern and commonplace – yes, I know some will say that it is an interesting juxtaposition of the modern and the ornate, but I'm not buying it. Perhaps the cost of constructing shelves with ornate trim work befitting to such an ornate room was beyond the owners of this space. But these are, at best, temporary shelves that do not measure up to the rest of this elegant room.



A modest, homey library with shelves painted to match the wall color, wall sconces and framed art covering the walls. The shelves contain books that look suspiciously like designer spines by the yard, but it is, nonetheless, a pleasant and comfortable small library.



This is an interesting "library in a box." The entire library is contained in a French windowed room within a room. The white shelves and white window light dividers contrast with the shiny back floor outside the "box."



Here, a freestanding bookcase is used as a room divider, and low bookshelves run along a wall under windows.


1037 (Elle Décor 7/07)

These well-packed, white-painted book shelves also have a ledge halfway up that allows art to be propped against the shelves for viewing. This is a very cozy corner, with comfortable-looking English-style wing chairs to read in.



This wall of shelves is painted white with red on the back wall, an interesting effect. The ceiling is high enough that two shelves can fit above the door, which adds more book storage space than one would imagine.



This very white room combines ornate crown molding with simple cubical built-in shelves for books. Despite the barren furnishings, the room is actually quite elegant – although a rug would make the space feel warmer.



This double-height library wall is too close to the wall of windows. The light falls directly on the books, which will suffer.


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