Larger Home Libraries (page 5)


"From the moment one enters the library of a Neoclassical-style Long Island, New York, summer house by Thomas Britt, the designer’s emphasis on scale (or rather, the skillful manipulation of it) is front and center—the space’s defining characteristic (see Architectural Digest, March 1998). The ceiling of the long and narrow room reaches double height, but the spiral stairs and the primary furnishings—Britt-designed low-slung sofas, six even lower Louis XV-style armchairs and a Burmese low table that hovers barely a foot from the plank floor—suggest a vastly more voluminous space. “Here, as in most of what I do, scale was immensely significant to the overall concept,” Britt says. The aesthetic, flavored with 18th- and 19th-century pieces that he zeroed in on during excursions around the world, is a decidedly architectural one: Set off in white and playing against brilliant yellow walls, elegant millwork traces the lines of the catwalk and the fireplace. 'French doors connect it to a courtyard,' says Britt. 'It’s a room for more than just books.'”



The Library in the Carriage House of Litchfield Plantation Bed & Breakfast on the principal 600 acres of a 1750s coastal rice plantation in Pawley's Island, SC. beautiful old wood paneling and bookcases.


2043 (Bunny Williams)

Beautifully-constructed white-painted bookcases, interspersed with sections of equally beautiful paneling. Incredible millwork. Wow.


House & Garden Book of Style; Browning

The New York City library and salon of costume jewelry designer Kenneth Jay Lane. This is one of my favorite library spaces. The ornate millwork, the richly-hued walls, the exotic furnishings, the incredible collection of Orientalist paintings. The only drawback, in my opinion, is that he has had to sacrifice bookshelf space to have all these other fine aspects. But everything in life involves tradeoffs, doesn't it?



The dining space in fabric designer Carolina Irving's New York City apartment. Being a relatively small living space by normal standards (although quite a large apartment by NYC standards), the owner has had to fit books in where she could in multiple rooms, rather than in a dedicated library space (which is not a bad way to live, always among books, in my opinion).


2046 (Lynnn von Kersting)

A wonderfully British-looking library, with packed bookshelves, small framed art and photos hanging directly over the shelves and curious objects picked up on travels scattered about. A lived-in, comfy-looking space.


2047 (John Stefanidas)

An incredibly grand, two-story, Georgian-style round entry hall or rotunda also doubles as a library on both levels. Inlaid floors and a coffered ceiling dome make this a very impressive space. Ornate classical-style bookcases befit such an imposing space. Wow.


2048 (Keith Irvine)

A beautiful and sophisticated ding room/library. The room is surrounded by dark-painted bookcases with ornate millwork, which allow the books spines to pop out more visibly. The painted ceiling, furnishings and flooring all contribute to an intimate space for dining and reading. Nicely done.



This beautiful English library is quite classical in design, with ornate Georgian-style bookcases, red walls (again, my favorite), classical busts and beautiful furnishings. The books are obviously show books with their by-the-foot leather spines, but it's still an incredible space.



Peter Gluck designed this New York library for his wife Carol, a scholar. The lower, windowless part has room to store 10,000 books while the upper level is a work space with windows that complete slide out of the way.

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