Home Libraries: Interiors Inspiration
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Home Libraries: Interiors Inspiration

Beautiful inspiration for book lovers

A dedicated room for reading, displaying and re-arranging books is every bibliophile’s dream. We love this by day and by night home library courtesy of @crack_the_shutters on Instagram, which recently caught the internet’s attention. If you’re wondering how best to store your own volumes, let these enchanting home libraries – created by some of the UK’s top interior designers – provide some inspiration. Looking to fill patchy shelves? Why not check out some of team C&TH’s favourite novels, our pick of long books to get stuck into or some of the world’s most romantic reads, or why not even have a browse of all the banned books. The choice is yours. 


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Home Library Ideas

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Library by Colefax & Fowler

Colefax & Fowler

© Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler

Home library by Clive Christian

Clive Christian

© Clive Christian

The home library at Charleston House in Bloomsbury

Charleston House

The Bloomsbury group ‘paints in circles, lives in squares, and loves in triangles’. That’s how the literary group of the early 20th Century (including the likes of Virginia Woolf), were famously described.

So it makes it no surprise that their house they lived in, Charleston House, was a manifestation of their creativity. We have a particular penchant for this hand-painted muraled home library that stacked their books, inspiring the creative genius of Virginia Woolf, Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell, among others.


Image: Charleston © The Charleston Trust; photograph: Lee Robbins

Courtney Madden's home library stacked with books in a maximalist fashion

Courtney Madden

Self confessed hoarder, Courtney Madden (of @cococollective, her Instagram that’s a treasure trove of her maximalist take to interiors), has a splendid example of how home libraries can be done.

Magpie-ing elements of vintage pieces, to contemporary artworks, to books all in between; it’s a feast for the eyes.

Clive Christian x Taylor Howes

Clive Christian & Taylor Howes

Clive Christian collaborated with interior design studio, Taylor Howes on this stately, traditional library.

Hatchards Piccadilly (a partner of Clive Christian) helps add the final touches to projects like these – sourcing special editions and rare issues. It will also continue to help you build your collection after a library is finished, as part of Clive Christian’s membership service, The Club. After all, what dream library would be complete without piles of beautifully-bound books to immerse yourself in?


Kate Guinness

This bright and breezy library is part of a London project by Kate Guinness. We love the calming shades of blue and cosy reading nook with its deep armchair and retro reading lamp.

Photo: © James McDonald

Christopher Peters

Thinking of designing your own home library? Bespoke is the way forward – Christopher Peters designed this Prussian-blue Newgate bookshelf to be adjustable so that shelves can be moved around, with large cupboards underneath to provide ample storage (all the better to store more of your favourite books).

Gavin Houghton interior design

Gavin Houghton Interior Design

This dramatic living space by Gavin Houghton Interior Design breathes new life into the retro talking pit – it would be the perfect spot to curl up with your favourite novel.



Darker shades create a more intimate, enveloping space – ideal for losing yourself in a book.

Image and armchair by Heal’s



This stunning wall of books, courtesy of Swedish designer Ebba Thott of Sigmar, also works as a divider between living room and library.

Ben Pentreath

Ben Pentreath

An elegant books corner in a living room by Ben Pentreath

Broosk Saib

Broosk Saib

A library in the loo? Considering the amount of time we spend in there, it isn’t too crazy an idea. Adding a bookshelf – as seen here by interior designer and self-confessed library obsessive Broosk Saib – is a great way to get creative in a small guest bathroom.

Natalia Miyar

Natalia Miyar Atelier

Cosy reading nook with chaise lounges by Natalia Miyar Atelier

Salvesen Graham living room

Salvesen Graham

If you’re all about the aesthetic (and know exactly what titles you have) colour-coding can be a great look. Painting the inside of the shelves a darker colour – like in this elegant living room by design duo Salvesen Graham – creates depth and interest.


Bowood House Hotel & Spa

Adding a cushioned fender to your fireplace creates extra seating space for when you want to read around the hearth in the winter months, as in this cosy library.

Image: Bowood House Hotel & Spa


Nicola Harding & Co.

A beautiful blue dining room by Nicola Harding & Co. doubles as a striking space to house a huge collection of books.

Farr House Inverness

Farr Estate

An old-school home library – think tartan blankets and leather – is wonderfully inviting when grouped around the fireplace.

Image: Farr House, on the Farr Estate in Inverness

Tim Gosling dining room

Tim Gosling

Displaying books in a traditional library style provides a unique and striking backdrop for a formal dining room. Interior by Tim Gosling

The home library at Charleston House in Bloomsbury

Charleston House