Filling a room with a treasured book collection gives a space its own story with a visual, tactile narrative.
Books are an amazing way to add a very personal touch to an interior space. Most people spend years collecting books, and it is wonderful to be able to display these and allow your interests to be exhibited. The trick is figuring out how to design a room around your tomes.
We always say that no one wants to fill their home with furniture; you want to fill it with stories and items that have meaning. A book collection is such a unique and personal thing that always brings warmth and personality to a room.
The bookcase can be a focal point in and of itself. A great bookcase can be just as interesting as the volumes it holds. Large-scale built-ins across a whole wall can create a very dramatic look, especially if they’re painted to complement or contrast with other key pieces in the room.
Instead of organizing your collection in a bookcase, you might pile them up on the floor or stack them against a wall. It gives the room character in a more relaxed way.
Adding an armchair and a lamp in front of a bookcase creates a cozy literary retreat in a lounge, but in a study, you might want to leave the bookcases open and place the desk in the center of the room surrounded by your favorite books while you work.
Let the Collection Take Center Stage
Depending on the style of the interiors, whether traditional or contemporary, book collections will bring an element of warmth, substantiality and interest to a space.
A large bookcase can be central to the design of the room. It can create the illusion that the space has more depth or height. Here is a large bookcase that runs up through all five stories of the home. The staircase wraps around the bookcase on each floor, so that every book is easily accessible by the owners. This also creates the central feature to the entire home.
It is not necessary to fill every single shelf of a library space. It’s far more elegant to allow the books to breath and create more of a sense of space.
Bookshelves filled with books, tables piled high with books, stacks of books on floors…it’s all good. If your books aren’t displayed in an overtly stylized way, so that a person would be comfortable pulling a spine from a shelf or a tableau, then you’ve created intimacy. A visitor feels free to browse your books and learn about your interests and your passions.
Old books with leather spines intact are eye candy in a library. If there’s one with a particularly special cover, I’ll prop it with the cover facing out. That’s a fun way to feature a book you love or one with special meaning.
Staying consistent with styling is the best way to keep things from being too crowded; i.e. avoid bric-à-brac and too many tchotchkes. When a client has a home with miles of bookshelves and owns four linear feet of books, contact a library curator to curate a library that uniquely reflects the client’s interests.
With great care and restraint, occasionally insert a small objet d’art, painting or sentimental memento on a bookshelf. Books are very personal and so should the accessories be that you put with them. Also, intersperse standing books with stacks of books. When the library is extensive, subtle variations like this add interest.
Layer the Look
In any room, books bring character and texture, with the natural variation in color, shape and size. With millwork, in particular, books provide a much-needed soft counterpoint to the hard, angular structure of the shelves.
Styling bookshelves is like achieving the ultimate balance of form and function. These are ultimately meant to be usable libraries where our clients can easily find a book. But I always find that mixing in other objects helps to break up the visual and adds even more personality to the space.
In general, the fuller the shelves, the better. Even with large book collections, adding a wallcovering to the back of the shelves naturally creates a cohesive appearance and counteracts any potential chaos.
Article source: MansionGlobal.com.