Essential Elements of an Elegant Home Library

Adding a library brings a sense of timelessness and luxury to your home. It also creates a calming retreat for reading and reflection. Include the essential elements of an elegant library in your plans.

Your Favorite Books

Books that sit on shelves just for show are a dead giveaway that you designed the library to please the eyes and not to nourish the mind and spirit. Before you even start working with a designer in your library room, weed your collection ruthlessly.

Keep books that have changed your life, made you laugh or cry, or taught you something valuable. Also, keep the books you’ve added to your “TBR” (to be read) list recently, but let go of those you know you’ll never read.


The richness of wood paneling and wood desks or side tables enhances any library and boosts the elegance factor in the room. There are many choices in the styles and species of wood that can warm up the room and make it a place you want to spend a lot of time in. For example, consider an American walnut wood table for your library.

Reading Lamps

You and your designer may plan for recessed lighting, spotlighting, wall sconces, or even chandeliers. Nevertheless, you’ll still want to have reading lamps next to your favorite chairs. Create a careful lighting plan to showcase the room’s warmth while also providing enough light to read.

A Fireplace

If your home can accommodate one, a fireplace is a lovely element of an elegant library. Park leather or upholstered wing chairs on either side, add a carved mantle, and your library will exude old-world style.

A Catwalk or Balcony

Booklovers relish the idea of a two-level library with a rolling ladder or a spiral staircase ascending to a catwalk lined with shelves. Several architectural styles will accommodate a second level for your library if you have the ceiling height or you’re creating a library as a home addition.

These essential elements of an elegant home library come together to create an inviting, luxury space for reading or sharing a nightcap with your partner or friend.