Dream libraries in your home: Surrounding ourselves in words and luxury
The classic tale of Beauty & the Beast returns to the big screen this year, with former Hogwarts alumni Emma Watson taking the role of Belle. Anyone who has fond memories of Disney’s previous animated incarnation of the story will remember one of the great showpieces of the castle and a centerpiece location of the entire movie, is the library.
Because, frankly, there’s something really quite magical about a library within the home. The accumulated wisdom, creativity and art contained within the pages of books; each one lining the walls. Enveloping you in it’s comforting atmosphere.
A room of books. A room from which you can lose yourself in adventure, research, or the words of an untold number of sages, modern and old. What could be more appealing?
Libraries within the home can take a variety of forms, from the grandiose to the subtly elegant; the classic to the contemporary.
There is a practical nature to a library, of course. Many a home struggles with the challenge of storage space, and do you really want to confine all those amazing books and memorabilia to a box in the loft or, perhaps, eBay? But a perfectly designed library, in which the wall space is utilized perfectly to house those precious things, offers a storage solution that not only provides you with extra room needed, but does so in a way that brings a room to life; complementing the overall aesthetic and creating a stylish feature for your home.
There are the modest, unobtrusive home libraries, discreet shelving that blends seamlessly into the decor of the room; wall units that offer a practical yet attractive means to store your books, magazines, and that burgeoning DVD collection.
Contemporary designs can add a modern twist to a classic old room. Introducing stylish metal units, for example, creating a more studio feel to your library area. Blending your technology, the desk for the PC or Mac, a place of work amid the walls of text books and literature? Creating a working space to add a daily dose of practicality to the room; a place of productivity.
On the contrary, of course, is the more traditional nature of the library; a recreation of the mood that we would expect in those grand public buildings downtown. Towering walls – maybe across split levels – of wooden shelving, a touch of old world class. Row upon row of well-ordered books, a genteel backdrop for contemplation and quiet. Plush, comfortable furniture, neatly arranged around the hearth of a grand fireplace; the light from outside flooding into the room via a tall window.
Whatever your tastes, a library adds a genuine touch of charm and style to a home, both new and old. Of course, for many, the space may not be available to dedicate an entire room to the concept of a library; but clever design can again deliver an area of elegant storage and a showcase for your bookish side, in even the more modestly sized properties.
And if you have the room to spare, and inclination to do so, then there are few types of room that deliver such a perfect combination of luxury and comfort with practical use of space. A room to savoir, a place to display your treasured literature, possessions and trinkets, and a room in which you can indulge a more sedate pace, away from the bustle of your daily life.
And while your library may not have the talking clocks and candlestick holders that offer commentary on the budding union of Belle and the Beast; but that doesn’t mean your own library can’t have an enchantment all of its own.