In this smart-world where e-book readers and tablets dominate, it is rare to find homeowners looking to create a library at home, let alone using it as a focal point. And, yet in this era where reading books are fading, there are people who swear by the experience of sifting through those sheets of paper. These people often seek for contemporary designs for a home library.

So, how do you create that perfect home library to stock all your favorite reads? Well, this home project can be fun and exciting! What’s more? You can also involve your kids in setting up a home library. Without further ado, let us go through the few essential tips in building a spectacular home library without having to call in an expensive designer.

Here’s a list of everything that you need to create a cozy home library:


No library is complete without books. Yes, they are a crucial element of your library at home – no matter how big or small it may be. Collecting books doesn’t mean you need to spend several hundred dollars. You do not necessarily have to invest in first editions to fill up your shelves. Yard sales, flea markets, estate sales, and yes the good ole’ thrift stores are wonderful sources for great books.

Book Storage

Once you are on your path of making a good book collection, you will need a place in your house to store them. While your dream library may be built-in bookcases lining the walls, it may not be feasible if you are on a tight budget or are renting your home. You can instead dedicate a room for the books and use bookcases lined against each other to create the same dramatic look of the libraries you see in movies.

Work Surfaces

To make your home library look complete, throw in a desk. This is an excellent place for you to sit down and write letters, checks, or even your computer. You can invest in an antique-looking wooden desk that has plenty of drawers or a more modern defunct industrial desk. If your room is spacious, you can also consider a conference table right in the middle of the room.


Now, every library needs good and comfortable seating. You simply cannot enjoy your favorite book if your back is sore from sitting in an awkward posture. Use cushy chairs, a soft ottoman or even a love seat in your library.


Now, coming to a very crucial element of a home library that most homeowners tend to forget or overlook. The light in your home library can make or break its look and all your efforts.

Basics of lighting

Good lighting is quintessential in every room of your house, and more so in your home library. You will need to integrate three types of light in your home library – Ambient, Task, and Mood.

Begin with Ambient. If your room’s ceiling is set up for the installation of a hard-wired fixture, you can consider investing in a chandelier and a wall dimmer. If that is not an option, you can go in for wall sconces with dimmers that can look rather dramatic and impressive in a library.

Never rely on an overhead lighting system for reading though. Here you need a task light! Opt for a table or floor lamp for every reader’s set in your home library. Ensure you choose the right lamp height when shopping for the lamps. Position them in such a manner that the light shines on your book pages to facilitate optimal reading comfort.

If you have a desk or conference table, you will also need a few desk lights. This can be a swaged or hard wired overhead fixture that shines right upon the table top.

Lastly, mood lighting creates a charming ambiance to your home library. You can tuck in up-lights in the corner of the rooms, or behind pedestals. The light must also illuminate your bookcases. If you choose to hang artwork on the walls, consider lighting to highlight them.

Now that you have the basics of lighting, here are six ideas that you can use for your home library lighting:

Use Tape Lights

Brighten your bookshelves and their contents using LED strip lights. To do so, you can install LED tape lights at the top of your bookcase such that the light illuminates the shelves. This is not just functional but gives your library a surreal look at night.

Wall Scones for a Traditional Ambiance

To achieve a more traditional look, you can add wall sconces or wall lights around all the shelving. This will help in defining and framing them. You can also use wall lights to illuminate fireplaces and other architectural details. This will also set a relaxing ambiance in the entire room.

Concealed Lighting

If you are looking for a quick way to brighten up your library, use up-lights to illuminate and focus room details such as potted plants. These accent lights can be discretely tucked behind chairs or pots, so all you can see is the effect and not the lighting itself.

Simple Lighting Fix  

Yet another easy lighting idea is to use clip lights on your shelves and even a desk. Direct the light from these clips to illuminate furniture details.

Contemporary Lighting Solutions  

If you are looking for lighting solutions for reading, you can go in for swing arm wall lights. Install these next to your reading chair and desk. These lights do not clutter your floor space and provide the right amount of light. You can also direct and adjust them as per your reading needs and preferences. A bronze finished swing arm light, for instance, can be functional and add a traditional charm to your home library.

Lighting for a Small Home Library

If you do not have the space to mount wall lights or picture lights, do not be disappointed. You can use track lights that will look equally impressive. There are a bunch of updated track lights that you can buy from any home furnishing stores. You may also consider easy to install DIY track style ceiling lights that have spotlight adjustable heads on your ceiling. This will save wall space and will lighten up your library instantly. Feel free to use your ingenuity and mix traditional interiors with contemporary lighting. Trust us; the results will be spectacular.


From pin lights to rope lighting, there are umpteen ways to give your home library a clean and bright look. Always remember that the purpose of light in a home library is to throw focus on things that are important to you – whether it is the furniture, photos, or books, or all!