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How to Create a Small Home Library That’ll Make a BIG Impact


Book Lover’s day on August 9th gives avid readers the excuse of taking an ‘unofficial’ holiday and indulging in what they love most – reading!

The library, a place to escape reality, immersing yourself in a world of fiction. From bodice-ripping romances to who-dunnits, psychological thrillers and the classics of the masters, if you are an avid reader, you’ll know the value of every book.

Each book, whether it’s a short novella or a tome along the lines of ‘War & Peace’, it will be treated as it something precious.

And like film buffs, there is nothing wrong with reading any book more than once. Read it three times or more if you please, because each time you will pick up new sentences, ideas and detail.

A home library must surely be a dream of many people, especially those who lose themselves in a good book. But can you create one in your home? Or do you still think it is a room only for castles and mansions?


Step 1 – Pick your spot

The first thing you need to do is pick the ideal spot for your home library. There are many options, from taking over a corner of the room to…

  • Under the stairs – it may house the vacuum cleaner but in some properties, the space under the staircase is actually quite large. And its shape lends itself well row upon on shelves with your precious books on them. Make sure you can fit somewhere to sit, like a large wingback chair for extra class and comfort
  • A garden room – if space is tight but you’re a little more generous, then why not consider adding a whole new room with a garden studio? Opt for a spacious summer house, insulate it and decorate it, add your shelving and a comfy armchair or two and you have your very own library.

Step 2 – Get out the decorating kit

Before you start planning your lovely library shelves, you need to decide on what kind of style you are going for and that comes down to many things – colour being one of them.

Dark colours absorb light, creating a dramatic space which can be a sheer delight to snuggle into on a dark winter’s afternoon or cocoon you from the heat of a summer’s day.

Lighter colours bring a freshness and a vibrancy about the room, a setting you may find peaceful and restful when sinking into a good book or between the virtual pages of your e-reader.

HINT – paint or paper the walls before fixing shelves or free-standing units, it’ll be easier and quicker.

Step 3 – Build the shelving

Now, this is the exciting but also the most crucial part of creating your home library – the shelving on which your precious hard and soft backed books will sit.

Bookcases are all well and good. But they frequently have a limited number of shelves with them. This means that in a space where you could fit 5 shelves of books, you only have three.

The solutions to this are;

BIG budget – bespoke shelving units

From hiring the services of a local joiner to a bespoke fitted furniture company, it may be pricey but you won’t regret having bespoke library shelves built. Brilliant in any home library but especially in smaller or more awkwardly shaped spaces (like under the stairs!) where you want to squeeze the maximum amount of space from every shelf. And don’t forget, joiners will have experience of fitting library shelves. They’ll know the right dimensions to keep your precious books safe.

SMALLER budget – adjustable shelving units, with additional shelving options

At the lower end of the budget but still a worthy solution is investing in shelving units with adjustable shelves. You will need to add more shelving so that is an additional cost and for safety reasons, you will also need to ensure the unit is securely attached to the wall.


Step 4 – Move in

With the ‘basics’ in place, you can start the moving in process. You can start to lovingly place your books on the shelves, your reading lamp on the side table next to your favourite chair and the rug on the floor beneath your feet to pull the whole library landscape together.



Anna Sharples

Office and marketing manager for Sloane & Sons Stylish Chairs, who sell a range of high-quality tub chairs, accent chairs and more.