Whether your home is traditional, modern or somewhere in between, we've got the ultimate book-curation inspiration.
A Victorian fireplace became the building block for an Atlanta library. Shon Parker embellished the small space — separated with a curtain in a Kravet silk — by covering the walls in a Thibaut paper. A geometric wallpaper from Cole & Son also peeks through between the ceiling beams.
"I wanted it to feel like being wrapped in a warm blanket," says Melissa Rufty of this Southern library. Plush fabrics like velvet and faux fur complement walls in Benjamin Moore's Mink. Rufty also designed the coffee table and had it custom painted with a faux-horn effect.
Wesley Moon refreshed a dated interior by installing built-in shelves around a custom sofa. The wool tartan upholstery by Holland & Sherry matches a geometric Stark carpet. The Eames chair is covered in a navy boiled wool.
Bailey McCarthy gave a Texas home's ungainly addition a new feel by replacing plain walls with white-oak millwork. The '70s amber-glass tulip table with swivel chairs, found on 1stdibs, is the family's favorite spot for game night.
"I have this sick love for artwork, but I'm running out of room, so the best choice is to stack it up," designer Mackay Boynton says of his Texas cottage. He employed this strategy to great effect in the library, painted in Sherwin-Williams's Relentless Olive in high gloss. His collection of malachite objets d'art rests on an antique writing table. The pineapple needlepoint pillow is Boynton's handiwork.
In a Hamptons getaway by Lisa McFadden, the library goes bold with walls in high-gloss Purple Lotus and a ceiling in Metallic Glaze in Silver, both from Benjamin Moore. The sofa is upholstered in Palimuro velvet by Etro, and Alan Campbell's Meloire Reverse covers armchairs from John Salibello.
"Not￼￼hing transports like a deep red room," says designer Mary McDonald of the sumptuous library in a Beverly Hills home. The window was covered with a bamboo shade to create an artful backdrop for the photograph by Augusta Wood. Walls in Benjamin Moore's Classic Burgundy. A Vaughan side table holds a lamp by Visual Comfort; a zebra-patterned hide tops a Stark rug.
In a historic home's library, the black-lacquer Louis XVI–style bureau plat and upholstered wrought-iron chair are from Bermingham & Co. Ottoman in Scalamandré's Corbet velvet.
Deep, rich color — starting with C2 Paint's Mulberry on the walls — creates a warm, welcoming study in a Greenwich Village apartment. The clients' own sofa was reupholstered in Claudia by John Stefanidis, and their ottoman was recovered in Cebu by Dedar.
In a bold Nantucket home, designer Gary McBournie transformed a former bedroom into a library with the help of a memorable fabric by Bob Collins & Sons. The space includes hidden doors that lead to a full bathroom and closet.
The graciously-appointed gallery in a 1930s estate accommodates overflow seating during large parties, but would be a lovely place to catch up on your reading. Wooden door casings offer a modern contrast to swagged and fringed valances in a Holland & Sherry wool flannel, the same fabric used to cover the custom slipper chairs.
In the library of a colorful farmhouse estate, walls covered in Wolf-Gordon's Bonaire are just the first of several stripes, including Jacques Bouvet et Cie's Tunis on the English wing chair and Malabar's Tiwi on the curtains.
The unconventional but so elegant combination of blue and orange adds interest to a Georgian revival home's study. The sofa and armchairs are upholstered in a Jasper stripe for a timeless look.
In a New York home, custom chairs flank a sofa in a Claremont mohair, its vibrant hue playing off bookshelves lacquered in a custom color by Fine Paints of Europe.
Designer Todd Klein used high gloss paint colors in this New York apartment. The library's high-gloss brown walls play up the grid pattern of the bookshelves, derived from a design by architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen. Pillows in Ixtapa by make a handsome, well-worn chesterfield sofa look even more comfortable and inviting.
With deep green on the library's walls in a Manhattan apartment, Benjamin Moore's Amazon Moss, Miles Redd went for neutrals on the custom sofa, in Ralph Lauren Home's Bronson, and on the antique bench from Hinson.
With its lush dose of ultramarine, a custom Lee Industries sectional sofa covered in Fabricut's Renaissance velvet adds vibrancy to a traditional library in a Charlotte, North Carolina, house decorated by Lindsey Coral Harper. For more zing, Harper painted the client's desk chair in Benjamin Moore's Mulberry.
In Ellen Niven's Long Island house, bookcase arches in the library mimic Belgian castle windows. Niven adores the leather-bound books she inherited, but says, "I didn't want the room to be dark or stiff," so she introduced inviting colors to make it a favorite retreat.
In a 1920s hacienda-style house in Santa Monica, California, an antique pedestal table and inlaid chair add an Anglo-Indian flavor to an alcove library.
In the library of Connie Newberry's Dutchess County, New York, house, a sofa covered in Holland & Sherry moleskin blends into the walls. A coffee table from Gerald Bland "adds the pop of red every room needs," Newberry says.
Walls in a custom peacock-blue lacquer by Fine Paints of Europe give depth and richness to the library of a Chicago townhouse designed by Steven Gambrel. The leather sofa and King George club chair were designed by Gambrel and made by Dune. The silkscreen print is by Andy Warhol.
Miles Redd designed the ebonized wood and sterling bookshelf, where a colorblock painting by Leora Armstrong hangs. When they're alone, the owners of this Manhattan apartment dine at this carved flip-top game table from Agostino Antiques.
"Because the library is small, it lent itself to a rich jewel-box treatment," designer Jeanette Whitson says of her Nashville house. Woodwork is painted a deep, saturated color, Farrow & Ball's Hague Blue, and the ceiling is tented with a Michael S. Smith Indian block fabric, Jasper. Upholstered in a blue Schumacher silk velvet very close to the color of the walls, the tufted U-shaped sofa — which is all one piece — is where her two teenage children watch movies. "We call it Big Blue," she says.
In a London townhouse, the library is designer Rob Southern's "nod to English decorating, with vintage floral chintz."
Red, white and blue gets a bohemian twist in the library of aWashington, D.C., townhouse, designed by Jeff Lincoln and Hillary Thomas, with lacquered walls, a silver ceiling and ethnic textiles.
Designer Amanda Kyser has filled Long Island home's library with artistic details. The Molina sofa from Bespoke is covered in Arabica Belgian linen from Libeco-Lagae, and the pillows are a mix of antique silk ikat and 19th-century Thai patterns.
The library in designer Garrow Kedigian's Manhattan apartment sheds fresh light on the classics he collects, both literary and decorative. "I wanted to have a library before that notion becomes extinct," says Kedigian, "but the shell had to feel contemporary and fun." Solution? A vibrant custom palette in a Fine Paints of Europe Brilliant finish.
By painting the paneled walls and cabinets of the library in a Charlotte, North Carolina house, a deep blue, designer Lindsey Coral Harper gave a sliver of a room impact.
In his 16th-century French countryside estate, William Christie transformed a bare room into a library, outfitted with Cuban mahogany shelves salvaged from a library in Nantes. His carpenter found more Cuban mahogany to build the barrel-vault ceiling. The classical busts crowning the shelves are copies made by Lorenzani in Paris.