Reading Rooms

When a client asks for room to display their book collection, my answer is always a resounding YES! Even in the age of the Kindle, everyone needs books in their home. I don’t have anything against reading on on a tablet, I do it all the time. But nothing replaces a good old fashioned book. Plus, books show your personality more than almost any other object.

 Carolina Irving, photo by Francois Halard for Vogue

Carolina Irving, photo by Francois Halard for Vogue

One needn’t devote an entire room to books, though a dedicated library is a fabulous luxury. Bookcases can be inserted in any room: living room, dining room, hall, bedroom, home office, all can be spruced up by a book or two, or two hundred. The above inviting living and dining room almost demands that you pick up a book and stay awhile. The photo below of a dedicated library that also serve as a dining room is a bit of '50s wackiness, but charming nonetheless.

 Vogue, 1955

Vogue, 1955

I love a dedicated shrine to books, a room that celebrates them as an art form. Not everyone has the room or desire for a library, and that makes them all the more special. The libraries in the photos below are a study in contrast. Architect Amanda Levete created a minimalist shrine to books as her library and the designer in me is in awe of the engineering required to float those core-ten steel shelves without visible support.

 Amanda Levete

Amanda Levete

And below, on the opposite end of the scale, is an over-the-top library designed by Kelly Wearstler that I can only describe as a modern Baroque fantasy. This client was serious about their books!

 Kelly Wearstler 

Kelly Wearstler 

A private library is the ultimate luxury, but rooms that celebrate an individual's love of reading are probably my true favorite - just a personal collection of works they love. Eyes may be the window to the soul, but so is a book collection! In the below photos, don’t you feel like you know a little about the owner’s personalities from their collections?

 Private Collection via Orlando Soria

Private Collection via Orlando Soria

 House Beautiful

House Beautiful

For more literary inspiration, please visit my “Luxe Library” Pinterest board.

Warmly, 

Beth