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Creating a Classic Home Library

Though we are living through the digital age, nothing beats the feeling of turning the final page in a book. When you want to showcase your favorite books in a formal and elegant space with unique intimacy that can’t be found in a public library, it may be time to design and furnish a classic home library to call your very own! Adorn your literary retreat with antique design elements to transport you back to a time before technology.

Home libraries were historically a luxury only enjoyed by the wealthy, but cultivating an authentic space with an heir of sophisticated academia doesn’t have to be overly expensive. All you need is an extra room, some books, and a knack for authentic design and furnishings.

How to Build a Library in Your Own Space:

Regardless of how much space you have to create your classic home library, a few steps exist to create a functional and aesthetically pleasing area.

1. First, designate a room or a wall to serve as your library. This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s an essential step in cultivating the ambiance of your home library. If you want a more traditional space that adheres to classic historical examples, you may want to dedicate an entire room to serve as your library. The separate area creates a secluded study environment, allowing you more room to decorate with antique reproductions. A more modern take on a classic home library can be approached by choosing a single wall rather than an entire room. No matter how small or large your home library is, you have the creative freedom to decorate it the way you wish.

2. Find your aesthetic inspiration and plan accordingly. Decide if you want your library to mirror Colonial times, the Gilded Age, or a different era. Designing your space to replicate a period is a great way to get specific with the room’s details. Solidifying an inspiration era will help you narrow down color schemes and furnishings.

3. Once you have your vision, it’s time to get to work! One of the first things that you’ll need is shelving. Depending on the vibe of your library, you may opt for creative shelving, which is more modern, or classic shelving to adhere to traditional home libraries of the past. Either option is a guaranteed way to create immediate visual interest in your library. The Tall Colonial Mahogany Bookshelf from our collection is an excellent example of an authentic antique replica that would preserve the integrity of a Colonial home library. Its dark mahogany wood matches most furniture styles and provides storage for plenty of books standing at a grand six feet tall. The stately charm of the hand-carved details around the edges and its beautiful satin finish make this a prototype for classic home library shelving.

4. Furnishing is one of the most important aspects of designing a home library. After figuring out the period you wish to replicate, accessing authentic furniture designs from that era is crucial. Since many classic interior designs favor the seventeenth through the early twentieth centuries, finding original furnishings in good condition may be challenging. Relying on a company like ours that performs antique reproductions is the best way to purchase authentic designs that are built to last by experienced craftsmen. Since our reproductions are made to order, you can customize any furnishing while feeling confident that the quality is top-notch. Your new library space deserves sturdy new furniture (even if its design is antiquated)! While there are several practical types of furniture for a library, the list below comprises some of the most comfortable, convenient, and authentic pieces that would be an asset to any home library.

- Bookshelf: You can’t have a library without a place to store your books. Shelving can be installed directly on a wall, or you can opt for some bookshelves. There are plenty of bookshelves whose designs derive from specific eras making the space more authentic. Bookshelves are a great addition to your home library because they’re much more transportable than wall shelving. If you sell your home, a bookcase can be moved to another room or an entirely new location. The right bookcase will transform your space and allow you to bring your library along no matter where life takes you.

- Book Trough: Serving as a hallmark of home libraries from the Georgian era, a mahogany book trough is a great piece to complement your literary space. This small and transportable design allows you to keep books within reach of any spot in the room.

- Magazine Holder: Libraries are home to all kinds of literature -- not just novels! A vintage magazine holder is a great place to store magazines, puzzles, reference books, and other forms of writing without throwing off the aesthetic of your shelves.

- Secretary or Writing Desk: Adding a desk in your home library allows you to act quickly when creative inspiration strikes. Certain desk styles like the Queen Anne Secretary Desk from our collection date back to the eighteenth century and add unique and practical charm to any space. Read literature and write literature all in one nostalgic place.

- Coffee or Tea Table: When you need to set something down, it’s helpful to have a table nearby. Coffee and tea tables offer endless opportunities for antique designs from any era while providing a convenient surface to place glasses, tea, books, and more.

- Fireplace Mantles: If your home library features a cozy fireplace, you can further establish the mood with an antique fireplace mantel. A handcrafted mantel will bring a touch of stately elegance to the room and provide a focal point for the entire library.

- Comfortable Seating: Curling up with a good book can only be done comfortably with proper seating. Finding a parlor chair, tub chair, armchair, sofa, or chaise lounge design from the era you wish to replicate will add the extra charm that your library needs. Victorian, Colonial, Chippendale, and other seating styles from our collection can be customized to match your space.

Footstools: Invite comfort into your library with an antique footstool. Choose upholstery and designs that match the rest of the furniture and color scheme of your space.

Some common eras and styles to inspire your classic home library include Victorian, Georgian, Colonial, and French Provincial. These options provide a unique essence with sophisticated and comfortable furniture designs.

Turn your home into a treasure trove of information that exudes character and elegance. A classic home library with authentic design and furnishings will transport you back in time and make you want to leave your technology at the door!

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