I know I’m not alone when I say that I’ve always dreamed of owning my own library like the one found in Beauty and the Beast. However, since neither billions of dollars or marriage to a misunderstood prince seem to be in my future, how can I ever find a suitable home for all of my books while still living in a place I can afford?
The first step is to determine where your reading room/corner will be and how much space you can dedicate to it. Even if you don’t have an entire room you can dedicate to the written word, you can convert any space into a haven for spending time with your favorite characters.
Once you’ve chosen a space (mine will be a corner of my bedroom), it’s time to add the perfect furnishings and details that will turn it into a a cozy and inviting sanctuary.
1.For starters, determine the colors, patterns, and textures you want to incorporate into the space that complements your personality and will create a relaxing atmosphere. Re-nest, in it’s article Soothing Paint Colors for a Relaxing Bedroom recommends staying away from bright, bold hues and opting for cooler greens, grays, blues, and lavenders. Other good library colors include rich browns, creams, and reds. For a basic break down of coordinating color with furniture, read our post How To Match Wall Color to Your Furniture. If you’re not sure how to harmonize patterns and textures, you might find our post Interior Design: Textures and Patterns 101 helpful.
2. De-clutter the room or space you intend to use so that you can remove any unwanted distractions. Part of the appeal of a Beauty and the Beast inspired library is its separation from the hassle of daily life (granted, Belle and the Beast had servants to keep everything clean, but that’s another matter entirely). Personally, I would take everything out of my designated library and start from the ground up, making sure everything is dusted, polished, and clean before selecting what items to decorate with. For tips on de-cluttering, read our post 8 Ways to De-Clutter Your House and Re-Master Your Life!
3. No library is complete without at least one bookcase. While the ones in Beauty and the Beast stretch from the ceilings to the ground, you can find bookcases in any size to fit the space you have available. Another alternative to a bookcase is installing shelves on your wall and using book-ends to keep your books from toppling over. If you’re interested in building your own bookcase, This Old House has a tutorial that breaks down the process, materials, labor, and instruction.
If you’re still tight on space, here are a few additional alternatives to consider.
4. Now that you have a place to put the books, you need a place to put yourself. Investing in a big, comfy armchair or couch will turn your haven into heaven. With a few plump pillows and a soft blanket, you’ll never want to get up!
5. This one might be obvious, but it shouldn’t be left out. Don’t forget the books! Everyone has a different way of organizing theirs. From top to bottom, my book case is organized by Books To-Read, Fiction, Non-Fiction/Reference, Magazines, and Textbooks. I know people who alphabetize their books, or divide their books by genre and then alphabetize. I’ve even heard of a person who organized her books by the spine color. Whatever you choose to do, make sure everything is organized to your satisfaction. It’s your library, so you don’t have to follow anyone’s Dewey Decimal System.
6. If you’re anything like me, getting lost in a book will keep you up all hours of the night. Finding the perfect lamp will provide an inviting, cozy atmosphere. It may not be the same as reading by candlelight, but it will save your eyes!
7. If you have more than just a nook or cranny to convert into a library, there are a few additional furnishings you might want to consider:
- A side table to go beside your reading chair. This way you have a place to set down food and beverages, or stack books up off the floor.
- A desk. However, if mixing your work space with your leisure space creates too much conflict, leave out the computer, fax, and phone. If you’re the world’s next best-selling author, it’s nice to have a specific place to write–all you need is a pen and paper.
- A plush rug. It adds texture and pattern, as well as character and charm.
- Intriguing statuettes, vases, mobiles, and paintings will give your exterior space as muck quirkiness as the spaces inside your books.
We want to hear from you! Tell us about your own reading rooms or book nooks in the Comments Box below.