With winter on its way, there’s nothing better than curling up with a good book, so we’ve come up with our favourite home library ideas for both bookworms and design lovers alike, plus some handy tips on how to store your collection.
1. For the prankster
This house of fun featured recently on Grand Designs due to its witty architectural details, including charming features such as a revolving bookcase at ground level that leads you to the playroom on the top floor. It was designed by architect Matt White for his family in West Sussex. Watch the episode here.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
2. For the literary type
Inevitably a project called the ‘Writer’s Shed’ was going to have to accommodate plenty of books. This cosy cabin was created by Weston Surman & Deane Architecture – on the gable wall, a bookcase meanders around the wood-burning stove, providing a centrepiece for the author to store his treasured library.
3. For the lazy lounger
This genius Bibliochaise design from Italian brand Nobody&Co means you don’t even have to get up off your seat to grab your favourite tome and settle in for the afternoon. It’s a smart idea if you’re tight on space.
4. For those with high ceilings
If you’ve got space, a double-height bookshelf is an eye-catching way to fill the vacant void. This house in London has won awards for its clever renovation by firm Stiff & Trevillion, including the floor-to-ceiling bookcase feature wall.
5. For the bed dweller
Adding shelving behind your headboard is a clever idea if you love to stay up all night with your favourite page-turner, or lounge around on a Sunday morning with the papers. Ikea handily has a ready-made design – the Brimnes model is an affordable £255 for the bedframe and storage headboard.
6. For the savvy space saver
Making the most of otherwise wasted space is a smart idea, like in this family home by Zminkowska de Boise Architects. Shelves have been cleverly incorporated into the stair risers, while the steps have becomes a central place for family members to sit, read, chat and play.
7. For the escapist
Create a cosy reading retreat away from the chaos with an incorporated bookshelf into a recessed wall. The dark painted wall in this design by Thomas Kroger Architects creates a calm cocooning affect.
8. For the architectural visionary
This wooden feature bookcase by La Shed Architects also acts as a dividing screen that lets in light while shielding the staircase. It also adds texture to the space, breaking up the solid block of red behind it.
9. For the minimalist
This is a simple update that can be done on a weekend afternoon – create a vertical ladder of floating shelves to pile up your books. These cost just £8 a pop from B&Q.
10. For the period homeowner
Take a leaf out of the book of old-world country houses and install a secret bookcase door that blends in with the wall panels. This design was created by Peter Pennoyer Architects for a house in Maine.
Essential design tips
Now you’ve got the inspiration for your perfect bookcase design, take on board Heal’s furniture designer Matt Elton’s advice on storing books to the best visual effect for the finishing flourish:
– Organisation draws the eye for all the right reasons – you might want to display your collection alphabetically, by one colour per shelf or even through the colour spectrum along the shelf.
– Size matters – I find keeping larger art and design books lower down and smaller novels and poetry collections along the top shelves creates balance both physically and visually.
– Freestanding shelving units are making a huge come-back, allowing you to make a real feature of your favourite tomes, either front on to showcase the cover, or side by side to display the spine.
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