Winter and cold, dreary days just seem to lend themselves to a comfy chair, a warm fire, a soft throw and a great book. While some homes may have room for an elegantly clad library, many of us make do by carving out a small nook somewhere in our home and loading it with our beloved books — some new, some dog-eared favorites.
We took a look at a few of the reading areas we've featured over the years. Some rather grand, some just small and embracing but all a wonderful place to spend a cold and rainy day. Hopefully, they will inspire you and your family to start a new chapter in creating a home library — no matter how humble or grand.
Magic abounds in this home library, referred to as "a kind of Harry Potter room." Dark and slightly mysterious, the homeowner's hand painted, overhead mural of a historic world map adds to the grandness of the room. Oxblood leather furniture gives a stateliness and the feeling of an old world library from half way across the globe. Yet the comfortable furniture and overstuffed ottomans invite you to stay awhile and absorb something from an old master's works. To further the library aura, "Literature," "Knowledge," "Wisdom" and "Philosophy" were stenciled above the shelves.
Built in 1917, this small log cabin can only be described as "cowboy eclectic." Filled with turn of the 20th century collections, Navajo rugs and cowboy artifacts, it harkens back to a simpler time. Two comfortable rustic leather chairs (complete with a warm throw and pillow) pulled together in front of an oversized bookcase make a perfect reading area to relax, slip off your boots and crack open a book.
Elaborate towering bookcases reach all the way to the ceiling in this family's home library. A ladder even slides from side to side to help readers reach their favorite tome. A spiral staircase with vivid red steps snakes along the books and leads to an upstairs loft — a perfect place to spend a day buried in your favorite book.
The only thing this homeowner likes more than collecting folk art is her wee library nook off the living room. The huge, parrot-shaped wicker lamp she hauled back from Mexico lights up the comfortable and unassuming room. Overstuffed furniture, walls of books, family photos and favorite collections from all over the world make this a perfect area for her to snuggle in and read the dreary day away.
It's never too early to begin teaching the love of reading. A long, shadowy attic was transformed into a feminine fantasia of pink, blue and yellow for these homeowners' two young daughters. A simple bookcase, filled with favorite stories and just the right height for tiny hands, makes the perfect place to ride a wild stallion while the pages transport you to castles and beyond.