Creating a library in the living room has been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made for our home.
I know it’s not for everyone. But I thought I would share our experience in case you’re thinking about trying out it too!
Several years ago, we made the bold decision to take the tv out of the living room. I use the word bold because everyone thought we were crazy at the time.
“How are you going to watch movies on hot summer nights?”
“What about the game on Sunday afternoons?”
“Don’t forget you need to watch the news during hurricane season!”… I could go on and on.
Creating a Library in the Living Room: Our Inspiration…
Truth be told, we don’t watch a lot of tv anyway.
At the time we were working on a home office makeover and once we started shopping the house and moving furniture from one room to another, we realized the media cabinet that held the tv in the living room could serve us so much better in the office.
That small shift solved a big problem for us in the office. But it created a big gap in the living room.
Since I had already been dreaming of creating a library in the living room for a few years, I jumped at the chance to change things up.
Before I got started though, I literally stood in the middle of the room and asked myself these four simple questions…
- Is this space fully functional?
- Does it meet our current needs?
- Does it fit our style?
- What can we do to tweak things and make them better?
After these questions had been asked and answered, I got a game plan together with a few transitional pieces we already had on hand.
Don’t get me wrong, it took some trial and error over the years, you’ll see evidence of that below.
But I’m happy to report it’s been over 5 years now and we’ve never regretted creating a library in the living room.
Here’s a look back at how we created a library in the living room and took a phased approach to the transition…
My Dad made these bookcases for my office several years ago and they are among my most prized possessions.
He’s in his early 70s now and while he says he still feels quite spry, I know his DIY days are slowly coming to an end.
At the time, I only needed 2 bookcases. But I would love to have at least one more before he hangs his toolbelt up for good.
Styling the Bookcases in the Living Room…
Once we got the bookcases in place, I filled the shelves with pieces of ironstone,
patinaed containers filled with greenery,
Some of the books, I simply wrapped in brown kraft paper to keep a more cohesive look.
I turned the spines of others around so we could appreciate their well-worn and well-loved pages. Others have been used in simple vignettes to add height and texture.
What I love most about all of them though is how easily accessible they are.
Creating a library in the living room fits our lifestyle well because it provides a place to read, play games, and relax without having the distraction of the tv.
It gives us a place to curl up and unwind on cozy days. Yet also invites us to slow down, listen, learn and love on days filled with disappointments.
We prop up our feet on the coffee table during the holidays and snuggle up with blankets to watch the fire roar and the lights on the tree twinkle.
We fall asleep on the couch on Sunday afternoons while the scent of a roast waifs through the air.
Our sweet rescue Piper hides between stacks of books whenever I’m searching for inspiration.
It’s easy to maintain and easy to dress up or down once the holidays arrive. You can take our holiday home tour here if you need some early inspo!
Truthfully, the only thing that could make creating a library in the living room even more magical is a record player.
We have a Bose system with speakers in the ceilings, so a record player is not a necessity.
And since we’re being completely honest, we also have an antique radio that’s technically in the living room too. It still works. But the wiring is so old, we’re too afraid to actually use it.
Nevertheless, I currently have a record player on my holiday wish list just for the pure dreaminess of it all.
So, Where Is Your TV…
If you’re wondering if we still have a tv, we do.
The tvs are in the bedrooms.
I know all the sleep experts will tell you not to have a tv in your bedroom.
Especially, if you suffer from poor sleep hygiene.
But if you’ve ever snuggled up and watched a Nancy Meyer movie over a warm bowl of soup while fighting off a cold, you already know, that having a TV in the bedroom is a blessing.
As we get ready to transition from one season to the next, now is a great time to reevaluate the spaces in your home.
If they’re working for you, great!
If not though, don’t be afraid to take a room meant for one thing and turn it into something completely different. It just might be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make for your home.
Other Book-Related Posts to Enjoy Before You Go:Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.