Avid bookworms and those with a penchant for buying too many books – but not reading them – may find the idea of getting home libraries appealing. After all, having your entire collection on display makes for an impressive sight. And for those who have too many books to count, having them on display is a good way to track what you have so that you’ll remember to read them – one day.
As book lovers ourselves, we’ve compiled a list of home libraries owned by Singaporeans who have accomplished the feat of wrestling all their books into neatly organised and aesthetically pleasing shelves.
1. Harry Potter-esque airwell library
Image credit: The Local INN.terior
For this family of five with an extensive book collection and an empty curved recess area in a double-volume airwell, setting up a home library was an easy decision to make.
The space takes on a rustic-industrial style with a curved bookshelf fit snugly in the brick stairwell. This, in addition to the old-fashioned lantern, as well as the area’s asymmetry, reminds us of a mediaeval Gothic castle – or even Hogwarts.
Image credit: The Local INN.terior
This customised 5.5m-tall bookshelf holds the family’s motorcycle helmet collection, picture frames, trinkets, and – of course – books.
Over the years, the family amassed many publications. However, they couldn’t bear to part with them even when the numbers started ballooning. As such, they leapt at the opportunity to display them. Their collection comprises titles from the homeowners’ childhoods, their children’s books, as well as an array of Super Junior albums.
2. Kinokuniya-style living room
Home library in their old home (left) and in their new home (right).
Image credit: @mylifeoftext
For Instagram user @mylifeoftext and her family, who moved out of their old home not too long ago and into a new one, setting up a new home library seemed to be a given.
Having had a home library in their previous residence, they were able to quickly fill shelves upon shelves of their new custom book wall with their large collection. There’s even more space to spare for future reads. Furthermore, they made the decision to shift one of their home’s doors so that the bookshelf could take up a whole wall’s worth of space.
3. Reading room inspired by the owner’s home in England
Image credit: Livspace
This homeowner aimed to replicate the aesthetics of his first home in England, right down to a dedicated reading space. With whitewashed walls and a unique wooden bookcase that’s filled with the homeowner’s prized collection, the semi-enclosed reading nook is visually separated from the rest of the flat.
Complete with a comfy recliner, this reading room makes for a distraction-free place to relax and concentrate on a book or two. Meanwhile, the L-shaped bookshelf maximises the storage space of the reading room.
4. Minimalist reading corner
Image credit: @studioperiphery
The interior designers at @pupiloffice were tasked with remodelling this four-bedroom duplex apartment. In particular, they made the most of this flat’s space by purposing its mezzanine level into a unique home library.
The narrow space outside home’s lift was turned into a dedicated reading space filled with the homeowner’s book collection. This was made complete with a small study table and chair. Right outside the lift also sits a Pierre Jeanneret-style rattan armchair accompanied by a large rug to add warmth to the space.
According to the designers, they made use of the 606 Universal Shelving System, which are floating shelves that can be reconfigured according to one’s preferences.
5. Modern rustic interior design
Image credit: Ipoise Interior Design
As lawyers whose work entails heavy readings, these homeowners naturally had tons of publications collected over the years. As such, they required some of their apartment space to be set aside for these books and materials, while keeping everything organised and tidy.
Their interior designers, Ipoise Interior Design, designed their house according to a modern rustic and Oriental fusion theme. A large Turkish rug sits in the middle of the living room, and it’s complemented by a set of leather sofas and an Oriental-style table.
A custom-made large bookshelf, which lines the entirety of a wall, serves as a statement piece in the living room. To top it all off, and to add more utility, the designers added an old-timey roller ladder so that the homeowners could reach the books in the shelves on top.
6. Eclectic Victorian
Image credit: Fuse Concept
Initially, the homeowners of this 4-room HDB flat wanted to decorate their home in the Scandinavian style. However, they later changed their minds. Instead deciding to go for a more striking decor, this resulted in this eclectic Victorian-style home.
Upon stepping in, your eyes will be drawn to the huge wooden bookshelf, which extends across the entire length of their living room. This bookcase houses numerous fiction books of various genres, non-fiction publications, and even a manga collection.
Photo frames and decorative trinkets add a personal and quirky touch to their shelves. The feature wall even contains a niche set aside for their television. This is not just practical and brilliant, but also adds a homely vibe to their living space.
7. Functional MUJI-inspired library
Image credit: The Roomakers
Although it was the first time @the_roomakers strove to transform a BTO apartment, complete with full furnishings, we dare say that they did a splendid job. The apartment was designed with a Muji-esque theme in mind. Light wood carpentry was complemented by white walls to create an airy and clean look.
Backlit shelves illuminate the homeowner’s book collection. This sits adjacent to a reading nook perched on a wooden platform that also functions as storage. With a copious amount of natural light streaming through its open windows, the reading nook seems like the perfect spot to unwind and dive into a book or two.
8. Glass-floored loft library
Image credit: PIU Interior Design
With a ceiling height of 7m, this loft apartment had room for two mezzanine levels in addition to its ground floor. This allowed the interior designer to maximise the home’s space while keeping it clutter-free.
Thick glass floors on the mezzanine levels allow natural light to stream in from the skylight, illuminating the first-floor living area. This creates an airy and welcoming feel despite the layers of shelves housing hundreds of books stretching toward the roof of the home.
In addition, there’s a small loft space tucked away on one of the mezzanine levels, where more books are stashed away. The floor of this loft space is fully made from glass. While it sounds dangerous, the flooring is way sturdier than you’d think.
Also, the inner child in us can’t help but to feel excited at the prospect of peering down at the ground levels from the loft, as if we’re sitting in a treehouse in an Enid Blyton’s book.
9. Old-school oriental
Image credit: ARTrend
The homeowners of this four-room HDB in Tanjong Pagar wanted a traditional Japanese-style interior for their home. This was achieved through the use of bamboo dividers, as well as shoji walls and doors comprising translucent white paper mounted on a wooden frame.
One of the most interesting features of the home is the rotating television wall – one side has a painting mounted on it, while the other side has a wall-mounted TV. This allows the homeowners to watch their favourite shows from the comfort of their room or their reading room while owning only one TV.
Image credit: ARTrend
Carpentry crafted from polished wood with distinct grains furnished the reading room, keeping to the Japanese-style theme. Of note is the study table, which bears legs made of bamboo, a plant most commonly found in parts of Asia including Japan.
In this impressive home library, books remain neatly enclosed in bookshelves with glass panels. This keeps the dust out while allowing for easy browsing.
Creating aesthetic home libraries in Singapore
Gone are the days where libraries are stuffy and boring. These days, home libraries can be plenty unique and even aesthetically pleasing, especially if you work with a good ID or amass enough inspo from sites such as Pinterest and Xiaohongshu. Would you consider setting up your own home library, or are you content with a Kindle?
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Cover image adapted from: The Roomakers, ARTrend