Beautifully Organized: Home Libraries of All Sizes

updated Mar 11, 2020
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(Image credit: Community Import)

Whether grand or small, full or empty, bursting with books or outfitted with objects, I’d wager that all of us have bookshelves of some sort in our home. Having a dedicated library room is not a luxury that all of us can have, but no matter how small your library, there are still some tips for making it as beautifully organized as possible.

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Suzanne’s Color in Harmony Room (Image credit: Community Import)


  1. Keeping carefully grouped books visible, the hidden storage in Suzanne’s Color in Harmony Room makes the shelves multifunctional. Also, magazine holders that match the bookshelf give a visual illusion of more open space, which help shelves feel less cluttered.
  2. A wall of IKEA shelves in Irina’s Modern Xanadu serve as a focal point for her living room. The television hides among rows of books, and shelves at uniform heights give the unit a streamlined look.
  3. Alidad is the master of opulent, inspiring libraries, and his London home (featured in Elle Decor) reminds you that a great library is about more than just books. A bold and colorful palette, patterned pillows, and artwork mimic the myriad colors of the book spines.
  4. This Mini Library Office from Apartment Therapy’s Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces uses built-in shelves with thick wooden bands to create an image of order. Books are handy but out of the way, and the shelves take the visual front-row instead of the books, which seem to be grouped efficiently according to use.
  5. The Good Books Shelf by Jason Neufeld gives oversized books their own cubbies, making them easily accessible.


  1. The books and media in Saana & Ollie’s Tiny Turku Nest are roughly color-coded, but their organization is not too precious. The colors work nicely with the predominantly white furnishings, and this library shows that being organized doesn’t always mean being perfectly tidy.
  2. Kathyryn & Anthony’s Eclectic Australian Home proves that having a home library doesn’t necessarily mean having a designated room or lots of books. A compact, but cozy area can serve just as well. And the horizontal stacks of also show that you don’t need a lot of extra organizational materials to make your books look neat.
  3. If you’ve got more books than you know what to do with, then just go for it, and put in floor-to-ceiling shelves like Making It Lovely. Shelves don’t always need to be perfectly styled to be beautiful. Let them be functional, and they will be at their organizational utmost!
  4. Lessons with Laughter shared her classroom library organization tips, but there are plenty of helpful lessons here, either for kids’ libraries or for adult libraries. Baskets hold books from a single series or author, while on another shelf, colored labels on the spine help with quick sorting.
  5. In Max & Peter’s Squeaky-Clean Quarters, a child’s bookcase is both functional and beautiful. Books are grouped by size, which makes them easy to find, and a few interesting covers face outward, drawing the eye in. Toys are in attractive bins, easily within reach.