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In a world dominated by tablets and electronic books it’s a miracle that people even want to have bookshelves in their homes, let alone use them as a focal point. Thankfully they do and even more exciting is that designers are finding clever and handsome ways to adorn and light them. Lighting in the home library has never been more exciting and several trends are creeping into just about every shelter magazine and blog around. Besides the obvious use for books, I think books create wonderful texture in a room and add an unmatched warmth. Depending upon your needs, the new look in libraries today are decorative wall sconces and seductive picture lights.
This room is covering all bases. This warm library enhances its bookcase with a handsome sconce, non-direct light from a picture light as well as the cozy fire and candles. Even without the warm glow of the candles, soft lighting and cloth shades bathe this room in a golden hue.
This traditional yet funky library combines study with play. Playful colors keep the room from appearing stuffy. I’m crazy about the shell-shaped wall light that has been used to highlight the books.
This masculine wall sconce in a faux ostrich leather evokes everything glamorous about a traditional library. Mounted between bookcases, this sconce would add much needed light and style.
This neoclassical space functions both as a hall as well as library requiring less direct light to the cases. Bronze-finished wall lights adorn the wall above the shelves to cover double duty: lighting the overall space and offering some downward glow to the shelves.
This country library uses a similar design when it comes to highlighting their bookcases. Bronze finished picture lights are hung not only as functional sources of light, but to create a soft evening glow when the room is used for entertaining.
This unexpected bronze-finished swing-arm light could add just the right amount of traditional charm to your library cabinetry or even over the bed for reading.
Here is a brighter version of the wall mounted lamp. This polished chrome swing-arm lamp not only would look great in a library, but would be smashing in a white kitchen over the sink, desk or over cabinetry if you have the space.
I love how they have matched the picture light finish to the curtain rod and smaller accessories.
If you don’t have room for mounting picture lights, the classic track light still looks good. If you feel your tracks are outdated, there are plenty of updated versions to use.
Spot lights in the ceiling are also another great idea if you don’t have enough wall space above your shelves. Don’t be nervous to mix contemporary lighting with a traditional interior. This room pulls it off.
Other contemporary ideas for lighting bookcases include pin lights used on every shelf as well as interior shelf rope lighting that creates an illuminated glow on every shelf. The highlight of every library is that you highlight what’s important to you, be it books, photos or collectibles.
Images: Belgian Pearls, House and Home
Rob is a Los Angeles-based designer who has a background in art history and was an expert at Sotheby's auction house. Formerly the host of "Inside The Auction" for the Fine Living Network, speaker for The Learning Annex and contributing editor for Valley Magazine and LA Bride Magazine, he has spent years bridging the gap between the world of design and the general public.
His design sensibilities are varied and can work in both traditional and contemporary styles. His interiors have most recently been published in Renovation Style Magazine.
Beautiful and useful lamps!