Check out our home library shelves that we built in our living room. This is such a cozy spot in our home to showcase our books. Not only is it really practical, but it has become a statement area in the main living area too.
My husband made my dream come true by building beautiful shelves in our living room for our home library. I have been slowly growing my collection since Sergi and I got married in 2006. I hope that someday my library will be even bigger, but for now, this is a great start.
This was a project we had planned on ever since we bought this house in 2014. We finally worked our way up the “Home Projects” to do list to get this one checked off in 2018.
So many of you regularly ask me questions about these shelves when I shared them on my Instagram stories. I asked Sergi all your questions, since he did all the work, and put together this post. I hope it will be a useful for anyone of you who want to install similar shelves in your home.
Supplies Used For DIY Home Library Shelves:
Our living room wall is 10’2″ wide, so Sergi bought 10 inch long, 2 inch thick, boards at Lowe’s. They were already 10 ft wide, so they were the perfect size and he didn’t need to saw anything off. The boards that he chose were a Southern yellow pine.
To make sure the boards are as straight as possible, pick them up and look at them closely. Some of them can be uneven.
He sanded each of the boards and stained them using this stain. He simply rubbed the stain into the boards and let them dry. Then he wiped them clean with a dry cloth.
He found studs in our wall to secure the boards and the brackets solidly to the wall. He used quite a few of them to make sure that the shelves were as secure as possible. It was important since they would be holding a lot of weight; books are really heavy.
We also decided to paint the bookshelf wall a darker shade of gray than our lighter color gray living room. It really makes it stand out even more and be more of a feature wall. You can see the contrast of the colors well in the picture above. It’s hard to portray the true colors and how they look in person through a photograph.
It was quite the transformation and worth the work and the wait.
We had been using our bookshelves that we had from our apartment days. They were too short and small for that space, and didn’t have nearly enough room for all our books. It’s so satisfying when you finally complete a long awaited home project, right?
In 2022, we did another remodeling project. This time, it included tearing down the wall that was right next to the home library. It opened up our main living area even more and makes it look so much more spacious. I shared more about this project in this video and blog post.
We also put in new floors in the entire house and we are so happy with them. They are so much less maintenance than the ones we had before.
This was our living room in 2018 (above), when my husband first built the library shelves.
After the renovation in 2022 (below), this is what our living room and home library look today.
I actually stopped buying new books about 10 years ago. Today, I buy new books only if it’s an author I really love and want to support. I borrow books from the library or a friend and if I love the book enough to re-read it in the future, then I will buy it for our collection. Otherwise, it’s easy to spend way too much money than I am comfortable with on books:). Besides, many of them I won’t reread, or never finish because they were just meh….
All the books in our home library are like old friends. Every year, I add a few more wonderful additions that I fell in love with throughout the year. I share some of those book recommendation on my Instagram stories. Semi-regularly, I also update book recommendations on my Amazon page. I have one for Fiction Books, Nonfiction Books , Children’s Books and some in Homeschool Favorites too.
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