Emma Burns of Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler is a woman who knows about library design. Look the barn she turned in to a reading room if you don't believe us. Here she shares her four top pieces of advice for designing a stylish library.
1.I like a mix of fitted and free-standing shelving. For my own library, I installed two long walls of fitted bookshelves and put a very large free-standing bookcase in the centre to provide a focal point.
2.I prefer fitted shelves at graduating heights. I have organised my library so the shorter novels are on the shallower top shelves, with the taller books on gardens, architecture and interiors on the lower shelves.
3.For efficiency, I like to arrange books by subject and, within that, alphabetically. I love the charming chaos of the different coloured spines and bindings. I also have a dedicated crime section, which is predominantly old green Penguins; the colour blocking is very pleasing.
4.A library must be comfortable, with sofas, chairs, ottomans and window seats. There should also be plenty of cushions to rest your head against, or to prop a book up against when you are lying on the sofa.