We love a good reading nook, but sometimes we need a little more room to stretch our legs—and our imaginations. A home library allows for just that, so we’ve rounded up seven from the WL archives for you to immerse yourself in. Whether you’re into thrillers, short stories or graphic novels, these gorgeous spaces are guaranteed to keep the pages turning.

Mitchell Freedland-designed private libary
Photo: Ema Peter

Narrow Escape

This black-granite-clad room in Vancouver needed a touch of warmth—so designer Mitchell Freedland added stainless steel edging to the millwork and lined the bookshelves in burnt-orange velvet. He also installed under-lighting to illuminate the lustrous fabric: “The shelves just come alive at night,” he says. Learn more trade secrets from this serene private library.

A black table with a library of books behind it
Photo: Ema Peter

Colour Story

The library in this 2,600-square-foot home really stands out—and not just because it’s in the dining area. The books displayed on these built-in shelves add a welcome pop of colour to the home’s minimalist white-and-concrete palette. Let’s hope the stories within them are as exciting as this look. Peek inside the rest of this infill home from architect D’Arcy Jones.

Photo: Ema Peter

Balancing Act

While some bookshelves are cluttered with hardcovers and paperbacks, the library in this contemporary Vancouver home has a “less is more” aesthetic. Parts of this walnut bookshelf are full of knick-knacks and novels while other parts are hidden behind sliding panels, creating a relaxed-yet-refined look. Take a tour of this BattersbyHowat-designed space.

Photo: Janis Nicolay

Hall of Fame

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need an entire room to create a library. In this Vancouver condo designed by Erin Chow, it’s a 30-foot hallway that houses a collection of favourite novels. The way the books have been displayed on an angle adds further interest to the narrow space. Take inspo from here the next time you’re rearranging your own shelves. Explore the rest of this pretty, feminine condo.

Photo: Phil Crozier

Mischief Managed

Every room in this Paul Lavoie and Julie Lanctot-designed Calgary home is inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland—except for the library. This two-storey space was modelled after Dumbledore’s office in the Harry Potter book series. Complete with floor-to-ceiling oak bookcases, arched doorways and a custom phoenix chandelier, it lends some extra magic to this colourful home. Go down the rabbit hole to the Wonderland House.

Photo: Ema Peter

Squared Away

The bookshelves in this bright-and-airy North Vancouver home were custom made by architect and homeowner Rafael Santa Ana of RSAAW using white oak veneer boxes. Despite having a towering presence (the cubby-filled structure stretches all the way up to the vaulted ceiling), this library invites readers to cozy up at its base. Would you rather sit in the Eames chair or stretch out on the bench that wraps around the staircase? See more of this light-filled home.

Photo: Martin Tessler

Novel Idea

What makes a great library? Is it the number of books you own or the coziness of the room you have to read them in? For designer Elena Del Bucchia and the owners of this Calgary home, it’s the latter. A sliding barn door conceals this tiny bookshelf-flanked space, which contains a small fireplace and a Herman Miller lounge chair. See more of this mid-century Scandinavian ranch.