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Combine a dining room and library for a cool, functional space

Eating may not be allowed in an academic library, but it will be encouraged in your personal one.

Eating may not be allowed in an academic library, but it will be encouraged in your personal one.

The dining room has been getting the short end of the stick in terms of home decor lately. Homeowners everywhere are trading in the stuffy formality of this room for a more functional space that can be used on everyday occasions. But, sometimes, it’s nice to have a meal in a formal setting, and the larger scale of dining room tables typically means that you have more room for guests. 

But what if you could make your dining room a more usable place, and maintain that formality that you’ll want from time-to-time? The fact is, dining rooms make for great libraries. Adding bookshelves to the walls of your dining room will give you a convenient space to keep your collection of books, and you will be able to use the space for studying and casual reading. 

Simply replace the seating at the head and foot of the table with squashy armchairs, so that spending time in this room for hours on end is comfortable. You’ll likely enjoy having the table as a place to spread out and work on large-scale projects. 

Bookshelves also make for interesting decor when the room is being used to house guests, and may provide topics of conversation for many hours into the evening, as visitors will transition seamlessly from dinner to drinks, happily perusing the reading material in the room. 

Keep your window treatments on the dressy side, so that the room doesn’t seem too casual for a dinner party. It’s also a good idea to layer drapes so that you can block out natural light, which is the enemy of a rare book collection. 

If you’re growing tired of your dining room, and have always wanted to have a library in your house, combine these rooms for a usable space that will feel welcoming to all guests.