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How Libraries Are Hubs of Impressively Thoughtful Interior Design

Despite the popularity of e-books and other digital reading materials, a lot of people still find great delight in the traditional way of reading. They enjoy not only the stories but also the feel of a book in their hands. A lot of people also say that there’s a sense of warmth that envelopes them when they smell either a brand new or old book.

It is for such reason that in this digital world, libraries maintain their relevance. However, over the last decade or so, libraries have ceased to be just quiet places to read books for free. With the creative vision of book directors and interior design specialists, libraries have grown to be inspiring community spaces. Here people can read, study, but also hold workshops, and meet their peers.

The creation of a new way to encounter books through interior design and decor is rather exciting, say, library designers. There are all sorts of possibilities, especially if you consider how libraries are popping up in unexpected locations such as zoos, hospitals, malls, and even train stations. This allows them to play around with new formats and materials for decor.

For a better idea about this development, listed below are the changes implemented for modern libraries.

1. Thematic style

An artistic style concept is always focused on creating a specific environment for the library. For instance, if a library mostly features a particular genre of books, library designers like to create a scene depicting the common theme of the books in the collection.

Therefore, a library that houses tomes about culinary arts or gourmet cooking can be made to look like a kitchen and restaurant, and even have a functioning cafe. The menu lists newly released books, as well as, top awardees. Also, books can be placed in vending machines or ordered over the counter.

2. The cafe experience

Surveys show that one of people’s favourite places for reading is a cafe. There’s something incredibly relaxing about having a book in hand, while also being able to drink coffee and have a slice of cake or a sandwich. This is why more and more libraries these days have their own cafes or snack bars.

And, to really create that cosy cafe experience, plush seating is a must. Big couches, plush armchairs, bean bags, and coffee tables are present to make reading and dining as leisurely as possible.

3. Creative carpet installation

Installing carpets for libraries is not a new idea. However, the way carpet installation is carried out for certain libraries has enhanced the functionality of the floor treatment. Previously, the carpets were intended to reduce the noise of chairs being pulled out and walking feet.

These days, they are intended for physical comfort and visual delight. Wall-to-wall carpets, Dubai library designers say, are essential features for public libraries intended for young children, who, generally prefer to read lying down or seated on the floor.

As a visual element, on the other hand, beautiful carpet designs contribute to the imaginative world that book lovers retreat to when they read. They can be made to look like grass at the base of a tree trunk of books. If you sit on the floor, you get a similar experience to finding a plush grass-covered ground shaded by a massive yet comforting tree.

Some libraries have even taken a step further with their carpet installation by making the carpet a part of unfolding the story. They have chosen carpets that are the colour of the ocean or the sky, printed with different hues of flowers, or with fibres that feel like moss or grass. Carpets help in creating a more tactile element to reading a book.

4. Shelves as exhibition pieces

This is a designing technique commonly used for bookstores, but they are applicable to library shelves as well. With the intention of making the shelves more attractive to readers, they are designed to display the theme of the books obviously. This makes it easier to pick out a book in a large selection of entire wall of shelves.

A write up for the theme, or featured book is attached to the shelves. Along with that, special merchandise and other related decorative elements are integrated into every shelf’s design. At times, a player for the audio version of the book is included as well.

5. Small town format

A small town format makes the library a place for everyone. The design takes into significant consideration the unique personalities and lifestyles of town folks.

The small town format’s goal is to draw in all the members of the community. Therefore, it truly is like its own town with everything from a charming landscaping design for a garden where people can read in a natural environment and spacious deck to a welcoming entrance with a snack bar.

Some libraries with such format can also have a sophisticated art gallery, and even crawling spaces for toddlers that are secure and with hygienic conditions.

Indeed, libraries have broken out of their traditional mould. So, the next time you find one, go inside and inspect for changes that are intended to make book reading outside the comfort of your home a totally new experience.

Author Bio

James Prathap is the General Manager at NGC Nafees, top importers and exporters of wallpapers, flooring and fabric in the Middle East. Formed three decades ago, the business also offers high-quality panoramics, coordinated fabrics, and creative stickers for residential and commercial projects.


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