Good Questions: Creating a Miniature Victorian Library?

Good Questions: Creating a Miniature Victorian Library?

Colleen Quinn
Dec 18, 2008

ATDC reader Sarah needs help achieving a goal that is near and dear to our hearts- creating a miniature Victorian library in her small space:

I'm trying to turn a small room (9' 8" x 8' 10") into a study/reading room. My fantasy study would look like a miniature library in a Victorian manor house -- floor to ceiling dark wood bookshelves with elegant but simple ornamentation. Cozy, academic. Somewhere Alastair Cooke or Sherlock Holmes would feel at home. With a comfy chair by the window, maybe a small desk.

I've attached my floor plan, and some absurdly fancy examples. Obviously there's no room, and no budget for 90% of that stuff, but that's the feel I'm dreaming about. I also attached some potential

Any advice about where to find nice bookshelves and accent pieces, or any other ideas, would be greatly appreciated! The floor is a light hard-wood, the walls are light beige. Because I want shelves on multiple walls, I don't want to find just one great antique piece -- I'm hoping for matching shelves for multiple walls. Tall order, I know!

Oh, and I'm trying not to spend a fortune.

Thank you! Sarah

(Note: Include a pic of your problem and your question gets posted first. Email questions and pics with QUESTIONS in subject line to: dc(at)apartmenttherapy(dot)com)


We would love to have a space to dedicate to a true library, so color us jealous! I don't know about your budget, but for lots of bookshelves for very little, you really can't beat Ikea. If you get Billy bookcases with the add-on units, your bookcases should be close to the ceiling. We always load up on extra shelves to fit as many books as possible, and you can even add moulding to the bookcases to create the illusion of built-ins. Since your room is small, you should be able to find a carpenter to build you custom shelves for a reasonable price; you might also try some of the unfinished pine stores in the area for a midrange solution (though you may have to stain them yourself).

We're sure our readers will have suggestions for this, our last DC Good Question of 2008!

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