Dining Rooms as Libraries

Every now and then I run across a photo of a dining room that doubles as a library and it stops me in my tracks. It’s just so unexpected to see shelves of books in a dining room. But it creates such a warm and interesting space, don’t you think?

Here are some of my favorites.

This fabulous room is from author Jane Green’s former Connecticut home. You can read about it and see the rest of the house here.

From the portfolio of Victoria Hagen Interiors.

I’ve shared this home before. It used to be owned by actor George Peppard.

The dining room of a Houston, Texas penthouse.

A Malibu home via Vogue.

Billy Cotton’s Vermont dining room.

This colorful dining room is in London’s Notting Hill.

What I love about these dining room libraries, in particular, is that the bookcases aren’t carefully styled. You can tell these are the libraries of booklovers, where the books get taken on and off the shelves a lot.

What do you think? Do you like the library/dining room combo?

P.S. What gives a house soul and a romantic house and garden tour.


  1. Linda D. says

    I love the dining room/library combination, particularly in older homes which often feature formal dining rooms that are seldom used. Not only does it make sense to me to use my whole house, but shifting my library from our den to our dining room also meant that the quieter room was reserved for book reading where it wouldn’t compete with kitchen noise or our single TV. We are a family of book lovers, so the shelves get frequent use. For us it just made sense to combine the two functions. Also, I have to admit that nothing makes me sadder than books used only for decoration. (People buying leather books by the yard, or books organized according to color…) There’s room for every taste, and our family votes for the library/dining room combination which works for us.

    • Linda, thanks so much for your comment. I love hearing from someone who has this combination in their home. And I agree with you about books for decoration. I get why people do it because books add so much, but I’m drawn to these unstyled bookcases where the books give you a clue about the people who live there. Just love it.

  2. When I was single, my book shelves were in my dining area. My friends told me it felt like being in a cool coffee shop that also sold used books.

    Now I’m a book-loving homeschool mom with book-loving kids and we have bookshelves all over the place, but our house is old and odd and it lacks that cozy coffee shop feel of my old apartment. But I can’t wait for a new home and a long, scarred wooden table surrounded by shelves of books.

    • Lori, first of all, a “cool coffee shop that also sold used books.” That sounds like a great business idea! And I love your idea of a long, scarred, wooden table surrounded by shelves of books. Thanks for sharing and congrats on your book-loving kids!

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