bespoke library design shelves

The learned luxury of a bespoke library

A symbol of wealth and education

Before the era of cheap mass production, books were hugely valuable both as units of knowledge and as status symbols. The rooms in which books were housed had a serious status.

That much has not changed. A bespoke library remains an enviable and admired thing and library interior design a valuable and particular skill.

Early private libraries were typically rooms containing manuscript collections.

They were considered places of private pleasure and might be furnished with exceptional luxury. In the English country house libraries provided an opportunity for the educated classes to study and read – many country houses even had their own librarians.

Today’s bespoke library allows owners to display books that are beautiful or rare, whilst showcasing their own beautifully rare interests and passions.

panelled library interior design joinery


Artichoke and the bespoke library

Artichoke’s ability to interpret and realise the requirements of a client, combined with a depth of knowledge around period detail, comes to the fore in libraries.

We use our shared knowledge, imagination, and years of joinery experience to create bespoke library spaces with stunning period detail.

We have made libraries for elegant halls on country estates, in Georgian townhouses, and listed properties with magnificent heritage.

In every project, we go beyond our clients’ expectations, producing truly exceptional rooms.

hunting lodge library interior design
Georgian wood panelled library detail


The Library today

The internet has not killed the library.

Owners of period houses continue to be interested in bespoke libraries either to create a private space where they can indulge their interests, a reference area where they can work with favourite books and images at their fingertips – or even as a family sitting room.

Art Deco style Library Case Study

Every project we take on is unique. The client’s brief for this Arts and Crafts property in Surrey was to create Art Deco inspired library bookcases that matched the fireplace.

Artichoke also designed a series of impressive bookcases that ran along the full length of the room. The pieces were crafted in Macassar ebony and ripple sycamore. Sliding doors in the same style were also installed.

bespoke library furniture

Baroque style Library Case Study

In 2013, Artichoke undertook a library design project to create a grand Baroque style library in a 17th century Grade II* listed property.

We took inspiration for the library design from the magnificent Philosophical Hall in the Strahov Monastery in Prague.

The result was bold and dramatic – Renaissance architecture was complemented by ornate hand carving and gilding.

As a special treat for the client, we built in a book-operated secret drawer.

bespoke library design shelves

Georgian style Library Case Study

At Artichoke the tiny details are extremely important. We created a bespoke Georgian library in this stunning London townhouse that maintained a sense of elegance.

The furniture was crafted in hand-polished French Walnut, with secret maple wood dovetail drawers nestled into the dado moulding.

A gentle aged patina was used to enrich the natural beauty of the wood producing a timeless feel.

library interior design

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