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Like so many, I've been drawn into the world of Downton Abbey with their buzzing lives, elegant style and decor that takes your breath away. I love old English-style libraries and the one at Downton is exceptional.

Worn wood, classic binding, squishy leather chairs and oxblood accents sum up my idea of perfect library ambiance. Here are some other libraries I love:

Beautiful libraries are the result of beautiful books. In an attempt to grow an old book collection and acquire that charming atmosphere in my own library, I'm taking bits and pieces from a variety of sources.

My Golden Retriever's name is Mr. Darcy — a tribute to my favourite book, Pride and Prejudice. I buy it in every edition I can get my hands on — aside from the first one (above left). Last I inquired it went for circa $30,000 — a small price to pay for Jane's masterpiece? Maybe one day. A recent trip to St. Jacob's village near Waterloo landed me the classics on the right for $2 a piece. I love the frayed binding.

I found this gem on the left at Value Village; pricier than usual at $7. The look of timeworn hardcovers are becoming so popular, HomeSense even carries an assortment of trinket boxes made to look like a stack of old books (above right).

I currently have books stacked everywhere — a favourite decor trick. I'm on the hunt for a library cabinet to house my dusty collection. This one from Crate & Barrel would suit them just fine.

How do you display your books?

See our Amazing Libraries photo gallery for even more inspiration.

Photo credits:
1. Los Angeles Times
2. Gâteau et Châteaux blog
3. Beautiful-libraries.com
4. Cindy's Book Club blog
5a. The Cataloguer's Desk
5b, 6. Floriana Paonessa
7. Faulkner Library Cabinet, Crate & Barrel

Author: 

Floriana Paonessa

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