4 Gorgeous Personal Libraries

“If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.”

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

A library conjures images of rows of leather bound books and cozy reading spaces. And in luxury homes, the personal library often houses more than books – many collectors use these sanctuaries to display prized artifacts.

A 2018 Texas Monthly article highlighted an Austin couple’s personal library of 10,000 books, housed in a 2,400 square foot modern structure connected to their home via walkway. “It’s a great disaster to collect books,” the homeowner laments. “They require a lot of space.”

Business Insider published a round up some of the most incredible and expansive home libraries, including those owned by filmmaker George Lucas and designer Karl Lagerfeld. While many of the libraries featured are clever (books hidden in a staircase!) and impressive (over 30,000 books, maps, charts, and pieces of artwork at one collector’s residence), our client’s private libraries are equally awe-inspiring.

This library below, in a home designed by Robert AM Stern Architects, invites readers to grab a book and sink into the sumptuous space.

A two-story treasure designed by Fusch-Serold & Partners, with interiors by Richard Trimble & Associates, manages to be both grand and warm.

Not all libraries are dark and paneled. The modern clean lines, large windows and crisp white walls make this library/family room an inviting space to read or chat. [Booziotis & Company Architects with interiors by Nancy Leib]

One of the most prominent libraries that we’ve had the honor to help build has become a Dallas icon: the Crow Library. Business figure Harlan Crow is an avid historian and collector. His Preston Road estate houses a collection of more than 10,000 books and 5,000 plus manuscripts, including hand-written notes from the 1787 Constitutional Convention and paintings both of and by U.S. presidents. Rare works include first editions by Benjamin Franklin and Isaac Newton and a report on the New World by Vasco de Gama.

The Crow estate was designed by Richard Giegengack and DC Broadstone, along with John Phifer Marrs Interiors. For more details on the Crow Library’s collection, check out this Dallas News article.