What is a Bathroom Library?

 So….what is a bathroom library, exactly?!  This term just came across my radar, & I have to say: I LOVE it.  For book-lovers, especially ones who enjoy relaxing in the tub ~ this may be your perfect new trend.  It’s essentially the adding of any kind of book shelves to your bathroom…especially in & around the bath tub.  In the photo below, you can see how they’ve added recessed bookshelves behind the bath, creating a gorgeous focal point for the room.  In this article, we’ll take a look at a ton of photos, to give you inspiration for creating your own cozy bath area….

What is a Bathroom Library? Girl Who Travels the World

This photo started my interest in “Bathroom Libraries” ~ from the March 2024 issue of Country Living. Instant cozy!

How to Create Your Own Bathroom Library??  To create a setting like the one above, you’ll need to speak with a carpenter who can build recessed shelves into your existing drywall. For a less expensive option, place floating wood shelves on the walls around your tub ~ or use a tall bookshelf, if you have a large bathroom space to work with.

Photos of Beautiful Bath Libraries

When I first typed in “Bath Library” to Google, images that came up were of actual libraries in the city of Bath, England (in the Cotswolds)!  Not what I was looking for ; )  There were also some veryyy unflattering images of unattractive bathrooms in public libraries around the States.  Again…not what I was looking for! 

So I had to get a little creative to round up these photos below, that give all different kinds of ideas for creating a library or reading nook in your bathroom….

What is a Bathroom Library? Girl Who Travels the World

Simple alcoves built into existing sideboard creates a “mini-library” effect in this bright bathroom.

What is a Bathroom Library? Girl Who Travels the World

A whimsical & eclectic little library above the commode!

What is a Bathroom Library? Girl Who Travels the World

On the more elegant side: a beautiful free-standing tub sits next to a lovely library & writing nook. Photo by Decoholic.

What is a Bathroom Library? Girl Who Travels the World

A modern bookshelf is used to great effect here next to a modern vanity. Photo by BookBub.

What is a Bathroom Library? Girl Who Travels the World

Now here’s a clever idea: instead of spending thousands to build bookshelves ~ simply buy a shower curtain with a cozy library scene on it! Photo by AliExpress.com.

What is a Bath Library? Girl Who Travels the World

This is a gorgeous way to incorporate bookshelves into a modern bathroom ~ & they don’t just need to display books. Photo by LovetoKnow.

What is a Bath Library? Girl Who Travels the World

This British bath features a cozy fireplace, with glass shelving to the right. Photo by The Glam Pad.

How to Create a Bathroom Library, Girl Who Travels the World

This simple, clean bath uses wooden floating shelves to create extra shelving. Photo by House Beautiful.

How to Create a Bathroom Library, Girl Who Travels the World

And you may not even need a traditional bookshelf! Simply use a low bench or cabinet to place plants, books, & toiletries on. Photo by Shelterness.

Floating Bookshelves

Library Shower Curtain

Tall Bookshelf

How to Create a Bathroom Library

  •  Have a contractor or carpenter add recessed bookshelves on either side of a bathtub, or on the wall behind the bathtub.  Or, for a “Full Library” effect, add shelves on all three walls surrounding the tub!
  • For a more subtle look (that will also cost less), buy your own bookshelves to add to the walls of your bathroom ~ or purchase an actual bookcase (tall or short) to really create a library feel.
  • Match the shelves you choose to the look of your home: modern homes can use industrial-type bookshelves, while vintage/bohemian homes may want to scour antique stores for rustic side tables or small, used bookshelves.  Traditional homes work well with traditional recessed or built-in bookshelves, & French country homes would do well to use oak or distressed wood shelving.  Or, take a cue from Joanna Gaines, & use Antique Wax to make any kind of bookshelves look older & more “lived-in.” 
  • While you’re making your bathroom a cozier place to be, consider adding a chandelier ~ & if you have the space, a comfy reading chair, to truly create a little reading nook/great place to unwind.

What is a Bathroom Library? Girl Who Travels the World

Now THIS is what I call a bathroom library! The window makes it the perfect “room with a view.” Photo by Decoholic.

Chandelier

Rounded Bookshelf

Comfy Chair

Other Whimsical Reading Nook Ideas…

Get inspired to create your own little reading nook by taking a look at the clever ideas below.  Inspired designers have created mini-libraries on porches, in cozy attics & She Sheds, & in other spots that may otherwise have gone unused. 

You don’t need a ton of space to create the perfect little reading area.

How to Create a Cozy Reading Nook, Girl Who Travels the World

Modern bookshelves, a brick wall, & hanging chair provide a perfectly eclectic reading nook.

How to Create a Cozy Reading Nook, Girl Who Travels the World

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!  Photo by Boutique Retreats.

How to Create a Cozy Reading Nook, Girl Who Travels the World

Thick, floating shelves are used to create a darling reading nook. Photo by Decoist.

How to Create a Cozy Reading Nook, Girl Who Travels the World

One way to make any bathroom or library cozier: paint your bookshelves a darker color. It adds DRAMA & an instant sense of style. Photo by House Beautiful.

How to Create a Cozy Reading Nook, Girl Who Travels the World

This packed-to-the-gills bookshelf on a front porch may not be the most practical ~ but it’s incredibly unique & cozy! Photo by Kindesign.

How to Create a Cozy Reading Nook, Girl Who Travels the World

Lacquered blue subway tiles + jungle wallpaper give this attic bathroom a tropical, vacation feel. Photo by My Domaine.

How to Create a Cozy Reading Nook, Girl Who Travels the World

A room where nothing quite matches…ends up being the perfect little reading corner. And the dogs love it too! Photo by Architectural Digest.

What is a Bathroom Library?

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post on an up-and-coming design trend!  If I figure out how to incorporate this into my own bath area, I’ll update this post with more photos…

xoxo Noelia

Read Next: How to Create a Gorgeous Raised Bed Garden

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