Dining in the Library: When Dining Rooms Are Libraries, Too!

Welcome to the 265th Metamorphosis Monday!

Thank you so, so much for all the sweet words of congratulations yesterday! If being a grandmother is just half as amazing as you’ve described, I am in for a wonderful journey! πŸ™‚

I was a bit preoccupied this weekend. Truthfully, I had trouble focusing on anything. I know you understand.  So, I don’t have a Before and After from here in my home to share. I will real soon though, the project I mentioned in a recent post is completed (Yay) and I just need to finish going through the photos and create the post. I’ll be working on that today so I should be able to share that project this week!

In the meantime, I thought for today I would share a wonderful idea for dining rooms, I’ve been meaning to write this post for ages! It’s a way to transform a dining room into a room with a dual purpose.

What if a dining room wasn’t just a dining room, but was a library, too! Or, what if a library wasn’t just a library, but was also a place for dining and entertaining. Check out these wonderful dining rooms, aka libraries below.

It’s not uncommon to see a small table in a library, a place to open or rest a book for a few minutes while you search for the book you need. Sometimes the table is even large enough to sit down at to read. The rooms below have tables so big, you could throw a dinner party!

Dining Room Used As A Library 06

Source: NY Social Diary

I can’t imagine anything more wonderful than dining surrounded by wonderful books! A little candlelight would be pretty nice, too! πŸ˜‰

Dining Room Used As A Library 10

Source: Vogue


Books just naturally make a room feel cozy. Don’t you love the coffered ceiling in this library!

Dining Room Used As A Library 01

Source: Cotedetexasblogspotdotcom


The only thing that could make these rooms feel even more cozy was if they had a fireplace blazing away. That I would love!

Dining Room Used As A Library 03

Source: Elle Decor

What do you think about this, this idea of the dining room acting as a home library, too?

Katherine Cobb home shoot / dining room makeover

Source: Southern Living


One of the reasons I love the idea so much is because so often formal dining rooms are unused spaces that sit empty until a special occasion comes around, like Thanksgiving or a dinner party.

Dining Room Used As A Library 04

Source: Charles Faudree

As a library/study/place-to-curl-up-and-read, the room could see daily use by the whole family.

Dining in the Library

 Source: Architectural Digest

Yep, I love this idea. If I ever move to a cottage style home, if the dining room is large enough, I’d love to have it do double duty as a library.

Do you like this idea or do you prefer keeping your dining space completely separate from a library or reading nook?

Dining Room Used As A Library 05

Source: MyHomeIdeasdotcom

Looking forward to the Before and Afters linked for this Met Monday!

One on sidebar

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  1. Morning, Susan! I am so excited for you! I just can’t wait to be a Grandmother – your new Grandson looks so precious. Being a book lover, I would adore a library-dining room – it gives the room such interest. So delighted to join your party – I do hope you have a blessed week,

  2. What a great way to get double duty from a space! And congrats again, Susan! you are going to love being a grandmother! What are you going to have him call you? I started out as Granny but have wound up being Gaggy ChaCha somehow! lol Thanks for hosting!…hugs…Debbie

  3. This! This is how I want my DR to be when it grows up – such a more purposeful use of the room. I have the chair and side table already in place, just need to build in the bookshelves, lol. Sadly, it will probably necessarily become a first floor master suite (due to senior living needs) before I ever get around to having the shelves built.

  4. Congrats on the new grandson! He’s beautiful, I saw his picture earlier today. I love that Southern Living photo above. Take care – Dawn @ We Call It Junkin.com

  5. Congratulations again on your new grandbaby! This is one of my fav link ups, but this morning it’s telling me I don’t have a backlink? Weird, because of course I do. I checked the box to submit anyway oh well. Have a great week πŸ™‚

    • I just saw it up there, thank you! I can’t wait to see what you’ll be called either…so fun! XO

    • Christy, InLinkz has just started doing that. πŸ™ I had that problem last week with the Tablescape Thursday party. I think he is working on a fix for it. In the meantime, if it ever does that just let me know and I can click over to the InLinkz site and “moderate” the link so it will appear. I had 11 links waiting on me this morning that for some reason didn’t go through. Hope he finds out what’s causing it to do that.
      Thanks for the congrats! We’re excited! πŸ™‚

  6. Fabulous library/dining rooms!…I remember being a RL’s in Chicago and feeling as if I was in a most magnificent library…I love that feeling!….Congrats again Grandma!

  7. Congratulations on the new addition to your family!
    Thank you for hosting the party!

  8. This is so ironic – we were just talking about having book shelves built in the dining room ( we bought a fixer upper recently and are drowning in reno’s ) for a combination of books and dishes – thanks SO much for all of the inspiration!
    Your grandson is gorgeous – huge congratulations!
    And of course many thanks for hosting such a great party –
    Hugs from Montreal

  9. Susan,
    All of the featured libraries are stunning!
    Thanks for hosting Metamorphosis Monday each week, dear friend!!!

  10. Hi Susan! Oh, I’m still so excited for you on your new little grandbaby! I know that excitement! Thank you again for hosting your party and for so many years!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia πŸ˜‰

  11. Susan, congratulations! I’m thrilled for you. πŸ™‚ Thank you for hosting Met Monday again today, and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the lovely dining rooms. Books really warm up any room, don’t they? Blessings!

  12. I’ve always wanted to do a library dining room. I have used shelving and books in the dining room before, but nothing this complete. These are the loveliest dining rooms to me.

  13. Love this concept……..I have numerous friends that have the dining/library combo and it is wonderful!!! You can combine stacks of books with stacks of dishes……….and the large table is great when studying maps or doing research!!! Today’s homes need multipurpose rooms………..

  14. Congratulations on becoming a new grandma, Susan! I really enjoyed today’s post, and it’s giving me ideas for adding books into the dining area of our large front room. I have books around the sitting area but never thought to include them near the table–genius idea!

  15. That seems like a great use- dual purpose and after you dine you can always stretch a leg and read! I like that one from Southern Living.
    I’m so tickled for you about your new grandson! I hope her labor wasn’t too traumatic!

  16. Great dining rooms. You right, the books do add a cozy feel. Thank you for hosting.

    Shannon ~ bohemianjunktion.com

  17. Congratulations on your exciting news! What an exciting journey you are now on. Loved the dining room/libraries – everyone of them gorgeous, but #1 is my favorite! Have a wonderful week and thanks for hosting. Jane

  18. Elizabeeth Jane says

    Truly food for thought! Perfect idea for entertaining the book club!

  19. We bought a house in 1982 and had bookshelves built in the living room and the den. I soon wished that I had lined the dining room with shelves too. I love that idea. In my next life……maybe.

  20. Wow, congratulations Susan!! That is wonderful!! Thanks again for hosting:-)

  21. I think it’s a wonderful idea and I love eating in front of a fireplace. My bedrooms have tables for two that can be set up in front of the fireplaces for a cozy meal during cold winter months. I think one should use their rooms as many ways as possible. I have a table on the front porch that seats 6 and 2 tables on the patio to seat 8 and a table in the upstairs hall that seats 4 and one downstairs in the hall that seats 6 as well as 6 in the kitchen. so we can feed a lot of people in this house! Thanks for a wonderful post and congratulations again!

  22. Donna Maurer says

    Congrats on your grandson!! Mine is 9 months old and a complete joy!! We forget how wondrous babies are!

  23. pam ~ crumpety cottage says

    Be still my heart!! I love the idea. I’d definitely have to have a blazing fireplace though … and over stuffed wing chairs. I already have two Theodore Alexander trestle tables I bought with the library in mind. πŸ˜‰ Eek! It would be so much fun. And that wood coffered ceiling is … amazing. Those rolling ladders would be welcome, too. And a spiral staircase to get to the upper balcony. (You can tell I’ve thought it through. ) Hee … babies and libraries. What a great day!

    • Maybe the wing chairs could do double duty at the ends of the dining room table. πŸ™‚ I love those rolling ladders, too! Fireplace is a must in my dream dining room/library!

      • I’ve actually been trying to find some for a couple of years! I had some made, but they were too big and the seat too low so I’ve had to use them elsewhere. I have been going nuts trying to find wing chairs that will work. It’s hard to find them with seats that are high enough to work at table height (since most are made for living areas, etc. and the cushions sink down so much you’re like a kid at the adult table.) πŸ˜€ If you hear of any, please let me know! It’s maddening to see them here and there in magazines, as though it’s so easy to find them. Errrgh! I want some so much. *cries* Captains chairs.

  24. Congratulations on the birth of your grandson, this is such an exciting time. Thank you so much for hosting the party every week.

  25. Thanks so much for hosting! I had some trouble linking up today. It said I didn’t have a backlink and it would submit it to you for approval. Not sure what that was about since I have a backlink…so sorry about the extra work.
    Congrats on becoming a Grandmother…how exciting!

    • I’m sorry it’s doing that…nothing you’re doing wrong.It’s some kind of glitch with the InLinkz linking system. They are working on fixing it. I just went in and approved it so it should be there now. There were five waiting for approval so I’m so glad you mentioned it. Hope it gets fixed soon. Thanks for letting me know it did that, KC!

  26. What a beautiful collection of libraries Susan! They are all fabulous! Thank you so much for hosting and have a lovely week! Angie xo

  27. I just love the room with the warm wood, rustic ceiling and French doors~ dreamy! The arched windows have me drooling, too…although I am a sucker for a library ladder! πŸ˜‰ Thanks for the pretty party!

  28. My dining room has a long built-in bookcase on one wall that is between two doors. This room actually was part of a kitchen/den combo from 1956 but was converted to a dining room in the 70’s. The entire kitchen and dining room is paneled with beveled (??) wood that has been painted a cream color. There are 4 shelves in the bookcase but only a few books on the bottom shelf. The other shelves hold my collection of crystal bowls and vases and several antique pieces from the early 1900’s. I love having the bookcase in the dining room. I think having a library/dining room is wonderful and so warm and inviting. Congrats again on your new grandson.

  29. Thanks Susan for another great party. Love your dining room features this week! As an avid reader, I think dining amongst walls of books – especially old classics – would be divine.

  30. I started out with a dining room, and I think what I have now is a library with a dining room. We seldom use it for dining, but we can if needed. I love that our d.r. is in use all of the time. Were it not for the books, etc. in there, we’d seldom go in that room. Of course, mine doesn’t compare to these gorgeous examples you’ve shown. You made me think I’d better do some work on our library/d.r. Thanks for hosting. laurie

  31. While I like the idea of using the dining room as a library as well, it’s important to keep your books and bookshelves attractive like in the Charles Faudree photo. It’s hard to see from the photos but when the books are not stacked attractively or they are overflowing with books placed in all different directions it definitely is not a room I would also want to serve a formal meal in. I’m just organizing the bookcase in my den and it makes such a difference to eliminate some of the books & make the contents attractive.

  32. Susan, if our dining room were large enough, I’d love to have it filled with shelves of books. The concept has always been one of my favorites, and I have a good friend who did just that in a home she recently remodeled. The shelves line two sides with a long table down the center and French doors leading out to a courtyard. It’s stunning!
    I’ve eaten in several restaurants that have this concept too. Love it for all the reasons you mention!

  33. Thank you for the party! I just love libraries! Dining rooms or not…. hahaha!!
    xx Crystelle
    Crystelle Boutique

  34. It would be wonderful to host afternoon teas and book clubs in the library. Definitely a fire for winter days.
    Of course you could not settle this weekend Susan, a wonderful thing was happening. My grandchildren call me Nanny as my mother was called…a British thing.
    Something funny…my eldest granddaughter who is now at university, as a baby called her other grandmother Mammo Dirt. We couldn’t figure this out for a long time, but the reason was, she saw her grandmother vacuuming a lot as they lived near. It stuck and she is known as just Mammo now!!! πŸ™‚

  35. Congratulations on becoming a grandmother! Such a sweet and exciting milestone!

    I have always loved the concept of having a combined library-dining room and actually was able to have one, albeit briefly, about 15 years ago.

    We had an Inn, which was sort of a B&B and cooking school combination and I had a friend of ours who is a contractor, build bookcases all along one outside wall in the guest dining room. The wall had a large window and the shelves were built all around it and above. The room had white walls and ceilings, so the shelves were also painted white.

    I had a huge collection of cookbooks (over 2,000!) and they, as well as my extensive collection of cobalt glass and blue and white porcelain, lived on the bookcase wall. I loved that room! Unfortunately, almost a year later, we had a fire that destroyed the whole building…but the warm memories remain…

    Our present house is not conducive to doing the same, but if I ever live in another house where I can combine the library and dining room, I definitely will do it again!

  36. Thanx for such a great party Susan and on the Great Grandbaby!!

  37. Andrea Campbell says

    I love the idea of a dining room/library in my home, but have never had that option. However, back in the late 70’s when we lived in Connecticut, there was a very good restaurant in Farmington called The Reading Room. It was right on the river, had lovely views, and the interior walls were all lined with book shelves. Of course, the books were for perusing. The little food co-op restaurant in our village (Delhi, NY) has also featured bookshelves for years, and all the books are for looking or for sale. It’s quite fun!
    Again, many congratulations on the beautiful baby boy!

  38. I do like the idea of a combo dining room library, especially in your future dreamy country cottage! Congrats on le bebe!
    I know you are over the moon~make sure you pick out your own name and start saying it early on so you don’t end up with something awful!! Because once you’re a grandmother, that will be your new name!! Enjoy, and thanks for the party~

  39. Thanks very much for hosting. I especially love the random placement feature… wonderful idea πŸ™‚

  40. I’d bring a picnic basket with me into the library, filled with sandwiches and snacks and a large thermos of sweet tea. A very convenient room in which to dine for those times when you’re devouring the pages of a new favorite, so engrossed in the world the author created that you can’t even think of leaving it to eat!

  41. Susan, I love the idea of a dining room/library. If our dining room were big enough I would do it but our new dining room is TINY:( Wish I could knock out the wall:):) Congrats again!!!!

  42. The Library/dinning area that jumped to mind was the white library at the dinner party in You Got Mail! I’m always trying to read what books are up there.

    Congratulations on your new grandbaby! Blessings forever!

  43. Oh, I missed you being a Grandma! Congratulations!!!! I had never thought about a library/dining combo, but they are pretty cool. Might need to go build some shelves and buy a tall sliding ladder!

  44. I love the look of a combination library/dining room For me it’s a good idea in theory only. If I were to do this, I wouldn’t see my dining table ever again. It would be buried in books. I prefer books when I want to compare things side by side.

    I hope IKEA never discontinues the Billy bookshelves as they are discontinuing the Expedite storage unit. Customers are very upset because it was the perfect size to store vinyl album collections. If anyone wants one, they will only be sold for 2 more months.


  45. Oh, I do truly love this idea and wish I had that kind of setup. My dining room and sitting room already share a space, and I do have a small book nook in the sitting area — guess that’s the best I can do.

    Thanks so much for hosting, Susan! Hope you get your hands on that little one very soon!

  46. Thanks so much for hosting! Life to the full! Melissa

  47. I love these! We’re looking at a big renovation and one of the ideas is to add bookshelves to the dining area. After seeing these photos, I’m IN! These rooms look so cozy and inviting. Thanks for hosting the linky.

  48. My dream room, if I ever have a house that has a dining room this is what I plan to do. A great way to mix my two favorite things, books and dishes. Congratulations on your new grand baby.

  49. I love books, so I love the idea of having a library in the dining room. Maybe in my next house πŸ˜‰ Thanks so much for hosting MM. Congrats again on your wonderful news!

  50. Juanita in OH says

    What a magnificent idea, I LOVE it! TFS.

  51. Susan, congratulations on your new grand baby! Thanks so much for the party!


  52. I have a passion for books so yes I would absolutely love to dine in a library…….I agree the formal dining room is so under-used….mine hasn’t been used since Christmas! Next house, a cape cod with an eat-in library!
    Happy Tuesday……


  53. Welcome to THE BEST club ever…the “Nana Club!” Congrats!! franki

  54. Congratulations Susan!
    You will be wonderful, with great grandmotherly and un-grandmotherly ideas to entertain and thrill your grandson.
    As for books in the dining room, I love books too much and find them very distracting during dinner parties – I keep browsing the books and lose the conversations…but we often do serve dessert or coffee in the library.

  55. These library/dining rooms are beautiful! I especially like the first one with the ladder. always wanted one. And a fireplace is a must. Would love to join your Monday parties, but have to think of something to morph!

  56. I loved the library in the dining area. Was thinking about this a few weeks back. Unexpected family has come to stay for a bit … lol … and overtaken my office library (3rd bedroom which I installed a French door on) and I feel crowded out … thought if I brought my 4 shelving units into dining room would be great access and a relief for when I’m searching out a book or 2, which is often. I do love being surrounded by words of knowledge.
    Thanks for your pics, they’ve inspired me to go forward.

    • Lois, I’m so glad you found this helpful! I know, love that idea of being surrounded by beautiful books. I find it so comforting and I still dream of having a dining room that doubles as a library. β™₯

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