From a cozy country kitchen in Connecticut to a minimalist retreat in Australia, these 6 kitchens have one thing in common: a celebration of books. While some re-create the feeling of a favorite local bookstore, with floor-to-ceilling shelves, low-glowing lights and intimate reading nooks, others channel a fine art gallery, displaying books as you would a precious painting or sculpture on carefully crafted furniture pieces.
In kitchens with open shelves, it’s important to maintain good ventilation around the range and keep books far enough away from the stove to minimize dust and grease buildup.
Kitchen Books 1: Masterson | Architecture & Design Co, original photo on Houzz
1. Location: Brooklyn, New York
Why we love it: The books of this kitchen have a place of honor, something the designers envisioned from the get-go. “Kitchens have become the nucleus of our homes, so it felt right to put such an impressive collection right in the middle,” says designer Brett Masterson. In addition to storing the homeowner’s extensive book collection, the shelves display vintage kitchenware.
We also love how the owner’s family came together to make this kitchen work. The rolling library ladder came from the homeowner’s mother’s bookshop in Minnesota called Bound to Read. Brass hardware collected from online auction sites complements and contrasts the reclaimed wood fronts fabricated by the homeowner’s father.
Kitchen cabinets: Ikea; cabinet fronts: reclaimed wood; countertops: Carrara marble; floors: reclaimed red oak; windows: Marvin
Kitchen Books 2: ???????, original photo on Houzz
2. Location: Tokyo
Why we love it: The view from the stove is one of the most important in a kitchen, because it’s probably the most used. From this stove, the view out onto an extensive book collection is one we’d always find nice.
Simple and beautifully crafted, the bookcase does not try to steal the spotlight, instead allowing the books to shine. Its color radiates warmth and ties in with the other curated wood pieces on the first floor.
Kitchen Books 3: Jessica Helgerson Interior Design, original photo on Houzz
3. Location: Portland, Oregon
Why we love it: With its glass-front cabinets, dark beams, leaded windows and schoolhouse-style light fixtures, this kitchen has all the trappings of a dark, moody library or bookshop we’d like to curl up in on a rainy day. Surrounding a large window as a focal point, a wall of books draws us into the kitchen, piquing our interest as to what will be discovered.
Kitchen Books 4: Crisp Architects, original photo on Houzz
4. Location: Bridgeport, Connecticut
Why we love it: There is so much to love about a farmhouse kitchen that feels like it gets a lot of use, as this kitchen does with its multiple prep areas, overflowing pot rack and utensil crock and packed-to-the-brim bookcase.
Kitchen Books 5: Espacio en Blanco, original photo on Houzz
5. Location: Barcelona
Why we love it: The designers of this kitchen dedicated a lot of cabinet storage to books — in a space without much extra room to spare. Complete with decorative plates, cake stands and a white Smeg refrigerator, the charming handmade kitchen feels like it could host a season of the The Great British Baking Show.
Kitchen Books 6: Mata Design Studio, original photo on Houzz
6. Location: Perth, Australia
In a house that minimizes color and visual clutter, an island dedicated to displaying a colorful array of cookbooks and cooking magazines makes a memorable statement about who the homeowners are and what they value.
Marble backsplash: Arabescata Bianco; countertops: Quantum Quartz; cabinetry: 2-pack, painted white; Pendant light: Volker Haug