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How We Built Our Classical Home Library

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In this post, I’m sharing how we put together our classical home library and the supplies we used we used for this simple diy project.

Creating a cozy and inviting home library is a dream for many book lovers. I hope to share how we built ours for inspiration and practical tips on how to design and build your own cozy space.

side view of the home library.

And just like any true library, this is only the first part of it. We’ve been slowly building up our collection over many years and have incorporated areas of the home for children’s books, and our school books.

So basically like Charlotte Mason encourages, we’ve built an atmosphere of learning scattered throughout the home.

In addition, we have areas for children’s picture books as seen on the book shelf below. In total we have accumulated over one thousand books… and still growing.

Because why stop? Once you enter into the classical world, you must continue on the journey.

children’s picture books
children’s picture books

Building Classical Bookshelves

When we put together the newest bookshelves in the home, I didn’t intend on making it into a blog post. So, I don’t have much for step by step photos. But I will try to explain how we put this together.

view of wallpaper behind the classical home library shelves.

First thing we put up was the wallpaper. I wanted something kinda dark, fun, and whimsical. I chose this peel and stick wallpaper because it reminded me of a fairy story.

Next, we purchased these industrial style book shelf wall mounts. We used two sets.

Initially I wanted it to go the entire width of the wall space, but we needed to ensure that they were attached at the studs. So that’s why the spacing is placed between all of the shelves.

My husband decided that we should add additional wood boards behind the brackets to secure to the studs. And with a load of books, this makes sense!

Next, we purchased 5 pre-made shelving boards (8’ each) from a local home improvement store. Our initial plan was 10’ each, but with the stud placement, this worked out better.

How I Organized the Classical Library

As we are slowly building our classical library, I decided that I wanted it organized in chronological order.

So, I started by building it by time period. First off I started it like this: Holy Scripture > The Ancients > Early Church Fathers > Early Middle Ages > 14th Century… and so on.

I’ve categorized books in the time period or about the time period. So for example as I’m building up my category in “The Ancients” I will also include some fiction about this time period too.

I used these simple shelf labels and my label maker using a script font for each label card.

I am new to classical education and I’m slowly getting an education that I did not get when I was younger.

Some of my time periods are slowly getting filled in as I continue my classical mother’s educational courses. Hillsdale College online courses are a great place to start if you’re interested in continuing your classical education as a mother-teacher at home. 😉

But if you really want to get interested in classics, read Narnia. And yes, there is a proper order to read them (another conversation for another day)! Start with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Then continue to read in original published order…not the chronological order.

And then it only grows from there!

I’ve also created separate featured sections for some of my favorite authors like C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, G.K. Chesterton, and Jane Austen.

C.S.Lewis books in the classical home library.

Some more sub sections that I didn’t put in chronological order are:

  • “Our Lord” gets His own category
  • “Our Lady” does as well
  • catechisms
  • mythology
  • poetry (some author specific collections get filed under time period)
  • the spiritual life
  • the liturgical life
  • mother culture
  • nature books
  • academia & reference books
  • Carmelite spirituality


And of course, I’ve added fairy lights to the book shelves. How very millennial of me, I know. 😂

book shelf view with wallpaper.

I have added fun bookends like collectable Narnia versions I found on eBay, globe ends, and the wood burned Narnia bookends are from Etsy.

Can you tell that we love Narnia over here?

📚A few favorite places to buy books:

  • Tan Books – for good Traditional Catholic books
  • Thriftbooks – great for finding classics on a budget!
  • Abe Books – another great resource for finding classics.
  • Amazon – a great place to find reprints & sometimes a rare vintage find!
  • And of course, nothing beats the hunt of finding classics in used book shops, thrift stores, and library sales!

It is a good rule after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.

— C.S. LEwis

🖤 Favorite products:

Here are a few of my favorite items as mentioned in this post.

Peel & Stick Wallpaper

Industrial Book Shelf Brackets (we purchased two of these sets)

Fairy Lights

Acrylic Bookends

Shelf Labels

Label Maker

Where would you like to start?

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    1. Orthodoxy & Heretics is great! I really enjoyed his books on St Francis of Assisi and on St Thomas Aquinas as well. Or if you can find a collection of his works. The Father Brown series is a fun read too! Oh and of course his poetry! 🙂 Hope this helps you get started. I’m fairly new to reading his works myself…but those are some that I’m enjoying. I’m also starting to enjoy Hilarie Belloc…have you read any of his books?