Take a look inside Joanna Gaines' home library – the cocooning space is '70s-inspired and oh-so-stylish

The celebrated designer has mastered mid-century modern charm once and for all

(Image credit: Courtesy of Magnolia Network)

When Joanna Gaines took on her latest project – a 1960s Texas lake house in need of some serious TLC – she turned to the great outdoors for inspiration. Surrounded by stunning lake and forest views, the lake house had to blend seamlessly into its environment – it couldn't overshadow what nature had to offer. After letting the natural world take the lead, and combining its lessons with her decades of design experience, she landed on something truly special: an updated mid-century modern oasis.

As chronicled in Fixer Upper: The Lakehouse (which wrapped last month), the Lake Waco property underwent an unbelievable upgrade. Its living room is a masterclass in mid-century modern style, and the lake house kitchen screams quiet luxury. What's more, the design process inspired a seven-shade paint collection that lets you get the final look right at home. But perhaps our favorite part of the final reveal so far can be found just off the entryway – the home library.

Inside the Lake House home library

A mid-century modern library with brown chairs and floor to ceiling shelving

(Image credit: Courtesy of Magnolia Network)

The lake house's home library is cozy and cocooning yet airy and light. Taking inspiration from nature with a deep, slightly moody twist, it's a gorgeous example of mid-century modern at its best.

Its centerpiece is undoubtedly the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, displaying book covers in all their glory. The minimalistic lattice design lets the literature speak for itself, combining two natural wood tones and featuring thin gold bars for function (as well as added charm).

The gold accent is echoed above in the form of a sculptural light fixture, which pulls the eye upward – further accentuating the room's high ceilings. But the overhead fixture isn't the only source of light in the library – large sliding doors open directly into an outdoor space. Indoor-outdoor living doesn't get much better than this.

A mid-century modern library with brown chairs and floor to ceiling shelving

(Image credit: Courtesy of Magnolia Network)

Home libraries are necessarily comfort-forward, and Joanna's design is no exception. Four brown textured accent chairs form a circle in the center of the room, with a round marble coffee table completing the arrangement.

The coffee table is styled beautifully too, with a tray full of trinkets, a large vase, and a selection of books. With room for the whole family – and for reading, conversation, or a combination of the two – this room was clearly designed with the balance between beauty and functionality in mind.

The design style and color scheme flows throughout the home with ease, connecting each space naturally. In the library, two grand wooden doors (with intricate glass fluting to boot) offer a gorgeous view of the home's entryway, plus the impressive, custom-built, wooden staircase, which leads to the second floor.

A mid-century modern library with brown chairs and floor to ceiling shelving

(Image credit: Courtesy of Magnolia Network)

A full-length shelving system covers another wall of the stylish space, revealing the room's earthy green hue: Wooded Acres from Magnolia. The combination of natural wood and the 'woodsy brown with a touch of green' paint is warm, welcoming, and on trend in 2024.

As always, Joanna's styled the shelves with care, placing a statement table lamp, nature-inspired accessories, a characterful clock, and framed artwork within the unit's asymmetrical shelves. With plenty of storage for books and accessories, the shelving is a necessary (yet still stunning) addition to this serene space.


Mid-century modern style can be difficult to replicate, but Joanna's home library hits it right on the nose. With plenty of space for relaxation, loads of natural light, and books galore, it's a relaxing escape within an extraordinary natural environment.

Abby Wilson
Interior Design News Editor

I am an Interior Design News Editor at Homes & Gardens. Most recently, I worked with Better Homes & Gardens, where I wrote and edited content about home decor, gardening tips, food news, and more. Before that, I studied Journalism and English Literature at New York University. I’ve moved around quite a bit in the last several years, most recently making the trip to London, and love transforming each new space into a comfortable retreat that feels like home. When it comes to decor, I’m most drawn to unique vintage finds and calming colors.