With the dark, chilly months of winter rolling rapidly in what better way is there to spend a Sunday afternoon than sitting down with a great book chosen from your beautifully-lit bookshelf? Is there a more calming and idyllic image that springs to mind than that?


As Cicero once said, “a room without books is like a body without a soul”. However how we will ever see our books without the perfect lighting?


To find the picture-perfect lighting for any bookshelf we turn to our friends at John Cullen Lighting. Over the years their creative team have illustrated just how important lighting is to any interior design. Lighting, as we at Ultimate Library know, is especially important when it comes to a library. And John Cullen Lighting’s inspirational designs show that they are experts at this.



Books can bring culture and intelligence to any room, however only if they are accompanied by the correct lighting. We have had the sheer pleasure of dressing the shelves at the John Cullen Lighting Showroom. The books have brought intelligent luxury to an already pretty stunning, glowing showroom.


As Sally Storey, Creative Director at John Cullen Lighting, said “lighting can make or break a library”. Lighting can create that intimate little reading nook or even show-off authors aligned on your bookcase. A good bookshelf should not only be filled with splendid titles, but paired with the right lighting for onlookers to fully appreciate the lovingly displayed titles.



Strips of lighting carefully concealed on shelves can successfully transform the look of any book collection. The light bounces off the spine to illuminate the authors name and title of the book, and as many of us know we do tend to judge a book by its cover. By pairing our favourite novels with a certain twinkle of dedicated lighting creates a decorative glow, a gorgeous finish, a shine to the literary spine that brings that extra bit of magic to any book collection.


Looking for the books to light up your life: what about these bright choices from the John Cullen Lighting and Ultimate Library Teams!


Lighting By Design
by Sally Storey

Creative Director of John Cullen, Sally Storey reveals the true brilliance of lighting in her book. She illustrates the importance of light in interior design, but also outdoor design.


Languages of Light
by Rebecca Weir and Allyson Coates

Weir and Coates have created an inspiring innovative and visual guide to lighting. They cleverly illustrate the physical and emotional elements of luminosity.

Perfect Lighting
by  Sally Storey

This is the bible for lighting design. Storey brings creativity and imagination together in this wonderfuly inspiring book, which is filled with great lighting solutions for every room.

Katharine Pooley: Journey by Design
by Jennifer Goulding

The designer Katharine Pooley has taken large inspiration from the several places she has visited. Her wealth of experience is tangible in this stunning coffee table book. This book would bring a stylish presence to any room.

Every Room Tells a Story
by  Kit Kemp

This book exudes Kit Kemp’s signature style. It is full of insight into how Kemp approaches interior design. The mix of contemporary yet traditional style shows off her unique and effortless design.

By Imogen Bovill