Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Room By Room: The Library

This is probably my favorite room in the house.  Though I also love the kitchen.  And the living room, and the bedroom, and well okay every room in the whole house is a pretty close runner-up.  I'm not even sure if you ccan technically call the library a separate room, as it's more like an alcove in the living room.  But this is my blog so I get to call it what I want to, and "reading alcove" doesn't sound nearly as exciting as "library."  So library it is.

Anyway, this room was originally the dining room of the house, but the strangely shaped alcove on the back wall was just begging for a built-in, and when the folks at Signature Custom Homes learned about my modest little book collection they suggested that a library for me would be the perfect conversion for this room.  I'm so glad they did!  You can see a slideshow of the whole remodeling process after the jump.

The room was already fairly accessible since it was open to the rest of the house, but the carpet was too thick for easy rolling, the window leaked heat, and the stenciling job was very odd.  Why did they stencil everything but the back of the alcove?  Literally the entire house had some sort of stenciled border with the exception of Connor's room, one wall of the entry, and this alcove.  It's not like the display cabinet the original owners had in there (see the Library Before picture on the slideshow) covered it up or anything.

Sorry.  Got a bit off topic there.  At any rate the stencil quandry was solved by a liberal coating of paint and by the addition of those beautiful built-in bookshelves.  Right now we have books on them floor-to-ceiling, but as we age we may decide to use the upper halves for display and reserve the lower, wheelchair accessible shelves for books.  Wainscoting helps tie-in the room with the entry and the living room.  The new window helps keep things at a comfortable temperature, and it also opens (unlike the original window) for good cross circulation.  The laminate floors make for easy manuevering, and a new light fixture provides plenty of illumination for reading.

The armchairs are fairly light and easy to move so that Jer can access the shelves.  They also recline, so that I can sit curled up in one with a cup of tea and a book.  I love having a place in the house to call my own, and I'm sure I'll be spending many happy hours in here.  Sheer bliss! 

Tomorrow I'll be posting about the kitchen-- and be forewarned that it'll be a pretty long post as there's a lot to talk about in there!



Kelsey said...

I think that's my favorite room too. I am so so happy for you guys. You really deserve this.
I'm going to try to call you today! I'm so sorry, the last two times you've called I've been at the gym or on my way somewhere...

Kristin said...

Considering your love of books, how do you feel about the books used for art in the room? Its definitely an interesting concept! And, of course, I'm tremendously envious of your library :)

leah said...

This is the room that has me *green* with envy. Yes, I love the rest of your house. But I think I would swoon over having a library! It is a perfect space to curl up with a favorite book!

J. said...

that looka amazing, I must say that I am really jealous of the library!

Tom said...

Jessie made those pieces of book-art, so I am pretty sure she feels okay about it. :)

Jess said...

Thanks Kelsey-- sounds like a plan!

Kristin, I actually made those book sculptures a year or two ago. They're made from damaged 1970s textbooks I found at a thrift store. Pretty sure they would have ended up in a trash bin if I hadn't bought them, as I don't think that particular thrift store recycles. While I do hold books as sacred, I like to think that these are having their lives extended a little longer in another form!


Brechtje said...

I love the whole room, but those booksculptures are really awesome! How did you do that?

jwg said...

Yea, how do you do that? The sculptures are beautiful.

Jess said...

Thanks! I just folded the pages-- no glue needed. If you unfolded them the book would still be readable!

Folding the pages in different ways makes for different patterns-- for a simple column, fold all the pages in half. For a pyramid, fold the corners of the pages down to the middle so that each page is a triangle. It's kind of fun to experiment with different ways of folding. For hanging, I just put a little bit of glue on a thumbtack, made a loop out of ribbon, and secured it with the thumbtack to the spine of the book. Easy!


xraevision said...

How awesome to have a dedicated space for your books - you must be so thrilled!

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