Friday, November 9, 2012

My Dream, My Library

Oh, the library. The reason we bought a new home was that it had the bones to house the two-story library I'd always dreamed of. For years, I've imagined the library I would someday have. I have a manilla folder filled with ripped-out pages of libraries I liked (now I have a pinterest board as well) and bookshelves that would do. It was a dream I kept tucked away and decided that since it would be a while before I could have a real library, I would work on getting the books I would need to fill such a library. And then my dream came true.

Here is the room before we got to work:

And six grueling months later, my library is just about complete. The furniture is a work-in-progress and I'm temporarily using my husband's sectional that we're going to put in the theater room once the detached garage is finished. Then I want to buy some big overstuffed chairs. But enough of what I will do, I want to enjoy my library now. We pulled out the existing bookshelves above the spiral staircase  in the loft and then added more below as well.

I loved the original antique fireplace mantel, although we may still have to replace the old gas insert that doesn't work very well.

I bought these antique corbels off ebay and we stained them to match the wood in the library. I think they probably came off some old house exterior. It just soaked up the stain. We also added wrought iron spindles between the wooden because the railings were far from up to code.

Here are the other two Corinthian columns that I bought off a woman secondhand. They look great in our bedroom but I think also add a grand touch to the library entrance off the foyer.

I love that I can walk out my bedroom door on the second floor and see straight into my library every morning.

And I love the tin ceiling and beams. To me, it's everything a library should be.

I bought an antique table secondhand so that we'd have a homework table in the library as well as making it easier to serve food when I host book club. (And check out those awesome radiator covers and how the carpenter worked them into the bookshelves and the bench under the window. I love how those turned out!)

I've spent the last week dragging box after box up from the storage area and alphabetizing and categorizing my books exactly as I want them. I was starting to worry that maybe we didn't build enough space for all our books. But it turns out there's enough (although there are a few boxes still missing). I LOVE displaying the covers of books (it IS called cover "art" after all) to take up more space and then I can fill it as I go. I put contemporary fiction above on the loft and then categorized by genre on the bottom, such as Shakespeare, drama, poetry, memoirs, and my favorite, my illustrators. Here is my Hugh Thomson collection. Aren't the covers amazing?

As you can see from the window, it's snowing today. If only the fireplace would work, this just might be the best moment of my life.


Karma said...

Stunning! It's perfect.

Joe and Marci said...

Breathtakingly beautiful Jeana! It makes me want to curl up and read a good book right now.

Erin said...

Love, love, love the library. That looks like the most cozy and wonderful library ever. I wish I could have come to book club just to see the library. Fantastic