Featured Renovation – Home Library
There is nothing better at the end of a long day than to sit back, relax, and enjoy a good book. For these homeowners of ours, books are more than just a hobby; they’re a passion!. They needed more than just a storage spot for their books; they needed a beautiful library to showcase them. To say they have a large collection of books would be an understatement. They have an expansive, beautiful and unique collection, curated over many years. As they moved into their new retirement home, they were deserving of a perfect space to showcase and celebrate them all. We had never built a library like this before, so it was a challenge we were excited to take on!
First things first, to create a library of this magnitude, you need the space! Our homeowners had just purchased a new home with a spare bedroom in the basement that they wanted to convert into the library. It was an irregularly shaped room, and the angled stairs to access the basement came partially through the room. The stairs were originally hidden inside of a corner closet, but in order to maximize the space in the room, the closet had to be removed. While this posed as a challenge, we were able to incorporate the stairs into the bookshelf design. We hid the stairs behind cabinet doors, and our design still left room for more usable shelving.
To give a real library feel, we require more than stacks and rows of books. We need to add personality to the room and the perfect way to do this is to add art into the mix. Our homeowners loved the look and feel of beautiful, old world libraries they have seen while traveling, and since their library was to be created in a basement room, Karla had the idea to add the stained glass to the window area to hide the site of the window well, while creating the beautiful feel of gentle light coming into their library. They found a local artist to turn one of their photos into stained glass, and it was up to us to design the enclosure to fit this beautiful piece of artwork. We added back-lighting as well so that at night this piece would still be showcased. We also included corner shelving with under-cabinet lighting and glass doors for collectors books, sculptures and pictures to be displayed. We added under cabinet lighting along the top of the bookshelf as well to make some of the collectors editions stand out. Our homeowners have a really unique collection of books, including special edition Folio books which were published in Britain, some collectors first editions and some signed limited edition books. We built two sections with glass doors and lighting to display these exquisite collections. To add more visual interest and to put soft cover books out of sight, we put solid doors on some of the shelves. This takes away from simply having rows of books, and provides some extra storage if needed.
Aside from lots of shelving, the perfect library also requires seating. We added a bench to run along the bottom of the bookshelf so that our homeowners can sit and leaf through books as they are looking for a specific piece of information. We left open space in the middle of the room for some elegant, classic chairs and a cozy rug to read in the comfort and quiet of their beautiful new library.
This library renovation was truly unique, and came together better than we ever could have imagined; it is so classy that it is now the showcase room of the home. It was an absolute pleasure for us to create.