It’s been a busy few weeks here at McNemar House, but today I wanted to take a moment to return to our House Tour Series on the blog. I’ve been enjoying this series because it has afforded me more time to talk about each of the rooms in detail– something I’m often lacking when we’re giving tours at the house or mentioning it in articles. We’ve talked about the entry and porches so far, and today I want to move to my favorite room in the house: the library.
From the moment we decided to build a new home as opposed to restoring an old one I knew that the plan we chose had to have a library for all of my books. Not only am I book worm, but I’m also a book hoarder. I find it very difficult to part with the volumes that I have read. Each one is a little sense of accomplishment and an adventure to loan to a friend. I also had a large collection of architectural reference volumes and knew that my reference library would only continue to grow. When we discovered Southern Living’s plan SL-598, I was immediately drawn to the entry because I knew it would make the perfect library.
When it came time to design the bookcases I decided to go with all open units to maximize my book space. I planned on using the library to store books– that’s it. I also decided to add a couple of built-in window seats to the design because not only do I love window seats, but the room is a bit narrow and wasn’t conducive to both big comfy chairs and a desk. Each of the window seats is also home to two deep drawers, the only hidden storage in the room besides the coat closet. Lastly, I knew that I wanted two different depths of shelves to house both my large reference books as well as my smaller fiction books. I didn’t want to reach into a deep shelf to grab a small book. Nor did I want my larger books hanging out of narrow shelves.
Along with figuring out all of my shelving needs for the library we also had to figure out how we were going to aesthetically set this room apart from the rest of the house. Libraries are special places, and we wanted this room to stand out. We decided that one great way to do this was to incorporated a coffered ceiling into the design.
Once I knew what I wanted in this room and had drawn a sketch with a rough cabinetry plan, I handed it over to a professional designer at the cabinetry company. She was able to execute my ideas perfectly and make room for the library ladder rail which also needed to be incorporated.
I’m so happy with how the space turned out, and I’m happy that it’s a room we actually spend time in unlike many formal living rooms. This was definitely the perfect use of this space.