At the front of our house we have your typical formal dining room and formal living room but we don’t have much use for a formal dining room and our vision for our house is anything but typical so we decided to think outside of the box with what to do with the space that would allow us to get the most use out of it and fit our needs the best and a formal dining room just isn’t what we need or really want. We are both book nerds and love reading so we decided to instead take the formal dining room and turn it into our home library.
This room sat empty for quite awhile and then temporarily housed our treadmill and gym equipment. After that we stored Brent’s musical instruments in it for a bit. It has been full of mismatched stuff and doesn’t really give the best first impression when guests walk in our front door. This month we are finally ready to start our transformation from a blank catch all room to a cozy home library and I couldn’t be more excited about it!
First things first we our planning our home library and what items we want to incorporate into our home library. So far we have put a fresh coat of paint, Mindful Gray from Sherwin Williams, on the walls and that has already made a huge difference but we are really pumped to add some furniture in this room so it finally feels like it has a purpose.
Shelves | Built by Us
After we painted the library, the first project we worked on was building our large bookshelf that spans the entire length of one of the walls in the room and includes seven large shelves that go almost all the way to the ceiling. This project has taken us several weekends to work on but we love the results. The shelves will be the focal point of the room as they will display our books and collectibles so we wanted to custom build the shelves to fit the exact dimensions of the wall. We will be sharing a whole post dedicated to how we put together the shelves soon.
Pendant Lighting | Rose City 6in. Classic Schoolhouse Pendant from Rejuvenation
How cool is the bronze pendant light? We are wanting to replace our elaborate and ornate light fixture that is currently in this space with something more sleek and simple and I think the Rose City Schoolhouse Pendant light really fits with the style we are going for in our library. We want something unique that adds character to the room without being overly industrial or distracting. We love how this pendant light is simple with a vintage vibe. This one has definitely been added to our wish list.
Coffee Table | Library Coffee Table from West Elm
This coffee table from West Elm is awesome and it is even named the library coffee table, so it seems as if it is meant to be! Honestly, Brent will actually be building our coffee table because we want it to match with the craft cabinet he will also be building in the room next door so it all ties together nicely but I am quite fond of the idea of using this piece as inspiration. I like the simple design, worn look giving the impression our library has been around for a long time and gotten lots of good use and the storage options.
Art | Created by Brent
Brent created this piece for an art show while he was in graduate school a few years ago and it is one of my favorite pieces he has made to date. I think it fits with the style of this room perfectly and I am so excited to incorporate it into our library.
Sofa | Charcoal Gray Nolee Folding Sofa Bed from World Market
We have been back and forth on trying to decide if having a sofa, chairs or a sofa and chairs would look the best and be the most functional in this room. Finally, we decided that having just a sofa would be the most comfortable and fit the space the best as to not overcrowd the room. When I found this folding sofa bed at World Market, it went to the top of our list as the sofa I would like to have in this room because it is modern, a great color and it folds out to be a sofa bed which is always handy to have when you have extra guests come to stay. I wouldn’t mind if we got this sofa sooner rather than later!
Wire Baskets | Wire Baskets from HomeGoods
I bought the wire baskets a week ago and consider them a MAJOR score. Brent has a pretty good sized record collection but the records won’t fit on our shelves so I suggested getting some baskets to store the records in that would fit under the shelves. I browsed the internet for a long time but it wasn’t until a spontaneous trip to HomeGoods that I found these wood/wire baskets that match our shelves perfectly. They are the exact right size to fix under the shelves and hold the records. Plus, they were only $16 a piece which was a lot cheaper than any of the other baskets I had been looking at online were.
Floor Lamp | Warren Pulley Task Floor Lamp from Pottery Barn
Every time we go into Pottery Barn we drool over this floor lamp and we think it would be a perfect addition to our library to add some extra reading light and provide some character. I am hoping this can be the one item we splurge on for the library.
Tree | Blue Ridge Fir Executive Japanese Maple Tree from Wayfair
I would love to have a live large plant in this room to add a some life and color to the fairly monochromatic and neutral decor we are planning in this room but the truth is we don’t get a lot of light in the one free corner where the tree would go and I am horrible at keeping plants alive. So, this realistic Japanese Maple Tree would be a good alternative to add a little warmth to the room.
Rolling Ladder | Antique Original American Library Ladder from 1stdibs
Ah, the rolling ladder, what library wouldn’t be complete without one of these cool things propped up against the shelves to access those out of reach books on the top shelf? This Antique American Library Ladder is pretty awesome. Unfortunately, I don’t think our budget allows for spending $1,200 on just a ladder. So we are using this one as inspiration to build our own. Having a rolling ladder will really complete the look and and feel of our library.
Another large project that we want to do is to replace the carpet with hardwood floors. That will transform the look of the room from blank and bland to cozy and interesting. However, we have tile throughout the entire house that we want to replace so it is kind of an all or nothing type of project that needs to take place at one time when we are ready and can afford to rip all our floors up. Hopefully that time is coming up soon.
I love window shopping and planning out how a room will come together. These are a few of the key pieces that we like and will make our library feel like it belongs in our home. It will be a place we want to host guests when they over and visit or just relax and read. We will continue to work on this room and share updates on the space as our projects progress.
Do any of you use a room in your home for a library? What are some of your favorite pieces that you have incorporated into that space? We would love to hear them!