Friday, July 6, 2012

Library - Phase I

I have always loved to read. It probably stems from being an only child or the fact that my mom was a teacher and always had tons of books in the house. I always envisioned myself growing up to own a house big enough to have a library. Of course in my imagination it looked like something that belonged in a stately old Victorian mansion not a mid-century house. Nevertheless I am determined that I can create a hybrid somehow and make that dream a reality in our new house. It's going to take some doing but the front room of the house is the perfect space for a library. It's long and narrow and it can be closed off from the rest of the house and its not a room that we would use much otherwise.  The good thing is that with the appropriate furniture it would double as a formal sitting room should the need arise.

I've had a lot of time to plan the move since the time we decided to buy the house and when we were able to actually close on it so I've been thinking about this room a lot. I decided in order to make it a hybrid of my imagined library in a mid-century house it should include elements of both. Paneling would have been a nice compromise, but alas the only paneling in the house was in the dining room and it is now painted over... so the next best thing I could think of was to paint it a nice rich caramel color.

My husband decided that given it is a library, it should have leather surfaces upon which to read. To keep the mid-century vibe going and include some leather furniture, I decided upon some mid-century style new leather furniture from Haverty's. Normally I would prefer vintage over new, but with leather, newer is always better. There is nothing more off putting to relaxing than cracked dried out leather. Luckily Haverty's Contempo line is stylish and comfortable  I am getting the grey (pictured in the back) in order to go with the red accents I have planned for the room. I love the terra cotta color they have, but it is too orange for the room and would clash with the red. I already had two Billy Bookshelves from Ikea, but I plan to buy a few more to make walls of books. I'd like to someday find old lawyer-style bookcases with the glass fronts, but in the meantime the Billy shelves allow for corner bookshelves and are a dark deep color that should contrast with the wall color well.

So it came down to picking the caramel color for the wall... I tried a few different samples with differing shades of brown and gold but finally settled on Coco Rum from Behr as it seemed to go best with the other colors that will be in the room. 

I've started painting the walls now, but I forgot how long it takes to successfully paint a dark color. It's going to take a couple of coats to get it right. I only had a few hours actually paint yesterday, but I am making progress around the room. It's definitely a bold commitment, but I think with the furniture in the room, soft light from the lamps, and maybe an area rug it will end up being a perfect place to hide away and read.

The only thing missing from my ideal library will be a fireplace. Unfortunately this house did not have a fireplace but that was not a deal breaker. My favorite thing about a fireplace is the overall look of it so I hope to someday find a mantel or have one made so I can properly display my mantel clock and Christmas decor!

So Phase I of the library is begun. It'll be awhile before one can read in there but we are on our way! Stay tuned for more!


  1. Love the color of that couch! Good luck with your Library project!

  2. I love your new furniture and your color choices. I can't wait to see the finished room.

  3. I am liking the color pallet on this!Can't wait to see it!