I mentioned months ago and weeks ago that we were turning an underused room into a library. It’s finally done and it’s a lovely space.
I am enchanted with the idea that of a library, reading room and game space up at the top of the house where sounds can barely reach you and one can get lost in a great book. I look forward to the day when I’ll get to hang out and read up there. In the meantime, I’m pleased to have made the space!
The major goals were 1) to create a space to store all of my favorite work related books; 2) to create a space where the kids could go and browse for a new unusual book to read; 3) a place for the kids (Big Girl especially) to play checkers or chess with a friend; 4) a retreat.
I think we hit all of those goals. But it took some effort. For one thing, it’s very small room. It was a lot of work though to make it truly usable. The room itself is less than 10′ x 8′ and has three doors and one window. It used to be a small office, it could be a small kids’ bedroom, but instead we decided to make it a library. With all those books it could too easily become a storage room instead.
To maximize storage, floor space and airiness, we decided upon a bright glossy wall color, very minimal built in shelves and floor pillows. First, we had to clean the mess. The picture below is already a cleaned up version. The room was full to the brim of stuff! (Anyone else still storing 15 years of bills and receipts? I know my husband would love to talk with you about all the reasons we needed that paper. )
Next we picked the color and repaired the damages to the walls. I used the same brown for the trim that I used in the kitchen a few months ago. Big Girl and I decided to go for a bright navy blue that we though was kind of like blue velvet wallpaper. Then we built book shelves by mounting 1″ x 2 ” to the wall, mounting shelves to them, and using posts on the fronts to make secure.
This was an affordable way to build in almost 100 linear feet of bookshelves. It took some real work though since our lathe and plaster walls are crumbling and we needed to insert toggle bolts before attaching the 1″ x 2″s. (Thanks to my dad for this vision, drill bit and manual labor!).
We decided to move flor tiles from the kitchen (before the revision) up to create a rug.
Then the girls and I turned our attention to the floor pillows. We bought some new fabric for these, but we also used TONS of stuff laying around the house both for the fabric and also for the stuffing.
We used an old dog bed we had bought for a little kid who kept falling our of the bed! We used old bed pillows in a stack. We cut open other old pillows and pulled apart their fluff to revive them. And, we broke up old bits of foam (from an old breast feeding pillow and some other stuff) to create new filling for another pillow. Little Girl spent several days hand-sewing another pillow for the room too.
All in all, it’s a lovely, sunny spot for reading. I’ve just started Carol Berg’s _Soul Mirror_ (the second in the Collegia Magica) series. Maybe I’ll find a chance this weekend to sneak up there for a bit and read.