My dream of creating a Home Library began with a simple Brimfield find, beautiful glass bookcase doors. And at ten dollars for all four, not even Philly could complain!
We had already dismantled the original cottage in preparation of building our new/old house. The only thing left standing was the beach-rock fireplace and we knew we had to save it!
Originally in the dining room of the old cottage, I imagined a Library with this fireplace as it’s anchor. A really cozy, kind of swank Library. I pictured a room that was visually quiet where we might sit and have a drink before dinner or dessert after. One where I could work close to the center of all the activity; I actually prefer to work in a space like this and not necessarily at a desk. Where I would kick up my feet and sink into a big cozy chair with my laptop, my phone and a million coffee table books and magazines around me for inspiration. Winters on the Cape are long and having cozy, interesting spaces to spend the season helps me appreciate winter as a time to lay low and recharge. My Library is where I find a sense of calm and peace.
We created a wall of bookcases around those ten-dollar Brimfield doors, This became the second anchor of the room. What I love most about them? They house my collections of vintage trophies, striped beach rocks, bowls of seashells and bottles of seaglass, all nestled in between piles of old and new books. Visually and literally contained behind glass, they are protected in a dust-free environment. The cabinets are packed full with my curious collections I am so passionate about, yet the room appears uncluttered.
Finishing the bead-board inside the cabinets with a dark stain, helped create a sense of age and authenticity, and acts as a backdrop to highlight what’s inside.
The setting of our home is high on a bluff overlooking Buzzards Bay and the design, an open floor-plan. I didn’t want to fill the Library with furniture that would block the views or in any way interfere with the function and personality of the adjoining rooms. I wanted this room to be distinctly a Library. I wanted only two chairs, after all, this room would be intimate with chairs we could cozy up in by the fire and be comfortable enough to sit for hours. A version of the classic old-world library chair only updated and sophisticated, with low backs so you could see past them to the bay outside.
I decided they would be leather. And the color needed to be muted, not to overpower the neutral tones we were using. My search began – I found the most perfect chairs at Scout & Nimble, the “Marlin Chairs” (linked here, you can use the code Silver15 to receive 15% off until Feb.15th, some exclusions apply!)
The leather, a beautiful shade of natural stone, blends seamlessly into any room yet makes a beautiful modern statement. The hand tufted detail adds a sophisticated touch. I love the square shape, the way the chair wraps around you like a big cozy hug. The size of the chairs and the proportion are exactly right! A finishing touch, they are lifted on dark, modern metal legs creating an airy and fresh balance to the solid body. They truly add a cool and refined look to the space-I have gotten more compliments on the look and comfort of these chairs! I highly recommend them!
The next step was the table. I wanted a low coffee table, one that would allow you to see the great lines of the chairs, and not block the view of the fireplace while remaining functional. I had an old marble tabletop that my mom had given me years ago. She brought it back from Italy in 1947. I worked with Ferrous Hardware in LA to custom design the low metal base for it. The natural marble pattern with subtle shades and movement adds just enough interest to the tranquil room.
And, finally the lighting, an important feature in any room. To me lighting is the icing on the cake. I chose Gallotti and Radice Bolle Lights, a set of three, and had them suspended low over the table. Like a whisper, the glass globes are nearly transparent during the day but light the space in the evening like incredible little jewels.
In the end this library is all that I hoped for; a peaceful oasis-quiet and meditative-but more importantly comfortable and inviting. I sit in here when my girlfriends come over and we enjoy our wine, we listen to music and catch up. If we have overnight guests the early-risers find me here in the morning while everyone else is still sleeping, and inevitably we have soulful talks, solving the world’s problems.
The recipe for a great Library is not just about collecting great books, its about creating a space where you can settle in and get lost in the story.
Whether you have a room you can dedicate, or can find a corner in a shared space like your living room or home office, you can create your own sanctuary, and be surrounded by books and collections that inspire you too.