The Built-in Library Shelves, with Books

The library isn’t really finished, but the shelves have books, the house is neat, and I took photos. So? Photos!

Home Library #makingitlovely

Definitely loving that ladder. I’m also loving the play of color from room to room, but I plan to paint the library walls and both ceilings at some point. They don’t look terrible here, but depending on the lighting and time of day, the color can go pretty yellow. I do like the contrast, and I’m thinking I might choose white, or very pale peachy/coral/pink.

Double Parlors #makingitlovely

We’re only borrowing the gate leg table from a family member. I wanted to see if it would be a pain to sit around, and the answer is yes. I love the look (like so), but it isn’t very practical for us, and I want to be able to play games there with the kids.

Home Library #makingitlovely

What is practical though, is the shelving. A few people have been eager to see how the built-ins look “once they’re styled,” so I hope I’m not disappointing you here. The shelves are adjustable and we moved a couple to fit large art and photography books, but that’s the extent of the styling. Brandon and I have a lot of books, and these shelves were intended to be used fully for book storage from the start. We actually still have more, but I think we can whittle down what’s on the shelves a bit to make room, and only keep what we really love. We had so much book storage in the last house that we didn’t need to pare down much (though we did some before we moved).

Home Library #makingitlovely

The layout is not final. I think the rocker looks a bit out of place, but I would like to make it work somewhere downstairs. We’ll have our cushy upholstered glider for the nursery, but I’d like to have the Eames rocker out where I’ll be able to rock the baby while sitting with friends and family.

Home Library #makingitlovely

Having a dedicated space for all of our books feels really good. It isn’t done (or “Pinterest Perfect”) yet, but I like where it’s at right now. There are a million little things to change and tweak, but that’s part of the fun of decorating, isn’t it? My last house came together over seven years, always changing a little at a time. I’m eager to see how this space grows and changes too.

Home Library #makingitlovely

102 Responses to “The Built-in Library Shelves, with Books”

  1. Jennifer Laura May 13, 2014 at 11:53 pm #

    If you do go pink in here I’d suggest this farrow and ball pink ( it’s so so pretty :) However I do love that H&W wallpaper that you mentioned in the comments…I feel like that could look amazing pretty much anywhere!

    • Making it Lovely May 15, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

      Oh, that could be the perfect shade of pink. I loved Wild Aster in our last house, but the living room there was darker, without as much natural light. Here, the front parlor is sunny almost all day (which I love!), and the color doesn’t read as well. Plus, I chose that pink what, seven years ago? I want something more peachy and less lilac now, while still reading as pink.

      And the wallpaper sample showed up today. It’s as good as I’d hoped it would be.

  2. Kelley Lee May 14, 2014 at 11:30 am #

    We have a nearly identical gate-leg table that my husband’s grandfather built. It was our kitchen table but became too annoying to try to sit everyone around and so is now taking up precious space in our basement with it’s accompanying chairs. If only we had a gorgeous library like this, though.. I think we’d bring it back up :)

    • Making it Lovely May 15, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

      We can hang on to this one for a while, but I don’t think it’s going to be permanent. If I just want a table in the middle to pile with books and stage with flowers, it would be great! But yeah, sitting around it isn’t so comfortable.

  3. Elizabeth Mackey May 14, 2014 at 11:51 am #

    Absolutely gorgeous! Books always give a home a soul I think.

  4. Meredith May 14, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

    I am in loooooooooooooove with the library, but I am commenting because you can cross “have a library with a ladder” off your life list now! (Also, since you’re pregnant, it would be fair to cross off “have another baby” too.) I’m a big fan of checking things off. :)

    • Making it Lovely May 15, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

      You’re right on the ladder! I’ll wait until the baby’s here to cross that one off though. :)

  5. Katie @ Red House West May 14, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

    It is looking beautiful! I know those shelves were an agonizing process, but they turned out so well. Filled with books, they disappear into the architecture of the room and really look like they belong. Really loving the transition between the two rooms, too, and the way your big botanical print creates a color bridge. Excited to see these rooms continue to evolve!

    • Making it Lovely May 15, 2014 at 1:20 pm #

      Thank you! I love the transition too. And the play of large expanses of wood is really nicely balanced now, with the wall of books, the wood paneling and stairs in the entry, and the kitchen cabinets.

  6. Molly May 14, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    WOW! I know the library started out on a stressful note, but boy does it look fabulous now!!! I had no doubt you would work your Nicole magic, and it would turn out better than ever!

  7. jess May 14, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

    Looks fab! The tears that (may have been) shed over the built-ins were a waste – the end result is great. How high are the ceilings in this room? I just bought my very own Victorian home and I’m trying to figure out built in height myself.

  8. SFDC May 14, 2014 at 5:10 pm #

    It looks wonderful! I am lacking any substantial storage for all our books, and seeing this is really motivating.

    I think it was mentioned in the past, but every time I see the ladder I think of the pink one that was featured in an Emily Henderson post:

    It would look super cute painted pink, don’t you think?

    • Making it Lovely May 15, 2014 at 1:21 pm #

      That pink ladder is so cute! I don’t think it would be right for my house, but I love it in that studio.

  9. Sandy May 15, 2014 at 7:47 pm #

    If you’re thinking of white with a pale pink/peach hue, I suggest Behr Princess Ivory. It is beautiful!

  10. Melissa de la Fuente May 30, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

    I think it looks FANTASTIC! I actually really appreciate that they look smart & handsome but, AREN’T styled within an inch of their lives. SO glad it turned out the way you were hoping & love that they are FILLED with books!
    ps that botanical poster has been haunting me for 3 years now…must. get. it. someday. soon. I think the pale peach or pink in this room would be gorgeous!


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