La La La La Lovely Library

Sometimes I can’t come up with a snappy title. Sing it to this.

Under the Eaves in the Library

Hey, I can finally share more pictures of the library! I took these photos last month, shortly after adding the new coffee/play table to the space. Then my computer died and the little laptop I bought to work on while traveling (since I was doing so much of that last year) wasn’t powerful enough to edit RAW photo files. Luckily, my old computer was still under warranty, and I’m now working on a brand new replacement. It took a while to get it, but it’s here and it’s zippy!

Anyway, wide angle shots.

Making it Lovely's Library

Making it Lovely's Library

Got your bearings? Good. Let’s get closer.

Eleanor and August each have toys in their rooms, but we also keep a fabric bin full of stuffed animals for both of them in the library. It eliminates some of the “mine!” dibs to have them on neutral ground. That’s why it’s so good to have the castle out there too.

Stuffed Animals

Clearly I put the cutest toys on top.

The fiddle leaf fig is still doing well. We had a rough first couple of weeks, but now it’s thriving.

Fiddle Leaf Fig

I’d wanted a Michelle Armas painting forever, and when the one I really wanted sold out before I could commit to buying it, I was disappointed. When I spotted that smaller pink and orange one, I bought it right away, even though I wasn’t sure where I’d put it. Turns out it was just what I needed for the library. I also picked up one of those cube sculpture things I featured here.

Michelle Armas Painting in Making it Lovely's Library

And look! Decorating with books, in a library! What will I think of next?

Making it Lovely's Library

Sources & Paint ColorsNeed design help? Let's work together.

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  • Jackie
    May 21, 2013 at 11:39 am

    So lovely! I love the glossy cabinets. I am totally jealous of your Fiddle Leaf Fig. I bought the little one from Ikea and it’s been a rough road. They are so fickle. Yours is gorgeous!

  • Jill Browning
    May 21, 2013 at 11:49 am

    I saw the title of the post and thought it was going to be this song: (listen closely to the first few seconds). Had you referenced Suicidal Tendencies on a home decorating blog (on top of your previous reference to “Rock and Roll McDonalds”), I would have personally crowned you Queen of the Internet Forever! ;)

  • jenn aka the picky girl
    May 21, 2013 at 11:54 am

    I love it, absolutely love it. I pinned that structural sculpture a while back and really want it for my own library.

  • Heather
    May 21, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    This room looks gorgeous as ever! I know you mentioned once that the bookcases are from IKEA… do you happen to remember the style? (I’m so sorry if you’ve already answered this!)

    • Making it Lovely
      May 21, 2013 at 12:05 pm

      They’re the ubiquitous Billy bookshelves. They look much nicer once you put the doors on them!

      • Heather
        May 21, 2013 at 12:17 pm

        Thank you so much!

  • kristi@SimplePrettyThings
    May 21, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    I really want a fiddle leaf fig but I hear they are fussy and I have NO green thumb! That painting is wonderful! I just love the library! Speaking of which I’m going to start taking my two year old daughter to the public library every week for a few books. Something to do and we love to read…or make up stories. I always think of you when I think of the library hahaha

  • Kristin
    May 21, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Everything looks great. I have a quick question for you – the leaves on your tree look really shiny. Do they ever get that sort of milky look on top, and if so do you clean them?

    I received mine as a birthday present, and so we’ve had in for a couple of weeks. It seems to be settling into its new home pretty well, but I was just curious about the leaves.

    Cute toys should always be on the top.

    • Making it Lovely
      May 21, 2013 at 12:39 pm

      They’ve gotten dusty, not milky, and so I wiped them down with a damp washcloth. I think I’ve only done that once or twice since we’ve had it though.

      • Kristin
        May 21, 2013 at 1:02 pm

        Thanks – I’m starting to think maybe it’s just residual rain spotting from being outdoors in a nursery. I’ll try dusting it, or maybe wiping it down with a damp cloth and seeing if it comes off. I looked around and found a lot of images with leaves with brown spotting, but nothing like this, so it must not be too serious.

  • Sarah from a fine line
    May 21, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    I think soon you’ll need to change the name of your blog to “officially lovely,” or “all done making it lovely.” Your looks gorgeous.

    • Making it Lovely
      May 21, 2013 at 12:40 pm

      Well, we’ve just started looking for a new house, so hopefully there will be a whole new place to make lovely soon!

  • Elisa @ What the Vita
    May 21, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Love how everything looks like right now. Cozy, just how a library should be. I have a question – I love love love the handles on your cabinets. Where did you get them from? I’m assuming anthropologie… recent? 50 years ago? Thanks!

    • Making it Lovely
      May 21, 2013 at 12:41 pm

      Yep, Anthro, 50 years ago. (Or probably 8 years ago, but same result: no longer available.)

  • Kathy
    May 21, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Hi Nicole,
    What is the name of the design book with the stripe binding?
    The library looks lovely. :)

  • Holly
    May 21, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    I love the brown on the walls! I recently sampled several browns on my walls but none looked as great as yours.

    • Making it Lovely
      May 21, 2013 at 1:06 pm

      I love this brown, even though all the cool kids are going with gray these days. It’s “Afternoon Tea” by Pittsburgh Paints.

  • Gilit
    May 21, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    I love reading your posts after doing the online alt summit course because now I feel like I can hear you saying it. It looks beautiful: cozy, stylish, functional- love it!

  • Fizzy
    May 21, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Love this room! Would you mind sharing how you think the Billy shelves have held up? And, do you ever regret not getting one of the more expensive Ikea models (like the Hemnes glass bookcase?) I am asking because I have been back and forth for MONTHS about which ones to get. I absolutely cannot make up my mind and our books are languishing in boxes since our move (last summer!).

    Thanks so much!

  • Lynn cicchetti
    May 21, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Love the look of the painting in your library. It’s beautiful. I learned from an old housekeeper to clean the fiddle leaf fig leaves with beer a couple of times a year. They really polish up.

  • Sharon
    May 21, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    I love the black and white color combo. Especially with the green of your fiddle leaf fig. I just painted the inside of my white bookcases black and I’m loving it! How exciting that you’re looking for a new house now. Can’t wait to read more about that.

  • emily @ go haus go
    May 22, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Looks so good! I also have those fabric round bins with the wooden ring top. They look so nice anywhere and have held up great.

  • Christina | Little Victorian
    May 22, 2013 at 11:13 am

    So pretty, as always.

    And I spy Courdy Roy the lion! We saw him at Anthro last year and couldn’t resist. :) In case you ever need to, it will stand up to many, many machine washings.

  • Dee Wilcox
    May 22, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    I love the library! You’re inspiring me to turn a corner of my home into a library, too. I just finally unpacked all of our books after nearly three years in this house, but at least we’re getting started. ;-)

  • jennifer
    May 23, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Beautiful library, Nicole! I have the same Billy bookshelves, but I love the contrast of the deep brown walls with your shelves. Feeling inspired! ps…Great castle! Do you mind me asking the brand?

    • Making it Lovely
      May 23, 2013 at 2:43 pm

      It’s a Playmobil castle. There are lots of working parts and secret passages. The kids love it!

  • Julie K.
    May 24, 2013 at 3:57 am

    So beautiful! I love the painting. I just probably wouldn’t have the glass bookshelves, but the room looks amazing. If I was your kid, I definitely would spend my days there! You really made it lovely.

  • Kim
    May 24, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Hi, I love the fiddle leaf fig, but read they are toxic to dogs and cats. Have you had any problems keeping your pets away from it? Thanks!

    • Making it Lovely
      May 24, 2013 at 9:26 am

      They haven’t touched it. Our dog isn’t interested in plants, and our cats only try to eat plants with more delicate leaves, like grasses or ferns.

  • Justine
    May 30, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    Ha ha! I laughed out loud with your last comment about the stack of design books. Though to make it a really fresh and original look you should probably have the Domino book and Undecorate in there. ;)

    Good luck in your house selling/house hunting/moving! How exciting! I can’t see what happens next! :)

  • Erin
    July 14, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    We are thinking of copying your library and doing a wall of Billy’s like yours. We are debating between the glass doors and the half cabinet doors. My husband likes the idea of hiding a few things behind the doors and is worried about our two boys (ages 2 and zero) hurting the glass doors. However, he has SO many books (and we don’t have much clutter to hide in those cabinets) and the glass doors are so pretty. So my question to you–how did your glass doors hold up with two little ones and if you were to do it again, would you do the same doors?

    • Making it Lovely
      July 15, 2013 at 1:11 am

      I’d definitely do the same setup again. We’ve had the doors long before we had the kids, and they’ve held up fine. There were a few times when they would roughhouse a little, and we just explained that we don’t want them to bump/run into the doors because they were glass and they could break. (The glass is tempered, so it isn’t a safety issue — we just don’t want them to break.)

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