House Renovation - Library

When we first moved into our house the front room served as our living room and remained so until we built our current one one a few years ago. After that, we turned it into our library/sitting room. We also brought my drafting table into the room as a more convenient location for me to work in all year.

The giant bookcases really loomed over the room and made it difficult to place furniture.

The room before renovation

This room had a beam where there had once been a full wall. The beam itself had been drilled multiple times for wiring to go through. As a result, it wasn't doing the greatest job of holding up the ceiling and it was sagging a bit.  A new LVL beam was added which was wrapped with a wooden case.  Initially this casing was built using pine, which was going to be clear coated, but a miscommunication with one of the painters meant it had to be pulled down and rebuilt.  This time we opted to use maple instead as we thought it would look much nicer and match the floors and custom built-ins in both this and the dining room.  

 The old beam where there once was a wall.

The old beam where there once was a wall.

 The new LVL beam should keep the ceiling from sagging.

The new LVL beam should keep the ceiling from sagging.

The new maple covered beam.

Our chimney goes up through the center of our house, between the front room and the office.  This created a bit of empty space between the rooms that was previously sort of an alcove in the office.  This space made the perfect location for another set of custom built-in bookcases which were built in maple and trimmed in white to match the white trim in the rest of the room.

Our books range rather drastically in size from small paperbacks to huge art books so metal tracks were added and 12 shelves made so we could adjust them as needed. The new shelves are beautiful and eliminated the need for the stand-alone bookcases which previously loomed over the room.

The gutted room showing where the chimney is located.

The new space ready for built-in shelves.

The finished built-ins.

With those shelves gone, we had room to add another chair and move in a sideboard from another room.  My vintage drafting table is pretty wide, so the only place it fit is in the corner between the windows.  I don't really mind this location as it offers a nice view of the plum trees and bird feeder.

One of our starburst clocks and mid century sideboard.  The vintage radio belonged to my grandmother.

The plaid chair came from one of our favorite shops, The Melamine Cup in Jaffrey, NH. The lamps were a great find from the Hollis Flea Market.

My little studio space with vintage drafting table purchased at 101A Antiques in Amherst, NH.

This room has tons of natural light so for the wall color I chose "Sunny Day" by California Paints, to keep the room bright and airy.  I didn't want to cover up the windows with curtains so I made valances from bits of vintage barkcloth I picked up at Goodwill.  In keeping with the mid-century feel of the room the walls are decorated with the larger of my two starburst clocks, a couple of vintage advertisements given to me by my brother, and a trio of metal Sexton Siamese cat wall plaques I found at a local antique shop.  Rather than purchasing a new chair, I reupholstered the old blue one to give it a few more years of life.

 
 A view of the room with my studio corner. The curtains were made by me with scraps of vintage barkcloth and I reupholstered the chair.

A view of the room with my studio corner. The curtains were made by me with scraps of vintage barkcloth and I reupholstered the chair.

 

This room is now much less cluttered than it used to be and we find ourselves sitting in it more than often than we used to.  It's also a pleasant place for me to work on my design and artwork.

 A view of the room, from the stairs.  Without those giant bookcases, the room feels much more open.  The framed pieces on the wall are vintage shoe ads given to my by my brother.

A view of the room, from the stairs.  Without those giant bookcases, the room feels much more open.  The framed pieces on the wall are vintage shoe ads given to my by my brother.