How I Turned Our Living Room into a Library … Room Reveal

“When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”

~ Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Classic Books on shelf

When I started planning Snowberry’s renovation the living room had me stumped.

Who still uses a formal living room?

Ok, who uses it more than twice a year?

I rest my case.

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The house has a large great room, and I knew that’s where we’d spend most of our time.

There was no formal dining room though, could the living room be used for that?

Not really, it’s too large.

Although visions of family and friends gathered around a long table in front of the fire danced through my mind.

Update: I temporary made my dream come true by hosting an engagement dinner in the library.

You can read about how I transformed the library into a dining room here.

Meanwhile, back to reality …

I considered a home office, but the space is too large for that too.

Or a home gym … again, too large, unless I sold gym memberships to the neighbors.

Woman standing in empty living room prior to renovation

The living room is in the center of the house.

A straight shot through from the front door through the foyer.

A pony wall with a bizarre dentist office style magazine rack separated the room from the main hallway.

Woman at end of hallway taking pictures

Thank goodness I have a photo because it’s hard to explain.

Note to aspiring renovators – photograph everything before demo.

E V E R Y T H I N G.

No corner, no detail is too small or insignificant.

You’ll need want those photos later.

Trust me.

Speaking of demo.

The living room chimney had to come down.

‘One earthquake away from bringing down the house’ is how my contractor put it.

Demolished Living Room

Me and my niece surveying the damage.

It all comes down so fast.

Then begins the long, arduous process of putting it back together.

Living room being framed

Back to the original question, what to do with this room?

It’s a good sized, rectangular room with a fireplace.

But, there’s not much natural light.

It’s a little dark and moody.

One day while scrolling Pinterest I got a brilliant idea.

A library.

Home library under construction

Why not a library?

Does that seem silly?

We’re not living in a manor house.

I mean, a library?!

Who do I think I am?

Let me tell you.

A lover and collector of books.

Home Library Under Construction

Lots of books.

Big books, small books, classic books, trashy books.

What does a book lover need more than anything else?

Aside from a comfy sofa and lots of free time.


Many shelves.

Books + shelves + comfy sofa + fireplace …. can only add up to one thing.

A library.

Home Library Shelves Under Construction

So enough talking, let’s look at Snowberry’s library.

Before it was furnished.

My favorite room in the house.

Home Library Fireplace and Sconces

Home Library Shelves

Home Library Shelves

It took a while to get my act together to order furniture.

I was overwhelmed with unpacking and sorting out the rest of the house.

Last fall, furniture began to trickle in and the final pieces arrived a few months ago.

Silver ice bucket sitting on books

Here it is, the finished (furnished) library …

Home Library with blue velvet sofas and book shelves

Blue and white lamp on side table with book

Home Library fireplace and coffee table

Art on fireplace mantle

Blue velvet sofa and book cases

Books and photograph on shelf

Blue Paneled Walls and black console cabinet

Home Library Vignette

Blue Velvet Sofa with Plaid and Leopard Print pillows

Blue velvet sofa with leopard print pillow

Blue velvet sofa and side table and lamp

Books and photo on bookshelf


Divider Graphic

And there you have it.

Snowberry’s living room transformed into a home library.

If you need me, I’ll be right here.

Woman reading book on blue velvet sofa with dog

Last spring I decided to add French doors to both library entrances.

Blue velvet sofas and little white dogs don’t mix.

Little dog on blue velvet sofa

Need I say more?

The door project was completed six weeks ago.

But I think that’s more than enough for one day.

I’ll share all the room details and sources … materials, finishes, furnishings, new doors, etc. … in a follow up post.

If you have any questions, be sure to let me know.

And stay tuned.

Books on shelf


Library Pin Collage

Want to see more Snowberry room reveals?

Blue & White Bathroom Reveal

Kitchen Reveal

Finished & Styled Kitchen

Main Bedroom Closet Organization

Main Bedroom Reveal 


Divider Graphic

We finished the library just in time for fall …  cozy-up season.

Speaking of cozy, next week I’m joining some blogger friends to talk about cozy home décor.

Books on book shelf

As always, I appreciate your visit and welcome your thoughts in the comments below.

Cheers from Snowberry!





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  • I loved following thru this story from beginning to end. I always thought this was what it was and so happy to see that through beautiful design it doesn’t look out if place but rather that it was it’s original purpose. So gorgeous juliet!!!

  • It’s a dream! I love the paneling, the windows flanking the fireplace, the blue velvet sofas and animal print pillow. Our cat is white so I know the furry woes well.

  • Juliet, I love what you did with this room! WHAT A DIFFERENCE FROM THE BEFORE TOO! The magazine racks crack meup.. WHy? I’m with Jane Austen.. I love a library. I was going to do the same with my media room, but it was too small. Now I have a bookshelf and books scattered all over. Love them all in one place . The blue is gorgeous and I would be in there all the time with my little dog and a cup of tea like you! xo Kim

  • You hit the decor out of the park! This room is just beautiful. Being a book lover, too, my favorite has to be the book shelves. Thanks for sharing your beautiful space! Pinned!

  • AbsolutEly Beautiful. Would you share the color of your millwork please?
    (Hopefully when this Comment is published it is not all in caps as it appears on my screen!). Lol

  • I love the end result of this project. Your library is beautiful and looks like a wonderful spot to relax with a good book. This former teacher gives this project an A+!

  • Hi Juliet, I woke up to your email in my inbox! Omg I have an identical title in my draft! so i had to reach out to you! we have a living room that was never used. we added a fireplace and custom built in and now we use it all the time. the funny thing is my middle was home this summer and i was talking about where to put all my old cookbooks and he looks at me like, “um isn’t the library room for books?” quick question what is a pony wall is it a half wall? i have an old post and i may need to update. xo laura in colorado headed to boston for leaf week in the northeast with friends! laura

    • Great finds think alike! And, I can’t wait to see your living room-to-library transformation. CookbookARE books! Yes, a pony wall is just half wall … at least that’s what I call it. Ha! Enjoy your time in Boston, I’m envious!!! xo

  • It is simply gorgeous. I love it. I too am a lover of books and reading and wish I had a lovely room to relax in, surrounded by books. The color is so warm and inviting. And that fireplace just anchors everything. I always say this, and I mean it. . . . if I lived near you i’d be over at least once a week for a cup of hot chocolate and a visit to your library to read! Have a wonderful day!!

  • Hi Juliet
    this room is just wonderful. Love all the beautiful millwork. The navy sofas are gorgeous, but I can imagine the challenge with a white dog. Beau’s hair gets everywhere! Maybe white slips that you can change in and out?!!


    • It is a little piggy. Good eye. I used to collect them. And, yes, I need more books! I purged before moving. Turns out I overdid. Who knew I’d end up with a ‘bonus’ book room?! Time to scour the vintage stores for more. A cocktail … indeed. I vaguely remember those. Time to bring them back! xo

  • HiHi Juliet,
    ThThe room turned out fabulous. I cI can’t decide what my favorite thing is the paneling, the French doors, the bookshelves, or the windows. Itit all turned out incredible. MyMy question is where did you hide the television or is it not in that room? OnOnce again I hope I can meet my newly formed Instagram friend group up in the bay area and sometimes see your house in person!! AlAlso, what is a couch if there isn’t a dog on it!!!
    Xo martha

  • OH juilet ! I couldn’t wait for the reveal as yOu know! I askEd enough times lol! It looks oh my goodness ! Love it! So cozy! The decor is so chic! The colors! That blue is the best! You do an AMAZING rooom! Enjoy!

  • Beautiful room but you have hardly any books…..the shelves are mostly displays. Are there more books to unpack that will make their appearance later? I have enough books to fill each shelf in your room plus fill a few more…..istn’t that what a library is supposed to be?

  • Hi Juliet,
    this room is fabulous! It feels so cozy and rich and welcoming. I love the blue velvet sofas, I always wanted velvet but I was too practical when I remodeled. (We have a shedding doggy with white hair, too!, and a Cat.)
    You have room for LOTS more books! What a fun project to fill up those shelves!
    Your house is gorgeous. Everything top notch! Love it!
    XO Heidi

  • Since I just found you, I’m just now commenting.
    THIS IS SO WONDERFUL! The woodwork is gorJ and the color divine.
    I love everything you did. I did the same thing to my formal living room! It’s a baby version of yours. I love your style! Where is Snowberry?

  • Hi, I’m Juliet … welcome to Make Mine a Spritzer where we talk about all things home décor, classic style and more! I’m so happy you’re here!

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