“When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”
~ Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
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.
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.
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.
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.
Me and my niece surveying the damage.
It all comes down so fast.
Then begins the long, arduous process of putting it back together.
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.
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.
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.
Books + shelves + comfy sofa + fireplace …. can only add up to one thing.
So enough talking, let’s look at Snowberry’s library.
Before it was furnished.
My favorite room in the house.
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.
Here it is, the finished (furnished) library …
And there you have it.
Snowberry’s living room transformed into a home library.
If you need me, I’ll be right here.
Last spring I decided to add French doors to both library entrances.
Blue velvet sofas and little white dogs don’t mix.
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.
PIN THE POST ~
Want to see more Snowberry room reveals?
Main Bedroom Closet Organization
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.
As always, I appreciate your visit and welcome your thoughts in the comments below.
Cheers from Snowberry!
SHOP THE LOOK ~
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
I love how it turned out. And…that blue color is so serene.
Kim Waldorf says
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+!
I absolutely love your use of color – stunning. my favorite though is the touches of brass throughout.
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
GORGEOUS! The WOODWORK is to die for
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!!
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?!!
This is just gorgeous.
Oh wow! I could only hope to have such a bea room. Just be.
Julie Ker says
Love, love, love your library! Great Job JULIET!
LA CONTESSA says
I SPY A LITTLE PIGGY TOP SHELF DO I OR NOT?
WE NEED MORE BOOKS!!!
I CANT WAIT TO SEE HOW FAST YOU FILL UP THOSE SHELVES!
LOVE THE LEOPARD PILLOWS NOW YOU NEED A LEOPARD THROW!
FRENCH DOORS ARE ALWAYS A GOOD FIT!I SEE A COCKTAIL PARTY IN THIS ROOM TOO in the middle of WINTER!
BRAVA………………………THANK GOD FOR PINTEREST!
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
Martha foss says
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!!!
Mary Anne Russo says
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!
Mary Ann Pickett says
This is an awesome room. The millwork is so gorgeous. You had a great vision.
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?
lOVE THE BLUE PLAID PILLOWS. CAN’T WAIT TO FIND OUT SOURCE.
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!
Jennifer Howard says
Juliet, this is amazing!! OMG, I love everything…and i”m gaga over the colors!!!
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?
Alyssa Baker says
Hello! Such a beautiful room. Could you share the color?