A Library of Built-ins

With another family member on the way, we are finding ourselves needing to think about rearranging space in our house.  Currently, our second floor has a master bedroom, a nursery, a guest room and a extraordinarily small room with a closet that is technically a bedroom but that I use for my office.  The nursery is truly only big enough for the crib, a dresser and a bookshelf, so there’s no doubling up in there. Which means that the guest room is going to have to become a big-boy room for our son and now we won’t be able to accommodate guests.  Except….that we also have a third floor, walk-up attic.

The attic leaves MUCH to be desired but is at least semi-welcoming with dingy carpet (as opposed to just sub-flooring) and old, painted paneling (as opposed to completely open joists).  When we bought the house, we knew that someday (which seemed at the time to be in the waaaaaaaay off distance) we would turn the third floor into a master suite.  And it looks like the next big project that we are saving our pennies for is just that.

So…all of that to say that over the years I have culled some inspiration for the time when we finally go for the big reno and one thing that has remained steady in my inspiration pics has been these extraordinarily charming and totally functional built-in bookshelves that wrap around the landing of the staircase.

(source – photo by David Prince)

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Subject: books

Just piles and piles of books… and sometimes, massive amounts of them. How do you tackle them all? Or do you really want to? For me, it's part organizational, part visual challenge. It can become a huge mess so very quickly. I usually group my books by subject and content, hence, the organizational theory. But they don't always look good together to be honest. And I have to admit, I often wonder if I could (or would) go the color coded route. It sure looks pretty great when they all sorted out, but will I be able to find the one book that I need desperately when the time comes?

Making a wall of books look good is quite a task, but not impossible I suppose. But what I do love is "accessorizing" with books. A pile of them stacked up on a bench is a favorite of mine, what about yours? Whether it's displaying hundreds of books at one time or just a few favorites by your bedside, it tells a pretty great literary story of our everyday lives. And as I am writing this, an image came to my head: vintage library carts lined up against a long narrow hallway. Wouldn't that be a great alternative to decorating with bookshelves?

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