Before picture of the busy looking bookshelves.
Since we were working on the library and having our master bathroom painted, I asked Raul – my painter and all around construction man – if he could do another small job for me. Now that the library is almost finished, I am so excited about getting all the extra books from around the house corralled into one place. I’m trying, really trying to edit things and the books are a good start. One other thing that has been bothering me is my family room shelves. They are just too full, too cluttered, just too-too much. For the first ten years I tried to fill up the bare-looking shelves with things I bought at Round Top and at HADA. And, now, for the last 10 years, I’m trying to edit it all. The picture above is how it looked a few months ago.
And then there is this photograph. Ever since I saw this picture of Jill Brinson’s dining room with the arched cabinet doors, I’ve been obsessed with them. I kept thinking how much I would love to have those cabinet doors too. They would give my family room some sorely lacking architectural detail, plus the chicken wire would tone down the cluttered look of the shelves. Of course, Jill’s cabinets have a gorgeous paint job and cute lower doors – and the two lanterns make this vignette look even better. Besides all the details that make this room uniquely Jill’s, you can see how the contents of the shelves look muted behind the doors. So, after lusting for these doors for over two years, I asked Raul if he could make them. God knows, I couldn’t ask the carpenter who worked on the library. He was soooooooo sloooooooow. It would have been Christmas before he finished them. Raul took two days.
And here is how they look! Raul made two sets of doors and placed chicken wire inside the arched frames. The effect is very subtle, but I do think it makes the shelves look so much more quiet and less cluttered.
Plus, with all the shelves emptied out for the first time in years and years, I could really edit the contents. I removed all the new design books to put them up in the library, and I tried to keep the shelves airy and not so jammed packed and full of accessories.
Here’s the right side of the fireplace.
Looking straight on at the right side.
And here’s the other side. Hard to get a photograph from the front of the cabinet.
I like the arches and think they add a bit of interest that wasn’t there before.
The change is very subtle and I doubt anyone would even notice it. But the room just seems so much neater and less cluttered.
Looking at these pictures, I do see other areas I need to work on and will probably do that this weekend – like moving that basket out of there – it’s holding a bunch of books now, which will soon be emptied. And I probably should put back out the brown velvet pillows now that summer is over, even though I do like the lighter Les Indiennes ones for a change.
And finally, one day, on my probably-never-going-to-happen wish list, I would love to get a new limestone mantel and get rid of the brown marble. I think it would really update the room, and again, it would be so much more streamlined looking.
And, here’s a sneak peek at the library. I hate to show anything that isn’t totally finished, but, the room looks so pretty without the books!
So, here it is! I am slightly in love with it. And now I kind of wish all the colorful books weren’t going in here – there is something so quiet and restful with all the empty gray shelves. But, it’s a library and the books are going in later today. I have a teenaged girl who is coming to help me get organized. She wants to earn a little extra money for her senior year – the prom, the class ring – all those things really add up, which works out perfectly for me. She’ll help me move all the books to this room and then alphabetize them, which is my plan right now, but that might be too time consuming. We’ll see. I want to put all the Beta Plus books on the that shelf to the far right, but the rest of the books will be in order by author.
I ended up getting the small demi lune tables and chairs from the Lone Ranger Antiques who is in Round Top right now. If one day I find I miss having a desk, I can always move things around and put one in here instead of the table, but right now, I think the table will be perfect.
And, I still need to remove the old bamboo shades because Monica is making me a fabric balloon one out of mauve silk taffeta. I have a cushion going on the window seat – which will be covered in the Chelsea Editions large mauve check. The chairs will be slipped in that pattern too. The chandelier that I got from 1st Dibs ended up being the perfect size – not too small. I was a little worried about that, but all is good. Bennett Fans installed four new lights in the room since I decided against lights on the shelves – the room is so small I thought they would look too cluttered. The Bennett brothers are the best, by the way. I’ve added their phone number to the list of “favorites” on the left hand side of the blog, just in case you need a great sconce or chandelier installer. I highly recommend them!
I did end up replacing the doors with these French ones. This one that leads to the storage closet has frosted glass panes so you can’t see into it. After getting a quote from Home Depot for frosted glass doors, Raul just sprayed them for a fraction of the cost and they look pretty professional. And look at that Swedish clock! The Lone Ranger sent that to me as a surprise gift! I was stunned and thrilled. Now, I need to find a working key for it. Also going in the room is something from Ballard Designs – which I can’t tell you about yet! But it’s really an exciting blogger project. As soon as it’s all done, I’ll put up more pictures.
Also this will be going in the library:
I’m getting this darling antique French painter’s ladder that I found online. Most of these ladders are really tall, so I am thrilled I found this one at just over two feet which should be tall enough for me to reach the top shelves to get a book down without having to lug out an ugly old step ladder. Isn’t it the cutest??
And this is what was going on at my house today. My helper brought HER helper, her uncle James, who works for Ben. We got all the books from downstairs moved upstairs. And then, we put them on the shelves, alphabetically. Next weekend we’ll move the ones from the landing in here – as many as we can. Then, we’ll space them all out. Looks like fun doesn’t it? Can you find the puppy Lucy in the middle of the piles?
So, that’s it for now. Hope you have a great weekend!!!