Let’s Revisit the Library

Long ago, I posted about the plans for beginning the Library. And we were SO EXCITED! But then, we realized that the floors really needed to happen first, and so the Library was put on hold until the floors were complete. Totally worth it, but since it feels like a decade since we’ve talked about the Library, I felt a recap post was in order. Because, quite frankly, I’m at that age where I need to remind myself of what’s happening so I don’t forget.

Here’s the before. This room was originally the Gentleman’s Parlor, and there was a fireplace that had been removed in the corner – a twin to the front Parlor. The grandson of Franklin Mayor Roy C. Bryant remembered his grandfather using this room to smoke cigars and meet with members of the Indiana Democratic Party in this room (which is such a cool fun fact). With the multitude of pocket doors on the first floor, there really isn’t a room with bountiful wallspace. We had discussions about whether to re-install a fireplace, or leave room for more books, and we decided on a fireplace. First, because it would be more accurate, but also because this is going to be our television and hangout space, and I really love watching movies and basketball with a fire going. Easy decision.

I am not an artist. But here are a couple of rough sketches that I came up with for the Library. Fireplace wall :

TV Corner :

Second Idea for the TV corner (on the left) and a bar (on the right).

Outline of the space – with the fireplace in the upper right corner, and bookshelves in the upper left corner.

Again, remembering that I am not an artist, but I have friends who are – I commissioned my friend Jenn who made this incredible painting for us, and it’s going to give a bit of a modern twist to the room.

The colors for the painting were pulled from this fabric that I picked for this chair, that we learned to recover at an upholstery class. This chair is also going in the room!

Here’s Bonny helping me select a wallpaper!

Here it is! The anaglypta in the room is staying, and will be painted, and this wallpaper will be a wide border at the top of the room.

All the colors! The deep red (both in this wallpaper and in the chair fabric) will be the color of the anaglypta and the bookshelves. Because this room is going moody – but still a little vibrant.

The room has this pressed-plastic ceiling that’s installed well, and in good shape, so we’re leaving it. But the colors aren’t super fun. The same ceiling was in the front bedroom, and when we painted it white (and I NEVER paint things white) it looked so much better.

I save inspiration ideas into folders on Instagram, and there are some ceilings that I LOVE. Mostly involving a sort of shallow beam.

Not my house :

Also not my house :

Still not my house :

This is pretty great. Also not mine. But I did love the gold ceiling.

So last summer, I painted the ceiling gold.

It REALLY turned out well.

Those squares without textured? They’re going to be covered up by a ceiling medallion that would make Liberace swoon. Is that a good thing? We’ll find out!


I started playing with ceiling design ideas.


And then I saw this pair of windows on Facebook marketplace (or maybe it was in a group? I don’t remember…), and I thought – you know – that would actually make a really great ceiling.

So we used painter’s tape to make sure it would look okay.

Also – sneak peak at the wallpaper!

As you can see in the last picture, the fireplace has been installed, and a wall built around it. We have tile, but haven’t actually installed it yet. Sneak peak of the colors, but the shape isn’t going to be squares. It’s going to be colorful.

Fireplace, and hearth boards starting to go in!

In the corner where we want to put a bar, I looked for a piece, and found one on eBay in Louisville. It was one of the last trips we made before the Coronavirus shut things down! Here’s the picture from the listing – it needs some work, but it’s an apothecary cabinet from the turn of the century, and it’s BEAUTIFUL. And the perfect fit.


And with new floors and a fireplace. Here we go!


  1. This is so lovely. You have done a wonderful job. The apothecary cabinet is such a score! As I am living vicariously through you, I have several suggestions you may wish to consider for that bar cabinet. Changing the top shelves to glass would look lovely. Maybe save some wallpaper and line the back of the bar cabinet. To add light to the inside (and perhaps over the counter) perhaps battery operated LED lights. Also, a thin remnant slab of marble or some of the small, leftover fireplace tile grouted to a thin sheet of luan to protect the counter wood.

  2. I love the phrase “…to be covered up by a ceiling medallion that would make Liberace swoon”. But now I am silently debating with myself if making Liberace swoon would be difficult or not. I mean, was he the kind of guy who hardly ever swooned? Or was he someone who swooned multiple times a day, or anytime he was particularly excited? Maybe his swooning was reserved for particularly striking interior decorating choices, or for well-matched attractive apothecary cabinets. Or maybe only for impressively ornate hair pieces. And these are the thoughts that will now occupy my day. Thank you for that!

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