Even though we’re calling this The Library, it’s only going to have one corner of bookshelves. I mean, they will be a VERY strong feature in the room, but with a window, a fireplace, and three GIANT sets of pocket doors, wrapping the room in books wasn’t going to happen. I also struggled a bit in the design process with whether I wanted to stain the bookshelves, or paint. Normally, I want all wood to be stained. But like the closets in the front bedroom, I knew that we’d have different types of wood incorporated into the piece, and so painting seemed logical. Plus, the ceiling woodwork will be stained, and the pocket doors are a LOT of wood, so I felt it would be okay. And there’s something delicious about a glossy, rich color.
Can I vent for a second about manners?
I’m saying all of this, knowing full well that some of you won’t like it. When I posted some updates on Instagram, I had some comments and messages about how terrible my choices are. And I don’t expect everyone to like what I do! Not at all. There are things I don’t like – for example, I don’t like the all-white, shiplap, “modern farmhouse” look at all. But I can totally appreciate it and can refrain from making comments about it to someone who has poured their soul into the look. Don’t get me wrong – I am not saying this so you’ll gush over what I’m doing. You never, EVER have to lie. I just think that the beauty of design is that it’s like a person. Everything is unique, personal, and makes life SO interesting. No one is going to like everything, and that’s a GOOD THING. If we all liked everything, life would be so damn boring. And in fact, I love a good criticism. Just think about what you would say, as if you were in someone’s house on a home tour.
“This is completely God awful.” This was written on Instagram. I replied really politely, and welcomed the person onto my page like they were a guest in my home, and they deleted it. I am not Emily Post by ANY stretch (sigh, if only), but how about this instead?
“This look is really bold. I can’t imagine having colors and patterns like this in my house, but I applaud how daring you are!” See how easy! You’ve gotten your point across that you don’t like it, that it’s entirely not for you, and that it caused a reaction strong enough that you HAD to comment. But you also wanted to make sure you weren’t being rude, or trying to hurt feelings. It’s a WIN WIN!
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before I can paint something that people will hate, we need some room. We’ve opted not to move the downstairs back until the Library is done. At least if we’re going to be unable to use the Dining Room, it’s happening when we can’t have people over, anyway. We covered the floor, and raised the chandelier.
And we bought lots of wood! We’re doing a hybrid build on these – we’re modifying kitchen upper cabinets for the base, and then building the bookcases on top from scratch. That seemed like a good balance of what will (hopefully) look great and custom, and and what we can save a little time and headaches on!
We added sawhorses and a giant worktop to the room after this picture was taken.
The cabinets were attached to each other, and then Doug added the metal piece at the bottom, to really secure them to each other, and to help support the eventual weight these will carry. And when the cabinets are on the ground, you don’t see the metal at all – no worries, we haven’t switched to “industrial chic” around here! (But also, I really like that style!)
The cabinets mostly went together well, but you can see in the picture below where two of them didn’t line up. Also, this is where I must apologize, because there are some things I don’t have pictures of – Doug was working on this while I was painting, and so I did miss some things. He took his antique planer, and sharpened it, and smoothed that flaw right out, and now it’s smooth as butter.
I want the bookshelves to look a bit more like furniture, and so we’re setting the cabinets on feet. These are from Van Dykes Restorers, and I liked how chunky they are, and the lines of them.
RED. This is the same color on the wall, in a semi-gloss sheen (the wall is eggshell).
It’s a deep red that often comes out a little brighter in pictures. It’s definitely ruby.
I used gold leaf paint to paint a pinstripe on them.
It just makes them look a little more cared about, I think.
Don’t worry – I painted the whole thing. But here’s a “Before and After” of the gold pinstripe!
All ten, done!!!
Here’s a better shot of the workspaces. You can see into the Dining Room and see the workbench in there, while the painting and some other woodworking is happening in the Library.
I started priming the cabinet doors outside, but it was too hot, so I moved indoors. And no, I didn’t take the hardware off. There are only six doors, and I was painting by hand, and the detail work doesn’t bother me.
This took several days, which is okay. I gave each coat a lot of time to dry before the next one, to keep everything as smooth as possible.
Meanwhile, Doug started cutting the plywood for the bookshelves. The Entrance Hall has not become a workshop! But it’s definitely storage. Doug wheels the table saw onto the porch, and does the work out there.
We attached the feet to the cabinets! EEK!
These are not in place or leveled or anything – just a rough “what will this look like?”
I’m glad I love this color, because I’ve never spent this much time with a color and a paint brush. And there is SO MUCH MORE to go!
I had LOTS of little scraps of wallpaper left over. And the idea of not using them? Completely unacceptable.
I cut them into random rectangles, and put them on the back of the cabinets. Once the doors are closed, and there are things inside, you’ll never see this. But I think it’s a fun little surprise, anyway!
That’s the start! So much more to go – super excited about this room!!!
So now I want to know two things from you : What style is your LEAST favorite, and what style do you LOVE THE MOST, that doesn’t fit into your house?
For me, my least favorite in the all white / gray “Modern Farmhouse” look. The style I love the most that doesn’t work with my house, is Mid-Century Modern. I absolutely adore it. Share yours in the comments!