As we march closer and closer to Fall in the Northern Hemisphere, I’m becoming more excited for the cooler weather and the opportunity to spend hours reading. That idea is what sparked my interest in designing my ideal library for cozying up with a book on a chilly evening. I picture candles flickering, wall sconces set to low (but still at a readable level) and a fire crackling in the fireplace. My tea would be hot and the room is enveloping me in soothing warmth.
I wanted to have a very neutral palette in this room, which is typically my standard, with a burst of color. My ‘burst’ this time was copper. Every piece is set against a very dark background and varied-tone rug that assists in pulling the individual pieces together.
To help a room from becoming flat, I incorporate modern, graphic designs (Ikea pillow) as well as varied textures (faux fur, shiny metal). We feel cozy in small spaces, so using the rich, dark wall color gives this sense immediately. I included organic (birch wood in holder, raw wood mirror, leaf sculptures) and geometric pieces (parquet table, bookcase, globe) for interesting contrast. It is a challenge to mix modern with rustic yet it is a challenge I love because it makes the room feel ageless.
Aurora Wall Sconce – Copper: These are much larger than I expected, but look (at least online) to be quite stunning! They would glitter and would have the light dancing against the dark wall color.
Ornate Carved Wood Mirror: This is an impressive old-world piece of art. Putting this against a dark wall color will allow it to stand out. It is intricate and provides a lived-in feel to the room.
Leaves on Stand: I typically enjoy having a bit of the outdoors indoors. This is a way to do that while adding a sculptural element.
Keaton Serving Bowls: I’ve included these for their shine and bright color. I’m in love with copper and, in this room, I enjoy the way it ties with the color of the parquet side table. These have an handcrafted quality about them (aka, not perfect looking), which gives a comfortable vibe.
Charcoal Oscar Chair: Depending on the size of your library, you might prefer a chaise or sofa with similar architecture to this chair. Since this is a library, I wanted to keep some formality in the structure of the furniture. Traditional lines, but comfy to sit in – just right for snuggling with a book.
Faux Fur Solid Blanket – Grey Ombre: I bought my husband one of these blankets 10 years ago. The color we have is no longer available, but I wanted to show a similar version. We love this blanket! It is warm, soft and cozy. One side is a solid, nearly-velvet fabric and the other is the faux fur. Currently ours is resting on the back of our sofa. When I want a change from the fur texture, I flip the blanket for a different, less rustic appearance.
Stockholm 2017 Pillow: I saw this pillow and it reminded me of library stacks. I thoroughly enjoy graphic patterns. I like that this one is subtle when seen from afar.
Cozy Knit Ivory Pillow: My love of cable knitting has resurfaced for yet another year. I like the tie in with the sconces and mirror in regard to the pillow’s central “twist” design. I’m not sure this pillow would be great around animals, however. I could see pet fur getting woven into the yarn and never coming out.
Etched Glass Globe: If you’re reading a lot of books, especially those that take you around the world, a globe might come in handy. This beautiful piece is very elegant with touches of copper.
Preston End Table – Parquet: I picked this table for two reasons, 1) the yellow/copper color of the wood and 2) parquet is a nod to the classic floors I’ve seen in many older home libraries. This is a sleek piece that will hold a cup of coffee or tea very nicely.
Brown Bookcase: Simple lines with some architectural interest in the “X” pattern on the sides. I appreciate the small drawers in the middle of the bookcase. I chose a darker color to match the wall color so they could resemble built-ins.
Polished Nickel Log Holder: I added this for fun and for a sculptural piece in the room. If the room has a working wood fireplace, then this is certainly functional. If not, this is a way to add the natural wood element, but keep it contained. The slim, modern metal lines are echoed in the parquet table and bookcase.
Dez Grey Cowhide Rug: This piece adds some dollar signs to the overall price of the room, but it is stunning. If I had lots of money to play with (which I don’t!), this would be in my home. What an interesting take on a rug! It is a beautiful piece of art with tones that bring the colors of the room together.
Sherwin Williams ‘Black Fox’ Wall Color: Ideally, I see this library filled with shelves of books. That being the case, you won’t see the wall color at eye level on 2-3 walls. Yes, this is a bold color, but it will only be seen in small amounts, likely on a fireplace wall and above the bookshelves. It will provide coziness and minimize visual chaos that can happen when lots of books are displayed. When I see this color, I immediately think about the way lights and candles will play against the hue. It will probably be nearly-black in the shadows and a warm chestnut next to an incandescent bulb. It has depth, which is what you want in a space like this!
As I look at the color scheme, I realize it is a celebration of metallic colors – interesting!
After spending this time designing, I wish I could wiggle my nose like in ‘Bewitched’ and have it magically appear. Perhaps one day I’ll have a small office that I will convert to our library. The first pieces I would purchase from the above items would be the rug and mirror. Both are so unique! What is your favorite piece in the library design?
I wanted to let you know: When I create these designs, I try to pull items from a wide variety of stores. As it happened this time, I wasn’t thrilled with some stores’ selection, so the store representation is a bit narrow. Also, you can find similar pieces at cheaper prices as well as more expensive prices if you check around.
Happy weekend to you!