My new happy place

Though I admitted yesterday to reading less than I would like lately (thank you all so much for your rut-busting recommendations!), I am happy to report that our home library is now functional, pretty and perfect for settling into with a good read.

From the moment we stepped into the house, I pictured this bright, sunny and quiet room near the door as a space for reading and relaxing. I lobbied for a library just as my husband campaigned for a basement workshop, and we’re both pretty happy with the results! (And our separate spaces. One does benefit from a room of one’s own.)

The bookcases were originally from our local Borders, purchased for Spence’s old condo and finally moved to the new house. They were gathering dust in the basement until a friend helped us bring three upstairs, and then I was doing my happy-happy dance all over the room until I just couldn’t shake it anymore.

I love that the room feels a little random. It’s filled with goodies we’ve collected in the last few years and is already shaping into the fun, funky, colorful room I envisioned.

The chair was a purchase from Target, the throw a gift from my grandmother. My beloved book pillow was purchased from a French-inspired shop during a trip with my mother- and father-in-law to Niagara-on-the-Lake in April.

I bought the cushion for a future library before there even was a library. The ultimate “If you build it . . .,” wouldn’t you say?

Of course, the books themselves draw most of the interest . . . and rightfully so. I have childhood favorites, beloved series, collections and review copies. There are hardcovers, cookbooks, old journals and photo albums.

A little of everything. Everything I love.

On an end table are coasters for tea (of course!), a painted initial from our wedding and a favorite photo from our engagement shoot. With a tiny piece of Parisian lamp, too, because classy.

Back when I was silly and thought I needed to decorate the house immediately, I made canvases featuring my favorite cover art from three cherished books: The Great Gatsby, Pride and Prejudice and I Capture The Castle.

I’ve had them for months and debated their placement approximately 10,000 times, but Spence and I finally settled on a spot and hung them last week — along with an older “Keep Calm” poster I had in my childhood bedroom. I love that it’s back, displayed proudly again.

Though we still have a few things to work on and will eventually get an ottoman and couch for an adjacent wall, it feels good to have one room close to “done.” I love passing through there daily, even if I don’t have much time to sit, and look forward to all the quiet mornings of coffee and daydreams I’ll enjoy in that chair.

And the reading, of course. The words and stories and change.

And just because before-and-afters are always fun . . .

old library

New library


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40 thoughts on “My new happy place

  1. Wow. How unutterably gorgeous. I am consumed with jealousy. I particularly like the covers on the wall and the cushion, and am going to steal both. If you see what I mean.

  2. Love the space! Esp the cushion cover. It’s perfect and you are inspiring me to convert my guest room (which is currently used as a dump) into some sort of reading/activity space for all of us!

  3. Adorable! And I do believe it is all about the chair. If you can curl up and get comfy for hours, that is the most important thing! I love that cover art.

  4. I LOVE your library. It’s absolutely gorgeous. I am obsessed with the canvas prints of your favorite books…nice touch! And I love the reading chair!

  5. What a great job you’ve done! It’s very inviting, especially with the chair, cushion and throw. Must be very hard to walk past it and NOT curl up for a good read. Enjoy the fruits of your hard work; you deserve it!

  6. I love the book pillow and the book canvases. Could you share with us how you did it or a tutorial you found? I would love to make them for my house!

  7. Your library looks beautiful! That book pillow is adorable 🙂 It’s so nice to have such a cozy place to read in.

  8. It’s such a cozy space!!! I dream of my own library….I feel I can’t do it until my girls are out of college and on their own. Someone might need to live here. Enjoy it and many peaceful hours to come.

  9. Better late than never – but your library looks wonderful! I’m very jealous. I’ve always wanted a library of my own. Enjoy!

  10. Absolutely perfect!!! Michael and I put up a wall of shelves in our living room and it is just wonderful to have all the books proudly displayed. Plus comfy couch and chairs from my grandmother… it’s my happy place! Thank you for sharing yours 🙂

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