Home Library Design Ideas

Welcome to the 57th Metamorphosis Monday!

On a previous Met Monday, I took you into my “formal” living room that really isn’t a formal living room. It’s actually been more of a storage room over the years…which is kind of sad since it’s the very first room you see when you walk into my home. I have some big plans for it…one day. You can read about those HERE in this previous Met Monday post.

Home Library Design and Ideas

When I found one of the main components for this metamorphosis, these 85 year old cabinets/niches you see below, I called up my contractor and had him come take a look.

Home Library Design and Ideas

He had concerns about having enough space to build a wall in which to sink the cabinets since the space is limited due to how close the window is to the niche on the right side. He also was concerned about it being deep enough for the fireplace. By the way, I won’t be using this mantel…most likely one will be built on site for the space. I suggested having the fireplace jutting out a bit into the room with the niches set back a bit. He looked at me like I had just grown an extra head or two.

Home Library Design and Ideas

Fast forward to a couple of months ago when I attended the monthly board meeting for a garden club of which I’m a member. We meet each month in this wonderful historic home pictured below.

Home Library Design and Ideas

We always have our meetings in the dining room of this beautiful old home. Each month, just for fun, I treat myself to a peek into the adjacent rooms and soak up the beautiful furnishings and architecture. Look what I found in the parlor/music room…how have I missed it?! I finally remembered to take my camera last week and snapped a few pics for you all. This is it…just what I need to do in my future library!

Home Library Design and Ideas

Notice how tight the space is between the cabinet/niche over by the window…and notice how the cabinets are set back a little with the fireplace protruding out a bit into the room. Yep, this is just what I needed to show my contractor. πŸ™‚ And it’s been right under my nose for the last 3 years!

Home Library Design and Ideas

Here’s a little close up of the left cabinet/niche…

Home Library Design and Ideas

And here’s the one on the right. This room was a bit tricky to photograph because there is a huge grand piano right smack in the middle. You can just see a bit of it in this pic below.

Home Library Design and Ideas

Yep…I think it will work just fine…can’t wait to show these pics to my contractor…now I just need to save my pennies and get my dream of a library actually underway.

Home Library Design and Ideas

Looking forward to seeing all your “Before and Afters.”

Metamorphosis Monday is an opportunity to show a “Before and After” project in your home. It can be as elaborate as a whole new room addition or as simple as re-doing your decor with the changing of the seasons. Maybe you have a “trash to treasure” project to share…we’d love to see it! If you don’t have a “Before” pic to share, describe as best you can what the room or item looked like prior to the renovation.

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Fabulous “Before and Afters” await your visit:
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  1. Christi @ A Southern Life says

    I love the inspiration cabinets. Can't wait to see how your contractor uses the cabinets you have!

    Christi @ A Southern Life

  2. Confessions of a Plate Addict says

    How beautiful, Susan! I can't wait to see how you transform your living room! I hope you are having a great weekend!…hugs…Debbie

  3. Low Tide High Style says

    Your library is going to be beautiful and that is the perfect picture to show your contractor, simply gorgeous!

    How wonderful that you have such a lovely place to hold your garden club meetings too!

    Kat πŸ™‚

  4. Michael Lee West says

    I've always loved this room. It's going to be fun to follow you on this journey.

    I finally started the Dish Project. This week is Phase I. My poor back!

  5. I so love old homes with beautiful cabinetry. Mr "he of little faith" has just met his match in you Susan!
    Happy Presidents Day
    Jane T..

  6. tales from an oc cottage says

    Ohhhhhhhhhhh! My kingdom for shelves just like those! They are so "Pride & Prejudice"! (and I adore that convex mirror!!!!)

    m ^..^

  7. Your room will be really pretty when your project is complete. I hope you'll be able to start on it soon.

  8. Looking forward to seeing all the before and afters!

  9. Your library/living room will be so pretty, Susan. I am already imagining it….Christine

  10. Susan you and I have the same dream but you are way ahead of me , You already have some of the components, I only have the room,hehe. Can't wait to follow along with this project. I did a post on this very look being on my Someday list!! It is so perfect for your gorgeous home. Kathysue

  11. Remodelaholic says

    Oh la la! When I first glanced through I thought they were the same room, just finished… I can't wait to see what you do! AND I LOVE your sofa fabric. Love it love it! I would love a whole house tour, let me just invite myself over!

    Good luck with the room, can't wait to see what you do!

    AND thanks for the parties, us bloggers sure love to show off just a bit!! he. he.

  12. i can see where your soul took flight…inspiration is waiting around every corner, isn't it?

  13. Puttering in the Midwest says

    Susan, You are such an inspiration in so many ways. Your blog was the first that I discovered and it got me through a rough patch! Thanks so much! Annette

  14. The Tablescaper says

    You're working on a magnificant dream and sometimes these dreams take a lot of baby steps. You found the incredible cabinets and now you've been able to photograph just the way they can fit in your beautiful room. You're well on your way. Can't wait to see the finished procuct.

    I must say, you're very patient. I'd be using the room the way it is, even without the cabinets being in the walls. It took a long time for me to get my home the way I wanted it (many years). If I had waited for each peice to be perfectly in place before I used the room, there would have been no where for us to live! LOL

    Good luck with your plans and dreaming.

    – The Tablescaper

  15. Susan! It's crazy that you had that exact vision for your wall and then boom – you see it just as you pictured. Well, it's just meant to be that's all. I can only imagine all of the pretties you will be putting in those built-ins.

  16. Susan, that will be perfect in your room. Can't wait to see the transformation. I have enjoyed linking to this party. I know you are a busy lady, but maybe you will be able to check out my new blog sometime….Kim

  17. I subscribe to "anything is possible", too. So glad you found the perfect example close by for your contractor.

  18. marty (A Stroll Thru Life) says

    Oh Susan, it is going to be so gorgeous. I can't wait to see it all done. So beautiful. Hugs, marty

  19. Andrea at My Feathered Nest says

    What a beautiful place to hold your garden meetings. I, too, am a member of a garden club and we meet in the historical museum every month. They have so many interesting exhibits every time we are there.
    My dream would be to have a library in my home, as I used to be a librarian and am an avid book-lover. I commend you on what you've accomplished in your home and really love your blog. Thanks for following my blog too!!
    hugs to you

  20. Susan-I sure hope you can work this out! I loved those pieces when you first showed them to us–love the arched tops! I am betting on you!

  21. Hi Susan! Happy Valentine's Day! Oh, I know you can do this! You have such great vision and Dear One, your library will be so much prettier than this one!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia πŸ™‚

  22. Now that's more like it… so inspiring!

    follow me: Living Creatively with Flory

  23. since i am almost…yes almost back into the swing of being AT HOME πŸ™‚ i sure hope to get more involved with the design of the cottage…

    until then, i hope you don't mind me visiting…while i am not yet quite ready for Mr Linky πŸ™‚

  24. Stunning!!!! You will make your room fabulous! Can't wait to see it! I have a question for you. Your photography is so beautiful. I know we had talked once about using the tripod and all that. Your photos of the other home are so sharp and bright. Did you use an external flash? You are so very talented!

  25. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says

    That will look great, Susan! I knew what you were saying before you even showed the pictures. It looks very much like your lay-out, too.

  26. Susan Wicker says

    You can do it, Susan! It's absolutely, positively possible! It's going to be gorgeous! Keep that vision. Sincerely, Susan from writingstraightfromtheheart.blogspot.com

  27. Cottage Dreamers says

    Beautiful post, as always!

    I'm participating in Metamorphasis Monday for the first time. Yea! I hope I did it right.

  28. Just a dreamer says

    I have been waiting for what seems like ages to see this one. Wow, it is going to be gorgeous. Oh, and I love that cardinal fireplace screen. You have the neatest stuff, EVER. Can't you just say "charge it"? to get stuff started?!? Jackie A HUGE F

  29. That house is incredible. Looking forward to seeing your renovations.

  30. Chatty Crone says

    I just wanted to drop by and wish you a Happy Valentine's Day. Sandie

  31. Sarah Sarniak says

    What a transformation! How beautiful! I absolutely love the two cabinets on both sides. And you integrated them so beautifully.

  32. Polly@MakeMineBeautiful says

    I can only imagine how beautiful your room is going to turn out. I love the colors in your inspiration room too.

  33. Kelee Katillac says

    Hi Susan!

    Gorgeous old home. Yours will look fab too w/ your new cabinets….

    Thank-you for hosting Susan!


  34. My goodness Susan, I'm one hour late joining and I'm already no.69!

    What a great post today. Good luck with the renovations!

  35. Fifi Flowers says


  36. Nancy @ Live love laugh says

    You have such vision! That room will be gorgeous! Thanks for sharing it…we can all dream!

  37. merilyn lee says

    Looking forward to seeing the room transformed! This is my first time joining, so hope I did this right.
    Hope you had a nice Valentines!

  38. Little Lizard King says

    Your cabinets are almost identical; your library is well on it's way to historic grandeur.

  39. Mom on the Run says

    I love the Garden Center…in fact, I've told both the girls they have to have their wedding receptions there (it's just down the street from our house and our church, so it's a no brainer). A few years ago, when I was co-chair of the Pilgrimage preview party, DOTR and I were cleaning up after the party….I took out the garbage in my ballgown, he locked the front door wearing his tux and flipped off the lights….I said, "I could live here!" It seemed like we should just go upstairs (too bad the Junior League offices are up there instead of bedroooms now!) When I told that story to one of the women on the garden center board, she said…."we might just sell it to you!" Anyway, I love that house passionately!

    Great idea for the niches!

  40. That will be gorgeous Susan!
    As always, thanks for hosting today.
    All Things Heart and Home

  41. Beverly @ My Sew Sweet Studio says

    Susan, that is the perfect solution for your new cabinets. My husband is a carpenter and we often have debate like yours with your carpenter. Funny thing is, when my idea works, he always acts like he thought of it first. As long as it gets done….okay by me. Can't wait to see what you come up with for a fireplace mantle too.

  42. Ah, PICTURES, glorious pictures! Still worth inumerable words, I feel. πŸ™‚ Franki

  43. I am green with envy! WOW!!!

  44. Tammy@InStitches says

    It is going to look so good !

  45. Heather@PixieDust says

    what a funny story – you show that carpenter who's boss! Please keep your arches arched, though – i don't like how they squared the molding above their cabinets.

  46. sometimes the "professionals" just need a little vision, don't they! I can't wait to hear what your contractor has to say now!

  47. Sue (Someone's Mom) says

    How lucky to find a picture that shows exactly what you want. It will look amazing. This brought back good memories for me. A couple of houses ago, we had our big historic home. Our formal dining room had arched shelving on each side of a window seat instead of a fireplace. I miss all those built-ins!


  48. Heidi@TheCraftMonkey says

    wow, how great that you found exactly what you needed to show your contractor!! Can't wait to see how yours turns out!

  49. Hi Susan, your living room is already beautiful, without doing one thing more; howEVER, the addition of the built-ins and "beefed" up mantle, will just be the icing on the cake !! I love your inspiration pics … the wall color is gorgeous. I can't wait to see what you do. And, thanks again for hosting such a fun gathering. Take care, Becca

  50. Love your site.

  51. I am having red sofa envy! This room will look incredible I have no doubt when you get it done to your liking.


  52. OHH… can't wait to see how that turns out!!

  53. Love, love LOVE your blog. First time I came here and have to say love at first sight. Have to become a reader, so I can come visit more often!

    Greetings from Finland!
    – Jaana

  54. Love, love LOVE your blog. First time I came here and have to say love at first sight. Have to become a reader, so I can come visit more often!

    Greetings from Finland!
    – Jaana

  55. Peg @ Bloomfield Farm says

    Hi Susan,
    I enjoyed reading about your library project. It is very similar to what we did in a bedroom years ago. I think I shared some photos with you. We were able to angle the wall on either side of the fireplace. I've never done a post with those pictures, mainly because I am not finished with the room's update. Maybe I will do a "so-far" post next Monday. Just thought it might be something to show to your carpenter. Can't wait to see your finished library!!!

  56. GREAT IDEAS!!! And if you decide to sell that mantle, I would love to buy it. I won't mind a "little" roadtrip your direction to collect it, either. I have looked for one like it for several years and have had no luck finding one. Can't wait to see your finished room one day. It will definitely be worth all your planning and dreaming.

  57. Love the display cases next to the fireplace. Love your blog & Met Monday's!!

  58. Lady Katherine says

    Love it Susan, Now I wonder how you could have missed it. lol Will be perfect! I love the pieces you also having in your living room. I hope to show you my library soon in my parlor!

  59. Susan, I can't wait to know what your contractor says when you show him these photos. What a beautiful space you're going to have!

  60. 9405018--Pat says

    How beautiful Susan, can't wait…thanks for sharing…Pat H

  61. black eyed susans kitchen says

    Susan, I do remember this and wondered if you ever had them recessed into the wall. Our living room have the same scenario…fireplace juts out abit and there are actually bookcases recessed on either side, but the previous owner had them walled over. Now I wonder what they really look like. Can't wait to see your room finished…I may use pictures of it for my inspiration.
    β™₯, Susan

  62. The Tidy Brown Wren says

    Looking at those pics makes my heart go pitter patter. Oh. . . the possibilities.

  63. inadvertent farmer says

    I love places to display books…with a fireplace nearby to cuddle up next to make it just about perfect! Kim

  64. Cottage Rose says

    Hi Susan; Wow that is amazing how much that room looks like yours… and soon it will be so close to the inspiration room… What a beautiful library it will be,, can't wait to see it all done…..


  65. Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish says

    That is going to look great! Thanks for hosting!

  66. Destination Seaborn says

    Oh those pictures are beautiful! I love that parlor and think it's a great inspiration for your space!
    I love that fireplace. I've been working on our FP for awhile and love that surround. Do you know if that's slate, another stone or just painted?

    I included a link to my blog {and fireplace dilemmma}. I'd love for you to stop by. Thank you!



  67. molly susan strong says

    Gorgeous as always my dear. Love tese and can imagine the majic you will make.

  68. Susan, how perfect is this? You are always so patient, and it pays off. I'll be eager to see your new library.
    Hope you had a terrific Valentine's Day. ~

  69. It will be so perfect! Who's says it can't be done! Tell that contractor that we have faith that it can!

  70. Susan, I bet your brain registered the total recessed shelving concept of this room in that GORGEOUS home a long time ago & you didn't even realize it! Somewhere in the back of your mind, its been simmering, just waiting for the right pieces.

    Your version is going to look stunning & I can't wait to see it!


  71. Isn't it wonderful that you found this house? I can't wait to see your finished product.

  72. So pretty! I love your creativity and vision!

  73. *Chic Provence* says

    I love the updated classic look achieved in this room..the colors are uplifting!

  74. Titti @ Shoestring Pavilion says

    Love the arches on those cabinets as well as that dramatic red couch! (And sorry for the link bombing, hope it's ok…)

  75. And, I'd bet, if you're anything like me, you already have 'stuff' to fill up those little niches! Love the paint color on the wall. Don't know if I'd use it in my house, but it sure looks nice in that one. Still longing for a baby grand! Will be watching to see the 'library reveal'!

  76. laurie @ bargain hunting says

    Susan, I remember your post about finding the cabinets. That is going to look beautiful! I had a LOT of those same looks from my contrator when we remodeled. I'm so glad you were able to get a picture of what you wanted. Can't wait to see it when you get it finished. laurie

  77. a little bit of everything says

    Love the built in bookshelves!
    I have become a follower and invite you to do the same. Just found your blog today and am enjoying the content!

  78. I love, love, love your blog! I happen to love color! Although I find many of the rooms I see on blogs that are “washed out” are attractive, I just couldn’t live in a whole house like that. I love your paneled rooms, rich color and fabric and English country style. Keep up the great work–I am a new follower! Lisa Gower Montgomery

    • Thanks, Lisa! Appreciate that so much. I know what you mean, I see a lot of neutral rooms online that are really beautiful. I love them but I know I wouldn’t last a day before I’d be adding color to them. πŸ™‚

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