As I’ve said in previous posts, it was love at first sight with our house. The moment we drove up and saw that quintessential wooden farmhouse exterior, with its big dormers and welcoming front porch, I was head over heels. And then we walked in, and it had a library. A library! The online listing had casually mentioned it, but neglected to show any photos of it except this one: I had assumed it was merely another bedroom with a few pretty built-ins in this one photographed corner. Oh, was I mistaken. This is the first room that greets you when you first step into our home. Its walls are covered in custom built-ins, and its windows facing the front porch let in the best natural light in the house. I actually started crying when I stepped inside. Crying. I felt like Belle in Beauty and the Beast. She was always my favorite Disney princess by a mile. An introvert who loves to read, feels like an outsider, and frequently bursts into song? I relate. Granted, our little library isn’t anything as grand as the enchanted one from the movie. But to me, it is every bit as magical.
Our house is relatively small, so, in practical terms, it really has no business having something as unnecessary as a library. That was another way I found myself relating to this house. Forget the practical, give me the fun, the whimsy, the pretty things. In that moment, before even touring the rest of the house, I turned to Brandon and said, “This is it.”
The first thing we changed was the main light fixture. Sadly, I don’t have a before photo, but the one there was not nearly romantic enough for a room containing so many adventures, so many heroes and heroins, a room housing Hogwarts and Middle Earth and Narnia and the Seven Kingdoms. It had to be changed.
I found this vine covered beauty on Craigslist for $15. It was a horrible sage green color, which I quickly spray painted to a pretty bronze. It was hung the day after we moved in.
The desk was a Goodwill find in Oregon, when I lived in a home that had absolutely no place for it. I simply fell in love, paid the $20, and decided it would find a home later. It’s perfect here, don’t you think? The chair was my dad’s desk chair in my parents’ home office for years.
It took another few months, and about 4,000 more projects for me to get around to painting this room. Usually a very decisive person, I just couldn’t decide on colors for such an important space. I finally landed on this lavender gray for the shelving, and a deep blue for the bit of wall space. I love the way it turned out.
The other issue we had with this room was that our new puppy, Charlie, whom we adopted soon after moving in, interpreted the inset rug in the library as her own personal puppy pad. Despite every cleaner and Pinterest hack we could find, nothing could get that puppy pee smell out. So, in a fit of rage one morning, I took a knife to the rug and ripped out the whole thing.
The only problem with this temper-fueled project of mine was that, as I’ve said, the rug was inset by about 1.5″ into the wood flooring. Meaning, when I ripped up the rug, I traded the acrid pee smell for a gaping hole in the floor. Fixing this issue will no doubt be a fun blog project sometime in the coming months, but for now, we simply threw a pretty new rug over the thing, installed a gate (no pups or kids allowed!), and called it a day.
This room is not my favorite only because I love to read. It is where most of the special mementos, trinkets, and memories of our lives are stored. All of our baby books live here, as do our favorite photos, souvenirs from special trips, special items once belonging to loved ones who have passed on, childhood crafts, and countless other treasures. I often find myself in here, lost in sweet memories for several minutes at a time as I lovingly browse the shelves.