Saturday, October 5, 2013

Our library!

We bought our first house in July of last year. It's a newer house and was in great condition, but like pretty much everyone who ever buys a house, we had a million ideas for things we would change after we moved in... most of which will probably never actually get done.

One of the first rooms you see when you walk into our house is a room that maybe was supposed to be a formal living room, but it's really small for a formal living room. Also, we're not really formal people, so we have no need for a room with the word "formal" in front of it. The people we bought the house from used the room as a music room:
Music room/Formal living room
A music room is a great idea if you actually have any musical instruments, but since we only have one guitar that neither of us really knows how to play, our music room would've been super lame. So I Googled "what to do with a formal living room" (Google knows everything), and everyone suggested making it a library, and I was like, "OH MY GOSH, DAN!! LET'S HAVE A LIBRARY!!!" Because reading is my favorite thing ever. (Let's ignore the fact that although reading is my favorite thing ever, I was apparently unable to come up with the concept of a library on my own.)

Anyway, the library has been a year-long project, and it could still use some more stuff on the walls, but it's totally my favorite room in our house, so I had to share.

You can click on all of these pictures to see them larger. Just so you know...
We got the bookshelves soon after we moved in. My dad helped me assemble them, and my mom helped apply wallpaper (that I spent weeks hunting for) onto the backs of the shelves. And then it came off after the wallpaper paste dried. (Apparently you can't use wallpaper paste on whatever that cardboard stuff is that they put on the backs of shelves. Just FYI.) I reattached it with scrapbooking glue dots because I was fed up and just wanted the project to be over. But once the backs were hammered onto the shelves, the wallpaper couldn't go anywhere.

Then for a year, we had shelves and books in the room and nothing else, because it turns out that I'm very indecisive when it comes to chairs. Dan even gave me a home-made gift certificate for chairs for Mother's Day (which was hilariously worded and the sweetest thing ever) and I still couldn't figure out what chairs I wanted. Then I was talking to my friend Teri, and she was like, "Oh, I just assumed you'd get big, comfy white chairs with blue pillows." And of course, that was exactly what the room needed. So if you need decorating advice, ask Teri. Unless you don't know her. In that case, I guess you're just out of luck.

We found the chairs at Ikea (and the story of the two trips we took to get them could be a blog post in itself), and while white might seem like a stupid color for a house with a toddler boy, the covers are removable and machine washable.

I still need something on the wall above the chair by the window and something else to the left of the bookshelves (so if you have ideas, please share!) but my current decorations include a key wall hanging/picture frame that I made yesterday and am ridiculously proud of:

I'll make a tutorial of how I made it soon (even though it was embarrassingly easy,)
but this post is already getting too long.
A framed quote that says "Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." that is hanging above a basket of Lucas's books (I bought it here on etsy):

I feel like this needs something else hanging under it. Either that or a short bookshelf. Any suggestions?
And some framed pictures of Lucas reading:
Also, various other random items that I don't feel like listing.
So that's my library! Like I said, the walls need some more oomph, but it's taken over a year just to get it to this point, so I can't really count on it ever being a whole lot better than this. Unless, of course some of you recommend awesome things for me to hang on my walls! So... get busy!

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  1. I love it! No wonder it's your favorite room The color is wonderful. And all that light. What a fabulous addition to your home. I hope you continue to love it for many years to come.

    Happy Sharefest!

    1. Thank you! I think the color may be my favorite part of the whole room! It's Glass Sapphire by Behr.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Love it, Love it, Love it - I could say that you need an Uncle Ian painting but not sure when he'd get it done. But if you have a scene, send a pic and you never know.... Anyway another idea is a photo you really, really like and have it printed on one of those surround mats with no frame, choose your size. Just a thought. And now all you need is a music playing center because when you read you'd have a "music" and Library room.
    Problem solved! I sure hope we must travel east I-80 soon so we can stop by and see this marvelous place.

    1. Thank you, Aunt Barb!! I did consider the wonderful Uncle Ian painting you guys gave us for our wedding for the library, but the colors looked better on our tan walls instead of the blue. You're right, I should get a big picture for the wall! Now to pick one... :)
      And we would LOVE to have you guys any time you're passing by!!

  3. You should frame children's literature pictures :) or get Uppercase Living done with your favorite book quotes

    1. Ohhh!! Like this page from The Giving Tree!?!?!,love,book,nature,illustration,quotes-2fcdea758910b5e214c82d3d66c719d0_h_large.jpg

    2. Argh! Not clicky! Well anyway, it's the page that says, "and she loved a little boy very, very much - even more than she loved herself."

  4. i have always wanted a library. always. and when i got married, i decided that we didn't need a dining room in our tiny apartment and turned it into my library. (it is also called the tower for reasons that are long.) i was incredibly happy with it for like a year, and then we got a bunny. one thing you may not know is that when you live in a tiny apartment and get a bunny, you realize that you have no space for it and you end up having to share your library. which quickly becomes the bunny's room. it's kinda sad.

    anyway, you know how some people like need to look into strangers' sock drawers and medicine cabinets? i'm like that with bookshelves. so i got really excited when i saw this post. before i started reading it, though, i saw the picture of the music room and my heart kind of broke because i thought you were going to say that you turned your library into a music room and i almost didn't want to read the post anymore. (yes, i'm overly weird when it comes to books.) but i did, and you didn't, and it all turned out awesome.

    and now that i've thoroughly wasted your time with nonsense, here are some wall suggestions. for my birthday, my grandma bought me a poster of the entire text of pride and prejudice which is a lot nicer than it sounds. she got it from a catalog, but i found the same one online along with a bunch of other books and they're a little pricey but i kind of want them all. when i move, i plan on sending everyone who wants to get me a housewarming gift to that site. you can probably find them somewhere else, too, but here's one link:

    i also have plans to put my favorite literary quotes on the walls. the really small part of me who thinks she's an artist has some crazy ideas about painting them on in pretty script, but i'll probably end up just printing and framing them.

    wall decals are also awesome, easy, and available online (and at target). there are ones meant for libraries (pictures of books, quotes about books, etc.) but there are also millions of others. i could start linking to ones that i like, but i don't think i would be able to stop. if you do want suggestions, though, i'd be happy to link to a few. (warning: some of them are expensive and you'll fall in love with them and want them forever but can never justify spending forty dollars on a sticker of a hole. like this: ... or that could just be me.)

    1. Oh. My. Gosh. The entire text of Pride and Prejudice!!!!!!!!!!! There are not enough exclamation points in the world!!!!!!!! That is absolutely, 100%, for sure going in my library!!!! (If it will fit. Will it fit?? How big is it??) Ahhhhh!!! Thank you!!!!

      (Also, I loved everything else about this comment, most especially "i saw the picture of the music room and my heart kind of broke because i thought you were going to say that you turned your library into a music room and i almost didn't want to read the post anymore." and "you'll fall in love with them and want them forever but can never justify spending forty dollars on a sticker of a hole.")

      And yes, feel free to link as much as you want!!

    2. yay! glad i could help! the poster is 36x24... so like normal poster size just landscape instead of portrait. the print is pretty tiny but if you get up close you can still read it. i just checked, and it's also on amazon. just search "pride and prejudice text poster."

      some decal suggestions:

      i'm a sucker for dr. seuss so there's these two:

      (pretty much the entire text of oh the places you'll go can be found. so if you have a favorite quote from it, you can probably find it online.)

      in the spirit of literary quotes (and crushes):

      because books:

      (maybe the shelf could go under the child reader quote? since you said you wanted something there...)

      if you want more kid-themed decals there are:

      (i sort of love the idea of having where the wild things are monsters in a library.)

      your requisite quotes about books:

      harry potter is awesome:

      and i think i will stop there just because if i don't, i never will.

  5. oh! i forgot to say that i recognized gone with the wind and harry potter from the small picture and they made me insanely happy. also, i recently picked up a copy of confessions of an ugly stepsister and keep putting off reading it for some reason. and i realize i'm being weird and creepy, but i would love to know what series is on the shelf next to (and below a little) harry potter. the blue books. i have a problem. i'm sorry.

    1. To the right? Those are all of Dan's old Hardy Boys books. :)

  6. The library looks great. I LOVE the wall color! By the way, I saw your blog from the Top Mommy Blogs website. I'm always looking for new blogs to read. :-)

  7. I've always dreamed of having a library in my own home. Your library looks great.