Books add so much to life. They teach us, they transport us, and they inspire us. If you are lucky enough to have a library in your home it is no doubt one of your favorite retreats.
It seems my whole house is a library specializing in interior design (no surprise there), World War II novels and biographies, English murder mysteries, and business. You will find them in every room, scattered about, stacked in baskets, on tables, dressers, beds, and the floor.
Reading is truly the perfect year round activity and books are one of my favorite decorating tools. I would rather decorate with books than knick knacks. I like knowing the things I am surrounded with are more than just the newest accessory. Image Assouline Books via Magazine C.
As much as I adore books, reading is not the only activity that should take place in the library. Three o’clock tea. Evening cocktails. Les Dangerous Liaison. Slid that by you. Supper for two. Or four. Even a light breakfast tray if the library has enough natural light.
The room above was a tricky decorating job and it was pulled off beautifully. It is light filled, crisp, yet worn in. Often we think of libraries as dark and intimate but in truth, the lighter libraries are much more functional.
The bookcases above anchor this library cum workspace. The over sized white work table is a fine, modern day twist on the classic library table. The natural finishes and texture give the room its artsy intellectual vibe.
Above and below are some interesting accessories for various library decor. Lamps by Roost.
When designing a library within a house’s floor plan, the room should be located away from the main part of the noise. I love libraries that have French doors leading to a secluded, personal patio. Depending upon your book collection you can choose to do one, two, three, or four walls of built-ins broken up by doors and windows. Michael Smith Design. Image via Elle Decor.
Built-out or free standing bookshelves are options as well. Image via Country Living.
This Miles Redd design features some wonderful bookcases. Displaying books can be a daunting task. I display mine in clumps or groups of similar topics rather than alphabetically.
This library is truly to die for but I have yet to find an ikat fabric (such as the one of the chair) that I like. Library design by Markham Roberts.
This Todd Klein design (above) is special because of the great tufted leather sofa. Ralph Lauren room below.
Library faux pas…don’t remark on the quantity of someone’s book collection and ask if the owner has read them. Of course we have!
Shiree’s Pumpkin Soup
Created for Ruby Sabine Killian
My little two year old niece Ruby loved this soup I created especially for her!
30 oz. pumpkin puree’
10 oz. butternut squash puree’
organic free range chicken stock
Two 7 oz. cans mild Ortega chili’s, chopped
One 15 oz. can kidney beans rinsed
6 T. butter
2 t. mace (the spice, not the spray)
4 garlic cloves
brown sugar, salt, and pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in a large stockpot. Add chick broth to desired consistency…more for thinner soup, less for thicker. Simmer about 30 minutes. One of the most satisfying pumpkin soups I’ve had.