Saturday, September 10, 2011

Library conversion

We have a typical McMansion with the design of having a small formal living room and a small formal dining room. After living here for 4 years maintaining those rooms - which were basically useless, gathered dust, and got used maybe once a year - we decided to ditch them! This is how the formal dining room became our library (which we always wanted) and my office (which I desperately needed).

We had painted the accent walls green already and decorated the room, but this is *basically* what it looked like before. Antique furniture I was scared for people to sit on, antique hutch and mirror that served no real purpose to hold my 2 tableclothes and became stuffed with "junk" over time, tiny sideboard dresser that also held mostly junk.
After conversion! These are BILLY bookcases from IKEA yes I do shop there a lot! We got the half-glass/half hidden doors for a specific purpose - the glass portions hold the hardbacks and books we wish to show off, and the hidden area holds a ton of cardboard magazine files for my office filing, reference books that aren;t in good shape or covered with post-its sticking out, and the like.
My desk, with a matching BILLY tv-unit-spanner-thing hung above it. The boxes are for receipts, stationary, and catalogues I'm not ready to get rid of. My stereo is on top, but shortly it may be leaving.. it hasn't been used at all in the six months since we put it up there. (We went to ipods from CD's during this same time period).The lower desk drawer I THOUGHT held a file drawer, but it doesn't *sad face*. However, it does hold an entire case of reamed paper, so that's what I stuck in there. A corkboard and a letter sorter now hang on the wall between the desk and BILLY. (Respectively from a Slickdeal at Staples, and a 3 portion mesh sorter from the Container store with pretty file folders - one portion for each child. Works great!). 

The right hand side of the room holds more bookcases. Under the pass through bar are actually media (DVD/CD) BENNO holders that matched the Billy's. We converted them to hold paperbacks and they now have matching doors on them. They stick out exactly as far as the pass through (WIN!). The right most cabinet holds our Dragon collection and other various sentimental items that I wanted to display but was tired of dusting. Now they only need dusting during Spring Cleaning, instead of weekly.

Every library needs a good plant :) The faux-stained glass on the windows replaced the dark and forbidding wodden blinds we had and leave a nice clean look while bringing in a little bit of color. They have a little of the green from the walls and carpet, and the wood tone from the furniture, and a little bit of blue/steel to complement the stainless steel aspects of some of the items. Whee! I heart them.

And finally, we got rid of the chandelier after DH kept hitting his head on it. This beautiful "marble" fixture fades into the ceiling while still being pretty. It also holds CFL bulbs so I can leave it on most of the time without worrying about wasting too much energy (I spend a LOT of time in this room). 

We also added a nice nuetral large microfiber ottoman to the middle/right of the room for people to lounge on and read; chairs would have been visually too tall and crowded the room. The ottoman works nicely.

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