28 November 2018

Brooklyn Heights Brownstone: The Library and Home Office

Designing a cozy library, a quiet oasis from busy lives and a simple space to work from home.

For us, there’s nothing more comforting than being surrounded by books. Which probably explains why libraries are our favorite rooms to design. The library, which is often also the TV room and the family room is usually a workhorse and so all the more reason to create an enveloping, private space that beckons you to stay awhile. Curling up to read a book or watch the latest Netflix series is (in our opinion!) pure bliss in a room with fabric covered walls, rich colors and cozy textures. For this project, both clients lead busy professional lives so we knew the library/TV room would be used primarily in evening hours. With this in mind, we elected to paint the custom bookcases a dark chocolate brown lacquer with the walls in a textured silk to create a cocoon like feeling. To counter these dark hues, we selected cheerful blue wool for the plush corner sofa. The bookcases are illuminated with traditional library lights to showcase books as well as a collection of contemporary American pottery.

In the design phase, when we present the proposed furniture plans, we like to provide as much visual information as possible. Below you will find the elevations, furniture plans and specifications for this room. We still get a thrill out of looking back at original drawings after all is said and done. 

Every detail is shown in the documents. Here the custom radiator cover is shown in plan.
The furniture plan allows for plenty of TV viewers and a comfortable chair to read in separately.
Each upholstered form is identified by shape in the plan.
More details: The organic carpet selection, the picture lights, a leather occasional chair.

We often end up making corner sofas for libraries and media rooms because, at the end of the day, everyone wants a “good seat” to watch TV from. This custom made sofa has nice wide arms to rest on and a tight back to keep things looking tidy. The cushions were upholstered in a different fabric from the body of the sofa, a great trick to break up the monotony of one color on a large piece of furniture. The Audubon prints above the sofa were found towards the end of the project – our client, an ornithology enthusiast, loved them right away. 

The tufted sectional was upholstered in a solid blue solid cotton, with seat cushions made from a woven printed textile. A traditional French chintz on the pillows dictated the color scheme of the room. The small rectangular pillow is made from vintage textile borders.

Press play to see a video walk through of the library. You can get a better sense of what it feels like to be in the space.

In the next room over, the home office is fashioned from a one-time bedroom. We assembled a “hodgepodge” of furnishings from several different vintage sources; an American desk, a mid century chair and an English Orkney chair live happily together. We purchased lots of wonderful prints for the house, the hunting prints above the desk were a great find to live on top of the William Morris wallpaper. The vintage Tuareg rug was found on our trip to Morocco this past Spring.

To create a sense of longevity in a small space, it’s important to layer on the types of materials. From different woods to painted lamps and natural materials, all of these elements combine give off a warmth and, ultimately, a depth.

To see more of this project, click here.

— Lauren & Suzanne
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