Modest Home Libraries (page 5)


This very traditional library occupies a small space, but bookcases running around three sides of the room make it feel cozy. The quality of the shelves and detail trim work is very high. A nice library.



"In a Bethesda, Maryland, house designed by architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen, floor to ceiling windows filter light into the library and music room. Favoring a minimalist approach to the decor, Jacobsen used a simple wood carpet on the bleached-oak floors; he created the white-oak low table. (October 2006)"



"Working within the constraints of an existing towerlike structure situated on a steep site overlooking the Mediterranean, architect Norman Foster created a seven-level, 6,500-square-foot modernist villa. 'The principal areas encompass five levels, with related living, dining and library spaces.' A glass elevator connects these levels to the bedrooms below and to the roof and pool terrace. (October 2006)"



"Interior designer Karin Blake created 'a gallery-like atmosphere' for a couple’s Los Angeles residence. Above: The family uses the library as the children’s study area. A 20th-century papier-mâché mannequin torso is behind a vintage architect’s drafting table, which is joined by Eames chairs. (March 2004)"



"In the library that designer and prominent postwar-Paris society figure Georges Geffroy created in 1948 for Baron Alexis de Rede in the Hotel Lambert, the legendary destination built circa 1640 in the heart of Paris, dozens of well-polished leatherbound books occupy the shelves in a meticulously arranged order. The library’s furnishings further the air of drama and include a Directoire tub chair and a pair of early-Louis XIV silver-leafed, velvet-covered armchairs. (May 2007)"



"When the late Anthony Hail and his partner, Charles Posey, downsized to an apartment in San Francisco in the late 1990s, Hail was by then semiretired, and he had begun to devote much of his newfound free time to reading. Thus, the space that might have served only as a living room also became the library for the pair. 'I try to arrange things by country,' Hail said, 'so that they have something to do with each other.' Perhaps the room’s biggest surprise, however, is his choice of equipment for accessing the upper reaches of his vast book collection. Instead of the more traditional sliding ladder, propped against the built-in bookcases is a wood painter’s ladder—a richly patinated example from the 19th century, no less. (May 2007)"



A classically-proportioned and -decorated room with a wide, ornate triple-bookcase unit against one wall. Well done.



A hallway/library with Swedish-style light wood floors, white-painted bookcases and spare furnishings.



These bookcases and window seats turn what could have been a boring, utilitarian hallway into a place where residents and guests will want to linger.



Dining rooms, which are often underused rooms, are often combined with libraries. Both types of rooms are meant to stimulate appetites – for food and knowledge – and can appear sophisticated, so they can work well together. Although this dining room/library is painted white, red is a traditional color for libraries, which is an appetite-stimulating color as well.


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