Truly Grand Home Libraries (page 7)



The beautiful two-story library of a retired Morgan Stanley chief economist in Connecticut. This library is absolutely wonderful, 2,500 square feet in size with ample space for books, not just fine wood paneling. And again, there's something about round libraries that's impressive. Very nice. (An article about the library can be found here.)



The two-story library in Ravelais, a 28,000 square-foot French-chateau-style mansion in Florida. A truly gorgeous, jewel box of a room. The wood paneling covers pretty much every surface in the space, including the magnificent cove ceiling, and the rounded corners of the upper balcony are a very nice design. There is the requisite circular staircase, a stone fireplace and a secret panel door next to fireplace leads to a secret study (pretty cool). This is pretty much what we all dream of when we imagine having "A Library" of our own.



An impressive two-story library in Bowral, Australia. It was added onto an existing house using a glass-in conservatory as a connecting hallway to a completely new structure. The owners of this house clearly have a serious love of books and libraries, as there is quite a large amount of bookshelf space for storage of books. It appears that there is one wall on the upper level that has been left as expansion space for more bookcases later – smart thinking.



A very nice two-story library in a house in Houston, Texas. The large room has a mezzanine balcony running around most of three of the sides for upper bookshelf space and the fourth wall consists of the grand, three-story spiraling staircase that forms the center of the house. And the shelves are filled with books – not always evident in real estate advertisements. The floors are made of slate tiles (not too cold underfoot in Houston!) and they are covered with a large oriental rug in the center for comfort in the generous seating area. Beautiful.



The library/great hall in a 1929 Tudor-style stone mansion in New Canaan, Connecticut. The library portion only covers the fireplace end of the hall, but even that is impressive enough – a totally cavernous space with a conservatory at the other end. The balcony is roomy enough for a seating area and the paneling and massive fireplace are beautiful. Wow.



The library at The Breakers, the Vanderbilt family’s summer house in Newport, Rhode Island. The 65,000 square-foot mansion was built between 1893 and 1895. The library has coffered ceilings painted with a dolphin, symbolic of the sea and hospitality. The walnut paneling is impressed with gold leaf in the form of a leather-bound book. Between the ceiling and the gold paneling is green Spanish leather embossed with gold. In the library are two busts: a bronze bust of William Henry Vanderbilt, who died of typhoid at the age of 21, and a marble bust of Cornelius Vanderbilt II. The fireplace, taken from a 16th century French chateau, bears the inscription “I laugh at great wealth, and never miss it; nothing but wisdom matters in the end.” Really?