Houzz Logo Print

Our new Library/Music Room

Nancy in Mich
11 years ago

Hi Everybody!

Our kitchen is on hold until spring, since I cannot do the finishing touches until it is warm enough to work in the garage. We purchased a far-infrared sauna at Christmas time, and my friend and I cleaned out my craft room to make room for it. A couple of weekends ago, that friend, DH, and I brought the sauna pieces inside and assembled it. This week, our favorite contractor, Jim, routed a circuit for the 20 amp power supply and we have the sauna working. Since my heart doc took me off my n-said for my auto-immune problems, the sauna is my sole non-narcotic pain reliever!


Next up is the library. We live in a ranch style home, the kind where the garage protrudes forward of the rest of the house. The front entrance is next to the garage, but is "indented" so as you go toward the front door, you are walking past the inside wall of the garage. The walk to the entrance is also taking you past the inside wall of the living room of the home.


We have never used the living room as anything but DH's office, music room, and our library. Now that DH has a laptop, he is rarely in there. Besides the cold draftiness of the room (the window will be replaced this spring), the room is just too cluttered to feel comfortable. DH never goes there. The dogs hang out there when we are gone.

Our old Sauder and Bush bookcases did not match each other (we each had a different colored set when we married). They were leaning, too. Papers for filing and gosh knows what else were everywhere. I have trouble climbing over the dog beds and trombone equipment to even enter the room, so I do not ever try to take care of the filling myself. This room needed a makeover badly. DH started me thinking about it last fall, when he asked how much it would cost to have Jim make bookshelves for the room. Jim looked at it and said that it depended on what wood we chose, but that he was working on designing a built-in bookcase for his sister and it was already running into several thousand for the wood alone. So, I started looking on Craigslist. Sooner or later a lawyer would go out of business or a home with a nice library would hit foreclosure and the owners would gut it before moving out. The morning I was discharged from the hospital, there was an ad for a lawyer's bookshelves - 91" high, 30" and 36" wide, 7 of them for $500. We looked at them that evening and put money down on them. DH and a moving company brought them home on Sunday. Jim was by on Wednesday to hook up the sauna, and said he will be free in two weeks. We discussed design and how to achieve the look we want. He'll call one of these days with a price.

We like the cabinet-on-the-bottom look, like this:

But we also like it when the bottom cabinet comes out further than the bookshelves above it. I think this looks like a comfortable den style of library. And we, in our Smaller Homes, need all the storage we can get!

Yesterday, I drove past an office furniture resale store. The old fellow inside did not think he had three 36" wide storage cabinets or lateral file drawers that matched. But he set me loose in his warehouse and I found them. They are rather plain, 36" wide and 22" deep, about 30" high (I don't think I measured the height). They were in great condition, very sturdy. Each has one shelf inside the two doors. The shelf is fixed in place, but can be moved to different heights if you unscrew the shelf and re-screw it in a different set of shelf holes. The color is a reddish brown. I got them for $130 each, and they are charging $75 to deliver them. I am hoping that Jim will agree that it will work to add shaker-style door trim, so they will look more traditional and less modern. Then I am thinking that I will paint them a creamy color and then perhaps I will do a glaze in a chocolate color to match the insides of the bookshelves:

The perimeter of the bookshelves and the walls between each bookshelf section will be trimmed out in a fluted trim with rosette blocks, just like the woodwork in the foyer and entrance to the library already is done.


Today, DH and I visited a used furniture store that I hit yesterday. I had put a deposit on a desk from a hotel liquidation. The desk had fluted legs and was light an airy feeling, but sturdy and solid. Since DH never puts anything into drawers, I figured he really does not need any! This morning, he decided on his own that he did want drawers, and decided to keep my old desk. It is a huge 5 ft long government bureaucrat desk, from the 1940s or 1950s. You remember the look, a teacher may have used one like this when you were at school. They were usually made of maple. Mine has a center drawer, a shallow upper drawer and a deep file drawer on the right, three shallow drawers on the left, and pull-out writing surfaces above the right and left stacks of drawers. It keeps the office worker's muscles in shape with the effort it takes to open and close a loaded drawer on wood-on-wood slides. There is a cross member in the leg space where you can rest your feet. I had stained this thing a deep chestnut color many years ago. So today we went back to get my deposit back (or find something else to buy) at the used furniture store. But DH saw the desk and liked the lightness, so we ended up bringing it home.

I may change its color from the fake mahogany red to a brown to better match the rest of the room.

So that is the plan! We will have lots of room for books, three 36" storage cabinets at the base of three of the five bookshelves, a lateral file drawer I still need to buy, and a more usable space for DH to play and compose his music. He uses composing software and his synthesizer to compose, so the synthesizer will be next to his desk. Mute bags and travel music stand and trombone cleaning materials can go in a base cabinet. He insists on very little furniture, so the loveseat is his only upholstered piece in the room. I have several slipcovers for it (dog hair shall never touch upholstery!). There is a 7.5' square carpet that I may put in there on top of the cream wall-to-wall carpet. I might get him to allow an armed chair from the dining set in there. We shall see. He says no one will be there but him, and he does not need seating, he needs room to pace as he plays trombone!

If you follow the link below, there are more photos of the space and a lot more captioning. Any comments or recommendations about painting and glazing the base cabs and trim, or any other ideas you might have are welcome!

Here is a link that might be useful: Front room album at Pbase

Comments (9)