The Library Bookshelves!

If you’ve been reading LGN for practically any amount of time, you probably know that I love me a good bookshelf! In the past we’ve used a series of IKEA bookshelves to house most of our books (here’s a link to the DIY arched version and the faux-built-in version). When we moved to this house though, I knew we were going to invest in something special for our library built-ins. I am SO happy with how these turned out! The shelves are pretty much the first thing we see when we walk in the door and they make me smile every time.

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I hired a local company called Classy Closets to build and install the insanely huge shelves (they are over 16′ tall!). I learned about the locally-owned company first when I was helping my friend Caitlin Wilson work on a show house for the Street of Dreams in Gilbert. Show homes are a great way to discover local companies and I saw Classy Closets’ work and was super impressed.

They were wonderful to work with them from the get-go. They have amazing in-house designers that can take care of everything if that’s what you need/want, but they also love to collaborate with designers. They also offer trade pricing or commissions, which ends up being really helpful for big projects like this one, though I will say their pricing is incredibly fair for the great, fast work they do. And actually, Classy Closets is offering a huge give away right now for a $2000 worth of custom cabinetry (they do everything from closets to kitchens)!

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So the basic process was I came up with a few drawings and then worked with their production designer to finalize the dimensions and the plan. There were some pretty big tweaks to what I initially wanted because of the vintage library ladder I was asking them to incorporate in the design. The design team was amazingly detailed and careful about the ladder and how and where to install the rod to make the ladder run as smooth as possible.

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Let’s back up a little though and savor the project reveal! :) If you’ll remember, we had a big empty wall here before. We pulled off the old moulding, had an electrician move the wiring up to where the library lights would be, patched the walls and holes with drywall mud, and then primed and painted the whole thing the color of the bookshelves (Ben Moore’s Chantilly Lace).

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Once the shelving design had been finalized, it only took a couple of weeks for the Classy Closets crew to build the cabinetry. The installation took almost two full days for an entire team though! This was a huge project and they were wonderful craftsmen. I couldn’t have been happier with the work they did – clean and efficient.
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At the end of the second day, the library ladder track was installed. I chose an iron rod to match the hardware on the rollers of the ladder. I thought about doing brass to match the lighting (which was a sale find at Restoration Hardware) and the large ring pulls (which are from Liz’s Antique Hardware), but I like how the metals and finishes mix. 
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The ladder, which was a $250 Craigslist find (apparently inherited from a famous race car driver in California? Here’s the back story there.), runs as smooth as butter. It’s hard to not hop on for a ride a few times a day! :)
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It’s pretty amazing that we have all of our books in one place finally. Even in Brooklyn, we ended up having to store some books in other rooms. But having this much storage space is completely amazing. 
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We did my trick of organizing by genre and then very loosely by color. And then I just added in a few little containers here and there to break things up a bit.
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These built-ins are such a big part of our home now. We all love spending time in the library. It feels homey and cozy and comfortable. A big thank you to Classy Closets for being so generous to me with their time and with their designer discount. I am happy to have found another great local resource! And locals, don’t forget to enter the $2000 master closet redo give away here.

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  1. denese

    How on earth do you get anything else done? I'd be lounging in that daybed staring at the shelves all. day. long.

    It begs the question – could this not be your favorite design accomplishment ever?!? In fact, that would be an awesome post. LGN's top 10 favorite LGN designs.

    Am I the only one that wants to see a slim-lined, narrow depth rolling bar cart hugging the book case, perhaps just off the music room stairs? Drinks to go, book in hand, heaven on earth!!!

    When do you start remote e-design {like Windsor} and can it be sooner than later!?!} Me first, me first!! My 1930's east coast home needs you.

  2. Kim

    BEAUTIFUL collaboration!!! Makes me want to move to Arizona so Classy Closets can build some for me! :)

    When did you re-paint the music room? I love the new color!

    • Lorrie

      UnAmerican communist scum. Maybe we need to let his customers know, that his flowershop is owned and run by an scumbag. No wonder he went to the One Nation Con/smistmSocialiut Rallye with all his bestest buddies.

    • From 9/15 to about 3/31, we eat soup every day. Fall, Winter and Spring Sunday afternoons are our “soup time” where we chop, saute and simmer for the upcoming week and catch up with each other’s lives. It’s one of our favorite times of the week and probably like your “Sunday Supper” routine. At a wedding we attended we were asked for tips to a happy marriage (we have one!) and my husband replied, “Make soup together!”

  3. I love your built-ins! What a classy and well-done library. However, I'm sad to see the bright blue music room is no more! It was wonderful to see a pop of color amidst the all-white houses that designers are leaning towards these days.

  4. Absolutely perfect! Just gorgeous!

  5. Can we talk about the light fixture in the foyer for a sec….I need it in my life! Who/What/Where can I get it!!!

  6. Your bookshelves are gorgeous! thanks for a beautiful post! love following your blog, Jamie Herzlinger

  7. td

    Besides a piano, what more does one need in a room? Brautiful. The new daybed fabric looks great, although I REALLY loved the original one. Any chance you saved it? I would be so interested in acquiring it. Seriously!

    I have a fabulous library ladder, just no good place to use it functionally. :(

  8. Kate

    This looks incredible! (And I am a huge proponent of classifying by color.)

  9. These are amazing! When I saw the first picture I thought it was a Pinterest inspiration post. I should have known it was real. The height of your room is spectacular. I think my favourite part is that you have actual books. So many shelves are about everything besides books now. Beautiful job.

  10. Seriously, Jenny! This is amazing! Wow, the craftsmanship is stunning and the way you have styled the shelves makes them shine. What a beautiful wall and use of space!!

  11. This looks incredible! You are so talented!!!!

  12. linsey

    These babies make my heart race harder than anything else on the internets.

  13. Beautiful! Looks amazing. Are you planning on doing a post/tutorial outlining how you put together those beautiful floors?! I'm thinking of doing a similar floor in my bedroom and would LOVE a play-by-play of your process.

  14. Jenny, they turned out so beautiful!

  15. Lil T

    Jenny, these are gorgeous. Do you know what kind of wood was used? My husband and I are about to tackle a built-in cabinet/shelf look. We contemplated using IKEA bases (like you did in NYC) but I wonder if the white particle board will eventually look cheap — even w/added molding and built up bases, etc. It looks like your builder used a pre-fabbed base of sort. Do you know what kind of wood?

  16. Ever since watching Beauty & the Beast as a child I've wanted a library with a ladder like this! So wonderful! Any concerns of the wheels scratching or wearing down the hardwood floors?

  17. Ivory

    Beautiful job! I had the same thing done. We turned our formal living room into a study/music room. (Our son plays the piano). Most of the walls was turned into open bookshelves. I love your rolling ladder and the draws you had made onto the bottom of your wall of bookshelves. I wish I had done the same, for hidden storage. I love your home. Thanks for sharing!

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  20. Retta

    Ирина, Ваша мама уже вероятно на пенсии? Она в школе язык детям преподавала? Вот бы ей эта история А´‘€Ð¸ÿ³Ð¾ÐÂÃилась.))))))) Просто взрослая женщина ляпнула и не сообразила, ЧТО она сказала. А ребенок все буквально воспринял и сразу расплакался.

  21. Chun See, his blog is . It was an old banyan tree in front of the museum. still there today, I think.Victor, Peter almost struck jackpot again. If only he wrote about his Pinoy maid first.

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  24. minni

    beautiful work! we are getting dark wood floors.
    Did you experience the ladder wheels scratching or wearing down the hardwood floors?

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