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. Trisha

    Brilliant! I love that you loosely organized by color- I do that to my husband's clothes and our DVD's and it drives him insane. But it looks so much nicer.

  2. What a beautiful addition to your home. I love the way it all came together. Thanks for sharing!

  3. monika

    Whoa, Jenny! This is sooo nice to have. We have about 3,000 books and at the moment someone is installing a 20-foot long wall in the studio of our house. But no doors for me…. juts shelving, to engulf all the books that seem to spawn in our house. I love how the lighting compliments the trim work on your shelves. Nicely done!

  4. I am obsessed! Wonderful work as always. Can't wait to see the update on the chase lounge!!

    Stevi Gibson

  5. It looks AWESOME!!!!!!! Question—how did you address the air conditioner register?

  6. Joanna

    Ugh it's so so so sooooo good it kills me every time I see it!!!

  7. Wow so so beautiful! What an incredible addition to your house. Glad you shared the whole shelving unit in all it's glory! And the daybed ended up looking adorable. This room is a real show stopper and a great example of how a front room can still look stellar without being at all stuffy.

  8. Elisha

    Oh gosh, I absolutely love this! Too perfect.

  9. Let's see the bookcase at night?

  10. Ok so the sneak peeks are driving me mad. I see you used that gorgeous sea glass color in the music room as well as French doors and back door. I love how you've carried it throughout the first floor. Your house looks amazing. Domino better give you one huge spread or there are going to be some disappointed readers. I'm biting my fingers. You are really incredibly resourceful. Can't believe you found all of that so fast.

  11. Lauren

    Love love love this! Would you mind sharing the new paint color of your music room? In LOVE!!

  12. Andrea

    jenny – you never cease to amaze me. i never comment on anyone's blog but yours. amazing!

  13. These look amazing! And I love the sneak peeks of the other changes. I noticed the Bengal Bazaar on the daybed in your last post and couldn't wait to see it. Next I noticed the new paint in the music room AND the updated lighting in the foyer. And…and…cannot wait to see it all!

  14. I spy a Yale Shakespeare set! We just bought one of those. It's so nice to have each play in a book–so much easier than reading out of a huge anthology.

  15. Miggy

    show stopper. Looks amazing.

  16. Lauren

    Love the bookshelves! I also love the re-upholstered daybed, however I think it looks dwarfed in such a high-ceilinged room…

  17. WOWZA! Let me just pin this to my "dream home" board…

  18. Brooke

    Holy Guacamole! I am swooning over this! I am so in love with your entire house!! Fab work, as always!

  19. Kelly

    I don't think I'd ever want to leave this room! So cozy and it really shows how much you value books – so good for the kids to have this be part of their home!

  20. This is TOO good! Seriously, my dream come true. I fantasize about one day having a library with wall to wall, floor to ceiling shelving. I live in NYC now (certainly no space for a library here!) and I loved the faux built-ins that you did, so inspiring! This is really taking it to the next level. Completely obsessed!

  21. I'm so jealous over your bookshelves, The Ladder is Perfection.

  22. Herringbone floors and that amazing shelf… perfection! I have wanted a ladder and bookcase for as long as I can remember. You my friend are living the dream.

  23. Dianne

    I am dying for a full house tour!!! When, when, when?

  24. JC

    Oh nice! That is a thing of beauty! Also, did I miss something: when did you repaint the blue room? Fairly recently, I'm guessing.

  25. Tanya

    I see the music room is no longer that deep blue color!! Dang sneak peaks, haha! Can't wait to see the reveal. The bookshelves are AH-maaazing btw!!

    – Tanya

  26. love this ! I read your blog everyday, and one of our staff members spotted the book I co- wrote with my fabulous friend, bryan batt. Big Easy Style. love everything you are doing in your home! Katy

  27. love this ! I read your blog everyday, and one of our staff members spotted the book I co- wrote with my fabulous friend, bryan batt. Big Easy Style. love everything you are doing in your home! Katy

  28. GORGEOUS! It all came together perfectly!

    Angela @ Number Fifty-Three

  29. Tasha

    i'm a built-in and book junkie and this is spectacular!! Nicely done!

  30. These bookshelves are show stoppers. Absolutely gorgeous! What an entrance to come into.

  31. Would you mind showing how the bottom doors of the bookshelves open? These are very similar to what I want to do in our library. Totally love.

  32. What happened to your blue music room? Am I looking at the wrong room or do I see it in the background painted beigey/taupe? I loved that blue room!!

  33. Love the whole look! I do have a question though. We have similar thickness shelves and they tend to sag a bit in the middle if the load is on the heavier side. It may be an optical illusion but it looks like your shelves with a lot of books my be doing the same. Do you have any hint to help stop that from happening (besides not putting a lot of books on)?

  34. Kackie

    My favorite project you've done. And I love them all. Perfection, Jenny!

  35. Did ya'll paint over the blue music room?

    Love the bookshelves!

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