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Sixth House Renovation Plan - The Library

Happy Tuesday (or happy whatever day you're reading this)! In the last post we started talking about the changes I am planning for our sixth house. When we toured the sixth house I called today's room the Study/Living Room and I want to turn this room into a library. We had our first real library in our Grosse Pointe House (the fourth house) and we loved that room. Having a library in our home feels like us now. We included a library in our Holland house (the fifth house) and since then we have amassed even more books. I took several books from my parents library after my dad died that held strong memories from growing up. The books had been in storage until we moved here. Included in those books is the old Encyclopedia Britannica set that my brothers and I used for all of our school research reports before, gasp, the internet. My younger daughter loved those books and looked at them as an extension of her grandfather, Mike, and begged us to keep them. Also, my sister-in-law, who has phenomenal taste, told me I should take them so sure enough, we did. All that said, we need some shelving around here!

The room we are talking about today is to the left of the front door. Right now the hall closet takes a big chunk out of this room and there is a large cased opening from the front hall that is about eight feet tall and seven feet wide. Needless to say, the room does not offer a lot of wall space to accommodate shelving and furniture.


As a reminder, here are listing photos of the room. In the first photo, you can see the hall closet protruding into the room on the right edge of the picture and in the second picture you can see the back of the closet and the large opening into the entryway.

The wall opposite the window in the photo above (visible in the first listing photo above) is shared with the room I called the Sitting Room/Den in the full tour of the house.

I knew I wanted to make these changes to this room:

  1. remove the hall closet

  2. center the opening from the entryway into the room

  3. reduce the height of the opening from the entryway into the room from eight to seven feet

  4. reduce the width of the opening from the entryway into the room from seven to four feet

  5. open the wall to the "sitting room/den" for better flow with a matching seven foot by four foot cased opening

Here are my initial drawings of revisions to this room. I made these before we even moved in based on the blueprints we found during the inspection:

Ideally I would have wanted to have two walls of shelving, one on the wall with the centered window (the front of the house) and one on the opposite wall that would lead into the sitting room/den. This is not possible, however, without losing or moving the window in the corner (of the wall opposite the opening from the entryway). Because of this, I thought it would be best to put the shelving on the wall where the closet had been (still is right now) and the front wall surrounding the window.

Although I was sure I wanted to address my list above, I didn't love the layout I first put together and after moving in and considering furniture placement, I changed my design a bit to put the shelving on the wall where the closet had been and on the opposite wall, the one with the awkward corner window. Here is my next set of drawings with details of the book shelve walls.

This is (sort of) what the shelves would look like on the wall leading to the entryway:

This is how the shelves would have to be built to work around the corner window and for furniture placement, decorative millwork detail excluded lol:

Here are the drawings of the room with my design ideas from Brenda Parker, our architect.

Here is another way to look at it with the listing pictures marked up to show the changes:

For the last point of reference, here are the changes marked up on the original blueprints:

Someday, not sure what day, there will be "after" photos of these plans that show how the lines on paper became reality, hopefully not altered too much because of said reality.

Next time I will move into the sitting room/den behind the library. I hope to see you there.

Thank you for exploring the library with me,




Hi, I’m Kerry, a true lover of all things home design.  Thank you for stopping by to check in on the journey.  Please feel free to reach out to me, I love to talk design!

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