The one thing we have always wished that we had in our Cambridge house is a separate room to plop down and read a book. A den, a library, an office... call it what you will, basically we have always craved an inviting space to house all of our most loved books (my husband is a voracious reader) and given our small space it's just not possible. After reading this study a few years back, which basically found that kids are smarter when they grow up surrounded by books, I immediately regretted getting rid of our small literary collection when we first moved into our home ("but there is no room," I said) and now that we are getting a bigger space, you can bet I won't be making the same mistake again.
This is why my number one must have for the Costa house has now become a wall of books with a ladder to access them all. You would think this would be an easy task given the size of the house, but looking at the plans I can see that the one thing we are really lacking is wall space. This is the price you pay for having mostly glass doors in your home, and listen, it's a small price. There is one huge wall in the living room that divides the living room from the downstairs guest room and I've decided that it would be crazy to not take advantage of the height (it's about 22 feet high) and create something dramatic. Something that is part practical bookshelf and part art piece.
Enter the bookshelf with the rolling ladder.
At first I thought I wanted to go with a more traditional bookshelf, and these images above had me convinced that was the way to go, but since the ceilings are so high I feel like it wouldn't look right because you would have to stop it at around the 14 foot mark. It would also take up a lot of real estate on the floor of our already small living room, which in truth I designed to hold the Missoni sofa and not much else. I started thinking that doing something more architectural and modern may be the key, and now I'm loving the look of these two images below.
I was pretty much sold on the industrial vibe until I saw this image on Pinterest and it has me thinking, what if instead of a bookcase, I did 5 extra long floating shelves made of wood and then simply ran a metal bar over the top one so I would have a place to affix a rolling ladder? That way we would get the look and feel of a bookshelf, but we wouldn't have to give up as much floor space. The shelves themselves could start around the 6 ' or 7' foot mark and then run up to about 14' feet high. We would still have the floor space below for the sofa, and I would just have to switch the "L" part of it to make it face the bookshelves, rather than running on the wall below it. I think aesthetically it would look really cool and it would also be super functional (I could style it out with art and collectables along with our beloved books).
The actual execution of this bookshelf / art piece is far above my pay grade, so I stopped by our architect's office the other day. She seems to think it could be really cool and thinks it's definitely something that can be done. She drew out the sofa layout on our plans and for those of you who are super visual like me, this is what we are thinking.
The shelves and the ladder would run along that wall on the left and the sofa would be to the right of it. It would still give us plenty of room for furniture and because the wall looking out is glass I don't I think the space will feel too crowded. I'm not quite sure if the actual mechanics of how it will actually all be executed, but I feel like our builder will probably have some good ideas and after they are hired, you know this is going to be one of my first questions.
If any of you have ever done / or seen anything like this, please weigh in below in the comments. I feel like this is such a good space saver for small places and it's really making me rethink our non-existent library space at home. Ah, well, one house at a time. We'll always have Costa. ;) Xx
P.S. A little programing note. I won't be back to the blog until Thursday. Monday, the boys and I are flying home arriving in the middle of the night and you all know I'm going to be busy getting everyone their Gloria bags when I get home! On Wednesday, I have a quick site visit to the Cape but things should settle by the end of the week. Hopefully I will have some good progress pics to show from my visit!