You have no idea how happy this makes me!
If you've known me for any period of time, you more then likely know that I have a love for old things. One of the very first treasures I found when I was 10 years old, was a book that I still have to this day.
I love old books! There is something secret, sacred, and magical, about an old book. It's like diving into the imagination of someone 150 years ago. It's fun to imagine all the hands that this book has passed through, and the places and lands one can only go to in their own world of imagination. Not to mention, books are beautiful!
Therefore, we have a lot of books! And a good majority of them are very old or unique. Josh and I always thought it would be fun to have a library, and now that we have the space, we have one! Plus, there was this one little room in the corner of the old sanctuary that was just begging to be a library... and how could we say no?!?! This will also be Josh's music room in the future, but all of his instruments are at his parents house where we had to store them.
This was the room before:
We're assuming that it was the church secretaries office or something of the sort. It had this gigantic metal desk that we had to remove the door frame just to get out. It was also the heaviest thing you could possibly imagine. I think I gave myself a hernia just helping Josh get the darn thing out! This is also why I'm assuming that they left the beast behind.
Around the windows was this super special flower wallpaper...
Kinda makes you cringe a little, doesn't it? Creepy! I mean, who knew flowers could be creepy, but seriously, these are a wee bit much.
The first order of business was to remove the wallpaper. We picked and scratched that stuff off like nobodies business! There was still a lot of paper stuck to the wall after we pulled off the pattern, but after some water and a rough sponge, we were able to scrub it all off.
We got the carpet pulled up, and yours truly discovered that vent pipes can literally fall through the floor to the room below. So we may have had a gapping hole in our floor for a few days until we were able to put it all back together again.
Also, nothing quite freaks out your husband like hearing your wife scream and things crashing down into the basement below... just sayin'.
Next was painting! I wanted the room to feel cozy. I wanted it to say 'come in, relax, read a book' and have a warm feeling. I had purchased paint for the main room, and then after getting it all home, had realized that the lighting in home depot had played horrible tricks on my eyes, and the color I had picked out was not really what I wanted. Alas, the colors just so happened to be perfect for other parts of my house! I decided to paint the ceiling a dark color, and the walls a stone gray. We took the trim from the bottom of the room, and after painting it white, we moved it up to the top of the wall. We then stole trim from what is going to be our bedroom, and used it to trim the bottom of the walls.
Then Josh laid the flooring in the room, which I must say, he did an amazing job!
It only took us two days to do these renovations, but to me, the room still wasn't 'done'. It's a library after all, where are all the books?!?
During our stint at my sisters house, where all of our things were stored in a garage that turned out to be far more moist then we thought, our previous bookshelves were no longer usable for books. We may be able to use them in another part of the house for other things, but we couldn't stack them, and the shelves were loose or saggy. So I had to come up with another idea for a bookshelf. We couldn't afford to just go buy floor to ceiling bookshelves for the whole room, and we had nothing else that would really work, so I decided to get creative.
I decided to make some rope shelves. Brackets, at least nice decorative ones, are like $8 a pop, and when you're going to need 3 for each shelf, that starts to add of quick! So I decided to go with rope! My husband that I was nuts, but I think that only made me more determined that it would work ;) I'm only slightly stubborn... ahem.
So I went to work. I bought some handles from Hobby Lobby that were 50% off, that would normally be used to dressers or cabinets, but I had other plans. Instead, I drilled them into the studs in the wall.
It didn't look like much at first, and even I was a little worried at this point that maybe this wasn't a good idea, but I had high hopes that this was going to work.
*FYI, this only works with completely metal/iron handles. If you ever decide to try this, not just any handle will work. Books are heavy, you have to make sure you get a solid and sturdy handle. I also used extra long screws, and made sure to hit the studs in the wall.
We went to the store, picked up some 6ft boards, and I got to more painting and drilling holes in the wood. I also picked up some beautiful white rope, and figured I'd use 3 ft of rope per handle. Then I got my handy dandy hubby to help, and we assembled the shelves!
My husband said he was going to 'throw some books on the shelves' now that we had a place to put them... and I about had a heart attack! You can't just 'throw' books on a bookshelf... like, NO! Yep, totally picky about it, but old books gotta look good on a shelf! So this morning, I had way too much fun, and got completely lost, unpacking books, and finding the 'perfect' spot for everything.
Yes, I'm slightly OCD, why do you ask? Tehehe!
The finished project?
Before and After: