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Planning Our Dream Library Wall

For as long as I can remember The Bavarian and I have been talking about adding a library or at least a library wall to our home. Long before we ever had a home of our own or even shared a flat, a library was one thing we agreed on that had to be part of the long term plan. We both read a lot and in completely different genres, meaning there is no overlap, meaning A LOT of books. With our eldest being a keen reader and the younger two big fans of browsing books or having stories read aloud, the children have amassed quite a collection of books now too.

Back in November we sorted out our cookery book issue by building a bookshelf in the kitchen. I’m planning a tutorial post on this but to give you an idea of what we did here, we basically used a tall Ikea bookshelf we already had to make a corner bookshelf running from one window to the other. It makes a huge difference to the kitchen and I find myself browsing the cookbooks now more than ever.

What’s great too is that it has given us the motivation to get started on a bigger bookshelf project – our dream library wall. As soon as we viewed our current home, almost 8 years ago now, we decided the dining room would be our library and that plan has stuck. I say dining room because that is what it served as for the previous owners. To us it has always been the playroom. For the past year the children haven’t really played there, preferring their rooms or the livingroom, so we are seizing the opportunity.

There’s one long wall that we can use floor to ceiling for shelving, which should be sufficient. At the moment we have about half that amount of shelving in the livingroom but it is overflowing with books. And that’s just our main ones. The childrens books are strewn all round the house. My craft books are in the craft room and The Bavarian’s many, many books specific to his many, many hobbies are shelved in his hobby room.

Over the past few weeks we’ve been pinning pictures, discussing colours, layout and style and we think we are on to a winner now. As with the kitchen project, we’ll be using existing Ikea IVAR shelving. We have had these shelves longer than most of our joint possessions and I have gone through phases of hating how basic they look. They really are very versatile and that is a big plus. Now that I have seen how well they look in the kitchen, re-arranged and painted, I am itching to get cracking on the library wall project.

My dad’s new library wall, another source of inspiration.

We’ve already begun clearing out the playroom, a massive job in itself involving a lot of convincing the youngest that he really doesn’t need a broken remote control car or those bits of junk from inside Kinder Eggs (please never give my children Kinder Eggs). 

In lieu of a project plan for our library wall, here is a list of what needs doing:

  • Remove toys and wall maps from playroom to children’s bedrooms, making sure to do a clear out in the processes
  • Move my desk into the livingroom
  • Paint the playroom walls white
  • Dismantle the livingroom bookshelves, storing the books neatly away behind the sofa
  • Dust the shelf elements and paint (2-3 coats, sanding between coats)
  • Paint wooden trim to match shelves
  • Remove skirtingboard from wall
  • Assemble painted shelves and attach to wall
  • Affix wooden trim above shelves to meet ceiling
  • Choose and mount new ceiling light fitting
  • Fill the shelves with books
  • Re-arrange furniture and lamps in livingroom and library to create cosy reading area

Pop by and follow our library wall progress on Instagram stories over the coming weeks to see how we get on.

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13 thoughts on “Planning Our Dream Library Wall

  1. Oh I cannot wait to see this. I have always toyed with the idea of a library wall, sometimes I want it in the sitting room, other times I want it on our landing where we already have a large bookshelf. One of these days……

    1. We are both really excited about this project. It is usually me who has to convince the Bavarian to make any changes round the house but this time he’s all for it. I’ll let you know how we get on so you can start planning yours 😉

    1. Thanks Pia. My dad wanted to create a bookshelf around that doorway for over 20 years before he actually got round to it. It was wort the wait though. It completes the room.

  2. I will be following this all very closely as our playroom also doubles up as my home office, however the kids prefer to play in their rooms or the main living room these days. I think it would serve better with my work space at one side and a sofa/TV at the other side where the kids can hang out with their friends when they’re older. But I do need a large shelving unit for my books and to add a bit of character to the room!

    1. Sounds like a good plan Keira. I love being able to be flexible with how we use our home, adapting to the children getting older.

  3. HA!! You’re FINALLY doing it!!!!!! I saw the update on IG and I felt really pleased for you! You’ve been going on about a library wall since I began reading your blog! So lovely that it’s finally coming to fruition. Can’t wait to see the finished article. Cx #HomeEtc

    1. Yes we very much are. Painting has come to a standstill because of bad light in the evenings but come Friday I’ll be back in my diy duds and painting away!

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