Sunday, January 4, 2009

Progress on the Library

One thing we really looked forward to during our entire house hunt and particularly after we found (and then bought) Chateau Papillon was building a library.  I've got nearly 2,000 books (a collection which grows daily at times, it seems), and ever since moving to northern Virginia, most have had to live in cardboard boxes.  Beth has several hundred more herself; I haven't inventoried hers yet, though.

In Blacksburg, I built a set of custom bookcases for my loft, sized for the loft's rear knee wall (just over six feet high--the roof slanted down across it) and for my books (with special shelves 12" deep, and several at perfect heights for paperbacks and others for hardcovers, and yet others for various oversized books).  Even with those, plus my two large bookcases and seven (yes, seven!) smaller 4' tall shelf units, I was even then starting to see book "crowding."

So for Chateau Papillon, we planned to build floor-to-ceiling shelving, making a true library for all those books.  Before moving in, we got the painting done in the library--a nice teal color--though I did leave the ceiling still lavender (I tired of ceiling painting pretty quickly after my home office), with plans to put up tin ceiling tiles instead.  But that's where the library has been for weeks now.

John nailing down bamboo flooring planks
Finally, today I got to work on reflooring the library.  Like the master bedroom and my home office, there had been a lot of damage to the original hardwood floors: paint spills by a former owner or tenant, and many staple and nail holes from the carpet which had been there under the prior owner's tenure.  No problem; we'd ordered enough bamboo to cover all three of those rooms.  I just hadn't had time yet to tackle the library.

The floors are (almost) done now; I've only a few specially-cut strips along the entry side of the room to install.  See those stacks of boxes in the background?  Those are our books, aside from a couple of cartons at the very top.  Between these boxes and a few of cookbooks in the basement, all told there are just under 40 cartons of books awaiting their shelves!

I've got Friday off next week, so I plan to get to work on doing the first two walls' worth of shelves (along the entry wall, where I stood to take this photo; and along the right-hand wall to the window, below it, and then up the other side).  More to come... it will be nice to get those books unpacked!

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