Longing for a library

Some dreams start early on. My dream was about books.

I grew up with books. My parents had a whole wall of shelves filled with books in each of the the two houses we grew up in. To this day my parents still have a book collection that fills a whole wall in their living room.

I always owned a lot of books, and with Cathy’s and my combined collections we can call ourselves the proud owners of a small library. For me, books make a home complete.

Back in 2009 when we bought our building, I walked into the 1st floor front parlor, looked at that large blank wall and had a vision: a wall of books. We fairly quickly began to refer to the front parlor as the library.

I looked at and measured that wall countless times as I developed the concept of built-in shelves that would liberate our book collection from their hidden existence in cardboard boxes and render them once again freely accessible.

Having the concept of built-in shelves at hand during our deep energy retrofit was very helpful and informed the remodeling process.

The shelves would sit along an exterior wall, which was also slated to accommodate a baseboard radiator. Because I did not want the radiator to end up behind the shelves, I framed out the bottom of the wall so that we could mount it in the same vertical plane as the front of the built-in shelves.

During one of my excursions to The Rebuilding Exchange, I scored an antique front panel of an old hutch with beautiful and functional doors that have the old drawn or rolled glass. I easily integrated this piece into the concept and it made for a beautiful addition to the planned shelves.

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About Marcus de la fleur

Marcus is a Registered Landscape Architect with a horticultural degree from the School of Horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Sheffield, UK. He developed a landscape based sustainable pilot project at 168 Elm Ave. in 2002, and has expanded his skill set to building science. Starting in 2009, Marcus applied the newly acquired expertise to the deep energy retrofit of his 100+ year old home in Chicago.

2 thoughts on “Longing for a library

  1. That’s going to be a handsome library! Off-topic, but why the new baseboard radiators instead of re-using the old ones (assuming they were still there in the house)?

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