Remember the plans for the wall of modern-style offset library shelves which I shared in my last post? It's finished!
We've made a quick video to show you how it all came together. Click to watch, or scroll down if you prefer to read.
We started with a blank slate: an empty room with gray trim and beautiful hardwood floors.
We worked with our customer to create a design similar to the offset shelves we feature in our gallery... only much wider.
Due to the nature of the offset design, the shelves couldn't be assembled as separate units and then shipped in. Remember when I said you can't get quality like this from mass-produced furniture? This is why. Some designs just have to be built onsite.
While I was building, we brought in an electrician to run the wiring for the integrated lights.
Here's the final view of the shelves. They really fill a wall!
The customer chose these handmade adjustable brass lights. I love the simple cone shape of the shades.
To the right of the shelves is a long built-in windowseat. It has three storage compartments which are accessible via flip-top lids. The homeowner plans to use one of these compartments to store her router and modem out of sight.
We painted the shelves a warm gray to match the existing trim, and the final effect is elegant yet inviting.
If you've always wanted your own personal library, now is the time to get started. Send us your ideas... we'll be glad to talk to you!
Many of the libraries you see in decorating magazines have built-in shelves in a fairly traditional design: box-like cases with the shelves in square patterns like a tic-tac-toe game.
I'm currently working on a project that's a little bit different: a wall of shelves in an offset pattern like a string of beads. Here's the mockup I drew for the project, with a person for scale:
My clients just bought a home with an extra room that is currently a blank canvas. All the room has are some big empty walls and a window looking out into the garden.
This graduated effect draws the eye upward and makes the bookcase look taller.
The new bookcase will be much wider, of course. The white shelves shown above are only six feet wide, while these shelves will be fourteen feet in length! I had to buy some really long boards.
You simply can't buy library shelves like this from an online store. How would they ship it??
No, it has to be built onsite. And since we're building it onsite, we're adding a bonus: a built-in windowseat to let their dog sit in the window and look out into the garden.
Stay tuned... I'm about halfway through the project, and the shelves should be done soon. They look fantastic even before the final touches!
And meanwhile if you have a big empty wall to fill, give us a call. We'll build and design a unique solution that you just can't buy online.
My wife, who loves blogs about interior design, stumbled across this article in which noted designer Leta Austin Foster described the essential elements of timeless interiors.
I was intrigued by Foster's comments about using local artisans:
Look around at your local craftsmen – there are so many good ones. You need to give them small things to do at first, learn how accomplished they can be, and then use them. Why would you order furniture from a catalogue – no matter how beautiful that catalogue may be – and then have to settle for furniture made half a world away with staples and glues which may well be poisonous. Buy local.
Yes! Furniture is like food: you often get a better quality when you buy locally from someone you know.
And believe it or not, the cost of furniture made right here in Asheville can be comparable to what you'd pay for the stuff stamped out by a factory on the other side of the world.
Why? Because you don't have to ship it thousands of miles, and there are no CEOs or stockholders to pay.
Besides, do you want your furniture to come from here?
I also appreciated this gem from Foster:
Forget your fear of brown furniture. Most antiques are brown furniture and the brown looks wonderful when it is contrasted with painted furniture, and chintz, and wallpaper, and beautiful curtains and rugs and so on and so on and so on. Look at Winterthur or the Metropolitan Museum and see how masterfully print fabrics and beautiful rugs, and painted furniture look with brown furniture.
It's amazing that so-called "brown furniture" went out of style even for a moment, when you consider how beautiful wood can be with a clear finish. You can see so much depth and pattern and light within the grain! I'm glad to hear it's at the forefront of the trend again.
I still appreciate furniture with modern lines, but I love to see it mixed in with classic designs like our mudroom cubbies.
And whether you love the fresh lines of modernism or the timeless appeal of traditional style, we'll be glad to help you design a piece for your home.
That's the other reason to buy local: you can...
I'm Arthur Teel, a craftsman who builds custom furniture in Asheville, North Carolina. Give me a call to talk about your next project!