Libraries speak to their owners’ tastes more accurately than any other living spaces. Not unlike the selection of books on the shelves, the woodwork, furnishings and design of this place of study and reflection can tell us a lot about the owners. The folks at Arcadia Custom Homes and Renovations understand this: They set out to recreate the library in this Waxhaw home in a way that would reflect their clients’ sense of class while also providing a quiet place for these book lovers to dive headlong into their impressive collection.
The space is a relatively compact 14 by 19 feet, but the intricate turn-of-the-century woodworking creates a cozy Victorian ambiance that comforts rather than cramps. The room feels extraordinarily open for a library of this size because of the opening of the level above. The second story can be accessed via the the mahogany spiral staircase in the alcove, a floor plan choice which maximizes space on the first floor. The custom mahogany rail, with its decorative iron pickets, encircles the space above, separating the second level library visually from the study-like space below. The red marble-tiled fireplace and the sleepy leather reading chairs ensure that what might have seemed a sterile place of research remains very much a space for living, in a home.
To completely realize a kind of auxiliary room that’s rather uncommon in modern homes, the homeowners required a century-old look. The resulting space embodies their wishes perfectly — an old room that’s new for them. Thanks to Arcadia Homes and interior designer Barbara Fisher, they have a relaxing space that’s timeless, an old study that appears to have housed beloved books for generations…and lots of freshly finished wood. In the worst-case scenario, the exquisite beauty of the design distracts from one’s reading.