Designer Lori Shaw gives her family of bookworms a dedicated home library
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Photos courtesy of Heather Ison Photography

Designer Lori Shaw has a reputation for bold, unapologetic use of color, but she made her biggest personal statement earlier this year inside her own 8,000-foot home. She transformed her sitting room into a library for her “household of bookworms.” Now her 11-year-old son Zack and 8-year-old daughter Emma have a corner of floor-to-ceiling bookshelves stocked with favorites like Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Baby-Sitters Club, and the whole family has a quiet place to unwind together.

Come Together: The home’s previous owner had divided the 27-by-13-foot room into two separate areas for a dining table and a piano. To create one cohesive space, Shaw found two hand-painted runners at Krazy for Rugs and attached them with carpet tape to create one large rug. She painted the walls, baseboards, and crown molding in Sherwin-Williams’ Billiard Green, installed two faux beams along the full length of the ceiling, and created a feature wall with mural wallpaper from Milton & King.

Highs & Lows: Even though the room had high ceilings and four archways, Shaw wanted low furniture that invited people to curl up with a book. She found an orange tufted Mario Bellini sectional, two red side tables at Golden Oldies Antiques in High Point, and a charcuterie table that she converted into a chess table. She also stacked books and arranged some vertically, letting the floor serve as a shelf.

Faux Features: Shaw found a white fireplace mantel on Facebook Marketplace and painted it a glossy black, but decided it needed some texture and a bit more pizzazz so she painted it gold. She filled the firebox with bronze tile panels from Lowe’s and adhered wood coasters that she found on Etsy to give the illusion of firewood.

Thoughtful Accents: A gallery of vintage frames by Atelier by Sienne Ray adds some visual interest to the deep green walls. Shaw leaned mirrors and framed artwork against the walls along the floor to keep the space from feeling too formal and added playful touches like lion book ends and a “library due stamp” sign on the wall.

New Order: Shaw found a set of budget-friendly bookshelves at IKEA and painted them Billiard Green to match the walls. A five-light brass chandelier from Hudson Valley Lighting Group complements the brass drapery rods that support the library ladder, which Shaw found at World Market.

Light On: Shaw admittedly went a bit “crazy” on lighting. In addition to the chandelier, she installed recessed lights, shelf lamps, and floor lamps at the desk and in each reading nook. “At night, I love coming in here without the overhead lighting on,” she says. “You’ve got light to read, but you still have this great, warm gold glow.”

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