Maggie Molly and Emily all play piano. A portrait of the three girls at the piano and the instrument itself were the inspirations for this redecorated space.
Steven used the same molding on the bookshelves that is on the windows to add to the authentic feel. The baseboard that wraps around the room continues along the bottom of the bookcase as well.
"We worked to create a bookcase that looks as if it's always been there," Sandra says.
A rolling ladder enhances the cozy library atmosphere while allowing access to books on higher shelves. The red oak ladder pushes in, flush against the shelves, when it's not in use. When needed, it pulls out at an angle for easier climbing.
Once the bookcase was complete, Sandra had the piano moved in front of it. The combination of extensive book collection and sophisticated instrument works perfectly together.
Sandra also created a comfortable seating area. The portrait of the girls hangs over the new sofa and echoes the warm color palette. The walls are painted a creamy gold, topped with a rich glaze. The rug's red and chocolate tones are repeated in pillows on the sofa and armchairs.
Antique stools are used as side tables next to the chairs, and matching apothecary lamps provide reading light. Lamps made from vintage balusters sit on either side of the sofa. Sandra positioned an antique console table, topped with simple accessories, in front of the large window.
The end result is so enticing that it's hard to believe the room was once so empty. "We never went in there before," Gwen says. "Now, the girls go in there to read or do homework or play the piano. Somebody is in there almost all the time."
Decorator was Sandra Lynn, Lynn Allen Design, Birmingham, 205-870-1381; carpenter was Steven Coletta, Birmingham, (205) 602-7758; wall, trim, and bookcase paint color is Warm Patina (SW 1401) by Sherwin-Williams ( Note: Wall paint is also topped with a glaze); library ladder from Putnam Rolling Ladder, Co., Inc., New York, (212) 226-5147 or www.putnamrollingladder.com.
This article is from the March 2005 issue of Southern Living.