This library project for the kiddo is my favorite, period. I’ll be sharing more projects that we’ve done and have shared other projects, but this library will remain my favorite. It’s quite a transformation and was the most work but, it turned out perfect. This was a gift of love from us to our boyo. Let me take you on a journey thru the process of building this and a few secrets on how I cheated, to make it look very Sherlock.
We started with this room, that’s in the middle of his apartment.
The first thing that needed done, was the carpet had to come out. The kiddo has serious reactions to carpeting and all that gets trapped in carpet. (he stops breathing) We took it out before we moved in. No matter how a carpet gets cleaned or how often, it still traps an amazing amount of dirt. Every carpet I’ve ever pulled out (and there have been quite a few) I’ve always swept up at least one large black trash bag of left over dirt from underneath it. It also took 3 weeks to air out the remaining carpet powders, sprays, and cleaning products from this room before we could move the kiddo in.
Once the carpet was pulled and the room was aired out, I painted the cement floor as a temporary fix, since we needed to wait a bit before we could purchase the flooring. Next the kiddo chose this green color for the walls. Honestly, I thought it was a disaster but it was his choice so…. On a side note, if you’ve wondered what kind of paint I use because of the kiddo’s chemical sensitivities,….I’ve found that the valspar from lowes is non v.o.c. (v.o.c. means volatile offgassing compounds) Of course there are still chemicals in it, but it doesn’t irritate the kiddo as long as we allow it to air out a couple days after painting before he goes into the space.
Next the flooring went down. Whew! It’s so great to have flooring, we don’t enjoy living on cement floors. Molly and dad worked on the floor for us. Oops! no, this was the flooring being put into the kiddos bedroom, hee, hee. I don’t seem to have a picture of the flooring going into the library so, just imagine this is what happened in the library!
Another step that had to be made was, we needed to put a hole in the wall on the other side of the library so the kiddo could have access to both ends of his apartment. My dad was happy to oblige, by knocking out this hole in the wall. It’s really his favorite thing to do. (Growing up,I don’t remember a house he didn’t put a hole in some wall for) The kiddo chose the area rug, it looks really good. He doesn’t get sick from a really good quality wool area rug.
The green walls are starting to grow on me at this point. Marshmallow the cat patiently waits on construction, in a box, for what else is a cat to do?
Here’s one of my cheating tricks. We installed this paneling, because we wanted the library to look like it was very old and built in. Paneling costs can add up, so what I used was craft board that I found at home depot, in 4×2 sheets. I’m very thankful for a great friend who helped me with the rest of this project.
We screwed these pieces to the wall, knowing that we would be covering the seams with shelving boards.
We also used the same paneling for the wainscoting around the rest of the room.
Back to the bookshelf area. I used 1×6’s for the bookshelves. Most books will easily set on a 6 inch shelf. We basically made a box and put it up on the wall, securing them to the ceiling and floor.
After the boxes went up we installed the shelves. which we supported with 1×2’s on each side of the shelf, again I knew these would be hidden by the trim that we would add as the last step before painting.
This is Molly being bored with the construction.
The trim is another cheat here. Trim can be rather expensive, especially when there’s a lot needed. What I used was tongue and groove boards. Yes, they are quite thin, so when you’re installing them, you need to be careful, but once they’re installed and attached to the wall they’re solid.
The last step was paint! The kiddo wanted black. I wasn’t so sure about that, but he wanted a gothic victorian library so I acquiesced. It turned out perfect.
Once the painting was done, we added a door to the doorway and metal pieces that added to the gothic feel. I purchased all the metal pieces and door knobs on sale at 50% off over at Hobby Lobby.
The kiddo added his pieces that he’s been collecting over the years.
His books and other collections look really good up on the shelves. We had fun finding the antique chairs at a local antique store. (the century square building, on central in nob hill, in Albuquerque)
We also found this amazing little antique tea cabinet(found at the century square building). It holds his tea set, he purchased at the St James tea place in Albuquerque.
Isn’t it clever? and perfect for small spaces too.
On the other side, we found a little couch that fits well. (we found that on Amazon)
Lastly he found curtains and the lamp on Amazon. I reused the curtain rods that were here when we moved in but were on a different window.
This project has been a true joy. When we began searching for the right house, we didn’t expect to find one that would have an extra space for him like this. I’m not exaggerating when I say we searched for a year, looked at about 50 houses and drove by hundreds more. It’s very tricky trying to find the right location, right foot print for multiple family living and the right price. When we found this house, we were thrilled. I feel very blessed that we’re able to give the kiddo this space. He lives with pain every single day, that we can’t take away for him, so it’s wonderful to be able to give him this place, that gives him a bit of peace and comfort. I hope you enjoyed my favorite project!
Marshmallow the cat approves.