Leather Styles For Library Rooms. Traditional, comfortable and warm, this style improves with age suits almost every room in the home.
Think of country house libraries rooms where you can pen a love letter, dream in front of an wet afternoon, doze off under a newspaper; curl up on a comfortable aold leather sofa with a night cap poured from a crystal decanter. Libraries are definitely rooms for relaxing places for contemplation rather than action and the furnishings reflect this.
Library influences also come from gentlemen’s clubs with their well polished heavy wooden furniture and floor to ceiling bookcases, often with beautiful glazed and leaded light fronts filled with beautifully bound leather books. Then there are deep, roomy leather armchairs trimmed with decorative brass studs that give both privacy and comfort. Brass is also much in evidence in freside accessories and decorative lighting.
But perhaps the focal point of the traditional country house library is the Davenport style desk with its tooled leather top. Charles Dickens sat in a smoker’s chair at such as a desk in this study at Gads Hill Place, where he wrote ‘Great Expectations’, ‘Our Mutual Friend’ and ‘Tale of Two Cities’.
PATTERN AND COLOUR
Pattern is mainly confined to walls, which may be covered with striped, flocked, or marbled papers or dragged and sponged paint finishes in dark colours. Curtains and some upholstery may have tapestry, paisley or country house chintz designs in rich glowing colours. Oriental rugs are also a feature and brighten plain wall to wall carpeting or plain polished floorboards. Colours are warm and inviting; soft rich reds, olive and bottle greens, deep sapphire blues all the colours used traditionally in old craftsman made leather book bindings.
Study – warm and inviting
The classic library look: the rich colour of traditional yew wood furniture blends well with an antiqued red leather upholstered chair and plum fabric covered walls. Dark, rich prints at the window also help this room to feel warm and comfortable.
Living room – masculine
Book lined alcoves and brown painted walls make this large room feel warm and inviting. The natural sisal carpet and the mirror above the mantelpiece which reflects the white ceiling and glossy walls help to lighten this dark sophisticated scheme.
Living room – feminine
The library look can also be a feminine one. Here, striped wallpaper blends in with the soft geometric fabric of the curtains and tablecloths. The pleated skirts of the side tables and the full tailored curtains with their softly pleated swags contrast with the more formal tails and the largely plain upholstery fabrics.
A group of horsy oil paintings hung symmetrically above a writing desk gives a living room corner the right air.
Bedroom – tailored
A tailored bedspead and strong colours gives this bedroom with its own study corner a comfortable, masculine feeling.
ACHIEVING THE LOOK
Bargains in genuine Regency and Victorian kneehole desks, bookcases and military furniture are scarce but good quality reproduction examples abound in yew, mahogany, gaolden oak. Seating is mostly high backed wing chairs or chesterfields upholstered in buttoned leather. Ideally, beautiful leather bound books should be stored in glass fronted bookcases to keep out the dust. But open shelves can be built into alcoves either side of a chimney breast and combined with neat cupboards below.
Windows should be dressed with generous curtains or blinds that provide plenty or shade to protect prints and book bindings and give a luxurious warm look. Walls can be covered in dark papers or softly sponged. Good, soft lighting is also essential decorative brass oil lamps fit the mood while shelves and bookcases can incorporate discreet built in display lighting. Leather trimmed accessories, racing or botanical prints and old maps add atmosphere. Handsome brass and leather club fenders and fire accessories make the fireplace a real focal point.
Line and shape
Furniture is substantial, usually made of rich wood; seating is upholstered in dark buttoned leather. A brass upholstery tack trim is characteristic.
Fabrics and trimmings
Combine dark, jewel rich colours with luxurious textures in velvet combined with flamestitch and stylized floral cotton fabrics. Add thick fringes to cushions and use rope tiebacks for curtains.
Desk lamps with heavy, opaque shades throw a bright, concentrated pool of lightwhich is characteristic of this look. Both the lamps shown here are adjustable, to throw light exactly where it is needed. Wall brackets are also typical. Brass is an essential ingredient, so choose brass lamps, fenders and companion sets.
Most library accessories are functional as well as decorative. Crystal decanters, cigar and cigarette boxes, lighters and brass carriage clocks are all typical. Chess sets, card games and high quality writing accessories, ranging from pen and pencil holders to decorative blotters, inkwells and antique looking globes adorn desk tops.