Our New Bookcases and Library Ladder


Do you know who the sexiest movie hero is?

That’s right. THE BEAST.


Belle was one lucky lady. Well, until he turned into that prince…

But before that, she received the best gift in the world. That library. I covet it.

I decided I must have a piece of her dream, even if it is on an itty bitty scale.

My husband and I collect books. Lots and lots of books. We will come home with bags full of beautiful paper time machines giddy with excitement.

My husband also collects comic books.

We ran out of storage long ago.


Our house is 1830 square feet (that 30 is important! ; ) ). Half of our formal living room is lined with books. Eventually we are going to have to build them all the way up the walls.


Our house is small, but it came with high ceilings and weird little square niches everywhere.


Welcome to the early nineties!


We hired our carpenter to build us bookcases in two of our niches. This should solve our problem this year. Maybe next year we will tackle the job of the formal living room…



We also splurged on a library ladder. Because… Do I really need a reason? I mean, just look at it. LOVE. Best purchase ever.

I have been stalking craigslist and eBay for the last four years looking for a reasonably priced library ladder. I am still kicking myself for not snagging one during the Borders Bookstore liquidation sale.

But I never found one. I finally just gave in and purchased a library ladder kit. I am really happy with it. We upgraded to oil rubbed bronze hardware and maple wood. It was fun to be able to customize our options. This was much cheaper than a fully completed library ladder. But it was still a huge splurge. We stained and installed this ourselves.


Paul and his brother Chris, from Vrieling Woodworks (they also did our baseboards) built and installed the bookcases.


We are so pleased with the final result. I keep pinching myself, because it truly is a dream come true.

Do you like to read? Are you a hoarder of books?

I shared this on Savvy Southern Style

And My Romantic Home

33 thoughts on “Our New Bookcases and Library Ladder

  1. Hi Jenni. You are now officially my library hero 🙂 What a great purchase and use of space. All the time I visit these fancy houses with their huge libraries and I look at their ladders and think how heavenly it would be to have one.

    Library ladders are just the coolest. I live in a 70’s style house with big square rooms with no alcoves or anything. Our books invade everywhere. The bookcases are 2 books and in some places 3 books deep. Our coffee table is groaning under the books. Yes they may look a bit messy in between tidy ups but it is so nice just to have books around.

    When we eventually move to an older quirky house in the country, library ladder potential will be one of several things I have in mind.

    For now though, well done, you’re living the dream 🙂

    • Thank you! We are now full! Those bookcases are two deep. And I cannot fit anymore. We just went to the library book store and purchased eleven books for $7. We do not need anymore. We always donate a large bag at the end of the year. It is time to start pruning!

      I think your house sounds lovely. I would rather be in a house full of books, than rather, well… Anywhere.

      There is nothing better! I hope your week is full of marvelous possibilities!


    • Thank you! I appreciate it! I think character in a home is the most important feature. So, thank you! Thank you!

      I also appreciate you taking the time to write a note! Have a great day!


  2. I mentioned it over at Young House Love, but I just love the way you’ve used your space and embraced the area! The shelves are gorgeous, but of course the main star is the books and they look great around your space!

    • Christa,

      Thank you! You are so sweet! I very much appreciate the kind words. I think with small homes, you have to make the most of what you got. : )

      I am so glad that you see that! I hope you have a wonderful night!


    • Thank you! You are so kind to stop by and leave me a note. I very much appreciate it! I hope you find a home with tall ceilings! They are very prevalent here in Southern California. As are those weird niches. It took me ten years to figure out what to do with them! : )

      Have a lovely week! And thanks again!


  3. Oh Jenni! It’s fabulous!!! Wowie Zowie!!!

    We used to have lots of books until we moved around the country for 2 years and I just couldn’t take lugging them around. I got my books down to 3 book boxes. We’ve been back in LA for a few years and they are creeping back up in numbers. lol

    Have you watched any Downton Abbey lately? Because that picture of you on the library ladder and looking at the camera – you look like a blonde Lady Mary! Just beautiful!

    • Hi Cynthia!

      Awww. You are so sweet! I have not had a chance to watch Downton Abbey yet. We are just finishing Breaking Bad. I definitely need to get on it! Thank you for the reminder!

      Wow! Three boxes! That is amazing! I should probably do that. But I have a hard time letting go. Hmmmm. Sounds like I am a hoarder. Well, that’s because I am! ; )

      I hope you get to collect more! I love to buy ours at the used bookstore and our library also sells used books. In fact, I want to do a post soon on the best prices and places to buy books. It is a passion of mine!

      Tank you so much for commenting! Have a splendid Wednesday!


  4. I am so jealous! This really is the sexiest library ever… and makes me wish even more that we lived down the road from each other. Because then you’d have me over all the time – I wouldn’t be any bother, I’d just sit quietly curled up in a corner and read. You have the most amazing house, so full of personality and books… but yeah, I know what you mean, we all have to purge now and then! Books make a house so warm… 🙂 If I visit a house with no books, it makes me nervous, haha! 🙂

    • Thanks Gwen! You would be welcome any old time! You would definitely like the books on the shelves too. I finished that series, “The Assassins Apprentice.” I did not like it as much as my husband and sister did. I just started “Blood Song.” It has great reviews. Have you read it?

      I hope your play is going splendidly!


  5. I cannot imagine a more perfect use of that space. Just gorgeous!! That has just gone on my must have list for my next house. So inspiring.

    • Awww. Thanks! I so appreciate that. I wish you were here to see it! What happened to us living next door to each other? The dreams of youth…


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    • Ha! Thank you so much! I appreciate that, especially since it is somewhat of a disaster right now. I had some friends over yesterday and I was teaching them how to cook something and I still have one more batch of dishes left to do! But it was so much fun! Thank you for your kind words! I try very hard to make my house a home that is comfy and people want to hang out in. Thank you so much!

      Have a terrific weekend!


    • Hi Heather! Thank you! I adore library ladders in the kitchen. I had thought about it before I did this. If/when you do it, please let me know. I love to look at other people’s projects!

      Thank you for commenting and have a lovely week!


    • Thank you Casey O! They are my favorite thing in my house right now. We use the ladder more than I really thought that we would. I am so happy that you like it!

      Have a fantastic day!


    I am so obsessed with books. I have a problem. This is so beautiful!! I wish we had tall enough ceilings to do something like this- we are in a full scale remodel in our house and one of the bedrooms will get to be my office/craft room/library. Definitely doing a full wall of bookshelves, and even though our ceilings are only 8 feet tall, I am getting a ladder. Whatever 😛

    • Thank you Tatiana! Full house remodel?! Sounds scary and exciting! How fun! Eight foot ceilings should be high enough. Right? At the very least, it will be cheaper. And that is always my favorite thing! I am glad to meet a fellow book lover! And jealous of your whole room of books you are soon to have! There is nothing better!

      Have a beautiful weekend!


  9. Your niche library and ladder look terrific! I now wish I had niches. I am a fellow book hoarder – just love them and hate to let them go. So I started buying mostly paper backs as I seem to be able to part with them easier (but not always).
    I just discovered books at Goodwill – hard cover books are rarely more than $3.49 and they have pretty current titles. In the process, I discovered a new to me author, Daniel Silva, who has a series of “spy” books about a spy who is also an art restorer. Art and espionage? I’m in heaven. I am over run with books and need to purge but it isn’t easy.Oh well, not such a bad vice to have.
    I have no place currently for it but I lust after your beautiful library ladder – I have always wanted one. Where did you get the kit?
    An inspired use of space and really attractive

    • Hi Victoria!

      Thank you! And it is nice to meet a fellow book hoarder. I buy mostly hardcover books. My secret is the library bookstore. Check around you to see if your library has one. Their books can be as low as a quarter. Also, once a year, our library does fill a bag with books for $3. I scored 60 books for $12! You might want to check that out, too.

      The kit link is listed in the different color in the post. Just click on it and it will take you there.

      I hope you get your library ladder and your year is filled with beautiful books! So exciting! Thank you so much for commenting! Have a wonderful night!


  10. Wow!! My book loving husband would love this…complete with the ladder of course! What a wonderful idea! We too often get books by the bag at library book sales, etc and are rapidly running out of bookcase space. 🙂

    • Hi Liz!

      Thank you so much! Books are just the best, as evidenced by the huge pile on both my husband and my bedside tables. I cannot imagine life without them!

      Please let me know if you decide to do it! It is our favorite thing in our little house!

      Have a great Sunday!


    • Hi Melina!

      Thank you! Hey! Hanging on the wall would work! You would actually be surprised how much use it gets. I estimate we were able to fit three hundred books up there. It was a great splurge.

      Please let me know if you ever take the plunge! I am always happy to meet a fellow book lover!

      Have a lovely Sunday!


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