Monday, July 20, 2015

Nancy Lancaster: Finding a Library to Copy

Garden Design has several first-rules-of-design, one of my favorites, COPY.  Don't take this rule, as I did for too many years, as a crutch or not unique.  Each site is unique, and, how YOU copy is unique.  End of theorem?  Copying is unique.
Moving house after 3 decades I've discovered how much my library is woven through most layers of my life.  New home has no library.  With manly help, I helped tote my boxed library to a shed behind the house.  A terrible activity.  Using Garden Design principles, the hunt has been on for types of library shelves to copy in our ca. 1900 American Farmhouse architecture home.
Nancy Lancaster,  below, is my choice.  A touch rustique, exactly how I Garden Design.

The library in the home of Nancy Lancaster, the late, legendary English country house interior designer. The library was created from an orangery, an outbuilding next to the coach house in which she lived during her last years. Her many books were housed in this stylish, yet comparatively modest space. Note the use of the tops of the bookcases to display sculpture, pottery and art. This is a well-known room to most interior designers.

Until painting my house, about 5 years ago, my library looked like this, below.  Chaos was organized because it evolved over decades.  Once painters put things as they wished, I never again found a book easily.

Ben Pentreath’s English Decoration pg. 64 #library #bookshelve #books

When a library lover says all their books are boxed, you know what it means.  A few books, for life to continue breathing at bare necessity, are in my office, below.
Table & lamp, below, in my new office, had been in my Conservatory.

Book shelves, below, were bought for my previous office.  They had been organized.

Chaos reigns.  Little did I know, packing the books from my prior office, they would become my sole library.  Probably for a year.
New library will be in the central hall, totally Nancy Lancaster, with sconces added.
Cannot wait to get the Gardening section back in order.  Until then, my feathers are not quite smooth.
Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
Top pic, here, 2nd pic, here.  Bottom pics, my office this morning.


Lori Buff said...

The author of the book “Steal Like an Artist” agrees with you, I think you may have been copying for much longer than the book has been out.

Jean Campbell said...

I was reading the latest organizing house craze, KonMari, Marie Kondo's method this weekend. I'm willing to fold my t-shirts a new way so they fit vertically in one drawer but I'm not ready to throw out a passel of books.

Anonymous said...

Oooooh-lovely books! I don't have a proper library in my old Texas farmhouse, but I do have a center room, that (all in all) is rather worthless. I've long had a vision of replacing the window w/French doors, leading to an outdoor living space. Perhaps the room itself can become a library?

You always give such good ideas - - - there are several I've coped over the years!

It is summer here - - - although hot, has not yet reached 100 degrees. That may change this week.

Have a great day/week.

Betsy Cobb Gordon said...

Looks like you've got quite a collection, I can't imagine how many gardening books you've acquired over the years.
I found the book catalogue app (free) to be very useful in keeping track of what books I own and loan out. It's super easy to use, just scan the barcodes and it's entered. I sometimes forget what books I own.
Looking forward to seeing much more of your beautiful home. What an adventure!
Betsy Gordon

Poetryqn said...

PLEASE tell me I read that wrong - having learned from experience, I am concerned for your library. Well loved books stored in sheds and basements become mouse food. Or worse, mildewed beyond repair. Even attics, though not ideal, are preferable to a humid environment. If you love your books as I think you do, please make sure they are high and dry while you search for the perfect book cases.

Ann said...

Adore Nancy Lancaster. Like her, I am a Virginian and absorbed my aesthetic from my grandmother and mother, who referred to their beautiful antiques as "early American giveaway."

Love your blog and eagerly look forward to following along as you create your new home.

P.S. Also love Ben Pentreath!

Connie in Hartwood said...

Thank you for introducing me to Nancy Lancaster. I am smitten!

In your last photo, the items you placed on the mantel and leaned against the wall are a lovely glimpse into your new world.

JudyMac said...

Love Nancy Lancaster and her rooms, but I do not like the book covers (or bindings) all being alike. Too "matchy-matchy." I much prefer the look of your old library ... well, maybe not quite so messy. :-) I'm all for a room not looking decorated. And by all means, like a previous comment stated, please keep your books out of the shed, unless it has heat and AC. Makes me cringe what might happen to the books otherwise.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

like you, a lot of my books are in boxes, waiting for "the move"...God alone knows when that'll be. meanwhile, every time I visit a thrift store or the library, I peruse their books and bring home MORE. it's an addiction but a happy one. it could always be worse and thank God it isn't.
your library brings out the covetness in me. truly beautiful, comfortable and cozy.

Dewena said...

How I felt it while reading your post. I knew it must be hard, a sacrifice not to have them handy to pull down. But it will be a delight to shelf them once again when your version of Ms. Lancaster's library is ready. And shelving them won't be a quick job, will it? You'll be introducing yourself to each other all over again.

I hope the year passes quickly for you and your books.


Come to think about it, maybe I shouldn't hope the year passes quickly. I know you will want to savor each step along the way.

fordwestondesigngroupe said...

Leather bound tomes are essential in a well curated room, library or any place their beauty can be savored. As I have aged, I find them treasures to be enjoyed over and over once again.