Well-considered open and concealed shelving
The table draws you into the beautiful chaos of paper, colour, and book matter. Open shelving creates library-like exposure and honours a collection of favourite classics. 1 Well-considered open and concealed shelving Shelving is interior architecture: Whether you choose custom, built-in, millwork cabinets, or a more modular approach, it’s key to provide enough space to accommodate your life. Even if you’re not an avid reader, you will most definitely find things to fill the space over the years. Consider whether you want shelves for display, or if it’s a more pressing priority for you to create concealed storage to hide your belongings. Are you an antiquist (or junkist) who celebrates the object, or a minimalist who celebrates clean space? When left to my own devices, I prefer a bit of both: Art books are meant to be admired, but I keep my paperbacks, cookbooks, and Breastfeeding for Dummies in cabinets.
Diamond-paned leaded windows let in a flood of light across neatly stacked art books. 2 Something salvaged I love to search through architectural salvage shops for old doors, shutters, flooring, and double-paned windows (make sure you add a UV film to protect your furnishings from the sun). Salvaged goods can add great patina, and are often much more interesting—and sometimes even lower priced—than new items on the market. If your doors and moldings are standard-issue, try painting them a glossy black to add gravitas, or hunt for a magnificent old door-knocker and an oversize knob. Reclaimed wood flooring is a great option in new spaces; not only are you recycling, but you’re getting something perfectly worn in, which will make the house feel unique.
In this Gramercy town home dating from 1846, intrictae original moldings merge with a black and white pineapple wallpaper. A flash of red high gloss paint on the ceiling and front door has the effect of bright red lipstick on a megawatt smile. 3 Distinctive molding Often thought of as an ornate element, molding actually serves a utilitarian purpose—it’s traditionally used as a Band-Aid to cover the inevitable shifting between floors and walls, or poor workmanship. Wood flooring naturally expands and contracts seasonally, so it usually needs about half an inch variance from where it hits the walls, which molding covers. Ceilings are rarely level, so both houses and apartment buildings shift constantly. Applying horizontal molding can disguise this. Molding is worth the splurge. It’s an almost essential fixture if you want to use wallpaper, and it makes a house look infinitely more “finished.” And from a style point of view, unless your home is deliberately ultramodern, the absence of moldings produces the sad effect of a suit without a belt.