I hired a local company called Classy Closets to build and install the insanely huge shelves (they are over 16' tall!). I learned about the locally-owned company first when I was helping my friend Caitlin Wilson work on a show house for the Street of Dreams in Gilbert. Show homes are a great way to discover local companies and I saw Classy Closets' work and was super impressed.
They were wonderful to work with them from the get-go. They have amazing in-house designers that can take care of everything if that's what you need/want, but they also love to collaborate with designers. They also offer trade pricing or commissions, which ends up being really helpful for big projects like this one, though I will say their pricing is incredibly fair for the great, fast work they do. And actually, Classy Closets is offering a huge give away right now for a $2000 worth of custom cabinetry (they do everything from closets to kitchens)!
So the basic process was I came up with a few drawings and then worked with their production designer to finalize the dimensions and the plan. There were some pretty big tweaks to what I initially wanted because of the vintage library ladder I was asking them to incorporate in the design. The design team was amazingly detailed and careful about the ladder and how and where to install the rod to make the ladder run as smooth as possible.
Let's back up a little though and savor the project reveal! :) If you'll remember, we had a big empty wall here before. We pulled off the old moulding, had an electrician move the wiring up to where the library lights would be, patched the walls and holes with drywall mud, and then primed and painted the whole thing the color of the bookshelves (Ben Moore's Chantilly Lace).
Once the shelving design had been finalized, it only took a couple of weeks for the Classy Closets crew to build the cabinetry. The installation took almost two full days for an entire team though! This was a huge project and they were wonderful craftsmen. I couldn't have been happier with the work they did - clean and efficient.
At the end of the second day, the library ladder track was installed. I chose an iron rod to match the hardware on the rollers of the ladder. I thought about doing brass to match the lighting (which was a sale find at Restoration Hardware) and the large ring pulls (which are from Liz's Antique Hardware), but I like how the metals and finishes mix.
The ladder, which was a $250 Craigslist find (apparently inherited from a famous race car driver in California? Here's the back story there.), runs as smooth as butter. It's hard to not hop on for a ride a few times a day! :)
It's pretty amazing that we have all of our books in one place finally. Even in Brooklyn, we ended up having to store some books in other rooms. But having this much storage space is completely amazing.
We did my trick of organizing by genre and then very loosely by color. And then I just added in a few little containers here and there to break things up a bit.
These built-ins are such a big part of our home now. We all love spending time in the library. It feels homey and cozy and comfortable. A big thank you to Classy Closets for being so generous to me with their time and with their designer discount. I am happy to have found another great local resource! And locals, don't forget to enter the $2000 master closet redo give away here.