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Shhh…we’re eating!

by habituallychic

12 . 08 . 09

I had already been working on a post about library dining rooms before I spoke to Dick Bories and James Shearron of Bories and Shearron about the room I posted yesterday which was perfect timing! They mentioned that combining the library and dining room was more of a European tradition but it looks like it’s starting to catch on here in American from these examples. I think it’s a great idea for New York apartments since space is at a premium and most people do not sit down to eat their dining rooms except on holidays. I know that I would love to not only have that much room for books but a table to spread them out on to work and some of these rooms look they also serve as an office. And as one of my readers pointed out in a comment, how lovely would it be at a dinner party if someone pulled a book off a shelf when the conversation turned literary. I guess you just have to make sure you don’t spill anything on them!

James Andrew Design

Carolina Irving Apartment

Eliza Redd Bolen via Peak of Chic

Miles Redd in House Beautiful

Bagley Mischka in Elle Decor

Nathan Turner in Domino

Diane von Furstenberg

Nate Berkus in Elle Decor

Tim Clarke

Ryan Korban
Jonathan Adler in Domino

Peter Dunham in Domino

Alberto Pinto


Comments Closed

  1. the NEO-traditionalist December 9, 2009 | 1:05 am

    Books AND food make for a VERY happy NEO-traditionalist. You always pull the most stunning array of examples—modern, traditional, neutrals, bold hues—I adore them all!
    XXXX Kate

  2. Christina December 9, 2009 | 1:21 am

    Love these photos! We had our dining room in the most recent apartment set up with bookshelves in the dining room – mixed china with books and it was awesome. It was really cozy eating in there every day!

  3. COCOCOZY December 9, 2009 | 1:34 am

    I would love to dine in one of these dining libraries! So cool.


  4. Kitty December 9, 2009 | 1:56 am

    This post really inspired me to think in a new way about my little-used dining room. Meanwhile, we’ve got entire cartographies, text books, and literature projects strewn throughout the house! As soon as my Alice in Wonderland trees come down, Hubbs is going to be building bookcases in there. Thanks a lot – really! xo kitty

  5. Suzy December 9, 2009 | 2:21 am

    All lovely examples!

  6. Ms Smart December 9, 2009 | 2:34 am

    Love books. Love a nice collection of books. Lucky to devote a room to books, ah. Libraries, great mental and creative adventures.

  7. Lona de Anna December 9, 2009 | 3:09 am

    Oh thank you for this post Dear Heather! I have had a complex about my dining/library area looking exactly like this as I felt it was never one room or the other..but nice to know that they can both sit quite nicely hand in hand and still be considered..stylish 🙂 Thanks to the Europeans…we love you 🙂

  8. Paula Grace Designs December 9, 2009 | 3:53 am

    It truly is a great way to use the space especially if space it tight and one really likes or needs both a library and a dining room ~ and yes, I agree, the books are wonderful conversation pieces!

  9. Patricia Torres December 9, 2009 | 7:04 am

    Oh my gosh.. All the images are so impressive… and is such a great idea.. Thanks for sharing these..

  10. Teresa Hatfield December 9, 2009 | 2:19 pm

    These are all so beautiful. The Tom Clark room especially caught my attention.
    I am working on a table in my living room with benches instead of chairs for just the same reason.
    I don’t know about everyone else, but the dining room, as you point out, is underused.
    I love this post and the European way of decorating.

  11. An Aesthete's Lament December 9, 2009 | 2:21 pm

    The first library/dining room I was ever in belonged to the bookseller Jane Stubbs, when she lived near Astor Place in NYC. Massive wall of books, straight to the ceiling, and a massive heirloom mahogany dining table, as I recall.

  12. Ivy Lane December 9, 2009 | 2:27 pm

    Maybe this is how book clubs were formed! Lovely post!

  13. Maureen Sullivan Stemberg, Interiors December 9, 2009 | 2:47 pm

    I am presently have made my dining into a libary.
    I found it to solve a major problem in living in the city…
    Lack of space. Plus, I love to be surrounded by ALL
    my friends. People and my books!! Love each and every photo. Lovely Post. -Maureen

  14. home before dark December 9, 2009 | 2:49 pm

    Appetizing images and on target for me. The shelves flanking my fireplace in the family room which I have turned into a dining room have been filled with china for 24 years. In the re-do: books. In five years my husband will retire and I look forward to putting our books out on the dining table, having a fire in the fireplace and letting our mind and conversations turn to books.

  15. Karena December 9, 2009 | 2:53 pm

    Wonderful images. I love to see libraries, and especially in this combination with dining space!

  16. Modern Traditionalist December 9, 2009 | 3:07 pm

    Absolutely amazing. I don’t know why the thought of combining my two loves (food + books, of course) never occured to me before! And if you don’t have a massive collection of books, you can always do what Lisa @ A Bloomsbury Life did and use bookcase wallpaper.

  17. Margy December 9, 2009 | 3:26 pm

    I’m pretty sure that last room is by hugh newell jacobsen. those are his classic egg crate book cases. much more here: http://www.hughjacobsen.com/newsite.htm

  18. ArchitectDesign™ December 9, 2009 | 4:40 pm

    The last one looks a bit like a Hugh Newell Jacobsen project. I’m not sure though.

  19. The-Countrypolitan December 9, 2009 | 5:13 pm

    Great photo examples… books breath character and life into any space, and it just makes sense in the dining room… and the full height shelves add a greater sense of volume to the spaces.

  20. Jill Seidner | Interior Design December 9, 2009 | 9:10 pm

    Hi Heather! Great post – love this idea! I agree, a great way to make use of a small space and multi-functional. The selected images featured here are inspiring! I’ve been following your blog for awhile (yet to comment til now) – but you always have such well written, interesting posts! 🙂 – Jill

  21. Evangeline December 10, 2009 | 1:52 am

    Gorgeous! Would you mind if I wrote about and linked to this post on my blog? I think my readers would love this.


  22. go boo boo December 12, 2009 | 2:35 pm

    I need a carpenter stat!

  23. Jen December 13, 2009 | 1:25 pm

    We decided to do this a few years ago to our dining room. We only eat in it a few times per year so it seemed logical to make better use of the space. Great post!

  24. elevencreative December 29, 2009 | 10:41 am

    Fantastic collection of Dining / Library rooms thank you. Interested that you say ‘more European’, as a few years ago weI had an absolute nightmare trying to find a rolling ladder for our room. Eventually we had to import the rollers from New York, and then design and have the ladders made by a local craftsmen. We have been thinking of moving a dining table in, and this has made me want to more. Great. http://www.flickr.com/photos/elevengallery/4224363881/