Thursday, August 4, 2011

19th Century Inspired Library.


  In the Victorian days a Library in a private home was a pretty common thing. The Library was  considered to be a man's room. Now, don't get your self in an up-roar,  That is not my  feelings, but was the norm, of the early to late ,1800's society.Women had no rights to vote, very few were educated past high school and that was just the way the world was back then. Because the library was consider to be a man's room, it was usually more masculine in appearance. Darker colors, heavy wood, leather and often stuffed animal trophies were hung around and about. The library was usually on the second floor above the dining room, which was also considered a man's room. After the evening mean, the ladies would retire to the parlor, while the men would stay behind and smoke,cuss,drink and tell wild stories. So it just makes sense to consider the dining room, a man's room. In the library the man of the house would do his paper work, pay bills  and read his  stock market report. It was a kinda like, what we call today a,"man cave." If there was evening callers, especially gentlemen, they were more likely than not, received in the library.Ladies were required to knock before they entered.

     It is hard to make a room masculine, and still have an appeal to the ladies as well. It is far easier to make a room feel girly and appeal to the ladies.Men often  feel uneasy in a room that is soft, sweet, pretty and demure. I think it takes a real man, to be at home in such a space, but, most peoples solution to this problem, is to add a  moose head to there room. It is kind of like the old saying, "real men do not wear pink". Bull-----!
Making a room that is comfortable for men as well as women is a tricky thing. If you really want to please, it can be done and done well. I have worked hard in, My Old Historic House, to make the rooms gender safe. I think a man can feel just at ease as a lady. Some of my furniture pieces are small scale and might scare a man from feeling comfortable. But, after they are in my home for awhile, most men, seem to like it as much, if not more, than the ladies.
    My library at, My Old Historic House, is above the dining room and on the second floor. While I chose a light floral  toile, for the walls,I used a dark brown for the ceiling. The wallpaper boarder has birds, which tie in to the specimen glass domes, full of stuffed birds. I have an iron chandelier, with prisms, which appeals to both sexes.An iron and marble center table and an iron and leather sofa, complete the masculine look. On the sofa is a lush MINK lap throw. Warm, but, the ladies are impressed, as it is mink. I use a lot of red as well. Red curtains and red oriental carpets on the floor. Studies show than men are usually attracted to the color red. And what kind of library would it be, with out books? Books, books, everywhere. I even pile them on the floor by the chairs. I have two wonderful old needlepoint chairs in the library. Both of which have a very masculine feeling. One has a running deer, while the other features men in costumes.Both are in shades of brown and red and are carved from heavy oak wood with brass nail heads.

   I love books. Most of  the books I collect and enjoy are beautiful coffee table books. I have a few subjects that I usually look for. Decorator, antique, cooking, garden, the American South and the British Royal family.My family, whom I love so much, are sometimes a little on the dense side. For my birthdays and holidays they always say, I just did not know what to get you. Well, a beautiful book or a gift certificate for a book, would be the best present ever. I have found that the books on the market today have gone up so much in price, that I rarely buy a new one. I mostly look for them for sale at yard sales, antique malls and junk shops. A really good book at today's book stores can be priced from $50 to $100.00. I can find them at resale shops from $5.00 on up. I just think books, add a real lived in look, to a home and they make your guest ,just want to set down and look one over. And usually, they are very colorful and adds a little color to a room. I notice in today's world, most people decorate  with out color and I for one, find that very sad. So if you are afraid of color, or just don't like it much, colorful books will add, just the right, safe, amount .
    I hope you enjoy my library and maybe someday you all can come for a visit. I will leave the lights on and Sissy Dog will always meet you with a jump and a kiss.