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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Entertaining at Sans Souci Part 1: A New Library

I moved to this wonderful home with the children in May 2012. When I met Steve, he suggested I give the house a name to symbolize what kind of home I wanted it to be. As a former French teacher, I chose Sans Souci, which roughly translates to, "no worries." But I think of it more as an expression of serenity and peace. So far, so good!

The original owners of the home had really high quality d├ęcor, though much of it had been put into the house in the late 1980's and 1990's. The house was a little dated!

While I was still reeling from all of the moves and the lack of my furniture, Steve began encouraging me to start making this home my own. We focused on two major issues. The first was the eternally small dining room. Why do big and little houses have small dining rooms? This one wasn't too bad at 13' x 13', but that size is still a crowded room for eight dinner guests. Inasmuch as this house has a living room and a den, we started thinking about using the den as the new dining room. Then what would we do with the old dining room? 

The second issue was an even more important one to me. By making the den into the new dining, I would lose all of the library shelves for my treasured book collection. But Steve had a brilliant idea. He offered to build me a library in the place of the old dining room. 

So he had a way to help me make the house into a dream house. When we began discussing getting married, his request was that I let him paint over the tragic walls. I was behind that 100%!

Dining Room Becomes Library

Our original painting idea didn't really work. Even layers of primer wouldn't cover those flowers.
We had to get the room to a presentable state when we had company for the weekend in the middle of renovation.
Steve starts the shelves!

We painted the bead board blue for contrast. We have curtains this color now in the living room and it ties the rooms together nicely.
Steve used rope lighting inside the shelves and above.

We were married in this room.
Our wedding rings included the name of the house.
Now, this room is for puzzles, games, piano, and homework. We also still use the table for overflow when we have large dinner parties.
We still aren't finished. Eventually, we will have another wall of shelves and a baby grand piano in the middle. Believe it or not, our books are still overflowing into many other rooms in the house.
Note the way we have the outlet in the center shelf for music.
Steve wrote the project up over at Hometalk. 

I love this library! I am so grateful to have such a beautiful and special place for all of the books our family has collected over the years.

Stay tuned for Entertaining at Sans Souci Part 2: A New Dining Room!

Andrea, Steve, and family

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  1. I am loving your library and the fact that you and Steve got married in that gorgeous room. This post is so inspirational. I would love it if you would share this today at our WIW linky party. I hope you can join us!

    Paula, your newest follower

  2. Thank you! It was a wonderful wedding present. I have a post coming out soon on our do-it-yourself wedding. Headed to your blog now. :)

  3. Andrea, I love your house..I mean home...y'all have really made it into something special...
    love, Mona

  4. Thank you, Mona! We're trying, but it's still a work in progress! :)
    - Andrea

  5. Congratulations! Love the color you chose to paint the bookcases.

  6. Thank you for stopping by, Butterfly Bungalow!

  7. I also love books and love to read. Steve sounds like a winner with the rope lighting idea.

    Happy Blue Monday, Andrea.

    1. The rope lighting was such a bargain compared to the other alternatives! Thanks, Sally!

  8. Your house looks like it could be in Susan's neighborhood.

    1. That would be so much fun - to live in Susan's neighborhood! Thanks for stopping by! - Andrea

  9. I think I almost picked out that wallpaper for my dining room when our house was built 20 years ago. At first, I got all excited that you were saying that I could just paint over wallpaper, but it looks like perhaps it didn't quite work? I love, love, love your new library; and we must be kindred spirits because I'm also thinking of switching my dining room into my den.

    1. Hi, Michele! My parents had the same wallpaper in a different shade as well in the mid-1980's. The painting did work but we had to go with a darker color. We primed twice, too. We have painted A LOT of wallpaper in this house because we are currently remodeling another home, and the total overhaul is happening there. We can't do that in both homes at once, so paint is our salvation for now at Sans Souci!
      (The other home is here:

      Take care!


  10. Your library turned out lovely. Thanks for sharing it. I'm following you on Google+.

    Helen of Helen's Decor

    1. Thanks, Helen! We love the library! Headed over to Helen's Decor now! :) - Andrea


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