Monday, October 27, 2008

Holly Black's Hidden Library

Holly Black, half of the duo behind the enchanting Spiderwick Chronicles (the New York Post calls it "vintage Victorian fantasy," so you should seek out a copy for yourself or your steampunklets) mentioned her "hidden" library a couple months back, and I sought her out and cajoled some pictures (although truth be told it wasn't that hard...).

Our tour, guided by Ms. Black...

The bookshelf, closed

And now, slightly ajar

And now, open into the sorta secret library.

The secret door from the other side.

The hidden door is from hiddendoors.com and installed by our
contractor during the renovation. There are a few other small hidden things in our house, but this is really the most fun.



Looking into the library. There is a speakeasy door (ed. note: a door with a small window hole in it that can be opened to see who is on the other side.) on the other side, that leads outside -- the library is in the basement, but it's a walk-out basement -- which is why the library can only be sort of secret.







The fireplace surround is actually pressed stone. It's from
www.mantelsdirect.com. They don't have the specific mantel I got any more, but it's a great place to acquire relatively affordable mantles that look like stone.

My husband wanted to be sure to include his WETA ray gun.

I can tell that a lot of love and passion went into this library -- can't you just see a hearty winter meal on that marble table, with a fire roaring and plenty of red wine?

I also wanted to draw your attention to the lighting design -- there's the great chandelier with the mica shade for style, but the library gets most of it's drama from the track lights that highlight the books, panelling, and objects.

Thanks Holly!

More hidden doors.

55 comments:

Clare K. R. Miller said...

Wow, so beautiful. I want one now!

Though I had a bit of cognitive dissonance when you referred to Holly as "half of the duo." I'm a fan of her modern faerie tales series first and foremost, so it's weird for me to think of her as half of anything! Then again, the Spiderwick Chronicles are far more steampunk, and nearly as delightful...

Mary Ocampo said...

This room is amazing. It is cooler than a very cool thing. If I am ever forced to move outside of New York City, I totally want a house with "sort of secret" rooms and hidden passageways. And this Victorian-style decoration is lovely.

Ciar Cullen said...

Seriously, that must be one of the most beautiful rooms of any era. The coolness factor aside. Cudos.

TadMack said...

Oh, wow. I need a secret room full of books. She must feel SO rich.

SteamPunk Angel said...

wow that is so cool, its a beautiful library. I like the candelabra, secret doors you must be rich!!!

bravo!!!!

any more rooms that are complete

post them

Melissa Walker said...

WOW. Just wow!

A Paperback Writer said...

How very Anne Frank.

Dang. I wanna secret library! Heck, I'd even settle for a not-secret library!

C.K. said...

Beautiful. If I had a secret library that looked like that I'd be hard pressed to spend a significant amount of time anywhere else.

Ann said...

It brings tears to my eyes to see an old friend who has come so far in life. Congratulations to you Holly & Theo; you both deserve the best in life and I'm so thrilled for you both!

Em said...

Oh man, I want one, I want one! :)

Little Willow said...

WANT. Oh my. Go Holly.

Z-Kids said...

Coolest library Ever!

Susan said...

This kind of makes me ache a little bit. Seriously decent.

Dani in NC said...

Those pictures definitely make me want a library in my own home. We have waist-high bookcases scattered here and there throughout the house, but walls covered floor to ceiling with books would be lovely.

hollycupala said...

This is really cool! Architecture meets literature. I posted it over at readergirlz.

lkmadigan said...

So jellus.

Karen Anne said...

I am another jealous person.

Did the contractor make those bookshelves (book walls?) from scratch?

My ambitions for bookshelves upstairs just went thru the stratosphere.

keshlam said...

Oooh. I just realized where I can put a secret door in my place. There isn't any location which would make a good hidden passage... but there *is* a small walk-in closet in a place where nobody would notice the missing space.

Busily sketching a combination of ideas from several websites... I won't be ready to build any time soon, but this does affect my plans for the surrounding space.

The biggest question, outside of hardware details, is whether I will want to use an electromagnetic latch or a mechanical one. Electric lets you do silly things with the release -- think of the Batcave's access button in the old TV serial -- or complicated things involving several non-obvious actions, and might hold more securely in the closed position. Mechanical would be a bit more "period" -- especially for my part of the world, where there were some houses on the Underground Railroad that had such hidden spaces.

Leslea said...

This is super-cool! I just drew up plans for my dream house, and it includes a hidden staircase *from* my library to my husband's hidden laboratory in the basement. I <3 Holly Black! Thanks for posting this!

LMHarmon.com

hjkl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jess said...

Wow. Just wow.

I am entirely awestruck by this room, and I've now added "Get a secret library" to my Bucket List!

Brad said...

Keshlam: if you do a mechanical switch it could be one of the books on the initial shelf.

I really want one now

Raven said...

OMG! I love the hidden door and the whole library!

Tracie the Red said...

AAAAHHHH!!! This library IS WIN!

(I just discovered this blog and I'm sitting here at work scrolling through it all and drooling. Good thing the boss isn't here today.)

daysease said...

Oh, be still my heart... Now that is my secret heart desire library. I love the mystery of "hidden", and the comfort found within. I love all of those books. Looks like a WONDERFUL place in which to spend hour after hour.

Thank you so much. Now I am off to forward the link to this post to my husband. :-)

Kelly said...

So cool! Someone linked this in the comments on my blog, bc I'm interested in creating a sort of trap door or hidden bookcase thing...

http://tearinguphouses.blogspot.com/2010/04/hide-and-seek.html

Kelly

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

I'm in love. More to show the husband.

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