The Nest: Waiting

By Meg Harrington

With one little birdie already out of the nest and another birdie not to far from flying away, we’ve decided it’s time to downsize.  After years of living large (and admittedly loving it), we’ve made the decision to go small, smart and stylish.
The Cast:
Meg and Scott: the homeowners
Molly and Lily: college and high school-aged daughters
Linda MacArthur: the architect
Michael Ladisic: the builder
(…and a delightful cast of characters who make it all happen with sledgehammers, wheelbarrows, screwdrivers, sheetrock and shovels.)

Progress report: We’ve frantically redrawn the right side of the house and hallelujah—we’ve managed to squeeze a miniscule little guest room and bathroom on the second floor.  In the meantime, we’ve dug footings for the new porch and are deciding what can be checked off the list while we wait for the official green light on the new plans.  Our wonderful pros (Linda MacArthur, Michael Ladisic and Joe Trehan, our feisty project manager) have been working like crazy to get us back on track.

Happily, with all the nooks and crannies in the Nest, I think we’ve found all sorts of space for my obsession: built-in bookcases.

I’m definitely one of those old-school people who fought electronic books forever. My rambling book collection dates to original Oz books (my mother’s, printed in the 1920s, and I devoured them as a kid) to my very serious French literature books from college days. Plus about a zillion hardbacks and paperbacks that I’ve collected and loved over the years. 

These remind me of the old Oz books I loved as a kid.

Don’t get me wrong: I’ve completely embraced the beauty of the Kindle (instantaneous reading material at the push of a button!) but my books are like my friends and I just have to find a spot for them.

I’ve been dreaming about built-ins and I’m putting my flag in the sand about one thing: I really, really like bookcases to be for books.

I’m really a neat freak so this probably won’t work for me—as much as I love it.

Remember this absolutely charming library from the movie “The Holiday”?

Actually, I’m always drawn to things that are clean-lined and not too fussy, so maybe I need to rethink my Downton Abbey library look. What about some of these ideas?

Here’s a perfect solution: a real life collection of books beautifully housed in “X” styled built-ins.

This catches my eye: vibrant and personal.


The best of both worlds: a cozy little window seat flanked by bursting built-ins.

I love this, too: the books, of course, but also the clever placement of

art and the classic and warm library lights.

The Nest is all about multi-functioning spaces and I love the idea of a dining room married to a library.  Books, good food and wine? Yes, please.

Gorgeous. You don’t even need built-ins to house your literary collection; an elegant and airy freestanding bookcase does the trick quite nicely.

If I have any extra room, I’d fill the space with pretty objects and art just like Atlanta designers extraordinaire Cheryl and Alison Womack did here.

What do your bookcases and built-ins look like?  I’d love some inspiration…. and I can’t wait to snuggle up with some old and new favorites (I’m re-reading Gone Girl in preparation for a movie night later this week.)

Next week: I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the permit gods will smile upon us.  And, I’ll update you on the porch progress…it might even be time to introduce some pictures of the Nest in its current state. Stay tuned.


(Images via Pinterest.)