Library Spaces Offer Comfort in our Increasingly Digital World

by Matt Bushey, February 3, 2017

UPDATE 3/14/17: Library at Hotel Jackson named one of 10 Best by USA Today: “Combining rustic elements with a contemporary western design, the Sacajawea Library at the Hotel Jackson was inspired by the works of award-winning local author and educator, Kenneth Thomasma, who wrote the Amazing Indian Children series.”

The printed word is alive and well!  As more and more of our world goes digital, many of us still find there is nothing quite like curling up with a good book:  A real book, that is, that you can hold in your hands and flip through the pages.

We incorporate bookshelves and library spaces into many of our projects to create a focal point, establish a room’s character, and provide comfort and solace from the outside world.  The books themselves provide color and texture, in essence becoming a building material that is the perfect combination of function and form.

It is during these winter months that our library spaces are most often appreciated.  They become a sort of “comfort food” for the soul.

So in that spirit, we offer you this visual tour of a few of our recent library spaces and reading rooms:


At the Cliff House Resort in Maine, the main lobby and reception area was completely reconfigured to welcome guests in and direct them toward the ocean view, with areas of respite along the way.  An expansive library occupies the center of the space, with rough-sawn shelves and nautical books.  The library gives the resort a personal, residential feel, tied to its specific locale.

bookshelves_modern farmhouse

This modern farmhouse in Jericho, Vermont is light and airy, with an open plan.  The living and dining area is surrounded by a regular rhythm of white bookshelves and artifacts, providing a personal touch to the modern space. 

Hotel and Spa

Hotel and Spa

At Casa Madrona Resort in Sausalito, California, the hotel lobby is marked by a stone fireplace with flanking double-height bookcases, serviced by a towering library ladder.  A pair of blue wingback chairs complements the colors of the books, alluding to both the nautical spirit of the Bay, and the Victorian aesthetic of the Mansion on the hill.

bookshelves_asset management

In corporate environments, we are increasingly utilizing library spaces as alternatives to conventional meeting rooms.  This makes for a nice casual and comfortable place to get work done. And with more offices moving to open office layouts, a library provides a much-needed quiet space were employees can concentrate on focused work.  This was our approach for this Asset Management Firm in Burlington, where we combined clean and contemporary detailing with a touch of Vermont, for a library that reflected the culture of this particular company.


At the Hotel Jackson, the library is one of the most popular rooms in the house.  Here, the bookshelves are integrated into the architectural details of the space, including the window trim and fireplace surround.


And finally… the newest library space in our portfolio is now under construction in Portland, Maine.  As described on their website, the Portland Harbor Hotel is undergoing a major renovation of the guestrooms and public spaces.  At the heart of the project will be a reimagined lobby, designed to strengthen the connection to the streets of the Old Port District and the harbor.  The space is designed to evoke a “Captain’s Library”, with cozy seating and bookshelves lining the walls.  These renderings give a glimpse of what the space will become.












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