Get the Look: Minnie Mortimer’s Library / Dining Room

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Image: Vogue, Photographed by Claiborne Swanson Frank

The room above in Minnie Mortimer’s home beautifully does double duty as a library and a dining room. The choice was practical (too many books, not enough storage), as well as aesthetic (a wall of books is beautiful!). You can get a similar look by lining your walls in floor to ceiling bookshelves, and using the items below.


Minnie Mortimer Dining Room Library

Images: (1) Pottery Barn (2) Books by the Foot (3) Chalk Farm Home (4) Farrow & Ball (5) Chairish (6) Design Within Reach

  1. The soft glow of capiz shells make this room cozy at night.
  2. You’ll need books for this look, obviously. Lots of them. It’s best if you happen to have a big book collection already, but can you believe there exists a service that sells books solely as decoration? (Of course this exists, right?)
  3. Search out a vintage enamelware pitcher to use as a casual vase with a nice patina. Bonus points for peonies.
  4. Railings is the perfect paint color to achieve this look.
  5. A solid, substantial vintage or antique wooden table is right at home in both a library and a dining room.
  6. The Saarinen Tulip chair is still in production, with chair pads available in several colors. You can readily find vintage originals as well.

Which elements of Minnie Mortimer’s Library / Dining Room are your favorites?

1 Comment

  1. I really like the use of the expandable table. I have one for our main eating area and I can’t tell you how nice it is to be able to accommodate larger groups!

    I don’t often see them in designs so it is a breath of fresh air to see. THANKS!

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Designer Nicole Balch transforms the so-so into the lovely. As she begins decorating her new home, a Victorian painted lady, she invites readers of her blog, Making it Lovely to follow along, offer advice, and gain inspiration from her creative process. Making it Lovely was named one of the 50 World’s Best Design Blogs by the London Times Online, and Nicole’s work has been featured in the Chicago Tribune Magazine, Time Out Chicago, ReadyMade, Everyday with Rachael Ray, CS Interiors, and other publications.