Feature Home: A Wall Bookcase

before and after -- lounge room make over

It’s one of those places where you walk in the door and feel instantly relaxed. The house radiates such warmth and grace!

Josh and Bonnie have been renovating their riverfront 1930 Queensland workers cottage — slowly — during the last 10 years.  A few years ago, I featured their completed country-retro kitchen, and now I want to share with you a new space in this wonderful home: the lounge room complete with a floor-to-ceiling wall bookcase (which I am gleefully hanging off here).

How long have you planned this space?

Bonnie: I’ve wanted a floor to ceiling bookcase for a decade!

Josh: We had the colours pretty much picked out, and the vision, when we first bought the house 10 years ago.

amazing lounge room / family room

How does that feel: to see it finished?

Josh: Relieved! I finally did it!

Bonnie: I love my lounge room. I love my lounge room. I just keep saying it because I love my lounge room.

amazing library

amazing wall bookcase -- with ladder

How has this room added value to family life?

Josh: It’s a place to retreat as a family. To relax and read without the television.

Bonnie: We have designated family time here now.

lounge room

lounge room -- bookcase

Have you put things in place to retain that sense of value for the room?

Josh: We made it a rule that this is a quiet room.  We call it the adult room so it’s special for the kids to be here.  We made a space for the kids where they can romp and play; this room is not for that. And the room isn’t a walk through area so it keeps this space for its purpose.

How did you work out the design?

Josh: I trawled through Google images and started to draw out what I liked. Then I just started.

lounge room design

Are you happy with the way it came out?

Josh: Very. It’s come out perfectly.

Bonnie, Why do you love books?

Bonnie: I’ve loved books since I can remember; probably from my own mother as she used to read to us [my sister’s and I] as children.  I developed my own love for books at the age of eight after I read The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton.

Since then, I’ve read a wide variety of genres; I belong to a book club which helps me read books that I would not usually pick.  I am particularly fond of old English literature from authors such as the Brontë sisters, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and Jeffrey Farnol

The enchanted wood by enid blyton

How do you foster a love for book in your children?

reading with kids -- library

When my children were small, I had a lot of books in different areas around the house.  Now they are older, in some instances I ask my kids to read a book before I will allow them to watch the respective movie.  So for example, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, The Lightning Thief, Jane Eyre and Pride & Prejudice.

My eldest daughter (14) loves reading.

My son (13) only really likes non-fiction, especially if it’s about reptiles; I can’t get him interested in novels at the moment.

My youngest child — she’s 10 — she loves non-fiction too, but together we are reading more fiction, a chapter at a time. Right now we are reading Mr Galliano’s Circus by Enid Blyton.

mr galliano's circus enid blyton

reading chair - library

Do you have a system to keep track your books?

I use the My Library iPhone app to catalog and keep track of the books I have.  EVERY library should have a copy of War and Peace by Leo Tolstory!

War and Peace by Leo Tolstory

home library

What sort of style were you going for in this room?

Bonnie: Eclectic.

Josh: But we are not quite finished yet. There is still a little more to do in here.

family lounge room

lounge room -- eclectic style





Where did you get that amazing chair from?!

Bonnie: From Far Pavilions.

Josh: I made the foot stool to go with it.  We decided a dark wall with white trimmings would make the accessories like the chair stand out.

patchwork chair

amazing floor to ceiling library -- library ladder

What did you want to achieve with this room?

Josh: We wanted a cozy room to be quiet in, and for chatting with friends. So often the television is the center of a family room and furniture is placed facing the tv. We didn’t want that for this space; we wanted the chairs facing together.

amazing home lounge room design

amazing home lounge room design

amazing lounge room / family room

And has that been achieved?

Josh: Yes.

Bonnie: Yes. It’s: exactly.

wall bookcase

“It’s: exactly.” Bonnie said it just like that. It wasn’t “It’s exactly…” or even “It is exactly.”  But, “It’s: exactly.”  As I sat in this splendid room the answer to my last question made perfect, perfect sense.

More Feature Homes

More inspirational feature homes, from an Aussie family who moved to Italy, to living on a Christmas Tree Farm: Feature Homes.

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Kelly loves life at both ends of the spectrum: wearing high heel shoes one day and hiking boots the next; sipping tea out of a pretty cup and slurping hot coffee from a camping mug; challenging herself physically and stopping for quiet unhurried moments to feel the wind on her face. Kelly and her husband Matthew seek to live a fun and adventurous life with their four children and pet bird.

Latest posts by Kelly - Be A Fun Mum (see all)


  1. Nae peters says

    That’s so cool- I’m seriously considering building onto our built in book shelf to make it go to the ceiling now & that chair is the cutest

  2. says

    I am so inspired! I to live in a Queensland Workers Cottage built around 1919, 40 mins from Brisbane City too and we have heaps of plans for it..the kitchen being the first to renovate. I love the decor they have used, it’s similar to the look I like but will take time as we still have a lot of furniture from our old ‘very modern’ home, it’ll just be about getting individual pieces over time. I adore that chair!

  3. says

    I love everything about this room. It is simply stunning. So are the photos especially of the family sitting together with a book. Thank you so much for sharing.

    You forgot to ask the big question though. My hubby has the skill to build this, but I want to know where to get the library ladder- or did Josh make that himself too?

  4. says

    Josh and Bonnie’s adult room is a dream! I just love the chair and especially the book shelf. They have done a fantastic job.

  5. says

    What a dream room and gorgeous pictures. I must have read Mr Galliano’s Circus a million times as a child. A special favourite of mine :)

  6. says

    I love before and after shots. I LOVE them!

    Every time I see a different picture I spot something new that’s so cool. I want the mossy-looking foot stool. I adore the Enid Blyton books. I love the chair that almost says ‘come sit in me and open a book’.

  7. says

    Oh, I just love everything about this…we live in a federation house and one day hope to do this sort of thing. That chair is fantastic!

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