Spare Room Turns Sophisticated Study

Inspired by antiques, a jewelry designer transforms a crumbling guest bedroom into a library

A Space for Collectibles

When jewelry designer Mark Edge purchased his 1909 Atlanta craftsman home, he was determined to turn its first-floor guest room into a library. In its existing state, it was difficult to come up with a floor plan that would maximize bookshelf space as well as create an area for lounging. Before starting the project, Mark had to remove the peeling wallpaper, fix leaks and water damage around the windows, and restore the hardwood floors. Mark wanted to create a space that showcases his collection of vintage books and eclectic mix of antiques. He transformed a bedroom into a library by installing custom bookshelves on the room's three interior walls, and arranging a sofa, two end tables, a lounge chair and a coffee table near the exterior wall.

The Lounge Area

In addition to having space to display his favorite antiques, Mark also wanted an area to lounge. The only new piece in the room is the sofa, picked up at a designer showroom. "It's kind of becoming an antique on its own," Mark says. "The fabric is so worn, it's just a few years away from getting recovered itself."

Design Inspiration

Mark's jewelry design carries a similar aesthetic over from his accessories and into his home. "There are a lot of warm tones and materials in my jewelry, and that same feeling can be found in the library," Mark says.

Charming Touches

To keep the home's original charm, the existing dark finish of the trim was saved and custom wood blinds were installed in the same finish. For high-energy contrast, a band of orange trim was incorporated.

Color Splash

Choosing a warm orange for the walls behind the bookshelves helped highlight the warm hues of Mark's vintage books.

For the Love of Antiques

The designer's taste in antiques is limitless. "I'd never seen anything like this set of medical stamps before," Mark says. I love the stamps' graphic lines, the weathered texture of the metal and how the green and white backgrounds pop against the orange walls."

There's a Story Behind It

Every piece in Mark's library tells a story. The weathered wrought iron coffee table is a repurposed gate that the jewelry designer brought in to add a rich texture.

Conversational Pieces

When Mark found this repurposed parking meter lamp, he loved it not only to illuminate the space beside his library's sofa, but also to encourage conversation. The light turns on only after you insert a nickel into the lamp's coin slot.

Shelves for Displaying

Amy and Mark both share an affinity for vintage globes. To properly display them, shelving was configured to extend above the double doors. "The globes are in the perfect spot," Mark says. "I can see them when lounging on the sofa."

A Little Humor

Although others considered this white plaster Elvis to be trash, Mark thought it would add a nice sense of humor in his home. "I even love the neon orange spray paint on Elvis's head," he says. "Sure, most people would probably paint over it, but I like it just how it is."

Lighting with Character

A bronze arts and crafts period chandelier serves as the main lighting source for Mark's library. Instead of having the worn patina finish restored, it became a part of the space's overall charm.

Vintage Finds

Mark's collection of vintage trophies was picked up from several sources. After bringing home a trophy he bought from an estate sale, the designer discovered it belonged to Asa Candler, Jr., an historic Atlanta figure and son of a co-founder of Coca-Cola.