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“Before and After” Gentleman’s Library

We create storage the way YOU want it. And, we are setting the stage for much more than organized closets!

Whether it's an organized closet, expanded pantry, or remodeled laundry room, we have what you need to conquer any storage challenge! For example, take a look at this large library and home office project that we completed a few years ago.


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Window areas and angled ceilings


windows, angled ceiling, and alcove


previous work space


(above) Our client and his family had recently moved to the Philadelphia area for job related reasons. This created stress on the family. Also, unexpected damages to their new home’s basement forced them to make drastic changes. The client’s office had been in the basement, and he was in the midst of writing a book. The family decided to move his office to a second-floor spare room. His need for a “gentleman’s library” brought this project to life.

As you can see in the “before” photos, the room had architectural challenges for us to overcome.

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The space chosen to create a gentleman’s library was a cavernous room with multiple windows, doors, angles, and alcoves. Our client is a passionate opera fan, and he has attended performances in theaters around the world. His collection of almost 7,000 classical CD’s and videos needed to be accommodated, as well as the numerous treasures and artifacts that he collected over the years.

His request for a writing area, and also a comfortable space to enjoy his music and videos, gave this project a multi-dimensional challenge. Creating a library that would organize the sheer volume of CD’s, books, framed art, and treasures while utilizing every area of the room was a huge task for us! His requirements were to have this space be as beautiful and sophisticated as could be, but keep his costs within an insurance-driven limit. (no problem!)



The windows, doors, and angles were challenging and dictated the design of the large room. Our cabinetry was built to follow the angles and to take advantage of the room’s height. We also created unusual, beautiful storage nooks and seating, both for enjoyment and work.

The window seats and desk space all came together to create that intimate yet practical “gentleman’s library” our client wanted. The work space for writing also gives him storage for files and office supplies, as well as a beautiful area for showcasing his mementos.

We constructed the entire room in Rustic Cherry laminate with glazed doors and drawer fronts. This luxurious finish, along with exquisite handles and knobs and task lighting, provides our client with a perfect “gentleman’s library.” It is now a space that he doesn’t want to leave!

The long window wall with angled ceilings has gone through dramatic changes! Because of the large number of CDs that needed to be stored, we created shelves that were at staggered depths. The CDs are stored on multiple levels, and all are visible for viewing their titles.

We created deep storage shelves in the side recesses of the windowed alcove. We also created a bookcase underneath the window. These nooks are functional spaces that flow back into the rest of the room and become part of the library.

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Bench seats under the windows created cozy nooks for reading. However, one challenge we ran into was heat registers located under both windows on the long outer wall. To solve this problem, we created a curved toe kick. This allows heat and air conditioning to flow out from underneath. This also gave us the “curve” element that the client’s interior decorator followed in the window treatments.

We built special cabinets so the speakers could be elevated from the floor but not be on a wooden surface. (Cinder blocks were used). The cabinet we designed has a special bottom opening to allow the speakers to sit on the cinder block. This provides the speakers with adequate “air” surrounding them for maximum efficiency and sound quality.

BORT kathy1BORT kathy3One of the challenges encountered by the client’s interior designer was incorporating the many pieces of art and collectibles he had accumulated over the years.

The artwork on this “memory wall” includes framed pieces, photographs, and unique 19th century documents hand written by Wagner. The assortment is rounded out with photographs of famous performers, all of which were collected during the client’s many trips to attend operas.

Gentleman’s Library is an award winner!

HearthHedgerow72Many thanks go out to the client’s interior decorator, Kathy Appel, of Hearth & Hedgerow, Ltd. in Quakertown, PA. We appreciate Kathy inviting Closet City to work with her on this fantastic, award-winning project! This remodel has earned Closet City, and our design consultant Janet Stevenson, the “2012 Contractor of the Year” award from the Bucks Mont chapter of NARI. (National Association of the Remodeling Industry; Interior Design/Space Planning category).

In a joint entry for the IDA’s (Interior Design Awards), Janet and Kathy won first place in the Furniture Design category. This contest was sponsored by the Philadelphia chapter of IFDA (International Furnishings and Design Association).

And we're not done yet!

We submitted an entry in the Top Shelf Design contest sponsored by CLOSETS magazine. Awards were announced and presented at an annual trade expo in late February 2012. Closet City won an award for the home office portion of this project. (Just one of three awards presented to us that day.)

We invite you to visit these other pages of our site for more information and photos to inspire your dream LIBRARY or HOME OFFICE.

Do you need help with your own remodeling project?
By all means, give us a call at (215) 855-4400. Or, you can fill out our easy-to-use contact form. We look forward to hearing from you soon!