So when the piles of books on ottomans and coffee tables were stacked too high and began to topple, we got out a pencil and drew up a solution. Because all sorts of books need all sorts of shelves.

Wrap around built-ins in the living room would answer the call. Along with a few well-appointed library lights and two much-needed reading sconces. Because, of course, these books were for reading, as the husband reminded me. This was not an exercise in shelf styling. This was not to simply be a design feature, though that, in part, it inevitably became with their collection of tchotskis from travel the world wide. But this was first and foremost: a library!

To help us balance the form and the function of the space (the achievement of which is core tenet in our plan development here at Scovell!) enter a great design partner of ours, Michelle Oettmeier.

Together with the homeowners (fresh off a flight from Morocco) we developed the scope of work. And it came to include a new Zellige tile fireplace surround  – because Morocco leaves an impression. It also involved beautifully blue painted bookcases that not only integrated with the original millwork of the home (thanks to our trusty carpenter Pete) but also complimented the enormous Moroccan rug that was rolling around in the belly of the ship as our carpenters and cabinet-maker worked to bring the living room to life.

And we can’t not mention the life that was brought with the addition of the new custom furniture, drapes and pillows selected with Michelle Oettmeier.

And there you go. This is what you end up with when two Literature PhDs walk into a living room.