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This Formal Living Room Turned Home Library Features More Than 300 Patterns

Plus, it's furnished with a mix of vintage and modern pieces.

blue library, blue bookcases with books, red reading chairs, black and white sconces
Sanda Stojakovic

When Chicago-based designer and blogger Sanda Stojakovic first moved into her current Illinois home, the formal living room was awkward and devoid of character. Nobody wanted to hang out in it, even though it’s the biggest room in the house. So to get use out of the space—and as part of the One Room Challenge—she turned it into the home library of her dreams.

Prior to a dramatic library makeover, Stojakovic had given the room a few minor updates including painting the original yellow walls gray, installing chair rail molding, and staining the honey oak floor a darker color. The room barely displayed her love of bold colors and patterns and was mainly used to store extra rugs and furniture.


“Incorporating bold colors was important to me because we moved from the sunny states of California and Texas to the Midwest where there are many gloomy, cold days that really can have a negative effect on our mood,” Stojakovic says.

After adding decorative molding and a wall of built-in shelves, Stojakovic dreamt up the room’s color palette, which was inspired by two peach French chairs she thrifted a year ago. To give the space a vibrant, happy atmosphere, she chose Benjamin Moore’s Blueberry paint for the built-ins and wainscotting. The ceiling was coated in a soft peach (Benjamin Moore’s Ambrosia) to add warmth. “Peaches and oranges are associated with joy and happiness, according to color healing therapy,” Stojakovic notes.

blue library, sitting room, red reading chairs, white sitting chair, wooden coffee table
Sanda Stojakovic

Pattern comes into play through an Art Deco geometric wallpaper by Brewster, curtains in fabric by Calico, and a black-and-white area rug from Rugs USA. On the bookshelves, more than 300 patterns are featured on the covers of Reader’s Digest books that Stojakovic bought from a travel-themed restaurant that closed during the pandemic.

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library, sitting room, glass coffee table with coffee table books, blue crown moulding, red art print
Sanda Stojakovic
blue crown moulding, black desk with gold handles, black chair and framed artwork
Sanda Stojakovic

The furnishings and other accents strike a balance between vintage and modern. The Crystorama chandelier and sconces paired with the Frontgate chesterfield sofa and side chairs add glam. The vintage burl wood table and gold convex mirror enhance the room’s character. The mix presents both a formal and casual look with a whole lot of flair, making it the ideal place for Stojakovic to easily disconnect and get lost in a good book.

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