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Paradise Found: A Library Where They Serve Cocktails

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Paradise Found: A Library Where They Serve Cocktails

January 23, 2013

Confession: In elementary school, I was a library aide, which meant I got to skip early morning recess and help our librarian shelve books. Maybe that's why I'm attracted to the interiors of The Old Library in Australia. A library where they serve cocktails? We're there.

Located in Cronulla, a suburb of Sydney, the Old Library building dates from 1908 (it was a Methodist church that was later converted into a library). Owner Mario Kalpou worked with design firm Hecker Guthrie to create a lofty, white-painted vaulted space with fireplace alcoves, industrial lighting, and luxe linen lounge seating. Stylist Sibella Court sourced animal heads by London artist Lucie McCann, rugs by Armadillo, and commissioned library wall murals by Sydney-based Hugh Ford. It all adds up to a bookworm's paradise.

Photographs by Shannon McGrath.

700 the old library 1

Above: A 1908 library insignia stenciled over the wood-burning stove.

700 the old library 2

Above: Communal tables anchor the dining room; a bookshelf mural adorns a wall (see 10 Favorites: Bookshelf-Printed Wallpaper for more ideas).

700 hecker library wallpaper

Above: Bookshelf wall murals by Hugh Ford and an animal head by London artist Lucie McCann.

the old library 5

Above: White Billiani Aloe chairs add a modern note to the interiors.

the old library 4

Above: Natural oak tables and benches add a rustic note.

700 the library curtains 10

Above: Linen curtains add a note of intimacy.

700 the old library sink 10

Above: A tiled bath with a German utility sink and copper piping.

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