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In decor, shelves that embellish

By Penelope Green | New York Times | Updated: 2011-01-23 08:48

In decor, shelves that embellish

The printed book has been given a stay of execution by an unlikely source: the design community. Jeffrey Colle, a builder of vast estates that mimic turn-of-the-century designs, wouldn't think of omitting a library from his creations. A 1,562-square-meter house on 17 hectares in Water Mill, New York, comes with a $29.995-million price tag and a library Mr. Colle had built from French chalked quarter-sawn oak. There is room for more than 1,000 books.

Mr. Colle has collaborated with Bennett Weinstock, a Philadelphia decorator known for his English interiors, on some of his libraries. Mr. Weinstock still shops in London to find just the right leatherbound look, he said. "Some people will insist that they be in English, because they want them to look as if they could read the books," Mr. Weinstock said. "Others don't care what language the books are in as long as the bindings are beautiful."

Even a modernist builder like Steve Hermann in Los Angeles, who makes multimillion- dollar houses for buyers like Christina Aguilera, includes hectares of shelves in his houses. Mr. Hermann designed a glassy Neutralike house with a 18-by-4-meter shelving system, which has room for 4,000 books, he said.

In decor, shelves that embellish

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