Mary Adams’ Library
Cocoon Interior Design, Brevard
With 2,500 books in their home library and at least that many more in storage, Mary Adams and her husband Craig have certain standards when it comes to literature.
Their treasured tomes number countless art, history and travel books; classics, antiques guides and family Bibles; photography treasuries and quality novels. And their sights ride high. The couple’s dream room is the formal library at Biltmore Estate. “We joke that it’s getting harder and harder for books to make the cut to be in our collection,” says Adams.
Their home library is a former bedroom, and the renovation of that room is part of a larger home expansion still in progress. However, one senses that the mood of the space won’t change much. A pair of nut-brown, upholstered leather chairs look well settled. Every wall is gridded with custom, dark-stained shelving.
A linen-shaded contemporary lamp, white French doors, and a touching portrait of their son as a child are light touches in a room otherwise designed to recall “an English or Scottish hunting retreat in a country manor,” according to Adams. The old-style flintlock rifles displayed were built by Craig, a commercial artist and oil painter.
Theirs is a family steeped in a kind of living history. “We have a couple-hundred years’ worth of family collections to showcase,” says Adams. “Everything in this room has a story.”
Personal as it is, the space also lures guests: “Whoever comes to the house is drawn there. We’ll look up during a gathering and see 10 people in the library — and it is not a large room.”