Monday, December 19, 2011

New Library of Reclaimed Pine

The new pine panelled Library by John Tackett Design.
Photo by Peter Estersohn for Southern Accents magazine.
This new Library is another room in the Volk Estates, University Park, Dallas, Texas, residence that has been featured in previous posts of The Devoted Classicist.  The Entrance Stairhall can be seen here, the Living Room here, a downstairs Sitting Room here, the Luncheon Room here, and the Garden Room here;  all these rooms are in the renovated house.  One of the additions contained the Master Bedroom seen here, which is over this panelled Library.  As previously mentioned, this project was executed by John Tackett Design in conjunction with Dallas architect Wilson Fuqua and interior designer Josie McCarthy.
A corner of the new pine panelled Library by John Tackett Design.
Photo by Peter Estersohn for Southern Accents magazine.
As the grain and knots were of importance, builder Kevin Smith was able to source the wood from an old warehouse in Louisiana that was being demolished.  It was remilled to conform to the desired panels and custom moulding profiles of my specifications, and then washed with grey stain to relieve the redness of Southern Pine and waxed by Barry Martin, whose company was responsible for most of the painting on the project.
Snapshots of the new Library before the foil tea paper was applied to the ceiling.
Image:  John Tackett Design.
Although some of the furnishings were purchased especially for these rooms, almost all of the furniture from the owner's previous home, which was also decorated by Josie McCarthy, was reused, albeit in a different way, and usually reupholstered or slightly altered.
The Luncheon Room was previously a Breakfast Room.  The new Breakfast Room and the Dining Room will be featured in up-coming posts.

The great set of prints in the Luncheon Room were previously displayed on the staircase of the Strait Lane home.  Some years ago, that house was featured in a holiday issue of Southern Accents magazine, so it is included in this post as seasonal inspiration.
The owners' previous home on Strait Lane, in Dallas, Texas, as decorated by Josie McCarthy.


  1. Some of your readers might be not be aware that a charming, high-quality room such as this is rarely found in Dallas. It really caused a lot of talk in town when your clients did up the house so beautifully and without ostentation. Bravo, sir, your sense of scale and attention to detail marked a high point in design in this town that is seldom equalled.

  2. Thank-you, Caroline. As Mr and Mrs are both accomplished golfers, the shelves soon became studded with some impressive silver awards and guests referred to it as the Trophy Room.

  3. Trophy room indeed. Thanks yet again.

  4. Gorgeous! I love the new placement of the Classical prints and the George III tea table. Thanks. Mary

  5. Just plain brilliant! Delighted to see the reuse of lovely things in a new house. Unfortunately, "disposable decorating" is a curse that is creeping through the nation!

    We must stand fast against it!
    Gorgeous! And the pine with its grey wash is the perfect color! How brilliant to find old pine and remill it!
    The "greenest of green" and the most beautiful as well! No contemporary pine could ever compare!!

    Interesting comment by "Caroline"! It is indeed understated and elegant beyond! The highest of compliments from her; and from me!

    Lovely, lovely, and Merry Christmas!
    I love it having golf trophies in it! They are so much more beautiful that "swim trophies" (gold plastic) and even "tennis trophies" (they are getting better; but lots of gold plastic!)


    Congratulations!! A lovely and "truly Old World" room! In the best sense!

  6. I'm not a fan of pine, except in libraries, and once it has been treated as you have done; it is truly beautiful. The other pictures you show are delightful too, and I particularly like the understated Christmas tree in the stairway. (Which wont surprise you.)

  7. What a fabulous room, love the aged pine, it gives the room such character and charm and warmth! Having used some reclaimed materials in our own new home, I love the sense of history they add to any new home and this is a prime example of this material being used at its finest!

  8. What a beautiful post dahhling! Your design was magnificient & the use of reclaimed wood from an old building from some where else just add's another layer of interest...

  9. Liz, Terry, and Mary, thank you for commenting.

    Penelope, historic preservation and adaptive use are two areas of architecture still largely overlooked by the ecology-minded public. When my clients bought this house, it had been marketed as a "tear down".

    Columnist, of course this was just one of the trees.

    Chennai, I am happy to have so many appreciative readers in India.

    Enchanted, the Library is entered from the Garden Room with the Chinese panels, so it was fun to create an interesting succession of spaces, sometimes difficult to achieve with a renovation.

    HRH, you are very correct in your comment on layers of interest.

    All your comments are greatly appreciated.

  10. I am Finnish-Swedish, and I have seen a great many furniture and rooms in pine, usually not very nice ones. The library you have created is a fine example of what money and good taste can do together. Great work! This makes me like pine.

  11. Great job! I have question because on photos this's not visible, you varnished wood or its natural appearance?

  12. Very handsome room and paneling. I love how you designed and treated the knotty pine to create a look that is at once formal and informal.

    The effect of light-colored paneling reminds me of how my grandfather once paneled a room in solid birds-eye maple, but the later owners supposedly did not like it and tore it out. I sometimes wonder what became of that wood!
    --Road to Parnassus

  13. Thank you, MLHB. It takes a whole team including the fabricators, installers, and finishers to pull this off successfully.

    Liza, varnish tends to yellow, and even go to orange on pine. So the tinted wash helped prevent that, and then sealed. The visual depth and slightly satin finish was achieved with the light hand waxing, also tinted gray.

    Parnassus, a lot of my architectural work has a certain formality to it, but I always intend the furnishings to be comfortable, and disarming any stiffness.

  14. Only the other day, a friend sent images of the redesigned lobby
    of the Gramercy Park Hotel in Manhattan, where "reclaimed wood" was
    used extensively and the result was coarse and grim. Not nice at all !
    I don't suppose it occurs to most people to sand it, apply a grey wash
    to tone down redness, and then wax; but your handsome library ought to set an example.

  15. Toby, a natural wood finish, and especially one with moulded profiles, can be particularly difficult in a hotel where the wood has to be treated to meet fire safety requirements; especially with a soft wood, it is a job only for the experienced. As always, your comments are most appreciated.

  16. I adore knotty pine paneling. This is gorgeous!

  17. Thank you, Reggie. Your comments are always most welcome.

  18. John,

    The pine boiserie is exactly what I am hoping to achieve in the South Carolina project!

    Dean Farris

  19. Gorgeous! I love the new placement of the Classical prints and the George III tea table. Thanks. Mary


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