Reading is Fundamental


In this era of open floor plans, it’s a rarity to come across a traditional home library. But for Diane Plumlee and her husband, Mike van den Akker, a library has always been de rigueur. Both members of this Granite Bay couple collect books (they have more than 2,000), and they’re big readers, so their home library gets a workout. “My husband uses it as an office when he works from home, and we also use it for reading and conversation,” says Plumlee, who belongs to two book clubs. “At the holidays, that’s where the Christmas tree is. We also use the library when we entertain.”

Plumlee first turned to interior designer Janice Stone Thomas in 1996 for help designing and furnishing the room. Recently, Stone Thomas returned for a refresh, adding new pillows, fabric lamp shades, art and a vintage Oriental rug. To update the furnishings, she attached bullion fringe to the bottom of the sofa and switched out the cane-back chairs’ upholstery with tie-on fur seat covers. (It’s faux, in case you were wondering.) The new-old room now has traditional English style with a boho edge—perfect for this book-loving couple, who recently signed on as sponsors of the Sonoma Valley Authors Festival, to be held in May 2020.

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