Character from cover to cover at Library House
LOVERS of literature and architecture have a new haven in Hobart, thanks to one of the city’s artistic power couples. Author Heather Rose and musician Rowan Smith have converted their West Hobart family home of the past 18 years into boutique accommodation.
Built in 1900, the original four- bedroom residence was transformed in 2006 by architect Andrew Williamson to create a fantastic fusion of modern and period features.
The new extension added a sophisticated kitchen and sunny open- plan living and dining area, which fl ows out onto a timber deck taking in 280 degree views from Mt Wellington across the river and up towards the Derwent Valley.
“Our three children have grown up in that house,” Heather said.
“Then one day, we found the home by the beach I’d always been looking for.
“But the house had no room for my lifetime collection of books.
“I’d started collecting books as soon as I began to get pocket money as a child and somehow I always suspected books might become rather rare and unusual things, and that one day I wanted to hand on a library of books to my grandchildren.
“We thought, ‘ What if we left the books and they were available to whoever came and stayed here’.” And so the Library House was born. The library itself features a wall- length in- built bookcase fi lled to the brim with tomes of every genre, plus a bay window seat which you can settle into with your book of choice.
As you would expect from a place that was home to an author, the library isn’t the only space where books are prominent.
Each of the fi ve bedrooms has a collection of novels by a particular author for which each room is named.
Rowan’s old music studio is now the Norwegian Wood Room named after the Beatles song and a favourite novel by Haruki Murakami.
The second bedroom downstairs is The Age of Innocence Room, after the Edith Wharton novel and the Francis Ford Coppola fi lm.
Upstairs the master bedroom is The River Wife Room after Heather’s third novel and because it looks out over the River Derwent.
The Light in August Room is a favourite novel by William Faulkner and the Finding Serendipity Room is named after the children’s novel co- written by Heather and another renowned Tasmanian author Danielle Wood, under the pen name Angelica Banks.
“The house has been home to 18 years of creativity,” Heather said.
“Music albums have been made there, advertising campaigns have been created there, published novels have been written there.
“All our children are artists too, so there
have been innumerable film shoots, fashion designs, paintings, music and writing happening throughout the house over the years.
“So we knew it was an inspiring house and we wanted to share that with our guests.”
The Library House officially opened on October 29 and is already attracting considerable attention from far and wide.
“It’s exciting to be part of the food and accommodation developments in West Hobart and the CBD, like Hill Street Grocer, Side Car, Garagistes and Avalon City Retreat,” Heather said. “All these businesses become essential partners in delivering a high quality tourism experience.
“We have already had four groups stay. The first group was an international group, the others have so far hailed from Sydney and Melbourne and we have bookings into March.
“The best sign to us is that our first group is already booked to come back for a longer stay.”
Check it out at http:// libraryhouse.com.au