Char­ac­ter from cover to cover at Li­brary House

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - HOME - Jes­sica Howard

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

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