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Home Improvement Paneling Millwork - I Love a Mahogany Library

Updated on May 1, 2015

A native American wood, mahogany, now grown and harvested on Asian plantations such as India, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Fiji. Mahogany is a straight grain typically free of knots common to pine and free of pronounced grains such as the oak. It is favored for furniture because the size of the trees and the hardness of the wood combined with the lushest color that darkens over time to a beautiful reddish patina. The wide circumference of the mahogany tree allowed cabinet makers to have access to full sheets of this exquisitely grained and colored wood. Like all great things of beauty, mahogany is timeless. A mahogany library simply hubs you allowing you to escape and fully engulf yourself in a great book. Journey with us as we tour some magnificent rooms, learn about the different molding and see firsthand how the patina of this great wood changes over time and from room to room. If you are a woodworker looking for a project, beware, these rooms are simply inspiring. If you are seeking a home improvement project that is all cabinetry expertise with high end materials, this is the one. If the standard home improvement project were 50/50 for time and materials, plan on doubling the time for the intricacies of the many different angled cuts for the creation of these rooms.   Sit back and enjoy the warmth and glow that this beautiful wood exudes as we view over 15 story book examples of mahogany libraries.

Elegant Library with Rich Dark Woodwork

rich woodwork in elegant library
rich woodwork in elegant library | Source
lighted cabinets with book shelves in rich woodwork
lighted cabinets with book shelves in rich woodwork | Source

Arched Book Cases in Warm Mahogany Woodwork

arched book cases enclosed with television media center in rich warm, woodwork
arched book cases enclosed with television media center in rich warm, woodwork | Source

Mahogany Book Cases and Fire Place

classic fireplace surrounded by book shelves on either side of hearth
classic fireplace surrounded by book shelves on either side of hearth | Source

Elegant Family Room with Coffer ed Ceiling in Mahogany

vintage woodwork with extensive carving in library type family room
vintage woodwork with extensive carving in library type family room | Source
Library Mahogany Gothic with raised molding and recessed lights
Library Mahogany Gothic with raised molding and recessed lights | Source

Mahogany Comparison - Herringbone Wood Flooring

The floor below is not mahogany but I have added it in here for the sake of comparing the color and the grains of the distinctive mahogany.  I didn't want you to forget the redness that the mahogany has over all other woods.

Herringbone Flooring

leaded glass windows with deep warm woodwork in iibrary
leaded glass windows with deep warm woodwork in iibrary | Source

Creation of the Mahogany Library

To recreate these mahogany libraries takes much more than just the mahogany veneers - that is only the beginning.  These rooms are high crafted by true artisans.  The joints, the cuts the contours with the router bits are complicated and matched to absolute perfection.  Adding various cuts adds character and distinction to the room.  No different than a fine piece of furniture that is beautiful yet is lacking in adornment.  Artisans such as Tiffany and Erte were world renown for their craft because of the details.  Likewise, these rooms exude a sense of  timelessness.  Create a room where time stand still and generations after us will sit and reflect, read and muse and converse, decades long after you and I are gone - this is the legacy of these great library rooms.

Beautiful Yellow Room Design

Beautiful Yellow Room Design
Beautiful Yellow Room Design | Source

Comparing Rooms - Panelled Mahogany and Yellow

Rooms change dependent upon their colors.  Look at the beautiful yellow room.  Gorgeous but distinctively different.  Likewise, look at how the molding changes the room.  Check out the panelled office devoid of any molding.  The office walls are gorgeous, the color is mahogany but the entire ambiance of the room takes on a completely different feeling.  Perhaps it is similar to a book bound in a plastic library cover and a leather bound book?  The texture of the contours of the molding of the mahogany make the room simple hug you as you enter. 

modern wood double doors with modern glass wall
modern wood double doors with modern glass wall | Source

Mahogany Wood Panels

Mahogany paneling is perfectly flat.  The grain is gorgeous and the color is unparalleled.  Even cherry cannot compete.  What we didn't show here is the flame mahogany with its deep grains.  A wood that offers the carpenter a perfect canvas from the panels to the inserts.

The raised panels and the various contours make the panelled mahogany library come alive.  It is as it the book had one page and then the author wrote a complete novel - to me that is the distinction from the ordinary flat panels of color to the artistic creations of a full panelled library.

Flame Mahogany Table

flame mahogany table
flame mahogany table | Source
classic wood fireplace and beautiful wood surround
classic wood fireplace and beautiful wood surround | Source

Basic Panels to Flame Mahogany Panel Inserts

From the basic panels of mahogany as shown to the very right here to the intricate flame inserted panels shown in the sample library below, both rooms offer a distinctive décor that settles your soul, gives rest to your busy mind and takes you to a time of complete serenity, a timeless joy, an oasis of calm in the midst of our hectic and demanding days.

Note how the flamed mahogany insert panels are framed not just with 90 degree corners, but with a more intricate design that even great artist would be proud to call their own.

Carpenters are artisans, unsung artist of the highest caliber. To craft wood to this degree, to highlight the grains of the flame mahogany, to match the intricate grains not to mention to match the complicate joints is a rare skill.

Flame Mahogany Fireplace Surround

flame mahogany fireplace surround with extensive molding
flame mahogany fireplace surround with extensive molding | Source

Inspired to Create a Mahogany Library

Inspired to learn.  Please find below a couple of videos on paneling.  Remember, not all paneling is the same.  Look for the quality.

If a true mahogany library is beyond your time and budget, check out some other videos that might be helpful for you to camouflage the dated and dingy paneling from long ago.

Chair Rail Concepts

Mahogany Library - A Special Place for the Mind and Soul and Family

What makes the mahogany library so special? A combination of the wood color, the smooth, unblemished wood grain and the many inculcate raised moldings and contours. The contoured edges set off the patina of this very special wood. The router bits were busy but the craftsmanship fo the carpenter with the precision cuts is not just good with calculation and dimension but with the artistry. These rooms are rooms of art and compare on an equal footing to any great artist from Erte to Tiffany to Monet and beyond. Create a legacy room, create a mahogany library for you and your family to enjoy.

© 2010 Ken Kline


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