Dan and Kandi Herman, Herriman, Utah
The blank-box living room in Dan and Kandi Herman's house sat mostly empty for six years, serving only as a storage spot for old furniture. "We knew we wanted a cozy sitting room, but the only thing in here was a pendant light and a couple of chairs, so we didn't know where to start," Dan says. Inspiration struck when Kandi found a picture of a coffered ceiling, which Dan plotted out using plywood planks. Then he fashioned hollow beams by boxing out the plywood with alder scored on the cheap from a local supplier. At the far end, Dan built a feature wall of bookcases using plywood and alder, with open shelves above to create plenty of room for display, and covered cabinets down below to give the couple a place to conceal storage boxes. Between the shelves, he installed a slim electric fireplace and a stone-veneer surround. On top, Dan added an elegant arched mantel he created himself to match the one in the adjacent great room. To complete the look, he finished the space with hefty alder baseboards to tie ceiling and shelving together. Now, filled with natural wood and stone touches and lined with books, the room has become an inviting escape for bibliophile Kandi—just the place to kick back with a good read.
Shown: Storage-rich bookcases and a stone fireplace surround add warm Craftsman style, while the coffered ceiling ties the space together.