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A Bookish Life

Take a peek inside this historical space

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About the Homeowners
Rita Danielle Steele channeled her passion for historic preservation when she bought the Rumford Library and renovated it into her home. Check out the project at rumordlibraryproject.com.


1. The back half of the home, where the master bedroom is located, was an old addition to the library’s original structure. While bookcases and period details were wholly preserved in the front half of the home, I had the freedom to create a more eclectic aesthetic in this part of the house.
2. One thing we uncovered during the construction was the former exterior brick wall. The wall required a substantial amount of work and rebuilding, but the end result was worth the efforts.
3.
I found my clawfoot tub at New England Demolition and Salvage in New Bedford. It took several weeks to refurbish and retrofitting new fixtures onto it was a bit comical, but nothing tops enjoying it now!
4. The interior wooden window trim here was creatively fashioned by my friend Weston Yule out of the old coal bin boards that we found in the basement. It is one of my favorite features of the home.
5. While I have spent several years involved in historic renovations and design, restoring this space has been one of the most challenging projects that I have ever undertaken. But having an opportunity to actually turn a former library into a home was a rare gift that I will be forever grateful for.