Books, Beans and Design Inspiration

Several months ago, during a weekend trip to the mountains, my family and I decided to take a drive along the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway. We had the most wonderful day exploring the area, enjoying the gorgeous scenic views and making a few stops along the way.  The Blue Ridge Parkway also known as “America’s Favorite Drive” is part of the National Park Service and a must do if you ever have the chance, but be sure to check here first for weather and road conditions.

Before we set out on our afternoon drive we mapped out our route and a few places we had been wanting to visit. One of those places was Little Switzerland where we stumbled upon a small downtown area which was basically just a few connected buildings. There was a café, a general store and the most wonderful hidden gem of a bookstore, Books and Beans.  Not only does this place have an incredible selection of books, but your will also find locally made arts and crafts and a full service coffee and espresso bar. You could easily spend hours here perusing the bookshelves and sipping on a cappuccino.

Books and Beans in Little Switzerland, NC

 Books and Beans in Little Switzerland, NC

Books and Beans in Little Switzerland, NC

Books and Beans in Little Switzerland, NC

Lots of fun finds throughout the store.

 Books and Beans in Little Switzerland, NC

Books and Beans in Little Switzerland, NC

Books stacked from floor to ceiling and in every nook and cranny…even under the stairs.

 Books and Beans in Little Switzerland, NC

I loved this, a pretty little cabinet just for the “weird” books.

 Books and Beans in Little Switzerland, NC

While we were walking throughout the shop I had a totally unexpected eureka moment. 

 Books and Beans in Little Switzerland, NC

I said to husband, “this is it”! He looked at me a bit puzzled as I explained that this was the design inspiration I had been searching for.

  Books and Beans in Little Switzerland, NC

I now  knew exactly how I wanted our living room to feel. Cozy, warm, inviting, collected and a place to finally put our books. My husband is an avid reader so the word “books” happily caught his attention.

 Books and Beans in Little Switzerland, NC

For months our living room had been sitting unfinished and empty after taking all of the accessories and moving them into the family room. I had been pinning some ideas to give the living room more of a library feel, but I had no clue how to make these ideas come to life in our home. I never expected to find my design inspiration when I walked into this bookstore.

 Books and Beans in Little Switzerland, NC

Ideas were now spinning in my head and as soon as we returned home the living room began it’s transformation. I can’t wait to share the reveal, just need to take a few more pics. It has been so cloudy here, hoping for some sunshine soon.

 Books and Beans in Little Switzerland, NC

The only down side to our visit to Little Switzerland is that my husband spotted this as we were leaving.

Books and Beans in Little Switzerland, NC

So, now on our next trip to the mountains hubby’s motorcycle will be coming with us. While he is out enjoying the ride along the winding roads of the Diamondback, I guess I will just have to do a little antique shopping to distract myself from stressing about his safety.

Lauren

Comments

  1. Oh, Lauren, what a great shop you found! Makes my heart speed up when I venture into a sweet welcoming bookstore like this one. Thank you for the many pics…inspiring as you say. We are retired librarians and avid readers so have two large bookcases in our living room and stacks (ok, piles) of books on the coffee table, floor, bedside tables. Looking forward to seeing your living room as I expect to draw inspiration (or steal) a few of your ideas.

  2. I can not wait to see what you’ve done! I love books incorporated into room design and they give a room such a warm and cozy feeling… they make you feel like snuggling into a comfy chair and reading the day away. Thanks for sharing Books and Beans… I love discovering fun stores in North Carolina!

  3. What a great bookstore! I can spend hours in them! These pictures are going to be great reference for doing your living room the way you envision it. I know it’s going to be beautiful!

    I was wondering where Little Switzerland was…we have a vacation condo in Asheville. Anywhere near there?

    XO,
    Jane

  4. So glad you had a great time and gained the inspiration you wanted too!…I think my son drove that route on his motorcycle…he loves to ride the scenic routes recommended by the motorcycle enthusiasts…there is one area that the switchbacks are so great that there is a photographer there taking pictures of the cyclist…Have fun with creating your living room!

  5. Lisa Conley says:

    Oh Lauren,

    I cannot wait to see your “inspired” living room. I am getting ready for a re-do in our 100 year old home in our living room. It is just my husband and I and we don’t even use the room so I am thinking of turning it into a library type room too. I have to wait for your inspiration pictures though. Our kids are all grown and gone and we have this hugh old farmhouse home. I am excited about my new inspiration that will be borrowed from your inspiration.

    ~ Lisa from Indiana ~

  6. Nancy Block says:

    Whatever you do, I’ll be watching for great inspiration from you.

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