Libraries as fanciful as this one don’t manifest out of thin air.
Producer power couple Andrew Marlowe and Terri Edda Miller conjured their 1,000-square-foot room’s Old World look from famous libraries — including the one at Hogwarts from the Harry Potter films.
“We wanted to create something that was warm, romantic, functional,” said Marlowe, whose boyhood home (his parents were cultural anthropologists) “overflowed with books.”
Miller and Marlowe were executive producers on ABC’s crime dramedy “Castle,” which Marlowe created.
The couple purchased their 1929 four-bedroom, seven-bathroom Santa Monica home in 2005, pegging a poolside room for a long-desired library, which they completed in May. The storied room is stocked with 4,000 books.
The library nearly looks like a movie set. Who designed it?
Miller: We collaborated with Alfred Sole, a world-class production designer who worked on “Castle” for our entire run. We loved his aesthetic.
What’s your favorite detail in the room?
Marlowe: The ceiling’s belt and pulley fan system. It’s incredibly romantic, designed for the 1884 New Orleans Cotton Centennial Exposition. It was originally powered by a guy on a bicycle in the corner. The previous owner installed it.
Miller: The map panels. We love antique and celestial maps, so we asked Alfred to design them. He filled them with mythological creatures: Apollo crossing the sky in his chariot, a hydra and others.
What item — besides all those books — most marks this as a room for reading?
Marlowe: The stone carving of a man huddling over parchment, quill in hand. It’s over the limestone fireplace. We found it in an antique place in the Valley years ago. We had been waiting to give him a place of honor.
You’ve said reading fuels your storytelling careers. What are your favorite topics?
Marlowe: I’m fascinated with neurology and neurobiology, and how brain architecture affects perception and thought. So, works by Antonio Damasio, V.S. Ramachandran and others.
Miller: I’m more interested in behavior and personality, how people’s minds work and how we respond to different stimuli. I love the Oliver Sacks books, also: “Brain Rules” by John Medina, “Blink” and “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell, “The Talent Code” by Daniel Coyle …
Do you have any antiquarian books?
Miller: I inherited the complete works of Charles Dickens (first edition) from my grandfather, so that’s there.
Marlowe: I think the oldest book we have is Francis Bacon’s “De Augmentis Scientiarum,” 1645. It’s been in my family for a couple of generations.
What’s your favorite time of day to sit in the library and read?
Miller: I climb into the window seat at the end of the day and curl up with a book or something I’m reading for work.
Marlowe: I go in the mornings with a cup of coffee and grab a book. It’s very quiet. When I’m stuck on a script, I wander and look at the titles; it can spark my imagination.