Friday Fun: Happy New Year in Your Happy Place!

Here are a few cosy places that make me happy in winter… if I had them in my life, that is. Hope you have a good ‘Rutsch’ (slip) into the New Year, as the Germans say, and that it is a much better year for all of us!

A double-decker study, from PMC Architects.
A study on the veranda to survive the dark winter days, from SF Girl by Bay.
You might be hiding in the jungle, but you still have plenty of light, from 1stDibs.com
Darker spaces, without windows, can be cosy too in winter. I can imagine storytelling against this backdrop.
Chalets are never far from my thoughts in the winter months, from Architectural Digest.
And when you are ready to conk out, is there a more beautiful place than this bedroom (watch out for the masks though!). From AirBnB.

Friday Fun: Cosy Reading Places

We can never get enough of the great bookish indoors, can we? Here are some reading nooks where I could spend the entire month of December, with or without any Christmas decorations.

Large windows: yay or nay? Let the light in for winter months, but might feel rather chilly if not triple glazed. This room also has space to invite your book club members over for a chat, from Moon to Moon.
Are there paintings on the ceiling there for readers to rest their eyes? I love the green shimmer throughout this library, clearly a very Zen space. From Danielle Trussoni.
That New York loft feel, could do with some more shelves though. From The Spaces.
Designed for a couple from Montreal who wanted to be able to work and read in the same space, from Studio MMA.
Who doesn’t love a porthole type window, especially if it’s surrounded by bookshelves and positioned strategically next to a comfy chair? From The Nordroom.
We can’t all have vast amounts of space, so this is a particularly ingenious solution under the eaves in a flat in France. From FJA Architecture.
And there are more realistic solutions, withing our budgets, such as this reading nook featured by Jessica Paster.

Friday Fun: Work is Fun

I think I am trying to convince myself with this title, as I would much rather be on holiday in Yorkshire still. But it certainly would feel a lot more fun if you had one of these home offices – not all of them are ideal and fanciful, but they seem to solve a problem.

Tiny space, no room for a proper desk? Try this creative wavy one on a sort of closed balcony. With the radiator right by your legs, you won’t be as freezing as I get in my study! From Home Adore.
No space and no windows? This is typical of Japanese apartments, but author (and manga/anime artist) Tsukasa Kobayashi has found a great nook to aid his productivity.
Your study has to double as a guestroom/spare bedroom? No problem with this stylish sofa bed, which also makes for really comfy reading. From tuacasa.com.br
Under the eaves? This attic office is more of a hobby room, and could benefit from a few more bookshelves, but it’s a start. From unskinnyboppy.com
Under the eaves and you have to share with others? This long, narrow office sitting on top of an entire house might the solution, from archdaily.com
Under the eaves and you’ve got some historical beams to contend with? This pretty combination of old and new could be the solution, from Anna Wilson Interior Design.
More money than need for a home library or study? Then this dual-aspect corner office might tempt you. From 1stdibs.com

Friday Fun: Glamorous Home Libraries

For those who dare to dream big, or else convert their entire house into a home library (I mean: I would, as long as I had a bathroom and a kitchen and a bed somewhere as well). These all look rather comfortable, I’m sure you’ll agree. One thing, however, makes me sad. Many of these are from very expensive properties in the US and I cannot help wondering if many of these vast libraries are just for show, rather than that the owners truly read and treasure all of their books.

My kind of NYC penthouse, from NYCurbed.com
This one might look like a shop, but is apparently an apartment you can rent out from hotpads.com
Plenty of room for more books on these shelves from Florida, from Architectural Design.
This Ellison Bay mansion was apparently the most expensive house in Wisconsin, from JS Online.
If you don’t have a mansion, how about converting your nearest barn? This one looks cosy, from nextluxury.com
I have no idea who Emma Burns is, but this is apparently her barn, which she has converted into a library with a guest bed on the mezzanine floor. I want to be her friend! From GlowDesignLibrary.
If you have a large garden, then this slightly luxurious version of a garden shed might work for you, from DesignMilk.com

Friday Fun: Hidden Doors

Thanks to my endless displays of home libraries in the Friday Fun series, one might suppose you have an impeccable home office/ study/ library by now. Ah, but do you have a hidden door? Next to a library ladder, it must be the single most coveted thing for a library addict. Here are some suggestions for when you next feel like a minor home improvement is required… Or when you want to hide and scare someone for Halloween!

A sliding door to the attic (where possibly there are even more books!) from FamilyHandyman.com
I think this one must be in a stately home, but I have no other source for it other than Flickr.
Perfectly hidden, in classic design, from bookthrillist.com
The French version of this allows for some busts of your heroes, in ADMagazine.fr
For the serious collector, this climate-controlled library in a house designed by the great Oscar Niemeyer, from Architectural Digest.
This one is not very hidden, not even a door really, but I could imagine feeling quite apart from the hustle and bustle of the living room in that little library corner. From Content in a Cottage.

Friday Fun: Home Libraries to the Nth Degree

Surely you haven’t got bored of me showing you magnificent home libraries and bookshelf possibilities? Here are a few recent favourites. I do hope I am not repeating myself.

Inbuilt shelves in my favourite colour, from Foxtail Books.
The tiles, plants and shelves makes this look almost like a courtyard library. From Apartment Therapy.
This Canadian home not only has the indispensable library ladder, but also colour coordination in the upper realm (where you probably go less frequently?) From hgtv.ca
The South African editor of Elle is a collector and has this wonderful gallery with shelves to house books and collections. From elle.fr
A cabin-like feel to this reading nook, from hometoz.com
Of course, I crave the truly palatial, like this gallery from Elle Decor.

Friday Fun: Reading in Your Library

I can downsize quite easily if I live all by myself – but I will need a special room just for my books, somewhere to read, write, and just admire all the imacculately arranged shelves. The ideal would be the Whatley family’s specially-commissioned library in Texas (first picture below), but some of the others might also do…

Isn’t this just the best? A dream! From Texas Monthly.
Not quite as many bookshelves, but not bad, with comfortable chairs and sofas for group reading. From doornob.com
If the above are too bright, here is a quieter, less glarey place, from 1stDibs.com
Another darker, cosier room, halfway between a boudoir and a library, from House Beautiful.
Love the way these bookshelves make use of everysingle bit of wallspace (the back wall is missing a few more shelves, though). From DecoratedLife.com
Less glamorous, but perhaps more achievable, this reading nook in a house available for rent on AirBnB.

Friday Fun: Bookish Delights Under the Stairs

Under my stairs I have the cat’s litter tray, but if you set such prosaic realities aside, stairs do seem to offer an extra opportunity to store some books, especially if space is somewhat tight.

Bookshelves with a good light and even a chair to peruse properly, from matchness.com
Scandinavian flair for this studio with a mezzanine in Luberon, France, from hello-hello.fr
I’m always a bit nervous about stairs with no balustrades, but maybe if you are Italian, you are never in danger of falling down them. From Porta Ticinese.
A modern reinterpretation of tradition, plus comfy armchairs, from Country Living.
The very British traditional take on home office and bookcase, from Neville Johnson.
This looks more manageable and affordable, although you might bump into things and make books fly. From Sooshell.com

Friday Fun: All the Bookshelf Joy in the World

What’s the point of having a house without bookshelves filled with books? Here are some of my recent favourites (by the way, I have to keep on deleting old pictures, to make sure that I have enough space on my WordPress site, so you may find some posts are missing pictures, although I am trying to delete those rogue empty posts).

Don’t let a few pesky windows put you off having bookshelves on those walls, from Tumblr.
Tall shelves always look good, from Architectural Digest.
Having a long, narrow room doesn’t mean you have to give up on a windowseat and bookshelves. from Houseawards.com.au
The longest desk in the world and a lot of lovely tall bookshelves, from Laya Decor.
Mountain chalet would suit me perfectly, from beautifullyseaside.com
These shelves are far too empty, but those chairs look comfy, and the reading light seems good too. All I need is a footstool… From delightfull.eu

Friday Fun: Who Has the Fairest Home Library of Them All?

Whenever I search property websites for houses for sale in my dream locations, I am nearly invariably disappointed by the lack of books in most people’s houses. I’m not just thinking empty shelves, as is the case in one of the examples below (where the owner has clearly moved out before marketing her property), but no shelves at all, almost as if books were a dirty concept that should be kept hidden from view. Fortunately, I’ve managed to find some examples that prove that books really do form the best kind of backdrop in your home. And not just on Zoom calls.

A cosy waiting room for guests or reading nook for those who don’t like house parties. From ArchitecturalDesigns.com
Another cosy reading corner, with footstool and lighting, just off the main library (one can but hope). From livemaster.ru
A home library fit for a palazzo – or a LavishLawyer.com
A small apartment need not spell the end of your bookish dreams, as this charming bedroom demonstrates. From domino.com
This room has arched windows surrounded by books on BOTH sides – and ladders! It doesn’t get much better or showier than this. From thenordroom.com
Finally, this is the one that I said featured empty shelves. It is Emilia Clarke’s house in LA, which she has put up for sale. I think I might have enough books to cover up all that space (and perhaps a few left over). From thenordroom.com