Friday Fun: Something Old, Something New…

Some of these libraries are actually old, but most of them are ‘faux’. Some of them only slightly pretend to be classical. Never mind – I could happily put up with any of them!

The Franckeshe Stiftung, Halle, was indeed founded at the end of the 17th century. From

I did not know that the Opera Garnier in Paris also has a library.

Strawberry Hill House is neo-Gothic – so 18th century masquerading as 14th. From Teddington NUB News.

The Biltmore Mansion in North Carolina clearly longs for the French chateau or English country house style. From Wikimedia.

Modern but clearly inspired by olde worlde style, from Pinterest.

Unapologetically modern, Mediterranean and 1960s in style. From Casa Om.

Friday Fun: Libraries are good for the soul

… and home libraries even more so (although I like the sense of the unexpected that you get with public or university libraries… although I do frequently forget what books I have on certain shelves).

I was unable to discover a reliable source for this one, so it makes me think it’s a fantasy painting: certainly fits with my fantasy of everything a home library should have – shelves, greenery, natural light and a cat…
An antique desk, books with leather covers and a library ladder never go out of style. From
Not quite as stuffy in its classical style, with a daring blend of colours but perhaps too dark. From Laurel Bern Interiors.
OK, this one looks more corporate and bland, but the gallery line for art and the comfy seating are winners in my book. From Pinterest
Well, who doesn’t want a turret and a bookish staircase leading all the way up to Rapunzel’s office or reading room? From
So the colour of the bookcases might be slightly sickly, but with a room this size and the beautiful paintings, I think we can forgive this momentary lapse of reason. The Library of the 18th Duchess of Alba, Palacio de Liria, Madrid.

Friday Fun: Attic Escapes

If I had attics like these, I wouldn’t mind being known as the Madwoman in the Attic! Eight or so years ago I had plans to convert the loft into a study and library space, but fortunately for my wallet and sanity, I have given up such fantastical dreams. Instead, I gawp at other people’s attics.

Cosy little reading nook under the eaves, from
Not quite sure how many times I would bash my head against those beams, but it does look pretty, right? From
Comfortable armchairs and footrests are indispensable. From
So delightful when you have plenty of natural light or skylights. Photo credit: MICHAEL TERCHA/TRIBUNE PHOTO.
Some spaces are bigger than others – I could probably fit all my stuff into this attic. From
Well, now, isn’t this a proper library, although it’s in a family home in Toronto? From The Globe and Mail.
Given the choice, I would always fill up my attic with books, but I have to admit this gallery/bedroom also looks rather nice. From

Friday Fun: Of the Classical Bent

It seems that many of us cannot get enough of the more classical style of libraries – lots of wood, darker colours, symmetrical decorations, comfy armchairs. Somewhere to hide from the crazy world!

Shutters down if you are in a Southern climate, to protect your books. From Pinterest.
Art and books merge seamlessly here, plus check out that strategically placed reading lamp. From The Fuller Review.
You know I can never resist a library with a mezzanine floor, and this cosy seating arrangement is perfect for two bookish friends. From Pinterest.
The Americans always have to do everything bigger and more opulent – the fireplace apparently was brought over from a London townhouse. From Sotheby’s.
If you do not have the ceiling height for mezzanines, this arrangement works well too. From Architectural Digest.
Another American entry, Dunham Library in California, from Veranda.

Friday Fun: Timelessly Elegant

Or everything I am not, in other words! But then, how can you compete with some much-loved bookshelves?

Monochrome beauty by Visual Vamp on Tumblr.
Clever partition to allow for a reading and study space – and more shelves, not just on the walls. From Casa Paolo.
Ah, if only we had a loft or attic as spacious as this, right? From
A Scandinavian living room, I’m sure – note the lack of curtains, the cosy fireplace, the minimalist furniture and the parquet flooring. From Fashiion-gone-rouge.
But if you prefer more classical alternatives, this seems like a good place to start, from
The Duchess Anna Amalia Library in Weimar – what a woman – a composer, collector and operating a highly respected cultural salon.
But if it’s a modest little paradise, you seek, then this one from The Grey Home should do the trick.

Friday Fun: Rearranging Bookshelves

At some point I need to have a big clear out of books, clothes and knick-knacks, but for the time being, let me still dream of endless shelf space! Some of the home libraries below have lots of room to play with, but others are very clever at making the best use of quite narrow spaces.

American painter Winslow Homer seems to have been quite keen on books too, and clever at using this corridor for bookshelves. From
A more spacious corridor than any of us might possess, but still a delightful way to decorate, from
If you have a whole outhouse or barn at your disposal to turn into a library, you can even create a book club and workdesk area. From Business Insider.
The classic French chateau look, from
The English dandy look, complete with record player and chess set, from
Clever or excessive use of lighting in this double-decker library/living room? From Pinterest.
A more discreet use of lighting, from

Friday Fun: Shelfies

We’re no longer in writers’ homes (at least, not as far as we know), but I am sure I would be able to write some marvellous stuff in any of these places. As for reading…

Interesting little writing nook, from Pinterest.
A reading chair with a lamp and a fireplace, what more could you want? From
Even the narrowest of rooms can be made more attractive with bookcases (bonus points for the ladder), from
Ah, these Texans always have to do everything bigger and better than everyone else, from
English aristocracy will do its best to compete, here at Leeds Castle.
This is my personal favourite and when I heard it was actually a guesthouse in Transylvania… well, you know where I will be heading next! Transylvania Guesthouse in Cincsor.

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
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
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
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
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