Friday Fun: Parisian Apartments

Let’s pay a visit to the gorgeous, airy Haussmannian apartments in the well-heeled areas of Paris now that their occupants are on holiday. I’ve been inspired by the elegant apartments shown in the film The Woman from the Fifth (Arrondissement), I hasten to add, not the dodgy hotel in the peripherie.

This is the typical, very symmetrical and neutrally-coloured French apartment, but with a splash of colour. From Architectural Digest.

The flow from one room to another and the neutral walls go well with both classical and contemporary elements. From

This one even includes a view of the Eiffel Tower! From Architectural Digest.
The wooden parquet in chevron patterns are very characteristic for city apartments, from

How’s this for a spectacular entrance hall and corridor? From

The blue colour of the bookshelves and the large windows make this room irresistible, and they have a coffee table which looks rather similar to mine (who knew I was so stylish!) From

Ah, now that’s what I call a living room (or library)! From

But perhaps best of all is to have this blank canvas and just imagine all you could do with this gorgeous space and view! From Faraway Places.

Friday Fun: Library Ladders

A good friend Ewa Sherman showed me a library ladder on Twitter (knowing how partial I am to such distractions) and that inspired me to find some of the most congenial library ladders of all time. From the classical to the more modern…

A pleasant little viewing platform at the top, from Bran Appetit.

Painted ceilings and chandeliers match so well with these bookshelves, don’t they? From

A public rather than a private library, so not sure how health and safety feel about that ladder? From

A more modern and realistic take on the library ladder from Andrew Nebett Designs.

In contemporary UK, Neville Johnson seems to have the monopoly on bespoke fitted bookshelves and wardrobes.

I don’t have favourites, but if I did, this might be it. A whole top floor room dedicated to bookshelves, reading and ladders. More books needed, of course. From

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.