Friday Fun: Tucked Away

It’s the time of the year when all I want to do is drop everything and hide away in a cosy little place, preferably in the mountains, preferably with snow and skiing nearby, with a log fireplace and plenty of good books to keep me happy.

Country cottage, anyone? From
This modern Swiss chalet will also do the trick, although it does look a trifle exposed. From
What about this sleek tree house in Austria designed by architect Peter Pichler? From
The simple comforts of a Norwegian cabin, from
Finland is also great at making the veranda look appetising even in extreme cold, from
A traditional Romanian country home which has been renovated as a B&B, see Casa Glod on
This fairytale setting is also from Romania, from

Friday Fun: To Read, Perchance to Dream

I think we’re all agreed that you can never have too many inspiring reading nooks, right?

Comfy reading chair and picture window, from Modern Home and Decor.
You can even turn your back to this window and I love the little inbuilt table for your drink or bookmark etc. From Decoist.
Back to window seats, with a landscape like a painting outside. From
It’s not all about forests: here’s an option for those of us who live in cities. I love the cosy throw. From Pinterest.
For the lucky few who have a porch and a swing chair, from Bored Panda.
Not strictly speaking a reading nook, more of a tiny house, but I wouldn’t mind using it as my personal library. From

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: Cosiness for Reading

One day I will have a corner that is dedicated solely to reading – or even better, a whole room dedicated to my favourite hobby. Best, of course, when paired with a fireplace and a bit of view…

These stoves are great for warming up a room, from
If you don’t have a whole room to dedicate to this, you can of course use your grand staircase to carve out a reading corner, can’t you? From
If you have a room for a sofa with a warm throw over it, all the better. From Elle Decor.
Somehow, it’s even cosier if you can hide somewhere rather than a wide-open space – so people cannot interrupt you when reading. From
Quite a maritime feel to this one, and lots of books hidden in every corner, if it were mine. From
Something to aspire to: an entire reading room, with window-seat, fireplace, comfortable armchairs and lots of bookshelves.

Friday Fun: Cosy Backgrounds

Now that the nights are drawing in and I’m hibernating in the house with no chance of going skiing (I am not overly fond of going running in the rain), I’ve noticed that all my Teams and Zoom meeting backgrounds are starting to look remarkably chalet-like. So here are some cosy rooms with fireplaces that my colleagues almost started envying…

The white tulips make you think of spring, but the open fireplace says Christmas stockings to me. From
Isn’t that leather chaiselongue just made for reading? From
In summer I like it bright and airy, but there’s nothing like some glowing fire and candlelight in the dark in winter. From
This rustic one is for rent on, with or without guitars.
The grandest and least cosy, but I’m sure there is a fireplace in there somewhere – and the view! From

Friday Fun: Cosy Bookishness

As we start to retreat into our cocoons, here are some rooms where all our bookish goodness (and greed) can come to the fore.

Backlighting and ladders – what’s not to look about this? From
Perfect reading nook, although I still prefer the Brasilia chaise. From
More of a lived-in look, from
For those of us who have high ceilings, from Pinterest.
Even if you have long, narrow rooms, you can still create a welcoming library. From
I could be so organised if only I had those millions of little drawers, from Pinterest.
All that’s missing is the whisky, from the Mayflower Inn.
Perfect for book clubs, from Pinterest.

Friday Fun: Cosy Fireplaces

Now that Christmas is over, our thoughts naturally turn to partying with friends at a chalet high up in the mountains after a great day of skiing. Well, mine do anyway, if I had all the time and money in the world. Of course, my kind of partying involves a cosy fire, great views, delicious food and pleasant discussions about books, art, music and theatre.

Having had a stove in our house in France, I can vouch it is a wonderful way to warm up the room. No fireplace is complete without a pet, of course. From Home Building and Renovating magazine.

Ah, even better with a cat… From Bill’s TN Paradise.

A more minimalist Scandinavian feel to this one, from

Great Christmas atmosphere at this property in Northern Ireland, from Property Pal.

This picture seems to have been taken in summer, which is just wrong. Tom Cruise’s former property in Colorado, from

Ah, this one allows everyone to sit around the fire! French chalet from Design Mag.

The typical wood-heavy chalet look in Megeve, from Chalet Chatel.

We can’t see the fireplace in this picture, but I’m sure it matches the view. Chalet in Zermatt, from Luxury Ski Chalets.

Friday Fun: Hygge or Cosy

It appears that the Danish were not even aware that their concept of ‘hygge’ (comfort) is such a big idea until the British started marketing it. And yet the English have a perfectly good word for it as well ‘cosy’. Whatever we choose to call it, the appeal of curling up with candles, fireplaces, blankets and fleeces, books, a view and perhaps a pet or two… well, it’s undeniable. We need this comfort even more in these uncertain times.

Books, views and a stove appear to be indispensable items, from
Books, views and a stove appear to be indispensable items, from

It doesn't always have to be winter - here is a cosy conservatory in spring/summer. From
Wood is a key ingredient. It doesn’t always have to be winter – here is a cosy conservatory in spring/summer. From

Bedcovers and pets are the perfect combination, from Pinterest.
Stones and bricks also add to the appeal, while bedcovers and pets perfect the look, from Pinterest.

It didn't originate in Denmark and it's not a recent phenomenon, as Vita Sackville-West's study shows. From National Trust website.
It didn’t originate in Denmark and it’s not a recent phenomenon, as Vita Sackville-West’s study shows. From National Trust website.

Lots of seating for the many friends that you'll have visiting you, from Country Living.
Lots of seating for the many friends that you’ll have visiting you, from Country Living.

Cushions and cakes are always a good idea, from Pinterest.
Cushions, coffee and cakes – the three Cs –  are always a good idea, from Pinterest.

The problem is, with such a cosy home, you might never want to get up until spring has well and truly sprung... From Huffington Post.
The problem is, with such a cosy home, you might never want to get up until spring has well and truly sprung… From Huffington Post.


‘Tis the Season to be Cosy

A smoggy, sunless day today.

So indulge me… Allow me to curl up in a well-travelled vintage room, with lots of books, armchairs, plaid blankets and plenty of cushions. An open fire and a mulled wine would be optional, but deliciously thoughtful.

A cosy bedroom would not come amiss, even if it were designed with teenagers in mind…

But, for the ultimate retreat, while there is still snow in the mountains, I would like to hide up in this Swiss eco-pod hut in Flims and do nothing but read and write.

Cosy reading nooks and home libraries

It’s a dull, cloudy day and I know I should be going up above the clouds to see the sun and some skiing action. But it is so much more tempting to curl up with a book, especially if you happen to be in one of the places below…

Or, if you are after something a little more ambitious, here is Christian Louboutin’s holiday home and its tempting library.

And finally, the outlandish, futuristic and exciting Walker Library in Connecticut. Star Wars with books!