Friday Fun: My Personal Interior Designer

I’ve shown his work in previous Friday Fun posts (see last week’s libraries for example), but let us take a moment to fully appreciate Luis Bustamente, Spanish interior designer of international renown. He started out as a sculptor and painter, and this shows in his quite grandiose interior schemes with large pieces of art. However, the reason I love him is that in nearly every one of his projects, he includes a library or at the very least some bookshelves. Let’s hope the owners of the properties appreciate this as much as he does. So, if I ever become fabulously wealthy, he’ll be the one designing my house, complete with at least one or two or three home libraries. All of the pictures below are taken from his website.

No windows? No problem with this hidden library that has doors leading in from multiple sides and mirrors to enhance the light.
For those who cannot conceive of a library without a mezzanine floor…
Clever use of skylights and a light colour scheme to make the most of another windowless room.
The best wall divider one can have: bookshelves.
He managed to squeeze in bookcases even in a Swiss chalet in Gstaad. Well, I’d certainly want some books for apres-ski, wouldn’t you?
Even in corporate projects, Bustamente manages to sneak in bookshelves. This is for the London Embassy Gardens luxury apartments in Nine Elms.
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Friday Fun: Emerge from Your Library?

Maybe not just yet, not when the libraries look so tempting…

This looks like something out of Beauty and the Beast, from Pinterest.
Library of the Waldsassen Monastery in Bavaria.
Victor Hugo’s library in his house in Guernsey.
A cosy fireplace and a cuddly pet are great accessories, from Archzine.com
And that is why I love high ceilings – designed by Luis Bustumante.
Books really bring colour to even the most neutral and airy of bedrooms, from Pinterest.
And if you can’t leave your books alone overnight, or need to recover after all the holiday eating, here is the sleep-in library from Mildred Slane.

Friday Fun: Urban Gardens

After attending my beekeeping classes, I’ve realised just how important even the tiniest of urban gardens are (as well as big trees in parks) for keeping the bee population alive and thriving in our cities. In many cases, the bees are better off in the urban environment, because there are fewer pesticides than in the countryside. 

Balcony on Ile St Louis, Paris, from guestpartment.com
Quick, cheerful and cheap option, from deco-cool.fr
Garden in Rome, from SimonMetz.com
Penthouse garden in NYC, from Laurel B. Interiors
The more DIY approach to rooftop gardens from Germany, from diana212blogspot.com
Why not a house surrounded by a garden and koi pond, like this Nagasaki home, from Pinterest.
Disuses railway lines have been transformed into promenades in a number of cities, including the Highline Promenade in NYC.

Friday Fun: Hallways to Feel Welcome

When I looked at staircases a couple of weeks ago, I started wondering whether some of those hallways were truly welcoming or simply statement pieces. In this week’s batch of inspiration, it’s not the staircase that is the star, but the way you feel as you walk in through the door.

Elegant in black and white in France, from Elle Decoration.
Sober period piece with charming tiles, in Bordeaux. From FusionD.fr
Laid back and slightly cluttered, from Australia. From Domino.com
Making the most of the rather dark space through amazing tiling. From Instagram.
That door, those tiles… to die for! From Livingetc.com
Most of the above have been traditional hallways, but here we finally have a modern, colourful take on it. From Modernhomefurniture.co.uk
Last but not least, the country look, from outlook.live.com

Friday Fun: More French Houses to Covet

It doesn’t always have to be chateaux. I would be quite happy with these ‘little’ gems.

Quite tumble-down, but charming, from 1000pimousse.tumblr.com
A modern wing has been attached to the traditional older house, from amenagementdesign.fr
This one looks ready to decorate for Christmas, from indulgy.com
Classical French symmetry, from Muriel Dana-Normandie-2010
That garden, those lights, I can almost smell the scent of the flowers, from cottgwladys.canalblog.net
I just love well-proportioned, symmetrical architecture when it comes to houses I’d like to live in rather than just admire. From Instagram.
Not so much a house, as a street and an atmosphere in Saignon, France

Friday Fun: Staircases

What I liked instantly about the house I am living in now was the generously proportioned hallway and staircase with gallery. This is a rarity in the UK, where hallways tend to be narrow, dark and cramped. Although I never got round to renovating the hallway, here are some ideas for when I do have that time and money.

Simple but effective ascending shades of colour, from ritely.com
The colour on the walls might be a bit too dark, but you can’t deny the strong statement this makes, from theinspiredroom.com
I love patterned tiles, although I’ve taken a tumble on tiled or marble stairs and cannot recommend them. From a house in Bordeaux, from charlesrayandcoco.com
Now for the more aspirational, looking like a 1930s film set, just waiting for Greta Garbo to waft in. From ArchitectureArtDesigns
Another chateau-inspired effort, from houzz.com
A lot of staircase for a relatively small amount of space, from Behind Closed Doors.
More of a museum or public building statement staircase, but I wouldn’t mind the intricate  metalwork, from ArchitectureArtDesigns

Friday Fun: Swimming Pools

Just as the weather gets grey and miserable, I have a craving for outdoor pools. This is what comes of not having been on a beach in summer for 4 years…

Infinity pool with the sea beyond it, what more could one wish? From Pinterest
Extravagant architectural statement from Mexico, from homify.com.mx
Infinity pool above the jungle canopy, from One Kindesign.
More of a paddling pool, but with Tunisian tradition to it, from fomfest.com
Pool with a jungle feel to it, in your own back yard, from Fitz and Huxley.
Hammock, plants and pool in a more geometric design, from Pinterest.
Our neighbours in France had a pool that lit up at night, so this is a dream of mine… From Pinterest