Friday Fun: This Is How the Light Gets In

At certain times of year, we just can’t wait for the light to show up and flood our homes and rooms. Time to come out of the cave!

A conservatory-kitchen leading out into the garden – who could resist – especially if there’s some kind of shade to prevent it getting too hot. From MBPeyer Design.
Double height ceilings and an ocean view certainly make for a a beautiful light-filled room, from houseofturquoise.com
Another conservatory kitchen, with a window seating area for all your friends, from Elle Decor.
This looks real but is apparently a ‘concept home’: Casa Antibaia in Sao Paolo, Brazil. From The Spaces.
While this one looks like a concept home but is apparently real, a modernistic hobbit house half-buried in the ground, from imgur.com

Friday Fun: Armchairs where I could read in peace forevermore

Well, that was enough of venturing outside into the sunshine. Now for a holiday, where all I have to do is sit in a super-comfortable armchair and read! These are the types of armchairs I have in mind.

My favourite colour, plus a good reading lamp and plenty of room on the shelves, from archzine.fr
A nice footstool is always useful – especially if your seat is taken… From Abeautifulmess.com
This looks more like an Instagram opportunity rather than a comfortable reading chair, from delightfull.eu
More realistic setting, an armchair reminiscent of Ikea’s iconic one. From inspirationsfabrik.blogspot.com
Some day, when I win the lottery, I will be able to afford to buy and ship this beauty, the Brasilia chaise by Modernica.

Friday Fun: Venturing Out into the World

We’ve spent a lot of time in home libraries, cosy reading nooks, even under the stairs over the past few weeks. So it’s high time we looked at inspiring contemporary architectures (hopefully well insulated and far away from peeking eyes) set in amazing landscapes. Welcome to spring, Easter, and nature’s rebirth!

Mountain home designed by Kelly Stone Architects, from OneKindesign.
Canadian lakeside home, photo credit: Maciek Linowski, from Contemporist.
Semi-underground ecological home from the Netherlands, from architectureideas2live4.com
Marataba Trails Lodge in South Africa is more of a hotel but I wouldn’t mind living here all year round, from extraordinaryjourneys.com
‘Cottage’ may be an understatement for this house set on its own island on New Zealand’s Bay of Islands, designed by Bossley Architects.

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 elcune.com
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 decoratorist.com
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 housely.com
Quite a maritime feel to this one, and lots of books hidden in every corner, if it were mine. From onekindesign.com
Something to aspire to: an entire reading room, with window-seat, fireplace, comfortable armchairs and lots of bookshelves. Fromhousetohome.com

Friday Fun: Minimalist Desks

Can you just imagine what masterpieces I might write at these super-tidy desks if I didn’t have random pieces of paper, piles of books, ten leaky pens, heart and car crafty pieces by my sons and a million other things competing for space on them? How did that saying go about a clear desk leading to a clear mind – or an empty one, possibly?

This is the picture that kicked off the dream – a desk set in a landscape of calming green, what more could you want. From dwell.com
Of course, if you have a corner, you might want to make the most of your desk space and go all the way round. Get more comfy chairs, though! From dwell.com
This house in the Blue Ridge Mountains, known as the Piedmont Residence, demonstrates that you can have a desk in your bedroom without a problem. As well as a view, of course. From trendir.com
Another modest corner desk – this one at least hints at writing and reading getting done here. Designed by Bloxas from architectureau.com
The Italians do everything so stylishly – this desk ‘hidden’ in the corner of the room, facing out into landscape, perfect for deep thinking. From living.corriere.it
This Napa Valley house also features a desk in the bedroom. Perfect if you have no partner, I believe. Or separate bedrooms. From StevenHarrisArchitects.com
This is a Swiss holiday home, so I don’t think the desk is designed for daily use. Just as well, since I don’t think I’d get much writing done with that view to contemplate. Photo credit: James Silverman, interiordesign.net

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

Friday Fun: In Search of the Perfect Shelf

Of course bookshelves are the best kind of shelves, but I have to admit that I’m nosy and like to see what people put on any kind of shelves. Here are some shelves where you can proudly display your favourite things.

Corner office in your bedroom, although I do wonder how you can reach the top shelf. From curbly.com
Another cute little office, although the shelves are rather high. From DesignerTrapped.com
Would love to have this in my hallway (if my hallway were big enough). From handymano.com
It’s not all about the books – look at these amazing window shelves, from homestratosphere.com
No corner is wasted here, from cottagemarket.com
Shelves around the windows are just my favourite thing – although I do occasionally worry the books might get mouldy. From Instagram.

Friday Fun: Mansions with Musical Links

Not that we need any excuse to show beautiful mansions or palaces, but, following the Canadian novel about musicians that I read earlier this week, I was inspired to find a bit of a musical theme to the following gorgeous pictures.

Chateau Vendeuvre in Normandy, still privately owned, does not really have any famous composer living here, but does have a rather annoying musical theme tune when you go the website.
The Sarkozy-Bruni household lives in this mansion. Carla Bruni of course was a model and singer before she became Madame Sarkozy.
The Chopin Museum in Warsaw is considerably grander than Chopin’s birthplace in the country manor house, where his father was a tutor. From muzeum.nifc.pl
Leith Hill Place in Surrey was a place where Vaughan Williams spent most of his childhood. It is currently being restored as a National Trust property. From nationaltrust.org.uk
The house of Robert and Clara Schumann in Leipzig, where they moved right after they married. The couple met in Leipzig too. From Leipzig.travel
The grandest privately-owned mansion in the United States, the Biltmore Estate, hosts annual summer music festivals. Still home to the descendents of the Vanderbilt family, from romanticasheville.com

Friday Fun: Living in Historical Buildings

Britain is far less open to revolutionary modern architecture when it comes to residential property. A severe case of nostalgia or the result of far too many inadequate poky modern developments? Yet, undeniably, there is a charm to old buildings, especially if they have been sympathetically restored.

This window must have been the former barn door, in this gorgeous renovation from Archer Buchanan.
A conservatory with a difference from Town and Country Living.
Gresgarth Hall with its idyllic waterside setting.
Even better if your historical house has a library, of course, as is the case of Skibo Castle in Scotland, from Vogue Magazine.
A clever new addition that blends in with the old, from DIY Architecture.