Friday Fun: Farmhouses Around the World

It’s harvest time, so my thoughts turn naturally to the farming communities. My farming ancestors would have felt right at home in some of these houses, and probably hopelessly intimidated by some of the others.

French peasant house, from
Farmhouse from the Pays de Gex on the Franco-Swiss border. from
Italian farm, now holiday villa, from
Traditional Japanese farm buildings, from
Wooden farmhouse in England, from
Traditional peasant cottage from Madeira, from Pinterest
German farmhouse from the Wolfegg Museum.
Farmhouse very similar to my grandmother’s old house, from Village Museum in Bucharest, Romania.
Another typical German farmhouse, from Schwaben, from Wolfegg Museum
And the Swiss of course top the chalet look! From Pinterest.
American farmhouse, from The Plan Collection.



Friday Fun: Italian Villas on the Lakes

Northern Italy may not always have the best weather, but the region of the lakes surrounded by mountains has always been popular with the wealthy Milanese and the rich from other European countries as well. Nowadays it seems to be THE spot for weddings and honeymoons. I’m trying to prolong the summer and keep the tone light with some of my favourite villas on Lake Como. However, my thoughts are with my friend Ilaria living in Livorno in Tuscany, where they’ve had severe flooding this past week.

Villa on Lake Como from travelocafe.
Villa on Lake Como where Verdi was a guest, from Lombardia Beni Culturali.
Villa Maria and its magnificent greenhouse fell into ruin at some point, photo by Friedhelm Thomas.
It has now been restored to its former beauty, photo Nicola Guarisco.
The gardens of Villa d’Este, from
Villa Melzi, from
Villa Sola Cabiatia from


Friday Fun: Japanese Gardens

As autumn draws near, can there be anything more beautiful than Japanese maples bringing colour and balance to the calm contemplative harmony of a Japanese garden?

The Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden in LA, from
Gate to beautiful mysteries, from Pinterest.
The glory of autumnal colours, from Peter Toshiro on Flickr.
Simple, easy-gardening style from You Tube. The cat approves of the lack of lawn-mowers.
Garden in Kyoto from William Corey Gallery.
There is even a Japanese Garden Design School, and this is from their website.
There is nothing more beautiful than the sight and smell of rice paddies after the wet season; this one reminds me of them, from Shiro Nakane City Limits.

Friday Fun: Roof Gardens

As the climate grows hotter and drier in summer, soon all of our gardens may face the same challenges as these roof gardens. But aren’t they dreamy, especially in the summer heat?

For the spatially challenged: you don’t need acres to create a cosy paradise. From Shoot Gardening.
Zen atmosphere to compliment your penthouse suite, from
RHS Gardening site is proud to present this roof garden in Jellicoe.
A more ambitious project designed by London Roof Garden company, although not in London, methinks.
Social housing does not preclude roof gardens, as this example from Ivry sur Seine shows.
But let’s face it, in London it is more commonly the domain of the rich and privileged, as this Roof Gardens Bar featured in Time Out proves.
Roof top gardens in the Rockefeller Centre, from Inhabitat.


Friday Fun: Writers at Work

We can never have too many pictures of writers’ desks, can we? As I prepare for an intense week of writing and thinking about poetry in Wales, here are some voyeuristic peeks into writers’ studies.

Michael Connelly at work in sober environment, with no window to distract him. From his Facebook page.
Thomas Mann was clearly influenced by Baroque German university libraries.
Will Self seems to be devoted to post-it notes, from
Windows are a bonus for those who are not easily distracted, like Ryan Moore. From Pinterest.
Apparently, this is a writer’s retreat you can rent out, from Office Snapshots.
I rather like the feminine touches of this environment, from another2bohemians on Tumblr.
This is a public library, but I just love that writing space. From Fonthill Castle Library in Pennsylvania.

Friday Fun: Designer Libraries

I prefer the lived-in look in a library, with a few higgledy-piggledy piles of books which give me an insight into the owner’s current preoccupations. But of course there are people who get interior designers to create libraries for them. Some of them do look quite tempting, but I doubt any designer would put up with my excessive expectations of indulging the books.

Loft library, from Bloglovin’.
Another loft library and home, from I think they could have fitted in a lot more bookshelves.
Corridor library – a good use of otherwise wasted space, from
Library in Milan which seeks to emulate that ‘lived-in’ look, from NY Times. Also, lots of pictures.
Home library designed by Patrica Martino. Bonus points for ladder.
Library from Sarah B. Spongberg Interiors. Minus points for unused spaces.
Calling forth the spirit of hygge, from T Magazine in NY Times.

Friday Fun: Hiding in the Forest

For those days when you just need to go off-grid and get away from it all, here are some dream-like cabins in the woods. (Appropriately enough, following my review of Do You Hear Me yesterday, which also takes place in a forest, although under less pleasant circumstances.)

Winter cabin, with heating (one assumes), from Bookends and Daisies on Tumblr.
Rather grander modernist interpretation of isolated cabin, from Cuded Art Design. Not off grid.
A place inspired by native huts, to dream away your worries, from Bridge and Burn on Tumblr.
I can never say no to Japanese tea houses, even if they are not all that remote. From
Cabin for a romantic rendezvous, from Cabanes de Salagnac in France.
Sculptural cabin designed by Sergio Gomez.
Tree houses or houses on stilts will never cease to appeal, from Sky with lemon website.