Friday Fun: Sheds of Famous Writers

It seems that you don’t have to have an all-singing, all-dancing, all-mod-cons shepherd’s hut to write a book. Who’d have thunk that? Here are some garden sheds where magic happens.

Roald Dahl’s well-known writing shed in Buckinghamshire.
Philip Pullman seems to be working in your average garden shed from B&Q.
Cressida Cowell’s writing shed seems a little more romantic and airy. From Booktrust.
The interior of Neil Gaiman’s treetop shed, complete with dog.
Unnamed writer’s retreat from
Charles Dickens started the trend, with his Swiss chalet themed shed. (In spite of having an enormous library/study in the house as well).
Mark Twain’s octogonal shed was designed to resemble the pilot house of a Mississippi steam boat.
Joanne Harris often mentions her shed on Twitter, although it’s the imaginative rather than the physical one. Here it is on the Shedworking site.



Friday Fun: Public and Academic Libraries

Some public libraries make your jaw drop… and others just make you want to drop your bags, sit down for a couple of hours and enjoy all that they have to offer. Libraries have always been one of my favourite places on earth – where I felt safe and quiet, excited and adventurous all at once.

Scripps College Library, Claremont, California.
Library at the Rijksmuseum, from the Rijksmuseum website.
The Royal Portuguese Reading Room in Lisbon is just amazing and atmospheric, picture from Business Insider.
Photographer Thibaud Poirier has created a whole book with pictures of French libraries. This is the BNF Salle Labrouste.
Public library in Stockholm, from CN Traveler.
Of course, if you go to the ‘right schools’ you can get nice libraries too. The not quite public Eton College library.
Let’s appreciate some council libraries before they disappear. Chester Storyhouse library, from Chester Chronicle.



Friday Fun: Tucked Away Cabins

I could sit and dream, read and think about writing forever in these picturesque landscapes and cabins.

Won’t you join me on the veranda? Cabin in the jungle, from Build Green.
This cabin has ecological credentials and is in fact a proper house, from David Coulson Design.
Never mind the cabin, I could do with this veranda and swing alone. From, copyright: L.M. Ragland
The one with the makeover, from Jenny’s Garden Shed DIY. Jenny, wherever you might be, can you come and do my garden for me? Living
I don’t like roasted marshmallows, but I could imagine campfire stories with friends at this cabin, from The Shiny Squirrel.
Have I ever mentioned how much I like treehouses? From Tumblr.

Friday Fun: Places for Reading and Relaxing

You might be tempted to read outdoors in this weather, but whether you are afraid of overheating, or don’t want to be come a target for insects, here are some alternatives to reading in the garden.

Everything close to hand with super-comfortable seating. From Decoist.



For the more dreamy amongst you, an indoor hammock is a solution. From Remodelista.
Window seats are always popular, especially with such generous windows. From My Domaine.
The reading nook in the well-stocked library is always a refuge. From Tumblr.
Another home library with comfortable seating, from Pinterest.
Messy but atmospheric, this chateau library from Pinterest.
And if you really can’t stay away from the beautiful outdoors, here is a veranda reading nook, from

Friday Fun: Dreamy Spaces for Escapologists

Well, we all know where people who have an impregnably clear conscience go, don’t we? Even after they mess up an entire country? To a shepherd’s hut in the back garden, of course.

Not David Cameron’s hut but very similar, to be found at Melody Farm in Cornwall.

Here are some alternative places to hide from public scrutiny. All come with a beautiful view, if you feel like scanning the horizon. Nothing to disturb your peace of mind or make you think of the people you left behind. Very photogenic, too, for when you hire photographers to take pictures of you signing your resignation letters.

The Scholars’ Library in the Forest, designed by Gluck, from Designboom.
This rooftop study gives ivory towers a run for their money. From
Endless space to create or pace around. From Ancram, NY.
Sail away, sail away, sail away… From Decoist.
The modest country house retreat, from
Proving once again that minimalism is a luxury, from
Another place on your isolated island, where no one will ever reach you. From Youtube.

Friday Fun: Studios for Those Who Don’t Like Studios

If you don’t like studios, that means you haven’t found the perfect one for you yet. There is such variety out there, so much fun to be had in decorating virtually…

Gleefully feminine, from Where Women Create.


Architect’s office in the famous Talgarth Road of houses for artists, London.
Offices for La Granja Design, Barcelona
Another Barcelona studio, designed for and by Miriam Barrio.
Cezanne’s surprisingly modern-looking pad, with painterly view, France
Writer’s study, US. Although, can this be a real writer? There is far too much shelf space available!
Ceramics studio – not for the clumsy likes of me, but very pretty nevertheless, from Heath.
Home office more than a studio, but close enough if you are a graphic designer who doesn’t get messy. From Minimalist Interiors.
Colourful private studio in Boulder, Colorado.

Friday Fun: International Book Covers

It’s not just about cute animals and home interiors, you know. I am a very serious literary blog, I’ll have you know. So let me demonstrate just how highbrow I can be by dedicating a whole post to book covers. Here are some international editions of one of my favourite books, The Master and Margarita. No, it’s not just the preponderance of cats that I like about these book covers… How very dare you!?

Amazing Russian cover which encapsulates the book’s themes very well and has been turned into a T-shirt.
Classic scene from the book, Margarita with her bouquet of yellow flowers. Romanian edition.
The French cover has me in stitches: I mean, a ginger cat? Who had that idea?
No, no, no, Italian publisher, what were you thinking? This is NOT a children’s book!
Italy redeeming itself here with a cover that captures that Russian feel…
Another Romanian cover with a nice sense of menace and minimalist colour scheme.
You can see that this book was extremely popular in Romania: this is the third cover, another recent one.
A sinister and gloomy cover from the UK.
By way of contrast, this modernist interpretation of the cover.
Highly stylized and stylish, another contemporary UK cover.
Created as a playbill rather than a book cover, I think this would work well for both. From France.
A 50th anniversary edition from Penguin – a work of art. But it’s translated by Pevear and Volokhonsky, who are not always my favourites.