Friday Fun: Life at the Top

What would life be like if you had high enough ceilings to fit in a mezzanine? Here are some suggestions of how to go about planning and decorating.

Industrial loft decor, room enough for a bike without tripping over it, from
A 1950s vibe to this decor, dog not included though! From
This one seems to stretch over several floors – and we have books at last! From Wit and Whistle.
This feels more down to earth – and of course we have books and clutter too. From
As long as everyone keeps really quiet around the house, I could live with a mezzanine study. From
But my Prize of the Week goes to this cabin in the woods in Poland, which is a reader’s paradise. From

Friday Fun: More Houses with Views

Only three more years before I can start thinking about moving, although I doubt that I’ll be able to afford a house with such heavenly views as the ones below…

Bedroom view in Colorado, from
Brazilian house, from
What about watching the sunset from this balcony in Kenya, from CN Traveler.
You too can have this Swiss view on AirBnB, in the Bernese Oberland.
If you’re already looking forward to ski season, this Colorado cabin looks perfect, from
Just in case you think I am biased about mountain views, here is a sea view, from

Friday Fun: ‘Twas a light…

… that made darkness itself appear a thing of comfort. (Robert Southey)

I dislike and fear the dark winter months, but luckily, working from home means I can go out for a brisk walk at lunchtime and actually see some light outdoors. For my escapist images, I chose the wonderful play of light and shadow inside houses.

What a hallway, with light coming from all sides, from Pinterest

Now this is a bath I could spend hours in… from

Speaking of scenic and light-filled bathrooms, this Japanese-style bathtub in a Brazilian home has me dreaming, from

The interplay of light and plants intrigues me in this Asian house from

Just imagine waking up to this every morning, from Curious Doodle.

It doesn’t always have to be bright: the shadow patterns are fascinating too, in this office entryway from Marie Claire blog.

Friday Fun: Book Corner Ideas

The nights are drawing in, even though I’m still in denial. So it’s time to start thinking of creating cosy spaces around the house where you can read, gather all your books and forget about the rest of the world.

Fairytale light from these gorgeous windows, from

Room for books and a beautiful green screen outside, from

Of course you’d need some bookshelves nearby, but this looks cosy. from

I realise these are all some form of window seats, but that gives you the perfect combination of light, view and reading. From Pinterest.

Winter is not quite here yet, but being near the fireplace will be appealing soon, from

An enchanting combination of reading outside while staying warm, which will work for the next month or so. From Instagram.

Friday Fun: Comfort or Beauty?

Some of the interior design sites or magazines show me rooms which seem really attractive at first sight, until I think about how uncomfortable or downright dangerous it might be to live there and use them daily. Still, these Friday Fun posts are all about dreaming and escapism, so let’s not be too rational, shall we?

I love the idea of high ceilings and mezzanine floors, but imagine climbing down that ladder before you’ve had your morning coffee! From

Still, that ladder looked positively sturdy compared to these glamorous stairs. From

Final mezzanine entry for the day – beautiful first impression, but my knees would protest after a while. Froom

Having had marble floors in a rental property, I can tell you it’s the most dangerous thing known to humans if a drop of water or a child’s marble falls on the floor. Photo credit Assassi Productions, from

Nice view from the bathtub, but also nice view into the bathtub! Kaa Design, Pamela Smith Interiors.

This picture looks perfect, you’ll say, what could possibly be wrong with it? Well, my parents have a dining table with benches instead of chairs and I can tell you your back will kill you after a while. Eco-friendly home in Mexico from

Friday Fun: White Sofas

In a galaxy far, far away, before I had children and cats, I used to have a white sofa and I followed a blue/turquoise and white colour scheme. Now I can but smile at the uncomfortable lifestyle of people with white sofas – they clearly don’t sit on them much! Although each of the rooms below has something that appeals to me, for once I will focus on their flaws (sour grapes, anyone?).

Very long white sofas are perfect for placing all your guests in a row to admire the view. From

If you can get them to turn their backs on the view, you might even have a conversation. From

Maybe don’t paint your walls and shelves the exact shame shade as your sofa, or you may find it becomes invisible. From

Perfect symmetry at a distance – for those strained family conversations. From Elle Decor.

You can get away with anything when you have a window and a view like that. From

No words! Just, wow, just the place to feel cosy when you are on your own. From

Friday Fun: Places to Meditate and Contemplate

I’m not really the action holiday type of person (unless visiting museums or wandering down cobbled medieval streets counts as action). Not for me wildwater rafting, bungee jumping or cycling, although I do enjoy hiking at a leisurely pace in the mountains (and skiing in winter). But nor do I enjoy beach holidays where you just roast in the sun. However, I could imagine spending weeks in each of the places below, reading my books. They have just the right amount of beauty and shade.

Water is always a restful feature to have in a garden – unless you have small children or curious pets.

Create a little oasis in your own house, as Patishandika in Arch Daily has done.

Courtyard of Loma House in Ecuador, designed by architect Quizhpe.

Another dreamy courtyard, designed by Khosla Associates.

The charm of the overgrown garden in East Sussex, from

But of course the best gardens for meditation are the Zen gardens of Japan, from

OK, maybe this beach in the shade. Finca Beach House from TripAdvisor.


Friday Fun: Travelling the World of Interiors

I’ve always been fascinated by interior design from different countries. In an ideal world, I’d want a house or two on each continent, decorated in the traditional style. Is that cultural appropriation? Well, I certainly would feel more at home in any of these environments, rather than that same bland magnolia or silver decor that I so often see in houses for sale on Rightmove.

Indian-inspired interior from Architects’ Diary.

Moroccan blue and white will always undo me, from Pinterest.

Not sure where in the world this is, but it seems faintly Sri Lankan to me. From sacred-dwelling on Tumblr.

Chinese bedroom you can order from 3D Export, apparently.

The minimalism of Japanese traditional homes, from

Dining room in Bahia, from seems fairly simple, traditional.

But then there is also the prospect of modern Brazilian decor, especially against that backdrop. Studio Arhtur Casas, from

Friday Fun: Just Sitting and Watching the World Go By

I admitted in my Inside and Out book tag that I don’t actually read all that much outdoors. However, if I had a beautiful porch, deck, terrace, balcony or whatever you choose to call it, that would be my favourite indoor/outdoor compromise for reading. (In fact, that’s exactly what I did back in the days when I visited family in Greece. Saved me having to listen to hours of gossip about people I didn’t know!) If you also add in a fabulous view… well, my inspiration might know no bounds.

A little read, a little chat, drinks at sunset. American mountain cabin, from

Modest balcony overlooking the St Croix river, Keller Architecture, George Heinrich photo.

Mountain lakes are my favourites to look at, not necessarily to swim in. From Georgiana Design on Tumblr.

A less basic seating experience, from

Coming back to Greece and my favourite island, Santorini. I really need to go back there soon, although probably not in such luxury, from

Friday Fun: Romantic Bedrooms

I’ll be honest: what is being flogged as romantic in most magazines or travel brochures makes my skin crawl: tacky decorations, lots of pink and red, a bathtub at the foot of your bed (all the better to hear the gurgle of water draining, see a spider crawling out of the plughole and have to choose between romance of scum residue or scrubbing the bathtub immediately after use). So I’ve had to create my own definitions of romance.

It might get too hot in summer, but a bed in a greenhouse is the perfect place for reading. From

A treehouse is also a great option, although you might have to fight the bugs for bed occupancy. From

Great views and lots of soothing greenery with this day bed. Plus, who can resist a feline friend? From

OK, mood lighting can enhance romance, they’re right about one thing, but I think the view and the sound of waves might also be helpful. From

It’s all about the view in this one as well. From

However, the most romantic bedrooms, to my mind, are the ones where you also have a comfortable reading chair and plenty of books to hand. From