Friday Fun: Homes with All the Shelves

I spent most of this week searching for some documents and folders, and kept telling myself how much more organised I would be, how I would have everything easily to hand… if I had something resembling these home libraries.

A perfect winter landscape, a windowseat, and you can hide unsightly documents and folders in those cupboards too. From
Even the hallway can become an exciting library in this house in Leeds, with a small desk to check out any reference books. From
Clever example of optimal use of even the narrower spaces in the house, from Homes and Gardens.
Custom shelving for oddly-shaped rooms. Might work for that turret room that I’ve always craved. From Boston Magazine.
If you have even more books and a grand piano, plus a few coats of arms to display, then this room might be more suitable. From Fine and Country.
You can stay in this house in the US courtesy of AirBnb – it houses not only a library but also an extensive record collection. From
But I’ve saved the best AirBnb for last – this cabin in the woods has everything I could ever want – books, a desk, a bed, and a view, plus the warmth of wood. From

Friday Fun: Studies for Writing Retreats

I am very fortunate this week to have the use of a friend’s flat in one of my favourite locations in the world (the mountains above Lac Leman in Switzerland) and even two furry friends, a dog and a cat, to help me with my writing/editing/translating prowess. So this time I am not envious at all of the dreamy study spaces below.

Room to write, read and collect books, from
At this time of year (winter in the northern hemisphere), I do have a tendency to retreat to dark, womb-like spaces. Hibernation delight in this study from
If you prefer it lighter and airier, then perhaps this room from will do the trick. Note the comfy steps for reaching the highest shelves!
For the classical design fans among you, I rather like this vivid shade of green. From Homes and Gardens (where else?)
A more achievable dream, I feel, one that I regret not implementing in my current study. From Fisher Noble.
The reason I did not implement the previous design was because I was hankering after a less achievable space like this (in the loft). From Neville Johnson.
And if you just want to read (or write while lying down), there is always the private library of Nuria Amat in Barcelona to inspire you. Photo credit: Ana Viladomiu.

Friday Fun: Bookshelves I’d Love to Fill

The most attractive pictures of interiors are those with lots of empty shelving, because I could just imagine all of the books I could use to fill up that space.

Same room taken from two different angles, from I mean, the swimming pool is nice and all, but there could easily be more shelves in that room (and I feel very ambiguous about colour-coordinated shelves).
Shelves with a ladder – even harder to imagine this picture is from Japan (where they are notoriously short on space). Tori Manshon on Twitter.
Created by a designer rather than a reader or writer or chess player, right? That chair and that window ledge look very uncomfortable for long periods of sitting. And those empty shelves are crying out for a bit of attention! From
This one looks more attainable (in fact, I have a very similar rocking chair). Not sure how you can reach the top shelves though. From
Quite a masculine feel to this study – and books that are clearly only there for decor. From
I might struggle with this dark decor in summer, but it looks like the perfect cosy backdrop for winter nights. And of course books prefer less lighting rather than too much sunlight! From

Friday Fun: Library Ladders

A good friend Ewa Sherman showed me a library ladder on Twitter (knowing how partial I am to such distractions) and that inspired me to find some of the most congenial library ladders of all time. From the classical to the more modern…

A pleasant little viewing platform at the top, from Bran Appetit.

Painted ceilings and chandeliers match so well with these bookshelves, don’t they? From

A public rather than a private library, so not sure how health and safety feel about that ladder? From

A more modern and realistic take on the library ladder from Andrew Nebett Designs.

In contemporary UK, Neville Johnson seems to have the monopoly on bespoke fitted bookshelves and wardrobes.

I don’t have favourites, but if I did, this might be it. A whole top floor room dedicated to bookshelves, reading and ladders. More books needed, of course. From

Friday Fun: Of the Classical Bent

It seems that many of us cannot get enough of the more classical style of libraries – lots of wood, darker colours, symmetrical decorations, comfy armchairs. Somewhere to hide from the crazy world!

Shutters down if you are in a Southern climate, to protect your books. From Pinterest.
Art and books merge seamlessly here, plus check out that strategically placed reading lamp. From The Fuller Review.
You know I can never resist a library with a mezzanine floor, and this cosy seating arrangement is perfect for two bookish friends. From Pinterest.
The Americans always have to do everything bigger and more opulent – the fireplace apparently was brought over from a London townhouse. From Sotheby’s.
If you do not have the ceiling height for mezzanines, this arrangement works well too. From Architectural Digest.
Another American entry, Dunham Library in California, from Veranda.

Friday Fun: Timelessly Elegant

Or everything I am not, in other words! But then, how can you compete with some much-loved bookshelves?

Monochrome beauty by Visual Vamp on Tumblr.
Clever partition to allow for a reading and study space – and more shelves, not just on the walls. From Casa Paolo.
Ah, if only we had a loft or attic as spacious as this, right? From
A Scandinavian living room, I’m sure – note the lack of curtains, the cosy fireplace, the minimalist furniture and the parquet flooring. From Fashiion-gone-rouge.
But if you prefer more classical alternatives, this seems like a good place to start, from
The Duchess Anna Amalia Library in Weimar – what a woman – a composer, collector and operating a highly respected cultural salon.
But if it’s a modest little paradise, you seek, then this one from The Grey Home should do the trick.

Friday Fun: Rearranging Bookshelves

At some point I need to have a big clear out of books, clothes and knick-knacks, but for the time being, let me still dream of endless shelf space! Some of the home libraries below have lots of room to play with, but others are very clever at making the best use of quite narrow spaces.

American painter Winslow Homer seems to have been quite keen on books too, and clever at using this corridor for bookshelves. From
A more spacious corridor than any of us might possess, but still a delightful way to decorate, from
If you have a whole outhouse or barn at your disposal to turn into a library, you can even create a book club and workdesk area. From Business Insider.
The classic French chateau look, from
The English dandy look, complete with record player and chess set, from
Clever or excessive use of lighting in this double-decker library/living room? From Pinterest.
A more discreet use of lighting, from

Friday Fun: Cosy Reading Places

We can never get enough of the great bookish indoors, can we? Here are some reading nooks where I could spend the entire month of December, with or without any Christmas decorations.

Large windows: yay or nay? Let the light in for winter months, but might feel rather chilly if not triple glazed. This room also has space to invite your book club members over for a chat, from Moon to Moon.
Are there paintings on the ceiling there for readers to rest their eyes? I love the green shimmer throughout this library, clearly a very Zen space. From Danielle Trussoni.
That New York loft feel, could do with some more shelves though. From The Spaces.
Designed for a couple from Montreal who wanted to be able to work and read in the same space, from Studio MMA.
Who doesn’t love a porthole type window, especially if it’s surrounded by bookshelves and positioned strategically next to a comfy chair? From The Nordroom.
We can’t all have vast amounts of space, so this is a particularly ingenious solution under the eaves in a flat in France. From FJA Architecture.
And there are more realistic solutions, withing our budgets, such as this reading nook featured by Jessica Paster.

Friday Fun: Glamorous Home Libraries

For those who dare to dream big, or else convert their entire house into a home library (I mean: I would, as long as I had a bathroom and a kitchen and a bed somewhere as well). These all look rather comfortable, I’m sure you’ll agree. One thing, however, makes me sad. Many of these are from very expensive properties in the US and I cannot help wondering if many of these vast libraries are just for show, rather than that the owners truly read and treasure all of their books.

My kind of NYC penthouse, from
This one might look like a shop, but is apparently an apartment you can rent out from
Plenty of room for more books on these shelves from Florida, from Architectural Design.
This Ellison Bay mansion was apparently the most expensive house in Wisconsin, from JS Online.
If you don’t have a mansion, how about converting your nearest barn? This one looks cosy, from
I have no idea who Emma Burns is, but this is apparently her barn, which she has converted into a library with a guest bed on the mezzanine floor. I want to be her friend! From GlowDesignLibrary.
If you have a large garden, then this slightly luxurious version of a garden shed might work for you, from

Friday Fun: Hidden Doors

Thanks to my endless displays of home libraries in the Friday Fun series, one might suppose you have an impeccable home office/ study/ library by now. Ah, but do you have a hidden door? Next to a library ladder, it must be the single most coveted thing for a library addict. Here are some suggestions for when you next feel like a minor home improvement is required… Or when you want to hide and scare someone for Halloween!

A sliding door to the attic (where possibly there are even more books!) from
I think this one must be in a stately home, but I have no other source for it other than Flickr.
Perfectly hidden, in classic design, from
The French version of this allows for some busts of your heroes, in
For the serious collector, this climate-controlled library in a house designed by the great Oscar Niemeyer, from Architectural Digest.
This one is not very hidden, not even a door really, but I could imagine feeling quite apart from the hustle and bustle of the living room in that little library corner. From Content in a Cottage.