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: Windows and Doors

I’ve always believed in keeping windows curtainless (so you can admire the view) and doors open (so that friends can come in at any time). Some of the incarnations of doors and windows below take this to a whole new level, but I have to admit I dream about owning something like this…

Art nouveau door in Paris, from
Stained glass beauty, from Explorers Club on Pinterest.
Terrace in an island house in Greece, from Architectural Digest.
Laucala Island, Fiji, from
Pool house desinged by Luigi Rosselli, from
Six Senses resort in Vietnam, from
Anne Hepfer Lake House in Canada, from House Beautiful.
All-white restful bedroom, from Daily Dream Decor.
Japanese Tea House window, picture credit Andy Serrano, from Deviant Art.

My Mother’s Sofa

She lived in the city of Mozart, so rococo was second nature. She chose a sofa so redolent of Baroque features, it rolled out of the warehouse on its many curves and swirls. It came to rest in our living room, all carved curlecues, easy to bang the back of head against when your laughter pealed out. Not that there was much laughter in that house.

Within days the burnt ochre leather caused heartache and questioning. Too bright? What would the neighbours say about the ripeness of that shade? Would they sit and tug and scratch it whenever they came to visit? But very few people ever entered our house.

Better safe than sorry, though. So she covered it in green velvet, tailor-made cover with frills so rich, it could stand up by itself when you took it off for washing. Those frills swept all the way down to the arched wooden legs, even as they yearned away from under the stifle, all tip-toe. So hard to vacuum underneath.

A few months later she realised the velvet might get worn too quickly, that she might require a new cover …oooh, say every ten years or so. In came the casual throw, loosely draped over the pool-table green. Cheap polyester cream with tassles and shiny stripes, too thin to keep its distance when backsides sunk into it. My mother was fanatic about cotton, but hated ironing, so polyester made do. It clung to clothes, turned static, and we spent most conversations not actually seated on the sofa, but straightening out its multiple covers.

But I digress. After decades of discomfort, my father’s weary bones can no longer keep that horror in our house. But it’s an expensive horror and we want to ensure that we get the best possible price for it. For Sale: Baroque Sofa, Nearly New.

Friday Fun: Reading Nooks in All Seasons

There are reading nooks for all seasons. Maybe you can fit four into your house… or here are some simple ways to tweak them to fit each time of the year.

The delicate shoots of spring can be admired from this bed, when you still feel lethargic after a long winter. From Bored Panda.
Watching the mountains turn green from your reading nook is lovely in Spring. From Michael Rex Architects.
Greek island views are much more suited to summer, from Bored Panda.
Of course, you could move outside into the garden. From Pinterest.
But the balcony offers a shadier alternative, especially for e-books. From Hunter Design.
As the nights turn cooler in autumn, it makes sense to move indoors. From She Knows.
Somewhere far away from prying eyes is perfect when school starts again in autumn, from Pinterest.
While in winter we have a hankering for wooden chalets, curtains, plaid and cosy lights. From BeDe Design.
From this viewpoint we will certainly not miss Santa when he brings us some new books. From Woo Home.

Friday Fun: Writing in Your Bedroom

I believe in separating your working and sleeping space, but I’ve heard of plenty of writers and readers who feel at their most comfortable (or most inspired) in their bedrooms. And what about if you have no other space for writing? So here are some elegant solutions to this quandary. Which don’t involve lying propped up on cushions in bed (although that is perfect for reading).

The elegant townie, from
The occasional scribbler, from The Design Chaser.
The teenage artist, from You Tube.
The one designed by the interior designer, from Gravity Home.
The one designed by your mother, from Decoist.
The professional writer (or the writer on holiday), from Architecture Art Designs.

Friday Fun: Artists’ Studios Can Inspire Writers Too

Artists may require more space and light than writers, but there’s nothing wrong with craving one of their studios for our writerly craft, is there? Although there might be a few too many distractions around to touch, seize, examine…

Masako Miki’s studio, from
Lotta Ieminen’s studio, from
The atelier of Caroline and Michael Ventura, from
Casey Neistat’s colourful mix of a studio, from
A tidier, sleeker (more corporate?) version, from Pinterest.
It’s the landscape for Carouschka Kastreijifert, picture credit Martin Lot.
This does look like an office, but I love that window! From eastatestudio.tumblr

Friday Fun: Dark and Cosy Home Libraries

High ceilings, large windows, light and airy rooms with a minimalist feel and minimum fuss and clutter are my favourites… in theory. When it comes to home libraries, however, I have a marked preference for the dark and sombre – much like my reading.

Double height gloom, of course, from
Grey and aubergine are wonderfully calming, from Home Libraries Design Ideas website.
Ellison Bay Manor home library, from The Daily Mail. Bit empty on the top floor!
Dark blue is wonderfully soothing, from House Beautiful.
Large windows do nothing to lighten this ‘gentlemen’s room’, as it say on the website Next Luxury.
The classic Victorian style never goes out of fashion, from She Knows website.
This Toronto home keeps it interesting with windows of all shapes and sizes, from Pinterest. Plus, a curved staircase never comes amiss.