Friday Fun: Hallways to Feel Welcome

When I looked at staircases a couple of weeks ago, I started wondering whether some of those hallways were truly welcoming or simply statement pieces. In this week’s batch of inspiration, it’s not the staircase that is the star, but the way you feel as you walk in through the door.

Elegant in black and white in France, from Elle Decoration.
Sober period piece with charming tiles, in Bordeaux. From
Laid back and slightly cluttered, from Australia. From
Making the most of the rather dark space through amazing tiling. From Instagram.
That door, those tiles… to die for! From
Most of the above have been traditional hallways, but here we finally have a modern, colourful take on it. From
Last but not least, the country look, from

Friday Fun: Home Libraries at Long Last

I’ve been neglecting the first and abiding love of my life: pictures of home libraries. It has been quite a while since I featured any, mostly because most of the interesting pictures on the internet have already been used up on this blog. So hurry up, folks, furnish some more gorgeous libraries in your houses!

Library designed by Evein Galls.

The dark clubhouse style, from

The extremely rustic yet still cosy, from Cottage Life.

The awkwardly shaped one with a staircase, from Elle Decor.

Small but perfectly formed reading nook, from Pete Ginkey.

For the more palatially minded, from

This one comes with a how-to guide for those who own mansions, from Mansion Global.

Friday Fun: Blue and White Temptations

I’ve always loved the combination of blue and white in interior design, flowers, clothes. even flags. That might explain why I married a Greek (and why I like the Finns). While appearances are often misleading (marriage case in point), it is a sure-fire classic combination for decorating your house and I have done so many times in the past. Although perhaps not as extravagantly as in the following pictures. It is so clean, fresh, simple and reminds me of travelling to faraway places by ship.

Accent colours highlight the predominantly blue and white scheme, from Home Interior Inspiration.

More subdued Scandinavian colour palette, from Interior Design Files.

The classic Cape Cod style, from Bright Bazaar, one of my favourite design blogs.

If the blue veers off into turquoise, I don’t mind at all. From Best Home Decor.

Another combination of nautical colours: light blue, green and turgquoise. From Interior Design.

What better way to decorate a hotel in Capri? From JK Hotel.

I adore the Moroccan style of blue and white tiles. From

Navy blue can be very striking and restful in a bedroom, from Lifestyle Denver.

But ultimately it’s back to the inspiration behind it all, which I’ve loved since childhood. Greece.

Friday Fun: The Windows Have It

You can’t get enough daylight in winter, especially if you are stuck in a basement office, so here are some houses that use windows in a creative way, to give you the illusion of more space.

Scandinavian, of course! From

Townhouse in Ghent, from

The mastery of Japanese narrowness. From

House in Rock Creek, US, from ArchDaily.

A Japanese house that gives me vertigo just looking at it, from The

The heaviest glass doors you can imagine, from


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.