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).
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…
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.
Christmas and I are in a bit of a love-hate relationship. I used to get excited, of course, as a child, and I was lucky enough to live in Vienna, where the Advent period is an art form. But my parents were never big on flamboyant consumerism and hearty Ho-ho-hos, so I soon learnt to manage my expectations. Then, when I grew up and moved abroad, it became that time of year when all of my friends returned to their families and I was left alone with the dreary jingle-jangle of Christmas music on a loop blaring out of all shops. So I made the most of it when I started a family of my own, and learnt to love the season, as seen through my children’s joyous eyes. The past few years, however, it has been the season of cabin fever, constraints and complaints and this year will be the worst of the lot. [I tell myself that, if I expect the worst, it’s bound to surpass expectations and be … okay-ish.]
However, we can all love Christmas decorations, the smell of cinnamon and real fir, the crackle of log fires, the taste of mulled wine. It’s also the season when all kitsch is allowed and even honoured. Here are a few favourites, some more tasteful than others.
Wherever you are, whatever you do, whomever you are with, and whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I wish you a very joyful and restful holiday season! Here’s to a far, far better 2017 for all of us!
Last week, the window seat emerged as the clear winner of our ‘chairs for reading books’ competition. So here are a few to whet your appetite. And so that we don’t have to fight over just one! In my cold, draughty English house, the temptation of putting one right next to the radiator instead of next to a cold window is HUGE.
All of us readers are on the look-out for that perfect comfy chair where you can have plenty of books within easy reach, and perhaps a place to put a snack, a coffee, a glass of wine, a bookmark or notebook. None of the ones I’ve found so far quite answer all of my needs.
So, in the end, the best solution is clearly a window seat which combines comfort with storage and pretty views.
‘Tis the season to hide away from reality and snuggle up in some beautiful home libraries, with a woollen blanket, a fireplace, a cup of tea or mulled wine, a cat purring and, mais bien sur! a book or two or three. Most of them feature a stair or ladder, because it really does enhance every library, don’t you think?
Some day, when I make my millions and convert my loft…
Meanwhile, a reminder that 100 years ago there were many cold and desperate soldiers huddled in the mud-filled trenches of Flanders. Happy Armistice Day, everyone!