It's cosy. It's dim. It's quiet.
It's Mountaingirl's new book nook.
I aspire to levels of neatness like this. My Love Friday post last week was all about restoring order and symmetry to my life, if you remember.
And then I flew to Sydney for Mountaingirl's housewarming, and the minute I walked through the door I fell in love with the book nook.
Who wouldn't love this spot? It's tidy and organised, it's beautifully presented, and so so inviting .... don't you just want to fall onto that lovely soft daybed, snuggle under the Laura Ashley chenille throw, and drift off into daydreams?
This is the kind of order and symmetry I was talking about.
So this week I still Love Fridays - because Friday today means Saturday tomorrow, and Saturday means going to the Stitches and Craft Show with my good friend The Headmistress, yay - but this week my Friday post is more about what I'm Hooked On.
And I'm so totally hooked on Mountaingirl's new home.
I've known Mountaingirl since we were 14 or 15 - so we share some significant history together. In fact, her brother The Guitar Hero was my first proper boyfriend. And while that relationship didn't last (though we're still friends to this day), my friendship with Mountaingirl has blossomed more beautifully over that time than I could have imagined.
Mountaingirl has a talent for interior design, though she won't hear a word from me about it. No, she says, it's just the way I like things. And I say Yes, my dear, and that's what makes it so special!
Look at these spices here to the left. Those are little spice packs from Ikea, and they sit flat against the inside wall of her pantry door on a magnetic strip, so that she can immediately see what she's got, and how much, and what needs refilling. What a fantastic idea!!
(I am restraining the urge though, as we speak, to practice some metaphorical spoon-bending by reaching into the picture and straightening them slightly, neurotic symmetry-straightener that I am).
I would never have thought of this. My spice rack is far more unkempt.
But Mountaingirl's kitchen is exemplary. Open any kitchen design magazine and hers would look like it belonged there. She has matching pink canisters on the shelf along the wall, and her cream KitchenAid beautifully coordinates with them, and all of her often-used pans and colanders and things hang from a nifty wrought-iron rack that she's installed from the ceiling above the bench. It's beautiful, and I wish I had her knack.
And the book nook - back to the book nook, the jewel of the entire picture. Look closely. It's painted grey. Not a cold gunmetal grey, but a warm, dark-dove grey.
Who'd have thought of painting a room GREY? Only Mountaingirl. And the effect is astonishing, it makes the space warm and calm and inviting. The daybed is a pale sage green, and the chenille throw is a pale taupe. And see that cushion with the pom-pom edging? I made that, and my mother chose the fabric at Christmastime. All of the colours just work together beautifully, like something out of a magazine.
She's balanced the dark cosiness with white Expedit bookshelves from Ikea, which brighten the walls. And all the books are arranged by topic - and this is the best bit - by size. All the quartos together. All the small paperbacks together. All the Jodi Picoult together. All the Marian Keyes together (though the Sister Of My Heart swooped on the latest release to borrow it, before I could elbow her out of the way and lunge for it myself. Damnation.)
I love this room. It makes me feel serene, and calm, and self-possessed. Like a more beautiful version of my usual self. And while I don't have the talent she does for putting together a perfectly constructed "look", I also arrange my books too, by genre first, then size and colour. So Mountaingirl's approach really appeals to me.
And I suppose that's part of the reason - a very small but nevertheless significant part - of why we're such good friends.