Stylist magazine ran a fab feature recently on how speakeasy bars and roof top terraces are so passé to drink in this winter. Instead the new drinking den du jour is apparently library bars, which is just fine by me. I happen to love love love them, they’re just the coolest hang out spaces.


Imagine dark cozy dens, wood panelling, all lit with lots of little pools of light, then throw into the mix a tumbler of whiskey and some weighty tomes. Positively heavenly I feel. Which got me thinking why don’t we have something similar at home? A little nook or deeply comforting zone where you can squidge down in an armchair, read a novel, flick through a magazine. Somewhere that feels tucked away just to sip a coffee and work on your laptop.

I should say that you don’t need floor to ceiling bookcases to create that feeling of downtown-esque decor. As I mention in my design classes a lot, I create interiors based around an emotion rather first and foremost. Once you drill into the emotion it’s so easy to then create the mood through your decor.


Library bars are often painted out in chalky super flat finishes and more often than not are dark, snuggly and cozy. Panelling is the look for me, but you could also have a small bookshelf, a couple of floating shelves or even just picture ledges with a few choice books and maybe some artwork facing forwards. Lighting is paramount, as are little occasional tables or perhaps the odd bar table to house a single malt with a few crystal tumblers. Candles and invitingly loungy chairs are key, and then all else you need is to pepper the space with the odd mag or book like I Am Pilgrim (finishing that book was like losing a really good friend), and you’re there!

In mine I would also like to add discreet little butler buttons for the odd martini. Is that possible, please? Shaken not stirred obviously.