I’m stuck in limbo here if you’d not yet noticed. Well, to be honest, you guys are a smart bunch so you probably have noticed. We are still in our house. We are still planning on moving. But nothing has yet happened in terms of ACTUAL moving to an ACTUAL house and my god it’s frustrating. I know, I know. It’s all so #firstworldproblems, it’s actually embarrassing. I am grateful. I really am. So so grateful that we have the opportunity to move into a new home and to have a new project to work on soon. I know so many people do not have that opportunity in this world and for me to complain because whaaaย it’s taking too long – it’s a little obnoxious. I’m aware.

But this is my little space on the internet and if I can’t just be honest and be open with you for fear of people saying I’m an ungrateful cow, then where else can I do it? Apparently moving home is one of the most stressful things to deal with in life and I firmly believe that the entire convoluted process of house buying and selling in this country is designed to make people miserable. It’s indeed making me miserable. I can’t do a thing on the house we are living in now. I can’t do a thing to a house we do not yet officially own. And so I’m stuck.

Ali Cayne townhouse library

Ali Cayne’s beautiful NY Townhouse reading nook as photographed by Brittany Ambridge for Domino

While I may not be able to pick up a paintbrush or a sledgehammer, I can at least start the planning process so that’s something. And the longer it takes before we exchange contracts, the more time I have to plot and plan and decide what I want this next house to have. I get to think about all the things I couldn’t have in this house and what I definitely want in the next. And if you hadn’t yet guessed by the title of this post, one of those things I have been toying with is the idea of a little library.

When I was a kid, I was the one who always had her nose stuck in a book rather than, ya know, interact with actual people. Fictional characters were far more interesting company and so I was a voracious reader and the library was one of my most favourite places on earth – well, that and the localย mall’s bookstore. In fact, I remember my mother dropping me off at the mall as a kid and the only place I would go was Waldenbooks (one of the big book chain stores of the 80’s – yes, showing my age there).

I would grab a book from the shelf, sneak into a corner somewhere away from the staff and read the entire thing cover to cover without paying for it. Maybe the staff weren’t paid enough to care but I’d find a corner, sit on the floor and quietly read for hours. Eventually, my mother would return and I’d put the book back on the shelf (no doubt with a broken, creased binding) and be on my merry way. I know, I was a bit of an odd kid, what can I say. She really should have just dropped me off at the library instead but I don’t think I ever dared tell her what I was doing for all those hours.

Dark blue home library

Ideal Home / Photo by James Merrell

And I still love books although I rarely buy them any longer. While I will easily read 5 or 6 books on a single weeks’ holiday, I no longer want to waste precious luggage space with thick tomes. So I have a Kindle. I’ve also started downloading books on Audible which I can listen to whilst doing other things – mindless chores around the house, drying my hair, whatever. And so while I’m still technically getting my fill of books, there is no physical evidence any longer of a book well read. And that makes me sad. I want to change that.


Suzanne and Lauren McGrath’s incredible sitting room with beautiful built-in bookshelves as photographed byย Lucas Allen for Domaine

The main problem for me, however, has always been the space. I don’t really have the room to store a lot of books and so there was no point in bringing them into my home. But I love the look of a library in a home. There’s something terribly regal and intellectual about a collection of books, isn’t there? So I’ve been thinking about some of the changes we can make in the new house when we finally get in there and I have decided that I want Wayne to build me a few bookshelves on either side of one of the front bay windows with a window seat in between.

Dark bookshelves


While I love the look of a set of dark bookshelves, I am feeling the need for a light bright welcoming space where I can stretch out like a spoiled cat in the sunshine. My collection will likely not be huge – I don’t have a massive collection of books, after all. Not since I was a kid anyway. But I suppose I can always work on that part once they are built. Filling up bookshelves seems like a very nice problem to have, after all.

Do you have a library in your own home? Or is it something you’d love to have too? Let me know what you dream of having in your home…

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