Our historic love of home libraries
Let’s take a step back in time. Way back when to a place where a house was not a home without a butler’s pantry or library and studying and reading were the order of the day. The old library of The Highfield House would at one time have been crammed to the hilt with richly carved cabinets, memorabilia, paintings galore, oh and of course rows upon rows of educational books. The walls of this historical reference centre will also have been witness to the academic and earnest thoughts of local philanthropist Alfred Bean. Alfred himself would have certainly whiled away many an afternoon in this great room, perusing over his numerous hospital and charity developments in the surrounding areas of Driffield.
Fast forward to 2017 and the revival of the library is being celebrated by bookworms nationwide. Research by Mintel shows our fellow Brits still prefer old-fashioned print, with sales of physical books forecast to rise by 6% this year to £1.7 billion. Even more, interestingly it’s actually now seen to be quite romantic to collect literature and with department store John Lewis reporting an 11% increase in sales of bookcases this year, popularity with digital media such as The Kindle is at an all-time low.
Home libraries in interior decoration
It’s fascinating to witness the effect, of what our renewed love for these educational gems has in the interior design world. More and more designers are working to incorporate home libraries into their creations and their clientele cannot get enough. From bookcases leading to secret areas to room dividers teaming with fiction and biographies, books are also being used as fashion statements with the core of a room design being to give the impression that the owner just loves to indulge in a great read.
One ever growing popular trend is to decorate your coffee table with a collection of books featuring stunning covers. Think photography, architecture, travel and all things worldly. Not technically a home library we know but the result is a deeply sophisticated look, plus it gives your guests something to leaf through whilst you’re pouring the G&T’s. A versatile alternative is some artfully placed shelving which can also be used to house air cleansing potted plants and other room enhancing ornaments.
The Highfield House for your inspiration
How does this all relate to The Highfield House exclusive private venue I hear you ask. Well alongside this much-loved venture, owners Andy and Lindsey also own and operate a highly success multidisciplinary design studio. They are in the process of renovating the historic Highfield House room by room and more recently completed the impressive transformation of the old library which is now known as The Library Bar.
Andy and Lindsey continue to offer their adept design expertise to private residential and commercial customers alike and conveniently, their door is always open should you require some knowledgeable advice on the return of chic home libraries.