Home libraries are making a comeback

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 The walls of this historical reference centre will also have been witness to the academic and earnest thoughts of local philanthropist Alfred Bean.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.  

 

The trend for libraries in interior design
The trend for libraries in interior design

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, Library Bar
The Highfield House, Library Bar

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. 

 

The Highfield House, Library Bar
The Highfield House, Library Bar
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A visitors take on The Highfield House, Driffield

Surrounded by seven acres of immaculate lawns, picturesque nature and the rolling beck stands the magnificent and gracious Highfield House, Driffield, one of Yorkshire’s finest Grade II listed buildings. I’m excited about my appointment with owners Andy and Lindsey for a look around this once country club, still fondly remembered by local residents today.  

Andy greets me at the front door with an amiable smile and invites me in. As I step into the grand entrance hallway I am met with a delightful display of sumptuous blue wall panelling, ambient lighting and a bunch of fresh white roses on the reception hall table. Andy’s mother Phyllis appears to tell us the log fire has been lit in the old library and there will be tea and biscuits waiting for us once we have finished our tour. I’ve not been here five minutes and I’m already feeling suitably pampered. It’s a well-received welcome.

We make our way to The Drawing Room which is an elegant space decked out in traditional neutrals and mink accents. The large french doors at the back of the room look out onto the vast gardens and frame the views of the green landscape just perfectly. I can picture the guests mingling out on the front lawns, jovial and glowing from a just finished wedding service and sipping champagne bellinis out of crystal flutes. It’s all very boutique and I already adore what I am being shown.

Continuing our tour of The Highfield House, Driffield, Andy shows me the private suite that they reserve for newlyweds and The Great Hall where the actual ceremonies take place. There is even a minstrels gallery hidden at the back of the hall that can hold a string quartet to walk you down the aisle if you so wish. With every room in the house feeling more and more decadent than the last, I’m left wondering what other venues can possibly top this?  

What I have noticed on my foray around The Highfield House, Driffield is Andy and Lindsey’s use of daring and opulent colours. Love it or hate it, this approach harks back to their predecessors of yesteryear and celebrates everything historical and grand. Which bride wouldn’t want to feel like a Lady on her big day?

The interiors experienced couple are also certainly onto something with their specific choice of palette. Light coloured hues are taking a back seat in interior design and the trend to create a ‘safe nest’ through rich pigments is soaring. With society spending more and more time in cold and corporate environments, guests can certainly seek privacy and comfort at The Highfield House, Driffield. Peering around at the superb velvety walls I can see how Andy and Lindsey have made such a name for themselves within the private residential design market.

As for myself and the burning question that is on everybody’s lips, would I be happy to have and to hold from this day forward at The Highfield House, Driffield? Oh, you bet. And if you’re on the lookout too for a wedding venue bursting with exuberant character, I would suggest you do the same.

 

A visitors take on The Highfield House, Driffield
The Highfield House, Driffield

 

The Highfield House; Introducing Andy and Lindsey

It’s a cold and wintery morning and I’m at The Highfield House in Driffield to interview the owners of this exclusive private hire venue, Lindsey and Andy Lampard. Seated in the lounge and bar area, which was formerly the old library, the house is as charismatic as it is charming. I am able to see why many of their clients flock here in their droves to marry in such a romantic setting. After a short while, the couple enters the room and after some brief introductions, we are keen to get our interview underway.

Background

Lindsey from Pocklington and Andy from Birmingham met many moons ago when their lives became interlinked during an eight-year stint at a design agency in London. Andy explains, ‘’Whilst undertaking many high profile projects together such as the Dolder Grand Hotel Zurich, Lindsey and I worked in some of the world’s most luxurious environments. We headed up a team of 6 designers in locations such as Doha and Mumbai and would later become the ultimate husband and wife team.’’

Lindsey joins in, ‘’As you know though, things do change and we found ourselves unhappy with the company’s ethics and the limits they put on our creativity.’’

A fresh break, Andy and Lindsey joined forces with friends from all collaborative backgrounds and disciplines.

From visualisers to illustrators, their collective company ‘House With’ was born. Andy says, ‘’As a company, we offered the entire process, absolutely everything from the architecture to the interior design, furniture and uniforms. We shared our studio with a team of 20 and continued to offer our design services to a clientele of internationally successful restaurants and hotels.’’

It wasn’t until Lindsey’s father decided on a house build and asked her to be the project manager did she find herself commuting to and from Yorkshire quite often. After a heart to heart and with marriage and babies calling, it was back to Yorkshire for Andy and Lindsey to establish their multidisciplinary design studio for commercial, private residential and homeware design.

‘’We were thinking,’’ says Lindsey, ‘’how could we combine our love of the countryside with our business? We came across this house and well, Andy just fell in love. I can still remember thinking, you must be joking me, we live in a one bed flat in Peckham?!’’

Andy continues, ‘’We moved up here for the freedom and this house made it viable for us. It’s a house that can run as a business in its own right and is something we are able to fall back on if the design studio didn’t work out when we moved out of London. We needn’t have worried because straight away we took on some huge projects, a boutique shopping centre in India, international bars and private residents in the high-end luxury sector to name a few. We relocated to Yorkshire as lone wolves and we made it work.’’

Andy and Lindsey, owners of The Highfield House
Andy and Lindsey, owners of The Highfield House

A typical day at The Highfield House

‘’A typical day at the house,’’ says Andy, ‘’will usually start with a regrouping with the housekeeper. We need to know what’s happening that day, visitors coming and going, deliveries and tradesmen in and out. It takes a lot of planning and a lot of orchestrating to keep it all moving. With Lyndsey now looking after our new baby I will then generally head for the studio to go through emails and planning applications. Afternoons are usually spent planning out the latest club and going through mood boards for private home renovations.’’

‘’We have one golden rule though don’t we,’’ Lindsey chimes in, ‘’work stops at 6 pm sharp. It’s family time then.’’

Now we’re getting personal 

When asked about their passions in life Andy’s eyes light up. ‘’Family,’’ he says, ‘’then entertaining and success in work.

Family is everything. On Sunday mornings, you can always find us dressed in some sort of DIY get up, stripping some wallpaper or climbing on a tractor. Our two-year-old is obsessed with Bob the Builder.’’

‘’I love throwing big parties for our families and friends from London.’’ giggles, Lindsey.

On the rare occasion, they’re not working on some kind of project, there is nothing Andy and Lindsey love more than to entertain the old London crowd on their regular jaunts to Yorkshire. In fact, get the G&T’s and 1980’s Cosmo’s flowing and you can guarantee Lindsey will be the first to get everyone on the dancefloor.

‘’Seeing a project being finished too,’’ says Andy, ‘’finishing another room in this house is the absolute best feeling in the world.’’

‘’He also loves to cook for us all,’’ says Lindsey, ‘’I think it’s these Michelin star chefs he’s been mixing with.’’

We all laugh at that.

The owners of Highfield House, Andy and Lindsey
The owners of Highfield House, Andy and Lindsey

Accomplishments and compliments

‘’When we take on a new project,’’ says Andy, ‘’what impresses our client is the wow factor we bring to the table. Take The Highfield House, for instance, even people who remember it as a country club have visited and have been absolutely in awe of the work we have done here. We win most of our jobs through vision, coming up with something that isn’t fundamentally obvious and we get a lot of repeat business through our boldness.’’

‘’Relocating to Yorkshire and maintaining what we had has also been such an accomplishment for us,’’ explains Lindsey, ‘’every single client has remained with us even though our studio is no longer in London. We’ve also overcome the challenge of keeping going and withstanding adversity throughout this entire house project. What makes it worthwhile is when we have a big event on in the house, a wedding, for example, the atmosphere is electric, the guests are crying happy tears and to be able to evoke that kind of emotion in someone through design is just, it’s beyond wonderful.’’

The Highfield House, Drawing Room
The Highfield House, Drawing Room

Quickfire questions

Describe each other in three words.

Lindsey: ‘’I would say he is imaginative, strategic and bold.’’

Andy: ‘’She is meticulous, methodical and relentless.’’ They both smile at each other.

What books are you reading at the moment?

Lindsey: ‘’A Tina Turner biography.’’

Andy: ‘’Total Tractor, for my two-year-old.’’

Tell me three pet hates.

Andy: ‘’We don’t actually have any pet hates. Oh except wonky pictures and lampshades!’’

What “lesson from mum” do you still live by today?

Andy: ‘’My dad once taught me that a rest is as good as a sleep. My brain is very active so it’s great advice.’’

Lindsey: ‘’My mum always was and still always is a very well dressed and stylish woman. She tells me to look my best no matter what the situation.’’

What would you do even if you didn’t get paid to do it?

Both together: ‘’Design and run The Highfield House in Driffield!’’

What is your personal motto?

Andy: ‘’We have branded ourselves ‘Design for Life’, which means make a plan and stick to it. We are always reviewing our 10-year plan and designing for a better life.’’

The Highfield House for your occasion

It goes without saying that everything taking place in The Highfield House is a living breathing result of the wonderful and personal family run ‘Lifestyle Brand’ that Andy and Lindsey represent.

Speak with them about your celebration, home, project or perhaps pay Andy and Lindsey a visit and see for yourself the delightful and exquisitely renovated wedding venue that is The Highfield House.

The Highfield House wedding venue
The Highfield House, wedding venue