Libraries have long served as places of quiet relaxation and inspiration offering sanctuary to those seeking shelter from the stresses of everyday life – so why not create a literary haven in your own home?

The new Barker and Stonehouse autumn brochure features a stunning ‘laidback library’ look created by interior designer Trish Ridley that could easily be replicated with a few carefully selected items.

Part of Barker and Stonehouse’s interior design team, Trish feels her contemporary interpretation of the classic British library offers up the perfect laidback, stylish atmosphere. With the right mix of leather, dark woods and polished surfaces Trish believes that anyone can create a room “as rich as literature itself”.

The classic yet contemporary feel of the laidback library theme is perfectly demonstrated by Barker and Stonehouse’s Renoir armchair. Taking a classic, stylish design with a high winged back, classic curves and studded detailing then modernising it with a push-back reclining action results in an armchair as comfortable as it is elegant.

The Asquith collection of armchairs and sofas with their signature blend of aged-effect leather, chesterfield buttoned backs and hand studded detailing are also traditional classics that will instantly give any room a tasteful mid-century feel.

But with so many dark woods and aged leathers your laidback library look could easily appear too dark. Counter dark woods and leathers with polished surfaces and metals such as zinc and steel which offer an innovative and stylish way to lift a room.

Trish used a Goldsmith coffee table in spitfire finish from Barker and Stonehouse to create a stark contrast with the dark brown leather sofas. Oversized, burnished items such as this table will help to add a touch of drama to an otherwise flat room.

Of course, what good is a library without anywhere to keep the books? Barker and Stonehouse has some stunning Granville oak bookcases lovingly crafted using traditional techniques. The contrasting grains and colours within the wood result in a beautifully unique finish.

And it is always the little details that differentiate the cool from the contrived. Large clocks, telescopes and silver urns have been used to highlight the accents of metal in Trish’s laidback library without turning the room into a museum of kitsch.

Trish also used ‘bookcase’ wallpaper from Andrew Martin’s new collection to generate a fun and stylish talking point in the room. Placing too many objects in front of and around the ‘bookcase’ can quickly make the room appear cluttered – remember to let the wallpaper do the talking.

If done right, this look can form a dramatic focus point for your entire home which you will enjoy for years to come. Just make sure you save some shelf-space for the latest Barker and Stonehouse brochure!

See Trish’s laidback library look in full in our new autumn brochure in stores now. You can also view it on our website: ( and you can follow us at