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In a piece in today's Daily Mail, Mayfair Office's own Nick Churton is quoted at length and Mayfair Office member firm Mishon Mackay in Brighton get a feature mention for The Mirage, an outstanding development on Hove's trendy seafront.

The article by Gwenda Brophy reads:

Libraries provide an elegant home for your books and a refuge from busy family life 

Most of us would agree with Horace Mann’s adage that a house without books is like a room without windows. Perhaps this explains why Ikea has sold more than 41 million Billy bookcases.

But flatpacks aside, our shelves are treasured possessions worthy of their own space and even their own room. Of course, dusty, tome-filled libraries will be popular in large, grand houses, but lower down the scale, the fad is for smart ‘reading spaces’.

At The Mirage, a boutique apartment building minutes from Hove’s seafront, set within the conservation area of elegant Regency and Victorian houses, some of the apartments have a room designed specifically as a ‘relaxation/¬reading space’.

Peace and quiet: A library, or at least a 'reading space' is a great feature for any home, whether you live in a flat or a mansion

And all of the third bedrooms have an alcove with the option to create a mini-library.

Owners can relax with a book while enjoying the sea views. The apartments come with private garden, balcony or terrace. The penthouse is still available with a guide price of £900,000.

A library might sound indulgent but as homes become increasingly communal, from multi-tasking kitchens to family rooms, a library is that rare thing — an adult retreat.

Nick Churton, of national estate agent network The Mayfair Office, says: ‘In this busy and ever crowded world, personal space has become extremely important. It’s not just from young families that adults sometimes like to retreat, but from other adults, too.’

A library offers the perfect solution, and developers are taking note. At Le Jardin, in the village of Horton, Northamptonshire, Heyford Homes are giving buyers the option of turning a room into a library.

The six houses are set in mature grounds. Just one five-bedroom home remains unsold and is priced at £745,000.

At their development, Oaks Hamlet, in Kings Hill, Kent, Environ Communities offer book shelving options.

Properties include three and four-bedroom homes as well as detached five-bedroom houses with a separate studio above the double garage, which can be fitted out as a gym, guest room — or library.

‘Books certainly add warmth to a room,’ says Churton. But what about monetary value? ‘There will always be added value in an additional room.’

Prices at Oaks Hamlet start from £360,500 for a three-bedroom home, up to £965,000 for a five-bedroom house.

The ever popular Ikea Billy is one of the most affordable bookcases around. It is available in different wood finishes and in white, and at different heights.

Bespoke bookcases are pricier, but crafted to last. They make ingenious use of every inch of space, however tricky.

Mat Garner, of Emmess, a company making fitted furniture, advises looking for a member of the Guild of Master Craftsmen.

‘It’s a good way of finding a professional. If possible, you should visit the workshop and see things being made.’

Pressed for space? ‘Nowadays, libraries can be found occupying a blank wall in all sorts of odd places, such as stairways, landings and halls — books can transform a bland space,’ says Churton.

Statement shelves, such as Ron Arad’s Bookworm, a modern classic, are features in their own right. The Bookworm holds a small number of books because of its coiled shape.

Alternatively, choose shelves in the shape of picture frames and pack them with your choice of books.

However you present your books, your library says a lot about you —so if your reading matter is on show, it might be worth hiding those celebrity kiss-and-tells.

To see the article as it appeared go to