New library Dear Mrs Danvers, I have recently bought a 10,000-acre estate with a fine house at its centre. I would like to create a proper library in one of its fine rooms with, of course, dummy leather-bound books on the doors. Do you know who could do this for me?
I imagine, unless buying this estate has cleared out the coffers, that you will not be interested in the cheapo version of this: a wallpaper of book spines made by Brunschwig & Fils. Biblio-theque is a mere £214 for a 4 and a half meters in length. Instead, you should try Decora (01452 307700), whichmakes sections in resin moulded from actual old book spines that, they say, are so good you can’t tell the difference. They’ll even customise some of the titles so, should you want The Mystery of Wenham Hall or The Screaming Towers of Towham (or whatever your pile is called), then that can be arranged. Oakleaf Reproduction (01535 663274; www.oakleaf.co.uk) has a similar service, and will do all sorts of other panelling besides should you decide you need a 17th-century great hall, for instance. There are firms, I believe, that will tear apart old books to create the effect, but I cannot approve of such vandalism.
Should anyone want to take up my suggestion about buying proper tissue paper by the ream (hundreds of uses), the firm which sells these Holman & Williams (Packaging) (020 8879 1100; www.hwpackaging.co.uk) now has a new swatch card. It has 43 different shades of normal tissue and 12 pearlised papers. The colours are wonderful and are excellent mixed together. The only sad news is that these papers are French.
Read more household tips at www.countrylife.co.uk/countryside