I have spent the Winter working on creating a very special, and I think, thoughtful showhouse for my fellow visionaries, Centurion Homes in Kinsale, County Cork.
It is the first house in an enclave of new houses called Cluain Mara situated up the hill on Farm Lane – a short walk away from the hustle & bustle of one of my favourite Irish harbour towns.
After months of planning, gathering, sourcing, visualising and imagining, we had a team of hugely hardworking peeps helping me putting the final pieces together, painting, refurbishing and upcycling furniture, hanging and steaming curtains, making the oh so many beds, cleaning and cleaning again. Everyone mucked in and the house, which was so detailed, it was finished only an hour before the launch on the 9th of April. The good news is, it went down a treat and the buyers are a buying.
Nature, the Coast, and the lifestyle that comes with living with all of that on your doorstep are the subtle inspiration in the house. There is a cohesive use of wools, velvets, linens & tweeds throughout the house and I have concentrated on creating a very relaxed, all be it different, atmosphere in every room. All the paint colours are natural tones and hues chosen from Colourtrend Paints – an Irish paint company with high quality paint, both in pigment and durability.
The flooring laid in the kitchen, dining space and hallway is high-end engineered oak facilitating the underfloor heating, while the sitting room, den and stairs and upstairs rooms have a very comfy 100% wool carpet.
I have focused on every little detail throughout the house, so the potential homeowner is given the feeling that they could just put their suitcase down and move in, feeling right at home.
Would you like a tour?
Entering the hallway there is an antique mirror flanked by objects with coastal nod as the Sea is only a stroll away. Nearby, a detailed mezzotint by Master Printmaker James McCreary also references the surrounding countryside.
In through to the large kitchen / dining space which spans the length of the house. Here, there is a juxtaposition of the sleek matte contemporary kitchen units by Kube and the antique & wooden pieces that I have brought in to add warmth and an perhaps an air of fabulousness methinks.
Isn’t that the nicest utility room? I always think people cut corners on their utility rooms, but I think you want to be in a beautiful place when doing those tedious tasks. The bespoke light was made especially for for the space by Coppergreen.ie.
In the front window of the kitchen there is a ‘love seat’ to sit in the sunshine while others toil in the kitchen, or you can sit up to the island for a better view.
On through to the dining space – separated by a half wall – the cosy atmosphere is enhanced by an antique wheatsheaf chandelier. The recycled elm dining table is ready to be gathered around for supper.
Next we go to the sitting room – a very different feeling here – light and airy in the daytime but pull the dark green linen blinds, light the fire and sink in to the wool carpet and it is cosy time. The refurbished Swedish style cupboard houses vintage board games for everyone to play with in front of the flickering flames after a day out sailing or hiking.
Once again lighting is key in this room. The black & copper sconces were designed specifically for either side of the fireplace by Coppergreen.ie, while the gorgeous oversized clay & wooden lamps are from the wonderful local shop in the Kinsale, ‘Granny’s Bottom Drawer’. The bespoke oak mantle and bench/firewood store was made for us to our specifications by Carrigaline Joinery, while the honed limestone hearth was made by local firm O’Callaghan Fireplaces in Halfway.
Down the hallway to the study / den… this is where you watch a movie with a big bowl of popcorn…. or perhaps you need a quiet, peaceful space to work from home. An old map of the area lets you know exactly where you are.
Further down the hall, there is a sweet downstairs WC in my favourite seaweed colour.
Tomorrow, we go upstairs……….