Delicious, DIY, Floral & Gardens, Inspiration, Interior Style, Lifestyle, Nature & the Coast

A Country Christmas at Hunter’s

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I’m so excited about next months two Inspiration Masterclasses.  The events are a fine opportunity to get in the mood, with friends, for the festive season while gleaning tips and ideas on how to decorate your own home with an emphasis on using Nature & the Garden as your resource.

The afternoon will be filled with creative ideas for decorative detail around your home from myself and this will be followed by a demonstration of creating your own seasonal harvest and tonic drinks with Glenealy based local Courtney Tyler of Hips & Haws Wildcrafts. Courtney will show us how to create our own healthy wildcrafted tonic drinks using foraged wild berries such as elderberries, blackberries and rose hips. She will concentrate on cordials, shrubs, sodas and fruit wines.

The event which is now an annual tradition for many regular attendees, takes place in the cosy, atmospheric surroundings of Ireland’s oldest coaching inn, Hunter’s Hotel, County Wicklow.

My aim is for everyone to leave with a warm glow and full of inspiration for decorating your own home for the festive season and through the Winter until Spring. Ticket price includes Hunter’s renowned homemade afternoon tea (complete with deelish sambos, scones & cake) and a glass of fizz by the fire.

The events take place on Saturday 3rd October & Saturday 10th October

Places are limited so early booking is advisable. You can book on either of the dates here

Niamh Mac Gowan Interior Stylist  http://niamhmacgowan.com/

Courtney Tyler http://www.hipsandhaws.com/

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DIY, Inspiration, Nature & the Coast

from the seashore

As anyone who has taken a walk with me on the beach will tell you, I can’t resist picking up a good shell. They then end up collecting in a bowl or accumulated in a still life on a cabinet. I was at client’s house yesterday touching up some old gold mirrors and an idea came to me.

So when I got back home, I cleaned up some shells and took out my lush gold paint

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simple as

 

 

I quite fancy them as salt & pepper receptacles……..

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DIY, Interior Style

Bedknobs and all the rest

This bedroom has a quirky layout with views of the sea in the distance.

The ‘before’ photo below was taken in the summer time but it gives an idea of the basic space.

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A salvaged bed which fits in the alcove perfectly but is brown and very varnished to start with.

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The bed is taken apart degreased and sanded. Also the legs are heightened by 17inches – this provides extra storage beneath and better views of the sea.

We painted it in French grey mid by Little Greene, this paint is so fab, chalky but resilient. I couldn’t resist copper waxing the wooden bed knobs!

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End result…

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a shelf made from driftwood provide a practical place on high for a reading lamp, books etc.

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a Pamela Leonard etching provides another picture window – a view you can get lost in.

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the dressing room area has a make shift dressing table – that was one of my granny’s hall tables in a former life, the mirror we picked up in a second hand shop. The chair was fished out of a skip by my sister!

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the chalkiness of the gorgeous little greene paint that has transformed the secondhand bed.

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The dark paint in the alcove provides a snug, atmospheric area to drift to sleep.

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While the rest of the room is calm and tranquil – full of little details to catch the eye.

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DIY, Inspiration, Interior Style, Nature & the Coast

being resourceful

So I decided recently I would like some curtains for inside the hall door – have always loved the idea, so this January, with next to no budget, I finally got around to making them.

I went to Helen Turkington’s fabric outlet and bought a lovely tweed material – it was from their lovely remnants cupboard so I bought a couple of metres for half the price.

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I already had some heavy linen so it was just a case of stitching the two lots of fabric together – making sure that the lovely herringbone went on the top where it would be seen…

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Then off to the beach to collect driftwood  – particularly in a Y shape

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Y? because I had a plan to make my own rustic curtain rail – fitting in with the textures of tweed & linen

I bought some dowelling in the local hardware shop and limed it

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I also got two wooden knobs which I also limed and we screwed them to either end of the dowelling after it was cut to size.

….not before stringing it with remnant curtain rings that I bought loose from the local haberdashery after kneeling down and rummaging in a big box full of odd rings.

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With the brackets screwed to the wall, it was just a case of placing the new curtain rail on top

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I was amazed when I closed the curtain after putting them up. It was a stormy night outside and I instantly felt cosier but not only that, the hall stopped being an entryway and became its own room.

People who are familiar with my little house are aware of how many rooms I have (not many!) so to have an extra useable space in the evening is fab. happy days!

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DIY, Inspiration

Painting Stripes

I have these little wooden stools dotted all over my house  – very handy for reaching things or as a little shelf – I bought them years ago for peanuts and they have been painted many colours over the years. I have been doing a lot of redecorating lately. I am so in love with intelligent matt emulsion from Little Greene – it goes on beautifully to walls or woodwork leaving a gorgeous chalky finish that is quite hardy, so while I have the brushes out I start grabbing things about the house and painting them.

I repainted these stools and then decided to add a casual ticking stripe inspired by one of my favourite Rachel Barker mugs…..

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So I used an old plastic ruler as my guide and let the paint brush do its thing.

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Its ok to have the odd blob as it is the imperfections that make it I think!

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Stripey feathers from the beach on stripes..

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you could apply this to any piece of wooden furniture – if it is used a lot  – a coat of matt varnish on top might help

now why I can paint next………*scans room………

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Antiques & Antiquing, DIY, Inspiration, Interior Style

I heart copper

As an etcher, copper is very important to me as an essential core material – the plates I draw on with a needle are made from copper.

Imageimage: niamh mac gowan

but also at the moment for me I am really enjoying using copper in my interiors. I adore metallics  – not too shiny now – chrome to me is cold and clinical but rustic metals, mercuried silvers and distressed golds are great. I think their textures are very important as a layer in an interiors. Copper is so warm and I just love it with tweeds, linens and wools  – fabrics I often use.

Its also the fact that it can be utilitarian 

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image: via pinterest

or it can be decorative…

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image: niamh mac gowan

It works well in the kitchen….

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copper plate from herriott grace

and also is great for lighting as it emits a warm light…

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image: this ivy house

M&S copper pendant light

copper pendant light from M&S

strand lamp by Clancy Moore Architects

strand lamp by Clancy Moore Architects available from Makers & Brothers

 

 

I got this gorgeous copper wax from Cornelissens in London you can just rub it on wood and polish it off a few hours later. 

I have been decorating the bedroom this new year (more about that in a separate post) and I used it on the bed knobs 

Imageimage: niamh mac gowan

I also used it on an old sconce I had lying about…

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before

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et voila

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The nice thing about copper is that you can pick it up in bric-a-brac or charity shops for next to nothing.

I got this bowl in a shop in Brighton for £4 last Summer

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image: niamh mac gowan

I bought this oversized copper bauble last month and now it is doing disco ball duty in the bedroom..

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image: niamh mac gowan

I think I may be a magpie!

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DIY, Floral & Gardens, Inspiration, Interior Style, Nature & the Coast

Styling your home for the Festive Season – part 2

Continuing my notes on styling your home using nature as your resource……

Simply place an evergreen branch in a bucket  this is great for those short on funds for a costly Christmas tree or if like me you are short on space. It looks great on a hall table so Christmas greets your guests on entering.

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Another great alternative to a tree – or something to have in another room – on the kitchen dresser perhaps –

Tie together a bunch of deciduous branches. Hold in place in a garden urn or flower pot with some large stones – cover these with moss and decorate with your favourite baubles as these are going to be seen more so than if they were on the tree.

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Handy tip – always change the cheapy string on baubles to ribbon – it looks so much more expensive! Ribbon – when ever I buy a new dress the first thing I do is cut off those annoying ribbon loops that are waiting to flop out at an inopportune moment.

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and as a person who can’t throw anything away for fear of it being useful, I have a box full of them!

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Hang baubles from shelves or anywhere you see a hook!

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 I made some bunting made from pages of an old book

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 – love this especially if you have a darker colour on your walls – it really stands out but in a very simple way

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This year I will be mostly wrapping my presents in brown paper tied up with string

with an added embellishment of decorative detail from nature.

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Wishing you a very happy & stylish Christmas!

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