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

Imageduring

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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Inspiration, Interior Style, Nature & the Coast

cosy & festive

I have had a number of requests to see my own house at Christmas so I am obliging. It is a dark stormy day so there is nowhere I would rather be at the moment!

So here are some snaps

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my paper bunting and a bunch of pine cones still on their branches

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 a tablescape!

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 love all these greens

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 my little tree

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 did I mention I am in love with copper at the moment?

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 little details

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 speaking of copper…. my oversized bauble dazzles from the ceiling

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 these jaunty baubles greet everyone who comes through the front door

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 nature imitates art

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 the mirror reflects a garland making it look twice as generous

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 another tree in this corner

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 oh look yet another little tree!

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 Deerie says Happy Christmas

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

Styling your home for the Festive Season – part 1

Styling your home for Christmas using nature as your resource.

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Instead of just automatically getting out the same box of decorations every year and putting everything in the same place, mix it up!

Start by going outside

Take a look in your garden: gather greenery – lleylandii, ivy, hydrangeas, anything with berries on it, eucalyptus, bay, – any herbs

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Go for a wintery walk in the woods: gather moss, pine cones, deciduous branches, evergreen branches – there are lots on ground now following recent storms.

Perhaps followed by a hot whiskey by the fire in your local pub!

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Create an atmosphere in your home….

Cosiness: Warmth from an open turf fire and from candles about the place.

Twinkly lights: tealights & fairy lights  everywhere and anywhere

Aromas: Christmas oil – dropped on to pine cones & herbs used as greenery. Mulled wine or cider simmering on the hob. Stick cloves in oranges wrapped in velvet ribbons.

and then a feast for the eyes with these decorative details…..

I found this copper bowl in a charity shop in Brighton for £4, I have filled it with pine cones dabbed with aromatic oil – a kind of modern day pot pourri!

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Choose your colours, this year I am focusing on greens, greys and copper, keeping it wonderfully simple

Wreaths are not just for the hall door

they can be hung in front of a mirror

at end of a hallway

or in a window

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Play with scale

You can make tiny wreaths – with rosemary or buxus or any other greenery with small leaves – for backs of chairs or again hung around the house – see here how to make this one above.

I also made this HUGE Lleylandii Wreath – using just greenery – simple simple.

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I used a hula hoop bought from my local toyshop for a couple of euro and wrapped it in masking tape and added branches of lleylandii – which is great as it floppy! I love the simplicity of this – but sadly it is too big for my house!!

(all branches were scavenged from recently felled trees that greatly improved the views from upstairs)

Choose your colours, this year I am focusing on greens, greys and copper again keeping it wonderfully simple

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 Bring in your lanterns from the garden – line with moss – mini cones – grey candles

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I gathered some branches with tiny cones  and dabbed some gold paint on them

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Another idea is to get an antique plate or a tray and line with moss, place one or ideally a number of candles within this and dot a few small baubles and pine cones nestling on the moss. This would make an impressive centrepiece as it will sit low on the table.

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I dyed an old cream linen tablecloth to black – the perfect backdrop for all the coppers and moss greens and twinkly lights

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tea towels and linens for napkins – folded with string and decorated with a nature detail

all images by Niamh Mac Gowan  except the photograph of the marvellous Jerusalem Tavern

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

A ‘mini’ wreath

As many of you know I love playing with scale and as well as making the biggest wreath EVER from lleylandii, I also made this particular little wreath with rosemary but you can also use buxus or anything else from the garden with small leaves.

These are ideal for backs of chairs, in front of mirrors or hung anywhere around the house.

I started with the wooden rings that are used for embroidery – I bought these in my local haberdashery

I made small bunches using about 3 sprigs and tightly wrapped them with a little elastic band

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I attached the bunches gradually, using green garden wire

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continue this right around eventually filling the gaps with smaller sprigs

add any colour ribbon to hang it

et voila!

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