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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Inspiration, Interior Style

Who doesn’t love a before & after?

A favourite aspect of my Creative Services is giving Colour Consultations in peoples’ homes.

The words ‘safe’ & ‘neutral’ are used a lot for existing paint colours and there is usually a distinct lack of enthusiasm for the rooms as they are at the ‘before’ stage.

In the case study below, I was dealing with clients who had just bought a gorgeous Victorian terraced house close to the centre of Dublin. The house had been cleverly extended & restored but was painted, almost throughout, in tones of magnolia (my favourite!). The young couple were eager to put their own stamp on the house and make it their home. They called in my help the same week they had moved in! The couple are quite artistic themselves and wanted that to be reflected but they just needed suggestions and support in going ahead with colours, I was delighted to find they embraced all my ideas and within two weeks the house had been transformed! I selected a number of artworks from my Home Curation Service for the walls to really show off the colours as an effective backdrop to one’s own decorative details. In this post I am concentrating on the rooms where I suggested strong dramatic colours.

The bedroom was a small simple room with a nice feeling and we were working with the existing curtains which were a lovely thick oatmeal tweed with a blue ticking stripe. Image

Now the architectural details like the gorgeous little fireplace are brought to the fore. It has become a really special ‘wow’ room.

The artworks on the wall in the after shot on the right are by Jean Bardon and Grainne Cuffe.Image

The hall was like any other hall but now, using some the new greys by Little Greene, it has been transformed in to an inviting and dramatic space that draws you in from the outside world. Decorative details now pop out from the walls creating areas of interest where there was none.Image

As you can see, Lexie the dog loves the new house as she poses beneath a fabulous Springtime Still Life by Brien Vahey.Image

The hall follows down the next level to an in-between room which is used as a home office with a flip down desk.It is now cavernous and peaceful, a place to get lost in one’s work.ImageThe cabinet in the corner was going to be discarded but instead I suggested painting it Atomic Red – a lovely orange red that works with the brown greys.Image

The dining room is in a modern part right at the back of the house. It is used mainly in the evenings for entertaining, so we chose an ambient daring colour for the walls. At night the space changes its mood and already, it has been reported that many successful dinner parties have been enjoyed there. Image

If you fancy your own Colour Consultation either in Ireland or in London feel free to get in touch with me to arrange.

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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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DIY, Interior Style, Uncategorized

the ceiling

I caught up on painting a few details in my house that I have been meaning to do for ages. One that has been really annoying me is the white ceiling in my tiny hallway which I never got around to painting and it has always looked so wrong to me.

before:

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after:

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The hall now seems bigger  as without the colour junction the illusion is created that the ceiling is higher.

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Antiques & Antiquing, DIY, Interior Style

lamp – a little before ‘n’ after

I bought this lampbase in a bric-a-brac shop in North Wicklow last week

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It was shiny and repro dark brown so I sanded it down and painted it Lamp room gray by Farrow & Ball, popped a sweet lampshade on it….

…and this is how it turned out:

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