Antiques & Antiquing, Art, Inspiration, Interior Style

A restoration of colour

I am sitting in the sunshine writing this, casting my mind back to the Winter months when I began consulting on an early Victorian house restoration in Dublin. The new owners had a fab sense of style but really wanted to do justice to this, their forever home. It had been broken in to flats in its previous existence and now needed to be brought back to life in a new chapter of becoming a home for a young family.

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I came in at the stage where paint colours were being chosen and decorative details were being considered

I remember we were numb with the cold, walking around trying to imagine how it was all going to look  as all the windows had been taken out.

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The owners were great, they wanted to push the boundaries with their choices of colour and be brave. They understood that how they painted their walls was going to dictate the atmosphere of each room. This was their chance to put their own mark on the house.

Spring has come and the house is now a home….

The outer entrance hall is a fresh pale green echoing the vert de gris in the reclaimed coach lantern.

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The entrance hall is a deep and dramatic colour.

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…. with the owner’s quirky papier maché deer head to greet visitors with his tongue firmly in his cheek.

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This leads to a lighter hall, stairs and landing with all the architraves becoming features by being painted in a darker hue to the walls. The owners fell in love with this painting  a few years ago after seeing it in a bidding raffle. I think they were destined to have it.

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A mirror with gorgeous mercuried glass waits to be hung

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The newly built boot room fulfills its function but is also a nice place to sit. The graphic poster advertising a sheep auction dating back to 1919 is a favourite of the owners and sits well in the ‘downstairs’ space.

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In fact all the artwork already owned by the family has found a place that seems right for it – throughout the house, the family’s personality shines through.

The dining room, which is mostly used in the evenings, is richly atmospheric with the artful details popping out of the rich clay colour of the walls.

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The chandelier has unexpected copper shades.

When viewing the house at its skeletal phase, the doorway from the hall was being closed off, I suggested creating a butlers alcove in the dining room keeping the bricks of the doorway exposed and using reclaimed planks as shelves, the terracotta adding warmth to the room, but also the feature is reminder of how far the house has come. This now houses a gorgeous copper & silver cloche bought by the owner for a song!

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The dining room leads to a sunny kitchen with airy high ceilings

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This fine gentleman observes life from above, he was sourced from Enniskerry Antiques through my Emporium of Decorative Detail  The ladder was sourced by the owners from Drew Pritchard architectural antiques

 

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Upstairs in one of the bedrooms, a beautiful little oil is the star.

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The new greys from Lilttle Greene work fabulously with the textures of the wooden mirror and the concrete tiles.

 

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When considering paint colours there was always a thought to how rooms would look as they lead to the next

 

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The guest room is pale and fresh – a haven for visitors to feel spoiled with a very thoughtful peg rail for their overnight things.

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The round mirror came from the previous home and fits in with the style of the new.

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A pale pink echoes plaster in the children’s room.

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When it came to moving in stage, I came back for the fun bit – to curate where the decorative pieces and artworks would go, the final piece of the jigsaw. It is these details that set off the carefully considered hues.

The house feels fresh and very now, while it has an awareness of it’s past. It is grand yet homely and quirky, therefore very much a home to relax and entertain while a young family have room to grow and enjoy it with friends.

A colour consultation is very worthwhile in making sure you really make the most of a space and the atmosphere there is the possibility to create.

For your own consultation focusing on either paint colours or decorative details, I can be contacted on niamhtheprintmaker@gmail.com or tel: + 353 (0) 87 911 8236

 

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Setting Plaster by Farrow & Ball

Have just painted a test patch of Setting Plaster by Farrow & Ball, it is beautiful as a backdrop for natural finds don’t you think?

Inspiration, Interior Style, Nature & the Coast

Setting Plaster by Farrow & Ball

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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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Inspiration, Interior Style

Purple

Seeing the rich deep colours of the blackcurrant leads me to looking at rich purple colours in interiors. When used as a paint colour on walls it has a very dramatic effect like for example this bathroom painted in ‘brinjal’ by Farrow & Ball

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or in this more eclectic bathroom – the drama is still there, enhanced by the tiling details

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Stunning isn’t it? I love the way the light plays on the colour.

 

There are quieter ways to introduce a rich purple into your interior

Take this large bookcase in the dining room of Marianna Kennedy in Spitalfields (featured in Ben Pentreath’s Book). The large bookcase is painted in a deep aubergine colour, the depth of which is heightened by the marigold yellow of the inside of the cabinet.

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Similarly the beautiful subtle colour of this kitchen door in this farmhouse in County Cork (photograph by Simon Brown) is highlighted by the primrose yellow of the dresser.

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Of course as usual the gentler way of entertaining the colour in your home is in the details.

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these sing out against their pale grey background

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Simple flowers from the garden can dictate your accent colours at home from day to day

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English designer Ben Pentreath has made his dahlias the stars on his mantlepiece, complemented by those deep purple candles. 

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simples

 

 

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Interior Style

Springtime Lime hues in interiors

May is my favourite month of the year – we have the whole Summer ahead, the days are continuing to get longer, my first swim is just around the corner….but loveliest thing is the lush green in all the new growth around the garden, it is so fresh and zingy. And just as it is appearing outside, we can bring it inside too. Rather than paint your walls a lime green colour, a more subtle way of tipping your cap to Spring is to introduce elements of a zingy green in your interior in fabrics, fresh blooms or in artworks. Some inspirational pics below……

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Above we have a shot of lime on the bed linen, a exuding freshness from the velvety rich dark background. I love this image so much. {photo: Debi Treloar}

This image below, from my own house, illustrates how it can just be coming from a few brushstrokes in a landscape.

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The use of lime green in cushions is the simplest way to brighten up a neutral interior – they become the stars of the room…{photograph by Debi Treloar}

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This stunning study of a wild geranium leaf by Grainne Cuffe is one of a set of three etchings. Each one has different tones of fresh greens – creating such an impact when hung together in a room. These and lots more are available through my Home Curation Service. {http://www.niamhmacgowan.com/interior/artSourcing.php}

Lush.

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another example of subtle green in a classic interior in this shot in the dining room in Biddesden in Wiltshire {photo: Farrow & Ball}….

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and finally one of my favourite ceramicists, Judith Rowe, who is now based in Hastings but used have her studio on Eel Pie Island in Twickenham at the same time that I was based in Richmond, I have collected her work ever since, she has a whole series of green & cream pottery featuring quirky elements of nature. {photo: Country Living}

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so bring in Spring however which way……….

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