Antiques & Antiquing, Art, Inspiration, Interior Style, Nature & the Coast

The Natural Showhome – part 2

On we go upstairs – a large scale antique patchwork wall hanging in the stairwell is contemporary while also bringing texture and gravitas to the space.

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The stairway leads up to one of my favourite places in the house – the spacious landing.

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I commissioned fellow Wicklow based craftsman James Carroll to make a bench for this particular space. The seat has been made from Elm, the legs from Ash with inset details in Walnut – all grown in Wicklow.

Glimpse in to one of the rooms leading off here and we see a gorgeous little etching / aquatint called ‘Cloud: Half formed’ by Niamh Flanagan.

 

In to the first bedroom which has a balcony looking out to the hills.

There is crisp white linen, a felt wool upholstered headboard, a quilted cotton bedspread and herringbone throw all set off by the restful blue of the walls. Loving the seagulls flying above the bed.

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Next we have the family bathroom – the wall tiles here remind me of distressed metal. They are warmed up by the solid oak bathroom accessories. It is all very simple in here. As with all the bathrooms in the house, there are lots of clean lines and plenty of places to put everything, be it decorative or functional.

There are charcoal linen blinds and concrete floor tiles setting off the paler grey of the tile. 2016-04-09 10.45.10

 

Down the passageway to two more bedrooms..

 

 

We are now in the guest bedroom with en-suite, a room that I think could easily be an alternative master bedroom.

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Across the hallway a door leads in to the twin room.

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I think twin beds are really versatile in a home. I spent a lot of time in other peoples’ homes and I am increasingly finding that children love sharing a room with their siblings – creating a lifelong bond. I was also thinking of the house being full of visitors and twin beds in a guest room is so much more versatile for overnight guests.

 

Right, off in to the master bedroom

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This is a very serene and opulent room with dusty pink velvets and linens, inspired by the botanic etching on the wall by Marta Wakula-Mac.

 

 

There is a walk thru wardrobe in a fantastic finish resembling the tones in wet cement. Here there is a dramatic mirror reflecting the light from the bedroom window

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A stunning etching by Maev Lenaghan ‘La Vie en Rose’ sits beautifully in the dressing room.

All the artworks in the house were acquired through my Home Curation Service and were intrinsic to the colours and feel of every room.

 

This atmospheric vestibule leads through to the most fabulous en-suite, it feels like this room goes on forever. Here the porcelain tiles resemble slate, creating a rich contrast with the oak and white. LOVE it.

 

Thus concludes the tour of Cluain Mara nestled in the hill above the beautiful harbour town of Kinsale. I have hugely enjoyed being given free reign to create a home that is rich in atmosphere and decorative detail, inspired by the colours and textures of its surrounds.

 

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Antiques & Antiquing, Art, DIY, Interior Style

From moodboard to moody room….

In my head I came up with an idea for a ‘rustic ambient dining room inspired by the Wicklow Mountains in Autumn.

I visualised all my ideas here: http://www.pinterest.com/niamhmacgowan/rustic-dining-space/

and when it came to creating the space from a white 12sqM box at the Colortrend Interior Design Forum last weekend here are lots of shots of how it manifested itself…..

Imagea stunning landscape by Robert Russell and intricate etching by Jean Bardon are picked up by the ambient light

 

Imagethe pop of orange from the handmade cushion that I bought on etsy is echoed in the nasturtiums painting by Brien Vahey

 

Imagea string of lights set off the wall colour beautifully and I painted out my granny’s old kitchen shelves to really display the antique bits and bobs and rows of houses on them

 

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The table was set for an Autumn supper, with rustic ceramics by Crannmor Pottery and place mats made especially by James Carroll teamed with antique wine glasses dating back to 1870 from my antique dealer on the hill in Enniskerry Village – more about him in a later post!. The handblown glasses were engraved with ferns – a detail following trough from all the nods to nature elsewhere on the set…

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An antique décanter housed some port ready for supping from some of my vintage glasses all set off by an old lace cloth that belonged to my Mum that I brought to life again by dyeing it an antique grey.

 

ImageMy framers made this mirror with pretty detail, here it reflects the oil landscape by Brien Vahey

 

Imagemy antique dealer had some old fallow deer antlers which sat very neatly with this new mirror

 

Imageso I hope you have enjoyed this little tour of what happens when ideas from the drawing board come to life …..

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Interior Style, Nature & the Coast

Stickman

Yesterday on a rainy Sunday afternoon I popped up to see my friend James Carroll to talk wood & woodlands.

James is a craftsman, designer and lover of wood in all its forms. For me, as an interiors stylist, he is an invaluable person for me to be able to call on, as wood for me is a very important component in any interior and indeed, exterior. I think it keeps us grounded, who we are and where we come from. If you think about it, it has always been used in interiors right from our beginnings. I love that in hand made pieces of furniture there is a patina and a provenance even if the piece is newly made. A few years ago, James made me this beautiful wide bench, very characteristic of his own style with the bark kept on the legs. This currently divides my dining area from a seating area housing lots of books and a big sturdy lamp. It is also often carried out to the garden when there is a load of us gathering around the garden table. Every house should have a bench!

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I have designed a rustic dining room for my stand at the Ideal Home Show later this week. I have spent weeks planning every detail as I want to illustrate to people how effective decorative display can be when it is coupled with carefully chosen paint colours. I woke up one morning last week with a vision in my head of place mats which I will be needing for the table when its laid out. I didn’t want bog standard place mats, I envisaged slices of wood that would sit perfectly with the rough linens and antique cutlery I have already selected. So I gave James a call and described what I had in my head, and hey presto, he made them for me.

They are made from sequoia wood – a redwood tree that I had never heard of – you learn something new everyday! – and they have a beautiful dual tone to them.

So yesterday I visited James in his workshop in the Wicklow Mountains to collect them. They are perfick.

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James in his workshop

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The proud craftsman

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and here they are doing their job …..

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The next project is to create a large rectory table with benches, something special that would be the absolute heart of a home, where people perhaps sit working at one end and gather around the other.

James’s website is http://stickman.ie

Have a look.

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