Inspiration, Interior Style

A Haven

I recently created a very special master bedroom in a clients early Victorian home in County Dublin.

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The room stretches across the width of the house and the huge sash windows look out over the neighbouring houses trickling down towards Dublin Bay.

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I thought the way to make the most of this would be to make the view be the star with the use of paint colours. Using the gorgeous new greys from Little Greene we painted the walls in Grey Moss and all the woodwork was subtly brought out with Toad. Both rich dark greys with undertones of green and brown.

The ceiling was painted Down.

I sourced a unique mantlepiece in its raw form – its honey colour set against the warm dark walls is a picture.

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The clients’ artwork pops out from the dramatic background

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The result is a restful place to escape in a busy family home. 

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Architectural details sing set against the paint colours

 

 

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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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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

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, Floral & Gardens, Interior Style

First Impressions

I have been planning for ages to paint my front door and rid it of the sticky green gloss that it has been since I moved in. It was dark, dank and didn’t make the most of the nice panelling and the style of the door (although in an ideal world it would be a stable door – and don’t think I haven’t considered cutting it in half). Knowing it was a bit of a job I procrastinated with the help of months and months of cold weather.

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However with a pending visit by a photographer this week, I decided it needed to be done pronto!

I have carefully chosen a colour that I know sits well with lush greens of my burgeoning shady woodland garden in the front (more about that in upcoming posts), while the fresh colour also tips its cap to the fact that we are by the sea. It is Celestial Blue by the Little Greene Paint Company  – a lovely heritage paint, very eco friendly and importantly for me, low in sheen.

And here is the result

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A lot more welcoming now don’t you think

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I was very thorough and I removed & replaced my beloved metal postbox….

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and painted my quirky kitchen window too

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I am just waiting for my scallop shaped door knocker to go up for that extra bit of seasidey-ness.

postscript

….Annd here it is!

doorKnocker

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