Coffee Break

In my last post I shared the blogs & websites that I love to browse in my continuing search for interiors inspiration. However, nothing beats sitting down with a cup of coffee and a good old fashioned magazine. Apart from finding great ideas I find it very relaxing to switch off from technology for half an hour to flip through actual pages – that is when there isn’t a baby to feed or a toddler to entertain! I must have spent the equivalent of a mini-break on magazines over the past couple of years but I think that it is money well spent as I do find myself returning to them again and again to earmark some colour scheme or piece of furniture that I want to remember. Also when it comes time to actually putting together mood boards, it will be clippings from magazines that I will be primarily using.

magazines

My favourite magazine for full on never-going-to-be-able-to-afford/lottery wish-list inspiration is Livingetc. The House to Home group also has the titles: 25 Beautiful Homes, Ideal Home and Homes & Gardens, all of which I buy regularly. That said I most look forward to when Image Interiors and House and Home hits the shelves as they are Irish publications and so any of the items featured are usually available to purchase in Ireland. The homes featured are in the main Irish which I find hugely inspiring as when renovating an old Irish farmhouse I need to keep in mind the landscape that surrounds me as well as the history of the house. As much as I love Scandinavian design or American blogs I feel that I need to keep in the back of my mind a sense of place and purpose that is uniquely Irish and so I continue to seek out good Irish content.

Which magazines and or blogs do you read? Please share in the comments below!

Tip: Look out for great subscription deals if you get magazines regularly and also if you have Tesco clubcard vouchers check for subscription deals whereby you use vouchers to have your favourite magazines delivered direct to your door!

Blogs I love

blog

As well as using Pinterest there are a number of blogs & websites I follow, not only for interiors inspiration, but also for style, food and beauty. Here is list of those that I read most day and which through, bloglovin I get daily updates on new posts.

Decor8

Domaine

Cupcakes and Cashmere

Lonny Magazine

Thrifty Décor Chick

Style Me Pretty Living

The Glitter Guide

Try as I might I have yet to find Irish or even UK based blogs and websites that provide similar content. I am always falling in love with item featured only to find that the companies do not ship internationally or if they do, shipping costs are often more expensive than the item which is frustrating. I would like to think that someday someone might look at this blog and say, “wow like that style, where can I get that” so I endeavour to find Irish or UK equivalents of the International trends.

Please share any blogs or sites that you follow in the comments below! Aoife x

Big News!!

Champagne bottle

So a lot has happened since I last posted on here. Our little boy arrived, safe and sound though not without drama, on the 20th of May and I have been taking the time since then to recover and enjoy his first few months. I feel that I have now emerged from the fog and can begin to focus on the house and renovations.

We received notice in late July that we had been granted planning permission for our proposed extension. Since then we have been working with our Architect, Conor Hourigan (drakehourigan.com) , to tweak the design and to prepare a tender for potential builders. We have yet to get the go ahead from the bank but we are very hopeful. As we wait and before we have to make decisions I am going to be doing a LOT of research on everything from floor finishes to lighting. So, watch this space as I plan to share our progress and hopefully some of what I get up to in between devouring interiors magazines and exuberant pinning on Pinterest!

Aoife x

Before & After

As I patiently wait for baby’s arrival I have undertaken a few small projects to keep myself sane (though I really should be getting ready for baby!). We are working on our living room and all will be revealed as it nears completion but in the meant time I got a notion to redo a letter holder that came with the house:

Before:
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Firstly I sprayed the frame in a gold spray I got in my local Co-Op Superstores:

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And managed to spray half my tablecloth at the same time! I then picked up two sample tiles from B&Q and replaced the original tiles:

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I love the end result! I’m not sure how secure the tiles are as they are a little smaller and a bit thicker than the originals but for now they seem to be staying put. For now I have put it in the hall as I think the colours complement the hall stand I up-cycled last year:

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So near…..yet so far

Our planning was due to be submitted this week but because of a mix up with the paper it wasn’t meant to be. With less than two weeks until my due date, I’m getting anxious that it will be in before other (more important!) things take over. In the meantime we are busy redecorating what will be our living room, long term. I hope to post photos of progress made very soon.

Something old, something new.

As we work thorough the whole planning process, spending the past year living in the house as is has given us the opportunity to decide what we want from the extension and those pieces of furniture that were already in the house. There were two Súgán chairs in our kitchen which were seldom used for sitting on but rather were demoted to holding boxes, clothes etc. Three more were languishing in an outhouse and it seemed such a shame to let them deteriorate further. Also while I’m finding that I am drawn to more and more to a mixture of modern/ mid century design. I do want to bring an element of the country and era of the house into the overall look of the new house and so we decided to see if the chairs were worth rescuing.
Súgán chairs are crafted without nails and their strength relies on the framework design and the wood joints that hold it together. At one point a carpenter reinforced the chairs as a result of the frame breaking on one of them which has taken the more traditional look off them, however the weave remained intact. Traditionally the material used in the process was hemp, today it has been replaced by twine. We think that our chairs are about 40 years old, or at least that was when they were brought to this house by my husbands aunt.

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We had a local guy, Eamonn of Drab to Fab in Kildorrery sand and refinish the wood frame while Arthur Wilson reweaved the chairs. They are very light in colour now whereas the twine on them was much darker. I think that they look better now, they are so much brighter now and far more pleasant to look at. We know they will need looking after but the beauty of these chairs is that they can always be reweaved when necessary.

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Yay me!

Yay me!

A couple of weeks ago I entered one of those share and like competitions on Facebook which I very rarely do as I find it really annoying when my Facebook feed is full of these posts. I made an exception in this case as Browsers is a shop I love in Limerick though I haven’t really been in the position to buy much there as yet! Anyway I was successful and won two gorgeous cushions that I’m sure I will have no difficulty in finding a home for, in fact the difficulty may be choosing just one. Check out the link to see for yourself:https://www.browsers.ie/blog/meet-aoife-our-latest-competition-winner
There really is nothing like getting something for free to put a spring in your step!

Upcycling Project

I took on a recent up-cycling project to tick a few boxes – I was tired of a pine veneer chest of drawers in small man’s room and I wanted to paint it to make it more appealing. Also I wanted to try my hand at some decoupage having only recently discovered what it was. And thirdly I have in my mind a vision of a nursery for baby no.2 that uses greys and yellows so that it would be neutral but at the same time stylish. The nursery is a long way off however I did launch head first into the project.
As you can see from the before photos the 5 drawer chest of drawers was pine veneer.

Chest of drawers - Before

Drawers - Before

I gave it two coats of Annie Sloan chalk paint in Country Grey finishing off with a coat of clear matte interior wood varnish.

I then used wallpaper from Homebase and decoupaged the sides of the drawers. I probably wouldn’t use wallpaper again as it was a little thick and now the drawers are a bit stiff when you try to open but I do love the look that it give. I plan to use the rest of the wallpaper to make scented drawer liners at some point.
I searched high and low for reasonable drawer handles in cream and gold but they were working out to be very expensive for what was supposed to be a very cheap project. My luck turned when I found these door knobs in Michael Guiney’s at 3.99 for 4 they were a real bargain and though I had to buy two packs to get the five I needed, I’m sure I will use them elsewhere.

Chest of Drawers - After

Drawer - After

I am really happy with the end product, the chest of drawers looks great in the small man’s room even though it doesn’t really match anything, it is a vast improvement on the way it was. Let me know what you think!

Project Update

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It is all very quiet on the renovation front at the minute. I got new costings for the project on Monday so these will be submitted to the bank as part of the mortgage application so fingers crossed. The weather is really hampering the percolation test so we don’t know when that will happen but I’ll keep you posted! In the meantime I am in the middle of a DIY project involving a chest of drawers, more of which to come! While we wait on planning and the bank I am busying myself by reading lots of design and interiors blogs which is seriously distracting. There are so many cool sites out there I have major home envy. I am trying to restrain myself from buying anything hence making do with some DIY projects…..stay tuned!