Most people have heard of Airbnb. But for those who haven’t, let us give you a quick recap – Air bnb operates an online marketplace and hospitality service for people to lease or rent short-term lodging including holiday cottages, apartments, hostel beds or homesteads. Basically, they’re a platform for property owners to advertise their property (whether that’s a single room in their house, or an entire apartment or house) for hire. With over 300 million check-ins since its inception ten years ago, Air bnb is a favourite amongst business travellers and holiday-goers.
At the beginning of this year we worked with a couple who were turning their recently converted garage loft space into an Airbnb apartment. Situated in the Glens of Antrim, with stunning views of Slemish, it was the perfect place to indulge in a cosy log-cabin aesthetic! The brief was to advise on layout and furniture, and supply wallpapers, soft furnishings, floor tiles and lighting. Here’s the design scheme we came up with:
You’ll hear us say this more than once here…we were going for ultra cosy in this apartment! We didn’t have a real log-cabin to work with so we went for the next best thing – wallpapers giving the effect of rustic, aged, textured wood! The fire-place wall would be clad in that lovely warm logs paper and the two low side walls covered in the blue-and-ochre wooden planks paper. The clients had a grey sofa-bed, a couple of leather armchairs, and a tired beige armchair to use in the space. We recovered the back and seat cushions of the leather armchairs in a warm woollen tartan and on the beige armchair we used a textured blue weave with that fabulous Jane Churchill misty trees printed velvet wrapped around the back of the chair!
Again….ultra cosy was the goal here so we hunted down warm and rustic plaids and soft velvets and rich, autumnal colours! We made a feature wall using Linwood’s warm cream and taupe wallpaper depicting mountains, forests and deer and we loved it so much we used it in the printed velvet fabric on cushions! Elsewhere, we framed the doorway in heavy, luxurious Zoffany curtains with oversized tiebacks for fun! And we injected pops of plaids and tartans to ramp up the rustic log-cabin feel!
BATHROOM & KITCHEN:
The bathroom was mostly kitted out so we supplied a velux blind and that lovely marble-esque wallpaper (top left hand side). It’s important to have easy-to-keep, easy-to-clean materials in a bathroom (like tiles/porcelain/stone etc). But a durable, good-quality wallpaper shouldn’t be overlooked. It adds texture, pattern and warmth!
Likewise, there wasn’t a lot to be done in the kitchen, but we made up a pair of curtains for the window using the cream and taupe colours that feature throughout the whole apartment and re-clad a couple of bar stools in a sweet cream and turquoise butterfly fabric. Gorgeous cottage-y, rustic charm! Have a look at some in-progress shots!
Living Room wallpaper up and furniture recovered and going in! We found that large rug full of fresh turquoise and rusty red colours and we think it’s just perfect for the space! Cushions in a textured paisley embroidery add pattern and interest.
Bedroom paper up, curtains fitted, rug down and bed dressed. Note the green and red tartan trim on the leading edge of the curtains – as we love to say, details matter! This little two inch trim just finishes off these lovely, heavy curtains perfectly. This rug full of warm reds, oranges and greens was another winner find and just how cosy does that bed look!? Pile your bed high with cushions and throws for an instant cosy, boutique-hotel look and you’ll look forward to crawling into it every night!
Kitchen curtains fitted and framing that window beautifully. Again, note details at the top of the curtains – the inch high strip of plain turquoise fabric and the perfectly cottage-y white and beige gingham check…all adding pattern, colour, variety and interest! We couldn’t help but finish it off with a cute little pom-pom tie back. Warm, fresh, cosy! (there’s that word again!)
We left our clients a few months ago to finish off the space, add their own personal touch and ready the apartment for their first guests. Since then, it has proven to be a very successful holidaying venue! We’re delighted with how the space looks and we are excited that so many people are getting to use and enjoy it. Have a look at the client’s photos!
Stunning! Find more information or book to stay here.
If you’d like help with redesigning and decorating your home – whether it’s one or two rooms, or a whole house overhaul – don’t hesitate to get in touch! We offer a service that includes design, supply and manufacture, and fit-out. We’d love to advise, listen to your ideas and make your home fit your needs and aesthetic. Call us on 02825 880012 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find us on Houzz, Instagram and Facebook!
Good morning friends and followers! It’s August already! Anybody wonder where this year has gone? We’re well into the second half of 2018 and we’re excited for what the rest of the year will bring. Have you any plans, goals or things to look forward to in the next few months?
Today we’re showcasing a wonderful house we worked on over the last couple of years, and we finally got our photography through and we’re thrilled to share this colourful, eclectic, contemporary home! Grab a cuppa and swoon over the gorgeous colours, prints and shapes in this bright, spacious home! (we’ve wiled away MANY an hour doing this!)
To give a bit of background, the house was a contemporary new build in a fabulous rural setting in Co. Down. The homeowners were a couple who had recently sold up their family home after their children had flown the nest, but wanted a space for visiting friends, family, and guests. The brief was to create a completely different style from the previous family home which had been much more traditional in its design. What really thrilled us was that this was a couple who weren’t afraid to embrace colour, pattern and a whole new style!
Some of our projects involve a single room or a couple of rooms in a house and the challenge is to maintain cohesion between the “old” rooms and the “new” rooms. We enjoy the challenge of working with what is already there – sometimes boundaries bring out some really creative ideas! But we love whole house projects because they’re a different sort of challenge – to create a unified cohesive look from the front hallway right through to the top room of the house. We don’t really like to stick rigidly to design “rules” but interior design theory dictates that there should be unity and harmony in any space we create – and this is especially important when it’s our home; a space we spend a lot of time in. Nothing worse than an unbalanced, uncohesive space making us feel uncomfortable or uneasy!
But enough design theory for now, let’s crack on with photos!
We decked out the hallway in a STUNNING Elitis beaded Panel – it’s essentially a piece of art for your walls painstakingly made up of tiny coloured beads to create an incredibly eye-catching, gorgeously textured, and rich statement piece in your home! Perfect for using in a front entrance hallway to make an epic first impression! The Hall Chair has been covered in a fabulous Christian la Croix cotton featuring a gorgeously detailed digitally printed butterfly print. The Light Fitting (mimicking the lines in the Elitis Wall Panel!) is from our friends at Moy Lighting in Dungannon – they stock a huge range of beautiful lights for all budgets and the service is second to none so be sure to check them out!
The Living room is a sumptuous cacophony of aquamarine blue and orange with touches of royal blue, citrus green and warm grey. Blue is a perfect colour for a living space because it creates a soothing, calming and tranquil space – perfect for relaxing in! We’ve knocked it up a notch by using a bright aquamarine textured wallpaper with a vibrant warm yellow stripe though it and paired it with blue’s complementary colour, orange for a bold, vibrant look. Have a look at the details!:
The Living Room leads into the Dining area and Kitchen where we’ve utilised a similar palette: orange, citrus green and blue to ensure flow and cohesion between the two spaces. How gorgeous is it looking across the living room and picking up the similar tones and hues in the dining space?? We’ve used another stunning textured Elitis Panel on the wall to create a bright, statement-making space! Certain to brighten up any dull morning or gloomy winter evening!
Gorgeous! (..if we do say so ourselves!)
In the Study we carried through the orange from the living and dining spaces with two sets of curtains from one of our favourite French designers: Manuel Canovas – particularly renowned for his sumptuous use of colour and quirky designs. We love that embroidered curtain draped across that single window – so rich! We’ve complemented the curtains with tones of violet, crimson and grey in the cushions. An informal but sophisticated space to read, play music or catch up on work!
In the Bedrooms, we carried through the violet, blue and citrus green tones from the ground floor rooms to maintain the flow throughout the whole house, but we changed up the style and look to give each room its own character. First up is the decadently cosy violet bedroom!
On the Curtains, stool, scatter cushions on the bed, and wrapped around the back of the armchair are the fabrics of ‘Earthed by William Clarke’ – designed, made and printed in the oldest surviving linen factory in Ireland. It’s a real joy for us to find and us local designers, artisans and makers; they add such a special touch for us as interior designers. They’re also a special touch for the client – to essentially have a piece of local history and artistry in their home…it carries so much more weight than a room crammed with mass-produced products. Have a look around their site and explore their work – they fuse traditional and modern design, utilising bold colour and meticulous craftsmanship.
We love how fresh but cosy this room is! Purple is a tricky colour to use – it can easily look cheap or dated, but we love how its turned out here: warm, contemporary, bright, sharp and grounded by pops of taupe and icy blue. Once again, our friends at Moy Lighting provided the wall lights which are just the perfect finishing touch to the space!
A spare room gets bedecked in fresh florals and velvets from Designers Guild. We love paying attention to small details in design and over the years, many clients have returned to us because of our attention to the details and often-overlooked finishing touches. Note that gorgeous metal pole finished with an acrylic finial and acrylic rings? Just perfect for the curtain and for the look of the room. Note also the fun pom-pom trim around the scatter cushion…you really can’t go wrong with a pom-pom!
Another spare room is furnished with Designers Guild, Sanderson, and Osborne & Little (again, picking up the blue, citrus green and purple hues from the rest of the house!). The Designers Guild Floral used throughout the space is so fresh and adds such vibrancy and cheerfulness to the space. It’s a fresh and sharp space but also incredibly soft and cocooning.
Note again the trimmings on the scatter cushions and the throw on the bed – they just finish off the pieces impeccably! Details matter!
As you can see, this house is a wonderful cacophony of colour and pattern – but all utilised thoughtfully and cohesively. We love how each space has its own personality and look, but all of the rooms work together and make use of similar tones and hues. Next time you’re redecorating, consider your house or apartment as a whole rather than a lot of separate rooms. Consider how you can create a cohesive, harmonious flow between the rooms, whether that’s using similar colours throughout the house as we have, or utilising the same flooring materials throughout, or using similar artwork throughout the house.
If you’d like any more help with redesigning and decorating your home – whether it’s one or two rooms, or a whole house overhaul – don’t hesitate to get in touch! We’d love to advise, listen to your ideas and make your home fit your needs and aesthetic. Call us on 02825 880012 or email email@example.com. You can also find us on Houzz, Instagram and Facebook!
All photographs by our wonderful photographer Andrew McMillan. You can find more of his exquisite film and digital work here.
You may recall we’ve been renovating a loft bedroom over the last few months – converting it from a semi-open plan bedroom and shared bathroom space for two growing boys (who have now flown the nest!) and into a bright and roomy guest bedroom, ensuite and we’re even squeezing in some extra storage space for the homeowners. If you’re new to all this, you can catch up on Part 1 and Part 2! But today we’re unveiling the finished space!
You will remember the space went from this:
All coming back to you? Great, let’s keep moving!
Since then, we’ve laid a lovely, spongey soft carpet throughout the whole bedroom space and a warm, cushiony vinyl in the ensuite (so no cold feet in the mornings! A breeze to clean and maintain too!) But the real showstopper is the carpet we’ve laid on the stairway… ready for it?…
This carpet makes such a statement! Paired with that sharp black and white Pierre Frey tribal wallpaper, it’s super smart, contemporary and fun! We painted out the woodwork and trimming in tones of grey to add warmth, and as you ascend the staircase, you’ll find some unusual faces peeking over the bannister!
This is the gorgeous, cosy oasis that awaits you at the top of the stairs! We love how this space turned out – warm, bright, fresh, contemporary, cosy and extremely homely (even Mac, the cocker spaniel loves it!). The warm grey woodwork and the taupe-y grey carpet play the perfect soft and warm canvas for the barrage of stunning Pierre Frey fabrics and papers that we’ve used featuring shades of pink ranging from fuchsia to coral, fresh greens, navy blues and sharp blacks and whites.
Note some of the details: that silver chair with that exquisitely placed Indian Head-dress fabric and the striped armrests finished with silver studs. The coral pink throw on the bed is a length of chunky linen Pierre Frey fabric that we’ve frayed the edges of to create a heavy, cosy throw for those inevitable cold Irish Winters! Note also the throw with the embroidered faces and that textured looped cord trim – so fun, and the layers and textures add loads of cosiness and interest! What we really love is that gorgeous fabric wall behind the bed – it makes such a feature of that corner and adds such a sense of luxury and warmth to the space. We love using fabrics and wallpapers in unusual ways – whether that’s wallpapering a ceiling, cladding a wall in fabric, or using a single strip of wallpaper in an unusual corner of a room – it adds such surprise and intrigue to a space.
The ensuite was fitted with a new shower, toilet and sink and we hung a small scale textured Pierre Frey wallpaper for cosiness and character! Sometimes bathrooms can be stark, sterile, cold spaces full of hard, shiny surfaces. Yes, a bathroom should be clean and easy to keep, but it doesn’t mean you can’t inject colour or personality into the space! We love how the wallpaper and the bold shot of raspberry red paint adds interest, and that slubby striped linen curtain over the door is just so fun and in keeping with the earthy, slightly rustic, tribal feel of the space.
Finally, a look back down the room towards the staircase. We’ve accessorised and furnished the space with colourful table lamps, sleek and contemporary light fittings, textured rugs, furniture in warm, light woods, and baskets of exotic foliage and greenery. During the day, this space gets plenty of bright sunshine and we’ve installed blackout blinds on the velux windows to ensure this space becomes a dark and cosy cocoon in the evening.
We are so delighted with how the space turned out! Who wouldn’t want to stay here? We’d love to know what you think! Leave us a comment, and as always, if you’re considering a home renovation don’t hesitate to get in touch! Our projects range from single room refreshes to whole house overhauls. We’d love to talk, hear your ideas and work alongside you to make your home beautiful, functional and full of your personality. Contact us on 02825 880012 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Want a final look at the loft bedroom?….oh go on then!
It goes without saying that there has been something of an explosion of interest in the interiors world. The rise of Interior DIY-ers coupled with masses of new products and exciting designs (and the accessibility of those products) means that we’re at a very exciting stage in home and interior design.
It’s great that homeowners want to inject their own style and flair into their home!
It’s wonderful that we’re not so enslaved to trends and styles!
It’s great that there’s so much variety and product and choice! From High Street to online, there are endless options!
But honestly, sometimes it can all become a bit too much.
Do you ever take a wander down the high street and get the feeling that everything starts to look all the same? Do you ever excitedly dash around the department store, filling your trolley will a bevy of cushions only to find those same cushions a touch flat and miserable looking a few weeks later? While we love the high street for some things, we’ve found that it can sometimes be lacking in design, aesthetics and quality.
Over the years that we’ve been in the Interiors Business, we’ve built up relationships with designers, design houses and suppliers across the UK, Europe and America who are thoughtfully and meticulously designing and crafting beautiful, unique products. These are companies that we love and trust, and whose designs and quality have been proven over and over again in real homes with real families over the years.
One such company that we’ve worked with for years is British Designer Jane Churchill (now part of the Colefax and Fowler family). There are two strands to the Jane Churchill company – the ‘Jane Churchill’ collections (whimsical/ cottage-y/ a tad more traditional) and the ‘Atmosphere’ collections (sleek, contemporary, urban). Just a couple of weeks ago we received the new ‘Jane Churchill‘ collection, entitled ‘Indira‘ (a Sanskrit word meaning beauty or splendid). We have fallen quickly and irrevocably in love with this collection..it’s unusual, colourful, fun, well-priced, beautiful quality, and versatile (specifically: it can be tweaked to be either slightly more cottage-y/traditional or slightly more eclectic).
Have a look at the promotional shots to see it in situ:
Jane Churchill has a recurring palette of soft and sumptuous colours – warm greys, fresh corals and pinks, rusty reds, soft teals and blues and clean whites. This is such a beautiful collection for a Spring/Summer refresh – imagine the windows flung open and these prints rippling in the breeze? Picture bright sunlight flooding in and illuminating the shapes of foliage and birds and rich embroidery on these fabrics?
As we often like to say, colour and pattern are MAJOR powerhouses in your home. People are so often afraid of colour and pattern out of fear of the space being “too busy” or “too overwhelming”, and while it’s certainly a possibility, we’ve found that homeowners tend to swing to the other extreme and play way too safe in an attempt to avoid the possibility of colour/pattern overload. As you can see from these promotional images, the house features soft and bright whites and ivories, and interest, depth and personality has been added with layers of colour, pattern, texture and finishes. Not everything is matchy-matchy – a mixture of colours and shades and tones have been utilised so it doesn’t look so ‘try-hard’ and creates a more visually interesting space!
We love the versatility of these fabrics – whether they’re hung as curtains or stitched up to become a bed valance, or even adorning a chair – they’re striking and conversation-starting! We just love these warmer palettes and tones at the minute – after seeing so much blue and green in interiors over the last few years (which we love), it’s refreshing to see rusty terracottas and warm oranges; pinky reds and mustardy ochres coming into play.
All in all, it’s a sumptuous collection of intricate embroideries, prints derived from gorgeous hand-painted designs, soft plains, textured weaves, and patterns ranging from wide stripes to mid-size botanicals to small scale geometrics. We’ve already had the opportunity to utilise a selection of fabrics from the collection for a bedroom renovation we’re working on! Have a look at the mood-boards for the scheme:
We love the mixture of patterns and shapes, and the pairing of fresh and cool blues and teals with softer greys, taupes and even a little splash of pinky peach! Yum! Keep your eyes peeled for more on this project in the weeks ahead!
What do you think about the Jane Churchill collection? Is it your cup of tea? Or are you more modern/ minimalistic? Or perhaps you love a bolder, stronger, more glamorous look? We’d love to know what looks, styles and palettes your drawn to! Whatever look tickles your fancy, we hope your home is full of colours and textures and objects that you love. And while we’ll never argue with a cheap and cheerful High Street purchase, we also hope your home has objects and items of beautiful quality – because they’ll last longer and will age well. And in such a critical time – when we must consider the health of the earth; when we must consider things like waste disposal and carbon emissions and the source of our food and products, we must learn to live more sustainably.
Should you need some help or advice with a home renovation – whether it’s just one room or a whole house overhaul – don’t hesitate to get in touch. We love to talk and discuss your ideas (and even offer one or two!). You can reach us on the phone at: 07808959212 or by email at: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Jane Churchill Promotional Images sourced from here]
We’ve been in the Interior Design Business for thirty years (has it really been thirty years?!). We started out in a gorgeous little rustic cabin that served as our studio, shop, and workroom before venturing into Ballymena town centre for eight years. Since then, we’ve moved back home and worked out of a stunning converted barn that started out life as a bonafide hen house! Not only is it a rustic, cosy, full-of-character space, but it allowed us to operate our business on our homeland again!
We love home. We love family. We love friends. We love good company. We love BBQ-ing outside when it’s high summer, and we love gathering round a roaring fire when the winter sets in. We love that we get to work and play on this patch of land. We’ve grown up on this land, the family has run a farm off this land, we’ve raised family here, we’ve gathered with friends here, and we’ve amassed decades of memories, stories and experiences here.
It’s long been on our heart to create space here for other businesses, families and communities. We began by creating opportunities for businesses to occupy offices and units, and we’ve since filled these units with small, locally-grown businesses passionate about serving the needs of the communities in Ireland.
But we’ve also been awaiting the opportunity to create space in our converted barn for families and friends to gather, celebrate and make their own memories. Over the last year, we’ve ventured out to test the waters to see if this was something that would work, and something that people wanted. In that time, we’ve had the privilege of hosting intimate gigs, birthday parties, coffee mornings and small weddings! What a joy! And what a success they’ve been.
Hence, we feel now is the time to announce the official opening of THE OUTPOST. We have a three-fold vision built upon what we’ve been developing over the last few years:
- To create space for small, local businesses to operate out of.
- To create a venue for special occasions and gatherings.
- To create space for Men’s groups and Women’s groups.
We have some incredible businesses operating out of The Outpost. Click here for information about these wonderful businesses which include Yippee Tents, Galgorm Gracehill Fishery and Fitness to Perfection Gym.
Our barn-space caters to small gatherings of 60 people maximum. We’ve hosted parties, gigs, coffee mornings and weddings and we’d love to talk to you about how we can cater specifically to your needs, tastes, and number of proposed guests.
We’ve been thrilled to have local bands David C. Clements, Benjamin Hamilton, Brash Isaac and Wanderers play at The Outpost. There’s nothing like an up-close-and-personal, intimate gig; they just have a certain kind of magic that the big arenas don’t have!
Whether it’s an elegant birthday dinner (as seen above), a happy engagement, a retirement, or a party simply for the sake of it, we offer flexibility on how you want your celebration to look and feel like!
We are delighted to open The Outpost for couples who are looking for a small scale, intimate wedding in a venue full of history, charm and character. Whether you just want a simple family-only ceremony or you want more of a knees-up kind of party, we offer flexibility for how you’d like to stage and style your wedding.
Surrounding the Outpost building are blossoming trees and fields of green as far as the eye as see. You can even spot Slemish in the distance! It’s lush and rural and perfect for photographs!
MEN’S/ WOMEN’S GROUPS
Beyond the Business and Occasions ventures, we’ve also been using The Outpost as a place to develop activities and events for both men and women. Thus we created: Men at the Outpost and Women at the Outpost. This is an area very much still in development but we have some exciting ideas and plans for this!
Men at the Outpost
Under the umbrella of Men at the Outpost is Men Pursuing God – a group of Christian men who meet, connect, share and study together. It’s very simple. Men at the Outpost meet every other Friday night and use the reading and studying materials of Ransomed Heart as a basis for discussion and study.
Women at the Outpost
Similarly, under the umbrella of Women at the Outpost is Women pursuing God – women who meet, connect, share and study together. They meet every other Tuesday night and use the material of Ransomed heart as a basis for discussion and study.
Unsurprisingly we are thrilled at this new venture! We’ve spent three decades in the interior design business because we love working with people, we love hearing their stories, we love collaborating with them to create a beautiful, love-filled, happy home full of their personality. Home. Family. Love. That’s what it’s all about to us. It’s such a joy to get to open The Outpost to share our home and story with you; to hear your stories, to work with your families and create space for community and connection and love!
You can see more information and photographs on our website – www.theoutpostballymena.co.uk. If you have any questions, or would like to have a chat about how we can host you, please contact Niel or Catherine:
Niel – 07970 991131
Catherine – 07808 959212
You may recall from our last post that we’re working on a contemporary open-plan loft bedroom design that’s destined to be filled with character, fun and colour (of course!). If you haven’t read Part 1, be sure to skip back a post and catch up on the first phase as we tore down walls, ripped up showers and sinks and kitted the space out to give extra storage and ensure a better flow for the homeowners.
Since then, the decorators have been busy beautifying the space with paint and a sumptuous array of wallpapers and we’re thrilled with how it’s coming together! You’ll recall that we’re going for a fresh and quirky tribal/Navajo feel by using papers from French Design House Pierre Frey’s delectable new collection ‘Arapahos’. Think colour, tactile textures and fun patterns (because design should never take itself too seriously!) Here’s a recap of our moodboards:
And here’s how it’s all coming together!
The stairway leading up to the Loft Bedroom is a striking black and white with the grey woodwork adding a touch of softness and warmth. The stairs themselves will be clad in gorgeous black and white animal print! Hallways and stairways are a great place to make a statement as they’re “passing through” places; where there isn’t the risk of sitting in the space and being overwhelmed by pattern or colour (which is a common fear amongst homeowners!) P.S How fab are the quirky animal faces peeking down as you walk up the stairway?
Instead of playing safe and just painting the low walls and sloping roof (which would be very nice but a tad safe), we made use of a mix of papers in very specific locations. Having planned out where the large furniture pieces would sit, we used some of the lower walls and sloping roof panels to inject colour and pattern. Of course it adds fun and whimsy, but it also adds variety and rhythm for the viewer; keeping the eye engaged and moving and avoiding a sense of stagnation. It’s important to pique the curiosity of the people in the space – that makes for a really engaging and memorable space!
Details of the roof panels and a peek into the ensuite which carries on the black and white palette from the stairway. The black marble shower unit adds a touch of luxe but the white keeps it fresh, and the pop of red on the window frames adds an unexpected contrast!
We’ve placed an unusual paper featuring Indian headdresses and bags right at the end of the space – to brighten up what could easily be a slightly dull corner, and also to draw the eye up the long open plan space; again, keeping the eye moving!
Lots still to be done here – carpet to be put down, light fitting’s changed, a fabric wall installed, cushions and curtains made up and furniture installed! We’re thrilled with how this space is coming along, and can’t wait to see the whole thing completed. Check back for more progress!
As always, if you have home renovations in mind and would like advice, or assistance in making your home a space that’s beautiful, functional and full of personality, don’t hesitate to get in touch! Whether it’s one room or a whole house project, we’d love to help. Phone us on 07808959212 or email email@example.com.