At McMillan Interiors, our passion is to partner with homeowners to create a home that is comfortable, functional, full of personality and beautiful – a home that tells a story and will be a backdrop for many years of laughter, love and memories. Creating a bespoke Home; unique to each homeowners has a really special place in our heart and it’s the work we love to do!
But we also relish in working with local businesses to create personality-filled, head-turning spaces that create a memorable and exciting user experience! Over the years we’ve worked with Houston Hair to advise on, and supply, show-stopping wall-coverings and fabrics to furnish their cool, contemporary Ballymena based salons. We were thrilled to be approached by Simon Houston – owner, creative director and friend to us here at McMillan Interiors – last year to supply a jaw-dropping wall covering fit for his brand new salon opening in Ballymena Town Centre.
Behind a sleek, black facade the interior walls were drenched in a beautiful rose pink paint and the space was furnished with furniture in a palette of Nordic pine and glossy red, with on-trend copper lighting adding warmth. For such a cool space there was only one thing for it – it was time to draw on the big maximalist guns: French powerhouse of pattern and colour Christian Lacroix.
Renowned for their unique, exuberant, colourful and baroque style, Christian Lacroix designs are innovative, theatrical and intended to make a statement! Perfect for our owner Simon and his salon that pushes boundaries, constantly innovates, and pursues the most up-to-date trends, skills and products for a modern and style-conscious client. We settled on a panoramic mural wallcovering representing the lush Parc de Bagatelle on the outskirts of Paris that was a popular gathering spot for festivities during the 18th Century Directoire era.
Mixing digital with illustration and juxtaposing lush, leafy foliage with urban towers and classical architecture, it’s a mural that is eye-catching, rich, and dynamic – the perfect contrasting partner to the feminine pink salon walls. See for yourself how it turned out!
Hung on the walls at the far end of the salon, they instantly catch the eye of both passers-by on the street and clients entering in. It’s utterly eye-catching but not overtly dominating; it’s both masculine and feminine; it’s uplifting but soothing at the same time. Two-thirds of the mural were placed at the rear of the salon while the remaining one-third was hung at the waiting-area at the front of the salon; creating a little seating-zone for clients ready to be primped, polished, and transformed by the dedicated and skilled team at Houston hair!
At McMillan Interiors, we truly believe that our interior spaces can affect our mood – both for better and for worse! Houston Hair is a salon furnished and finished in such a way to welcome, cocoon, uplift and inspire you! Such is the power of colour, interior furnishings and decor! You can find out more about Houston Hair and their services here.
If you’re finding that your interior space – whether that’s your home or your business space – is lacking and is having a less positive effect on your mood, it’s time for a change! At McMillan Interiors we partner with you to create a design-plan tailored to your space, needs and style. We have an extensive library of home furnishings, and we have over thirty years experience in guiding and advising homeowners in identifying their style and creating a beautiful, functional space that tells your story and will serve you for many years to come.
For more information on our services or to enquire about how we can partner with you to refresh a couple of rooms or tackle a more comprehensive project, email email@example.com. We’d love to talk!
John Sankey is one of our most beloved suppliers of bespoke upholstered furniture. Founded in the 1950s in Longeaton, Derbyshire, it quickly became renowned for its quality and comfort. Almost seventy years on and John Sankey remains a reputable name in quality and comfort; exercising immense pride and skill at every stage of their design process – from the spark of an idea right through to the finishing touches of their lovingly crafted furniture.
The company proudly assert: “Our design process is to look into history, to look at styles and designs from around the world and then bring these influences together; creating new shapes to suit real people who will enjoy them everyday.”
One such design inspired by the archives of history is The Crinoline chair: a charmingly dimpled chair combining a button or tufting detail with gentle pleats.
The Crinoline Chair is so named due to the rounded base which softly billows like a crinoline dress. And what is a crinoline dress? Well let’s embark on a brief history lesson…
A crinoline was a stiff and structured petticoat, usually made from horsehair or a stiff cotton or linen, designed to hold out a woman’s skirt in the 19th century. Over time the design evolved to become a steel structured hoop skirt which allowed women to spread their skirts even wider.
Image Above: A horsehair crinoline from the 1840s – one of the earlier iterations of the crinoline.
Image Above: A later iteration of the crinoline design. It had evolved into a structured cage shape, often constructed from steel hoops.
Across the Western world women of every class and social standing wore crinolines but by the 1870s they were being largely replaced by smaller crinolettes and bustles. Steel cage crinolines were most popular but alternative materials such as whalebone, cane and even natural rubber were used. At its widest point, the crinoline was an impressive 18 feet in circumference!
Over a hundred and fifty years later and John Sankey took inspiration from the elegantly structured form of the crinoline and crafted the John Sankey Crinoline Chair – a beautifully buttoned and subtly pleated armchair with lines and curves evoking the form and formality of the Crinoline cage. There’s no question about it, it’s a supremely elegant chair that hugs but provides robustness and structure.
While it has its roots in history, this chair is versatile enough for the 2020s. It will find a perfect home in a traditional period house or cottage, but it will also provide some much needed character and whimsy to more modern homes. The added bonus of a John Sankey chair is the choice of fabrics at your disposal with which to upholster your Crinoline chair. Choose from over one hundred John Sankey fabrics – ranging from leathers to velvets to flat weaves to romantic florals to create a chair fit for your home, taste and needs.
Tuck it into the corner of a bedroom for a cosy lounging corner. Nestle it next to your sofa and perch a lamp behind to create a lovely reading nook. Let it take pride of place at the end of a brightly lit kitchen or simply angle it just right in the living room for perfect TV viewing.
We’ve used John Sankey furniture for years and it truly has proved itself to be comfortable, practical, durable and beautiful. We’re proud to use their service and supply their products and very soon we’ll have a beautiful selection of their chairs in our showroom! If you’d like more information about the Crinoline chair or any other John Sankey pieces, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We would be delighted to dive deeper into luxurious upholstery and find the perfect piece for you.
Homes evolve over the years; perhaps once the soil in which a young couple begins their life, they grow and evolve to accommodate an expanding family. They hear the cries of newborn babies, the walls bear the scrawls of mischievous crayon-wielding toddlers, the stairs become a makeshift hill for children to sled, climb or crawl down and the bathroom may one day be the echoing innards of a submarine, and the next be a proud pirate ship sailing the high seas. So many stories, so many uses, so much evolving and shifting. And as all parents attest, the children grow up so fast. The house evolves again. Moody teenagers now haunt its hallways and retreat into bedrooms. The teenagers become young adults and wade into higher education or venture into the working world. They begin to loosen the home-bound ties and eventually depart the nest and the home evolves again, coming full circle back to two.
This home has recently seen its brood ruffle their feathers and take flight, leaving mum and dad and a host of empty rooms still alive with memories. For the past few years the homeowners have followed the lead of the house into its newest state of evolution – as a home and working space for two, but as a retreat for the visiting children and their own families. We met with the owners to discuss the evolution of a dining room into a dual purpose dining space for the much loved family gatherings at Christmas, Easter and special occasions, whilst also serving as an informal lounge space for work and leisure.
There were special pieces of furniture that the owners were keen to hold onto and use but otherwise, the room was stripped back to its bare walls and flooring. We created a few schemes for the space and worked with the homeowners to select and finalise a look they were happy with. A draft of the moodboard looked like this:
Tones of blues, greys and neutrals created a calm, cocooning space while carefully curated moments of ochre, raspberry, and pink orchid added colour, variety and interest. That showstopping Matthew Williamson embroidery was set to become a pair of statement curtains wrapping around the curved bay window but an evolution of the design saw the embroidery become a roman blind and a beautifully textured linen become the curtain.
We trimmed the linen curtain in an Osborne & Little wide braid featuring the repeated blues and pinks throughout the room, and we ensured privacy for the homeowners through the use of a textured narrow stripe sheer curtain. As well as ensuring privacy, sheer curtains diffuse the glare of sunlight whilst adding softness and cosiness to a space.
We commissioned bespoke mid-century inspired armchairs and a sofa to update the room and provide luxurious and comfortable seating for visiting guests and to serve as an informal lounging area for a spot of quiet reading in the evening. The sofa was wrapped in a softly textured Linen/Cotton mix from Jane Churchill and the armchairs in a contrasting sunny yellow herringbone from Linwood. Beautiful buttoned upholstery, sharp lines, polished legs, and soft fabrics make for a really interesting, comfortable and durable seating area!
Let’s not forget the wallpaper wrapping the walls in sumptuously soft tones and textures. We set the fireplace against a ground of warm teal inlaid with a semi-abstract floral inspired design. On the rest of the walls we used a plain textured vinyl wall covering evoking the texture and warmth of linen. Some of our favourite collections and wallpapers! There’s just something about the warmth, look, and both visual and tactile texture of luxury wall-coverings – they add beautiful layers of colour, pattern, depth and cocooning cosiness to a space that paint alone can’t quite achieve.
And let’s not forget the bespoke scatter cushions adding more layers of softness to the upholstery as well as splashes of colour, pattern and texture. We carried the Matthew Williamson embroidery from the Roman Blind to the scatter cushions and paired it with a small scale chevron weave in a hot pink and fresh white colourway from Sanderson.
Tucked in behind the lounge area was the dining space; reserved for special meals with visiting family. The existing dining table and chairs were in great condition and remained special pieces to the homeowners. We opted to update the upholstery on the dining chairs by commissioning a beautiful Osborne and Little zig-zag cut velvet echoing the colours throughout the room.
And let’s not forget the foundation (literally!) of every room – the floor! We used a beautiful tawny grey and linen coloured loop pile carpet from Wool Classics London to provide a smart and contemporary base for the rest of the room. The two tone colour adds interest and the loop pile cut is comfortable, practical, and long-wearing. A true luxury!
As a final note, a few weeks after we’d finished and photographed the room, we supplied an area rug to help zone the lounge area and break up the expanse of carpet. We chose a lovely persian inspired cotton chenille rug in various tones of warm blue and it has just lifted the room from amazing to AMAZING!
It was such a joy and privilege to work in this room; to honour the homeowners and their story & memories encased in the walls of this home. It was a joy to breathe new life into this room and repurpose it for a new chapter and for many more wonderful stories to be written and memories to be made in the years to come.
Finally, 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!