Launched in October 2020,The Cabin is a beautiful and luxurious Airbnb retreat for those who need to get away from it all and recharge the batteries. Clad with beautifully knotted timber and looking out onto Slemish Mountain, it’s an idyllic little haven with a bit of a colourful (literally!) history…
The Cabin began life over thirty years ago as the home of Niel & Catherine McMillan’s Interior Design Studio & Workroom. It was a place to meet clients, showcase homewares, and make up bespoke soft furnishings for homes around the UK and Ireland. However, the business quickly expanded and The Cabin was vacated in favour of a more spacious premises in Ballymena Town Centre.
Meanwhile The Cabin became a Recreation room for family & friends until in 2018, it began another metamorphosis. By this stage, McMillan Interiors had been established and plans were made to turn The Cabin into a compact and cosy Studio for the business. In the Autumn of 2018, after having undergone extensive internal and external surgery, The Cabin officially opened as the new home of McMillan Interiors.
The story could have ended there….but it didn’t! Just over a year later and The Cabin was itching for another metamorphosis. McMillan Interiors Design Studio was packed up and relocated to a spacious converted barn and The Cabin began its transformation into an Airbnb retreat. It was a transformation we were thrilled to get stuck into!
The vision for The Cabin was to create a cosy, moody and super comfortable place for those who needed respite and to recharge the batteries. A place to turn off the phone and hideaway, but equally a springboard for exploring the wilds of Northern Ireland. We prioritised plentiful seating, a decadently comfortable bed, and colour & texture to create a real sense of home comforts. Let us show you around!
We made sure to squeeze in a John Sankey sofa for a supremely comfortable seating experience and upholstered armchairs in fabrics from William Yeoward and Designers Guild for a pop of quirky colour and pattern. A paisley patterned Ted Baker rug creates a lovely moody blue pool on the floor.
Superfast Wifi and a full sized dining table allow our guests a space to work – as was the case for our first guest who used The Cabin as a hideaway for a writing retreat! Alternatively, light some candles, turn the lights down low and enjoy an intimate and quiet dinner with a loved one!
We clad the partition wall with Pierre Frey wallpaper to add character and interest. A quirky bulls head sculpture and faux foliage add whimsy and colour.We also ensured there is plenty of low-level lighting with floor lamps and table lamps to create a lovely cosy atmosphere.
Walls of soft grey wrap around our guests in the bedroom while the headboard partition wall features a soft pink textured-effect wallpaper from Matthew Williamson. Curtains from Chelsea Textiles add whimsical pattern and ensure the bedroom is dark, cosy and the perfect spot for a good night’s sleep.
KITCHEN & WC
Nina Campbell wallpaper paired with a green and grey fitted kitchen creates a soft and bright corner for grabbing a coffee and a light bite. We’re in Northern Ireland so an abundance of tea on hand was a must! For coffee-lovers, a French Press and Nespresso machine will give you the caffeine kick you need!
Bathrooms can be real hidden gems of the home – a space where you can indulge in a bit of bold colour and pattern and it’ll look amazing! In The Cabin, a bright and warmly lit shower room gives way to a deliciously dark WC. We laid patterned grey tiles from local tile supplier J&R Keys Tiles and wrapped the walls in a beautiful navy blue wallpaper from Matthew Williamson featuring hundreds of softly glinting stars.
A final flurry of finishing touches and we were done! We ensured our guests had privacy by fitting ivory sheers and soft grey curtains on the floor-to-ceiling windows at the front of the cabin. Sitting areas were softened with cushions, the bookcase was stacked with books, the cupboards filled with boardgames and puzzles, and the basket topped up with firewood for a weekend of lounging, reading, and relaxing by the fire!
It would be remiss of us not to mention the private lake and secluded woodland on the doorstep of The Cabin….not the work of our hands but a real draw of this place! Between coffees and chapters, our guests can pull on their wellie boots and stomp around the trout filled lake and lush woodland featuring native Irish trees and wild critters!
Transforming The Cabin for guests to call home for a few days has been such a joy and privilege! At McMillan Interiors, it’s long been our heart & vision to create HOME…meaning a safe and welcoming place that is comfortable, functional, and full of personality. A place to make cherished memories. Our wish is that The Cabin will be this type of HOME for many guests and visitors over the next months and years.
If you have any enquiries about your own home renovations, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. At McMillan Interiors our services include product sourcing – including furniture, hardware, lighting, wallcoverings, soft furnishings and accessories – and fitting. We partner with you to make the design and decorating process as simple as possible. Whether you have a room that needs updating or a whole house renovation, we want to help. Contact us by:
French wallpaper brand Braquenié was founded in 1824 and quickly became renowned for its elegance, quality and beautiful taste. It embodied the very spirit of French classicism and appeared throughout the courts of Europe, in the Louvre, the Vatican and even in the home of Victor Hugo. In 1991, Pierre Frey acquired and integrated the Braquenié brand into its own Design House. The original spirit of the Braquenié brand lives on through shared values of tradition, expertise and excellence with Pierre Frey. Under Pierre Frey, designers and artists dug into over a hundred years of carefully preserved Braquenié archives to unveil beautiful textile designs, carpet samples and watercolour drawings which they reimagined and re-released as fabrics and wallpapers for a contemporary clientele.
While a lot of Design Houses create and release collections at least once a year, Braquenié collections are only released every three to four years. Pierre Frey Jr explains why: “We wait until we have a proper theme and lots of archive documents to launch a strong, powerful collection of fabrics and papers.” Spring 2019 sees the much awaited release of Comptoirs d’Orient, a collection of exquisitely embellished prints, silks, embroideries and epingle velvets based on archive documents from the 18th and 19th centuries. The collection is an ode to exoticism – a major theme in 18th century decorative arts – with use of exotic flowers, pineapples and chinoiseries which captured the imaginations of Europeans seeing these imports for the first time.
Pierre Frey Jr explains that they refreshed the original documents – playing with scale, orientation and bolder colour to retain the timelessness of the designs while injecting it with a freshness for a new market. It’s an extraordinary collection, boasting complex textile embellishment including appliquéing velvet onto linen, then embroidering over it, or printing onto delicate raw silk; feats accomplished utilising the best materials and most skilled hands from all over the world. While Braquenié is synonymous with classic, opulent and traditional interiors, both the fabrics and wallpapers of Comptoirs d’Orient are befitting of traditional and more contemporary settings. The best way to showcase such a collection is to refer to the stylistic work of Anne Pericchi-Draeger who imagined, designed, and styled the collection for the official Braquenié promotional material and dressed the Pierre Frey Parisian Showrooms.
Colours include zingy yellow, earthy umber, soft peach, robust rust, teal and raspberry and yves klein blue in patterns ranging from large scale florals, plaids, small scale scallops, diamond weaves, and designs featuring sweet birds and flamboyant pineapples! Fabulously unique and full of character!
Where the collection really shines is in the unusual pairings and clashings of the patterns and colours together as seen below. For those fierce fearless maximalists among us!
Pierre Frey has long been one of our favourite Design Houses, boasting designs that are quintessentially French. The French largely aren’t preoccupied with following trends or being defined by a style or genre, and are eager to use and mix strong colour, a multitude of patterns and unusual pieces to furnish and dress their spaces. French interiors to us shout joy! fun! elegance! fearlessness!
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 email@example.com. You can also find us on Houzz, Instagram and Facebook!
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!
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.
We’ve got exciting plans afoot! For the last couple of months we’ve been working on a Loft Bedroom renovation in a beautiful countryside home. The space used to operate as an open plan shared bedroom and bathroom space but now that the boys are grown and out of the house, it was time to reconfigure the space! The homeowners wanted to use the space as a bedroom and bathroom for guests while working in some functional storage space.
The redesign meant some minor building work was necessary to create an area for storage, remove a few non-supporting walls and fill in with dry wall and plastering. Easy! The old bathroom was ripped out and updated with a sleek, more compact shower and fittings.
Pictured is the very unglamorous building work taking place. As lovers of colour and pattern and fabrics, we love bringing a space to life with furnishings and furniture and decorative items, but it’s vitally important to consider the actual design and flow of a space. Sometimes that means doing some less-glamorous work like taking out a wall to open up a space, refitting a tired old bathroom, or replacing worn floorboards. By getting the ‘bones’ of a space right, you’ll ensure a warmer, more sound building, and will also ensure the best flow of space for you and your needs. No amount of beautiful furnishings will conceal critical room weaknesses so get the bones right first! This is a game changer.
While the builders were at work, we devised a gorgeous scheme of colour and pattern to bring the open plan space to life! Think sumptuously tactile textures, fun patterns and pops of strong colour against soft greys and whites. This needed to be a space with character; a real homely but stimulating space for guests to rest and relax in. So we brought in the master of colour, pattern and zing: Pierre Frey! One of our favourite designers, Pierre Frey is a fearless French powerhouse designing fabrics and wall coverings that are eclectic, unusual, and luxurious. Here’s the scheme we came up with!
As we speak, the decorators are painting and pasting wallpaper and we can’t wait to see this space finished! Be on the lookout for the next part of the process! And if you’re planning an update or renovation in your home, we’d love to help! Whether it’s one room or a complete house overhaul, don’t hesitate to contact us on 07808959212 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.