• Too cool for school…

    by  • March 27, 2015 • 0 Comments

    Childrens-roomKids these days, they don’t know they’re born…

    S’not fair! When we were small, how many times must we have said that to our parents when they said no to things like: ‘Can I play out in the rain?’ or ‘Can I have my pocket money early?’ or ‘Can I stay at the youth club till 10 o’clock?’. Well, that’s how I feel right now looking at this cool kids’ bedroom – S’not fair that I couldn’t have one like this instead of sharing a room with my three big sisters. I’d have loved skateboards stuck up on my wall – if only skateboards had been invented then…  And who wouldn’t love a bunkbed – except I had no brothers to share one with. And the awesome barbers-style chair – though I hated having to have my hair cut, so that wouldn’t have made me feel good. So it sounds like this room wouldn’t have been right for me, after all. But I don’t care – still not fair!

    Seán O

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    Cool, pool party

    by  • March 26, 2015 • 0 Comments


    A recent survey by Origin, discovered that a bigger kitchen was top of our wish list. However the same survey found that our children have other ideas. A treehouse is top of their wish list, followed by a swimming pool.

    You won’t benefit from a treehouse and they’ll only grow bored of it eventually, so how about investing in a super swish swimming pool like this?

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    Suitably seasonal!

    by  • March 25, 2015 • 0 Comments


    Tis the season to be opulent….

    Think of opulent fabrics and you think of gorgeous sitting rooms with big comfortable sofas. Or glamorous bedrooms with oodles of tactile throws and bedlinen – not to mention all those

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    Going all soft!

    by  • March 23, 2015 • 0 Comments


    Pretty impressive…

    My tastes in decor are quite manly – not surprising, as I’m a man – but even I have my feminine side. I surprise myself by how much this colour scheme appeals to me. No shiny stainless steel, not a hint of

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    Enjoy your stay

    by  • March 22, 2015 • 0 Comments

    Pale-Grey-and-Green-Curtain-Cupboard-Bedroom-Homes-and-Gardens-HousetohomeOnly guests with attractive vintage suitcases will be admitted…

    Guest bedrooms can often become an afterthought, playing second fiddle to the rest of the home’s decor and design – but surely it should be just the opposite? We all like to be good hosts, and a guest bedroom like this would make me so delighted with my surroundings that I might never leave the room. Of course, that might earn me a reputation as a rather unsociable guest, but I say it’s worth it for a room as quirkily welcoming as this.

    The floral tented wardrobe in the corner is an intriguing detail, and perfectly suited to a guest room – it wouldn’t accommodate a full array of outfits, but it’s just ideal for the few changes of clothes your guests might bring with them. Painting the inside a rich leafy green is an ideal pairing for the floral curtain fabric, and also injects a pop of colour into the restrained, neutral scheme. As a foil to the busy fabric and the textured lilac bedding, the monochrome, utilitarian lighting and the block beside table keep the space suitable for both male and female visitors. Choosing warm wooded floors, and painting the walls in a calming taupe adds a cocooning feel, and creates a space where your guests will look forward to going to bed (not to cast aspersions on your company as a host, of course).

    Another advantage is that the room is easy to maintain between visitors – a sweep of the wood floor, straighten the wardrobe curtains, change the bedding, and that’s all you’ve got to do! However, if it were this particular room, evicting me from it before your guests arrive would be another housekeeping necessity…

    Jennie Filer

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    Green peace

    by  • March 21, 2015 • 0 Comments

    Jade-and-White-Kitchen-Ideal-Home-HousetohomeI’m willing to bet it’s the original colour Fairy Liquid or nothing in this kitchen…

    All too easily, a kitchen can become a purely functional space, with design aesthetics taking a back seat to easy-clean floors, storage, appliances, and the everlasting dilemma of where to stash that slow-cooker you were given but will most likely never use…

    Not so in this calming, refreshing, aqua, jade and white scheme. Here, just as much consideration has been given to form as well as function, creating a kitchen that not only meets the culinary needs of the owner, but is also an attractive and well-planned interior space in its own right. The colour scheme is scrupulously carried throughout, but the white worktops, sink, floor and walls, plus the freshness of the green tones stops the palette becoming overwhelming. Smart storage keeps everyday items and clutter out of the way, as well as concealing appliances,

    With such a signature colour scheme, and the intricate details of the objects on display, small touches have been cleverly carried throughout the room to ground the space. The butler sink lends an air of tradition to the otherwise whimsical decor, the wood tones from the chairs and the wicker shopper lend a natural feel and keep the room feeling outdoorsy, rather than sterile, and I particularly like the deliberately unfussy rough-fabric window treatment. These subtle but clever additions tone down the room, and serve as a perfect backdrop for the white open shelving and the contrasting collection of jade green crockery and serveware. These delicate pieces create an intriguing display of well-chosen everyday items and show that there can be beauty in utility. In fact, if the owner of this kitchen owns a jade green slow cooker (and I’ll bet they do), it probably wouldn’t look too out of place on the shelves itself…

    Jennie Filer

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    It’s National Spring Cleaning Week

    by  • March 19, 2015 • 0 Comments


    This week is National Spring Cleaning Week – yes, who knew? It was a surprise to me, too.

    Cleaning is very low on my list of priorities. However, I do like the idea of a utility room, so I could keep all my cleaning products neat and tidy, instead of stuffed haphazardly under the kitchen sink.

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    Mean and moody

    by  • March 18, 2015 • 1 Comment

    Purple-and-Grey-Velvet-Living-Room-Homes-and-Gardens-HousetohomeVive la différence!

    No two homes are the same, and thank the Lord for that. That’s the beauty of browsing on a site like House to Home or reading a magazine like 25 Beautiful Homes (you really should subscribe while rates are low!) you’ll love, hate or be inspired by all the interiors you come across but will rarely feel indifferent to them. Take this bohemian little number: it’s dressed in sumptuous velvet fabric, daring purple walls and colourful pendants – all or none of which you may approve of, but there’s no doubting the wealth of ideas on display.

    Seán O

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    Primitive instincts

    by  • March 16, 2015 • 0 Comments




    Some would say the bedroom is the place that brings out the primitive in all of us (yes, even Neanderthal Man needed shut-eye from time to time!). This room definitely appeals to my base instincts – I love the wallpaper that doesn’t look like wallpaper. It’s done in an Ikat style, which is a dyeing technique used to pattern textiles that employs a resist dyeing process on the warp fibres, the weft fibres, or in the rare and costly ‘double ikat’ both warp and weft, prior to dyeing and weaving (thanks Wikipedia!). And how about that tribal-looking neckwear on the bedside table – that would be a talking point in any bedroom!

    Seán O




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    A grey area

    by  • March 15, 2015 • 0 Comments

    Neutral-Toned-Living-Room-Livingetc-Housetohome Do you suppose the TV is always set to grayscale, too..?

    I know, with springtime upon us, maybe a brighter, more colourful scheme would be appropriate for today’s choice. But it’s Sunday – the one day of the week I allow myself to flop on the sofa and do nothing and, glancing at this calming, texture-rich sitting room, I want to do just that, so this room it is (although, today being Mothers’ Day – hi, Mum! – I am mostly likely currently to be found preparing dinner, plumping the sofa cushions and dusting my skirting boards to a mother-approved standard. And failing).

    But back to this living room. To me, this is interior perfection and contains my favourite design elements – natural materials, utilitarian textured fabric, the mixture of wood and metal, modern design mixed with vintage style, mismatched accessories, task lighting…can I just move in? The colour palette is so soothing, with natural shades of white, off-white and grey and blending with each other. Even though colour is kept to a minimum here, the warmth of the wood and the pops of green foliage in vintage bottles and glass cloches injects life and a natural feel into the room. Reclaimed pieces add warmth and character, and I love the light-hearted detail of the tiny wooden stool beneath the identical rough-hewn wooden console table.

    The big, slouchy rough linen armchair in the corner looks so inviting, and makes me wish I could cocoon myself in it until night falls, and the low-level industrial lighting adds new depth and dimensions to the room by illuminating the corners and allowing the eclectic accessories to cast curious shadows.

    Ah well. I can dream. Until then, back to the skirting boards…

    Jennie Filer

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    Shelf life

    by  • March 14, 2015 • 0 Comments

    New-England-white-tiled-kitchenThe drawer full of pens, light bulbs and takeaway menus must be on the other side of the room…

    Open shelving in kitchens – I know. Impractical. Dust-attracting. And who on earth owns multiple white cast-iron casserole dishes, 18 matching ramekins and 20 matching wine glasses anyway? (You do? In that case, never invite my flatmate and me round to yours – we are the mortal enemy of wine glasses).

    Even so, when designing my dream kitchen in my head, I keep coming back to open shelving, and much more so when I come across kitchens like this one. I’m admittedly not a fan of kitchen cabinetry, or the hi-gloss, matchy-matchy look – the industrial, mismatched, utilitarian look speaks to me so much more. On paper, this scheme should feel harsh – dark marble floor, strong lines, industrial stools, cool marble worksurface, tall windows, dark-grouted subway tiles – and you can bet there are a few retro-style bare bulbs suspended around the room, too. But what makes this kitchen so appealing to me is that there’s a strong design element throughout, yet nothing looks contrived. Dark grout on the white metro tiles lends a graphic punch, the windows have a strong architectural aesthetic and the simple fittings keep the scheme practical and grounded.

    But to come back to the open shelving again… for me, they’re the crucial element in this scheme, because the warmth of the oak, the soothing shades of the crockery and the mismatched items soften the room and add a domestic feel – it looks like a kitchen someone actually uses. If all the crockery was white, all the cookware gleaming stainless steel, and everything was very obviously and very expensively from the same range, the room could look too severe, and I’d almost be wary of touching anything. That said, even in an approachable and relaxed scheme like this, my flatmate and I are still best kept away from the wine glasses…

    Jennie Filer

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    Let there be light

    by  • March 13, 2015 • 0 Comments

    HG.0607-47Sometimes the proportions of a scheme are all it takes to wear a look well, rather like being blessed with good bone structure. And this peaceful bedroom in a Georgian house is a great example of that. 

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