Archive | August, 2010

Country-style Scandinavian design

31 Aug

The Scandinavians get a lot of things right when it comes to design.  I’m particularly fond of country-style Scandinavian design — it’s a perfect blend of warm and cozy with clean and modern.  I also like the combination of the cool Scandinavian blues and whites with the darker woods.

It’s a lovely look — worth bookmarking for sure.

Subway tiles

30 Aug

Subway tiles have really come along.  I always think of subway tiles as your standard white rectangular tile and I love the look — particularly when matched with dark gray grout.  But as I’ve started paying a bit more attention to tiles these days, I’ve found that there are a lot of new and different subway tiles available.

These small black subway tiles surrounding the fireplace look really elegant and the blue glass subway tiles below are to die for.

A blue and green color scheme

29 Aug

I think the big bold colors used here create a nice combination among simple furnishings.  I like the pink and fuchsia accents with the green and blue combination.

Bolder blue walls have been growing on me, in general.  I think they work best in a large space or if used sparingly on an accent wall.

What do you think?  Chime in and let me know.

Moving Day

28 Aug

Today is moving day.  I can’t wait to take and post pictures of the gorgeous place in Monkstown where I’ll be staying for the next few months during construction but at the moment, I’m just doing a little reminiscing about when I moved into this house in Ballsbridge as today is the day when the lion’s share of the moving is happening. 

It’s funny looking back on photos because the rental market in Dublin in 2006 was hotter than hot — I looked for a place to live for over a month and probably saw about 60 apartments — all in various states of neglect given my budget.  The rents they were charging for the amount of space you could get was ridiculous so then I found this house — which was a reasonable price at the time but stuck way back in the 80s (I shudder to think of the Aztec border in the purple bedroom with the baby blue mini-blinds).

I decided to take on the place even though I knew I’d have to put in a bit of my own money to paint and get it into a state where I could live in it.  I did a lot that first summer and haven’t been quite as motivated in the last year but I thought I’d share a couple of pics of the before and afters.

I just didn’t have a strong enough heart to take on re-painting these red walls — far too much work for a rental!  I did, however, get rid of the American flag look with the blue, white and silver cabinets by painting them white and putting on new hardware. I later changed the flooring (which had gotten pretty damaged from the previous tenants).

The back garden was in pretty bad shape — moss and mold covering the pavers, overgrown ivy and a couple of beds full of weeds.  There was also a beer keg in the back from the previous tenants.  The plants were still pretty new in this after photo but 5 years on, are now well matured and I also have a clematis vine growing up the back wall.

Both of these photos were in the early days of the front bedroom before artwork, etc. but just painting it a warm color and changing the curtains, adding accents, made a big difference.

 The bathroom was probably the biggest amount of work.  The blue marbled walls were a bit tough to take – might not have been so bad if they were done well but they were pretty moldy – ew. The “wave” shelf in the before pic was listed as one of the features of the house in the ad – go figure.

Goodbye Lansdowne Park – hello Monkstown!

An organized closet

27 Aug

My sister, Rebecca, used to have an organizing business and I definitely learned a couple of tricks of the trade from her.  One of my favorites is to organize your closet by type and color (for example, all shirts together and then a subset of green shirts, etc.). It’s not that easy with my wardrobe as so much of my clothing is black but is does shorten the amount of hunting around I do in the morning before work.

Try this tip yourself and see if it doesn’t help you!

Herringbone flooring

26 Aug

I really hope I can afford some antique wood flooring for Tilly’s Cottage.  I love this antique oak herringbone floor and would love to run it through the sitting room and kitchen.  I’m told that the herringbone pattern is one of the most difficult to lay out (which is probably why it costs so much).

Herringbone flooring used to be reserved for more stately homes but has come on a bit over the years and now you see it in more modest homes (like T.C., I hope). 

By the way, little miss is 2 today. Happy birthday, Tilly.

Happy Birthday, Tilly!

25 Aug

Today is Tilly’s second birthday – that’s 14 to you and me!  She’s got all the makings of a rebellious teenager to boot.  Thought I’d share a few pics of Tilly in honor of her big day.  I’m prone to nicknames so Tilly has bucket-loads of them including:  Tilly Bear, sugar booger, Tillsiter, poopie doopie, Tilly Malinki Maloo (Clodagh’s name for her), Tilbert (Kathy’s name for her) and  Boo (Molly’s name for her and a few other 4-legged friends).

Tilly and I had to go into my office on the Sunday morning that I adopted her.  My friend, Mark, took this photo of the two of us — the first of us together.

So young and sweet!

This is the look I get from Tilly whenever I start to cook anything!  It says “I want to try some of that yummy stuff you’re making”

She loves the outdoors and even though she’s a well-adjusted city dog, she loves it when we get out in the country most.

 I’m sure this is not that uncommon but Tilly is the first dog I’ve known to really watch TV — I mean she REALLY watches it and reacts to what’s happening on-screen.  In this pic, she’s watching a show with me on the laptop — I always laugh because since I got Tilly, this is the “frame” for everything I see because she’s always sitting in front of me. 

Happy birthday to my favorite pup!

Pop of color

24 Aug

There are lots of signature looks in this image — from the wardrobe with its uniquely designed doors, to the upholstered wingback chair, to the empty frames on the wall.  I think the thing that brings it all together, however, is the bright blue wall.  If it were a muted color, it wouldn’t have nearly the impact. I’m not sure if I’m quite brave enough to use a color like this but I love the way it pulls this room of unique items together to create an even more unique look.

IKEA Accents

23 Aug

I saw an article in The Gloss the other day about a home in Dublin. They used a limited palette for their home — primarily black and whites and a few grays.  There were nice accents of color throughout. 

They seemed to have a lot of high-end and designer pieces in their home which is why I take my hat off to them for using this black-and-white IKEA rug in the main sitting room.  I think it works perfectly and is a great accent to the simple palette they use but I’m sure it must have been a temptation to go for a high-end, bespoke rug.  Once again proving that using IKEA pieces in your home (with a bit of restraint) doesn’t have to look cheap.

Dublin Free Trade

22 Aug

I’m too far away from moving in to take full advantage of this but anyone living in Dublin looking for furniture should take advantage of Dublin Waste Management’s free website for free goods. They recently set up a separate site:  www.freetradeireland.ie

 I’m always popping in and out of the site to see what’s available.  I just took a look today and saw this settee.  Might not look like much at the moment but imagine it re-upholstered in some funky IKEA fabric with legs painted white.  The shape and size of it are so cool that I think it would be a little gem.  If I were taking on this project, I think I’d do the tufted buttons on the back in a bright accent color just to really bring out the features of the piece.