Archive for the ‘Lust after living rooms’ Category

Winning combination

August 8, 2012

I’m hoping that you’re not too bored with the Olympics as I couldn’t resist showing you this patriotic living room. Pretty yet punk-inspired – a combination that shouldn’t work, yet it does. There are so many ways to display the Union Jack, from cushions and artwork to rugs and wallpaper, but this wallhanging does the job perfectly. Inspiring.


Be bold with colours!

June 19, 2012

At the Dulux Winter 12/13 event recently, I learnt that there’s a move towards bolder colours – ones that reflect our everyday existence. In the words of Creative Director Marianne Shillingford: ‘The style of an interior should be a reflection of how you occupy it. Bold dark statement wall colours fill the space but they need contrast to show them off properly, so add elements against the surface that pop and snap against it.’ Couldn’t have put it better myself. I think the room below demonstrates what she means – but are most of us this brave?

Seán O

Definitely not for the faint-hearted…

Easy salvage

May 30, 2012

Once upon a time, salvage meant unwanted; a collection of unattractive items that people didn’t want in their homes. Skip forward to 2012 and it’s a trend to be reckoned with, with many of us looking for the ultimate in unique, quirky pieces to display. In fact, it seems there’s nothing cooler than to be able to reply, on being asked, ‘Oh that? I found it in a skip, gave it a quick sand and voila!’ I admit I’m somewhat envious of  those that can exhibit distressed furniture and unusual paraphernalia with style and flair – so here’s a few examples of how to get it right…

Reclaimed boards line the wall, while a vintage sideboard sits neatly in front. Two different woods and a selection of clutter yet it works beautifully.

An old distressed table takes centre stage in this minimal scheme, with two single lightbulbs dangling above.

Old signage has been propped under a rustic-style table for interest, with clusters of objects that just invite you to browse.

For expert advice on buying salvage, click here.


Bookcases – read all about ’em!

February 27, 2012

‘Always finish what you start’ is what they say. I don’t agree. Homemaking is the so-called work in progress, isn’t it. Always adding, removing or updating things to create your latest little triumph. Our latest addition is a good, solid Laura Ashley bookcase that’ll probably outlast us. A home’s not a home without books – they reveal as much about the owner as any decor does (in my case, that I’m a music nut). If you’re still unconvinced, look up the bookcase guide on House to Home. It’s a page turner…

Seán O

For stairs, read bookcase



Sewn-up style

November 28, 2011

If I say ‘patchwork’ what picture does that paint? Quaint quilts in a cosy bedroom? Cutesy cushions crowding out a small sofa? Tasteless tea cosy on a… well, you know what I mean. But I’m increasingly seeing patchworks in unlikely settings and being used in unexpected ways. I know it’s not cutting-edge stuff but when, for example, you get furniture covered in this style – admittedly with top-notch fabrics in vibrant colours – it looks flipping marvellous. Maybe it’s just the time of year (winter, Christmas and all that) or maybe it’s my time of life, but I’d happily settle back in a big chair like this, in front of a blazing fire, glass of port in one hand and a copy of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in the other…

Definitely not for squares

Colour clash!

October 24, 2011

It’s that time again. We’ve got the paint swatches out in readiness for a living room makeover and there’s bad feeling in the air. The room’s desperately in need of a facelift and frankly, anything would be an improvement. But my wife’s insisting on coordinating it to the max – which basically seems to mean play safe and go for subtle shades. Whereas I say be brave and choose a paint colour or wallpaper design in the same way we do a piece of furniture, because we love it for itself. Be loud, be proud! Check out these pics and tell me which way you lean.

Incredibly cool or downright colourless?

Good impression or tasteless tat?

On second thoughts, maybe my wife has a point…

Seán O

Mad as a hatter!

September 26, 2011

I’m off to Decorex tomorrow and I’m expecting to hear that for 2012 we’re going to love all things British – and eccentric. Which doesn’t have to involve union jacks placed everywhere (though it’s still a cool look…) as these pics prove. They show the home of Lulu Guinness – all very Alice in Wonderland (and you can’t get more British than that) and awash with wild colours, wacky shapes and wonderful textures.   Yep, I know she’s probably got more dosh than most of us have to splash out on all these eccentric accessories. Or maybe she’s produced a lot of them herself – that’s her line, after all. Nevertheless, this room with the postage-stamp artwork is amazing – who’d be brave enough to put all this stuff together and expect it to work. I suppose it’s back to the motto: ‘Fill a room with things you love, and you’ll love the way it looks.’

How to put your stamp on a dining room

Totally British (in a French kind of way!)

Seán O

Heating up

September 20, 2011

Having just returned from a week in sunnier climes, it seems somehow wrong to be talking about the winter. However, the English weather would suggest otherwise and as I’ve already begun to think about digging out our thick woolly throws, warming blankets and cosy fleece socks, this room’s fire has me thinking about woodburning stoves and the like.

I can just  imagine sitting myself in front of this fire on a cold wintery day – not that I’m wishing away any hint of the sun, you understand? The large inglenook adds such a lovely traditional touch, and the patterned fabric adds warmth and vibrancy to even the dullest of days. You can see more on this house by visiting the house tours section on 25 Beautiful Homes at Housetohome

It’s got me thinking what sort of fire I might like myself. We’d love to hear from you about what type of fire you have and how much it gets used – do you have a modern, state-of-the-art-style, wall-hung fire that’s used more as decoration, or is a rip-roaring log burner more your style? On that note, I can’t help but fall in love with these models from Vesta Stoves, that come in 25 different colours – perfect if you love to colour co-ordinate like me!


Latest living room looks

May 13, 2011

I know, I am really overdoing the alliteration on the blog post titles… I can’t help myself! Ahem, moving right along. Where was I? Oh yes, living room looks. This gallery of modern living room ideas is right on the money! So many great looks that are totally ‘now’ and yet not so trendy as to need redecorating in a few years time. Midnight blue ikat print rug? Don’t mind if I do!

blue ikat rug living room

Ikat stop thinking about this rug...

Nothing like drooling over a few delicious interiors for some light Friday entertainment! Happy weekend, folks!

Style Crush

April 15, 2011

Wow, there is a whole-lotta awesome going on in this room.

Style by Emily Henderson for Oh Joy

Quirky, fun, stylish, vibrant.

This caught my eye over on the Style by Emily Henderson blog, where stylist and interior designer Emily Henderson posts behind the scenes and finished-product shots of projects featured on her television program, ‘Secrets from a Stylist’ (aired in the US). For those of us that can’t watch the program, there’s plenty to love on her blog, or check out her work on Apartment Therapy.