When old looks new…

July 23, 2012

I think it’s fair to say that most of us fall into one of two camps when it comes to style of houses – old (think rustic, traditional, cosy…) or modern (light, glass-filled, open spaces…) and I have to confess to loving the latter. Working on 25BH we see every imaginable kind of home but even I am pleasantly surprised at how fresh and contemporary this 17th-century cottage has been made to look. Largely thanks to white emulsion, quirky accessories and modern fabrics, I’d happily live here. Given the chance, that is…

Seán O

A look I could warm to…



French fancy

July 18, 2012

Escaping the rain and heading to a holiday home in France sounds like bliss right now, and so I couldn’t resist showing you this little gem. A 1960s architect-designed property in the South of France, I especially love these two rooms, both for very different reasons.


Woven furniture, an antique coffee table and ceiling fan give this sitting room a colonial air.


Who wouldn’t want a bedroom that opens out onto a sunny terrace?

Click here or visit housetohome.co.uk/25beautifulhomes to take a peek at the rest of the house.


In for a surprise…

July 16, 2012

Often the homes that make the biggest impression do so because what you discover inside is very different to what you’re led to expect from the exterior. This home tour is a good example: it was previously an old Victorian warehouse built in 1890 but converted into a contemporary three-storey home. Enjoy!

Seán O

Proving all’s not what it seems…

A place of refuge

July 13, 2012

We’d all be the better for having ourselves a little refuge like the one created by this old desk with its slightly colonial-style accessories and overlooked by a forest-glade triptych. Clearly a quiet spot that’s perfect for sitting down, writing a letter, perhaps penning a poem to a loved one… All reminiscent of a once-leisurely age with values very far from those of today. Fast forward to now and I personally feel fortunate if I can find a place between the coffee cups to squeeze my iPad in on the breakfast bar so I can log onto Facebook. Why not step back in time (in a good way) by taking a tour of this Georgian country house.

Seán O

A place you can see the wood for the trees

Animal magic

July 11, 2012

We’ve been to an influx of Autumn/Winter press shows of late, and one trend that keeps cropping up, is that of animals. You’ll no doubt have spotted the popularity of birds and butterflys this summer, but a little tip is to keep your eyes open for all things fox, owl and stag related for winter. We can’t get enough of them, so here’s a few ideas on how to get your home looking animal-friendly…

Go for dog-print wallpaper in the hallway – with a few framed pooch pictures to boot.

Owl cushions fit in nicely with this tranquil bedroom scheme…

Pretty as a picture with butterflys…

A stag’s head and dog-print cushion make a feature on this landing.


Devoted to dining room

July 9, 2012

For everyday purposes I can take or leave the dining room. After all, in this age of kitchen-diners, we don’t tend to create a special space for this function any more, do we? You know what I mean, the kind of place that would get a dusting down just for Sunday lunch, or if the relations paid an unexpected visit (heaven forbid…). But if you’ve got a special occasion I’m not against a grand setting such as this home that is a former church. Chance would be a fine thing…

Seán O

Dine in style…

Swede inspiration

July 6, 2012

I’ve just returned from Stockholm (don’cha know) and I’m infused with a new-found appreciation of all things Swedish. I was slightly taken aback at the variety of styles – the Nordic style we all know and love is far from the whole picture. Colour, minimalism and modernity are all words that spring to mind. The study shown below typifies the relaxed style the Swedes employ – modern accessories (perspex magazine holder) mixed with Gustavian furniture and delicately coloured curtains. I’d call it a veritable (yes you guessed it) ‘smorgasbord’ of styles.

Seán O

A study in good taste…

So black and white

July 4, 2012

Bathrooms are often seen as a functional space rather than a room to really be creative with – which is why I like this scheme so much. It may be black and white, but the tree-print wallpaper and elegant French-inspired furniture gives it that little something extra. Add to it the black tiles on the bath panel, a glass candelabra and some luxurious towels, and you’ve got yourself a bathroom to be proud of.


Nautical but nice

July 2, 2012

And talking of holidays (I was, if you must know…) when you rent out that seaside apartment, you want to wake up and feel you’re on holiday. No offence to all those dowdy B&Bs I frequented  in my youth, but this bedroom leaves them up the creek without a paddle. All it takes is the odd driftwood accessory, maritime prints on the wall plus a splash of blue here and there and you can almost hear the sea from here…

Seán O

A little piece of the seaside…



When hall’s not what it seems…

June 29, 2012

A hall’s a hall’s a hall. Or is it? Just looking over the latest H2H halls gallery made me realise how differently we use this space. Mine currently serves as: a dumping ground for coats; a sleeping area for cats; a storage area for golf clubs (and other assorted items of sports equipment that hardly ever get used). In our defence, we do have a charming old bureau that at least looks as though it belongs there. Check out this link – it may well make you think again about that space you thought was just for meeting and greeting.

Seán O

Play and display – does a piano here hit the right note?