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Homes & interiors IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Get spring and summer ready, from the inside out

Seewhat’s trendingfor 2019

It’s Georgian, it’s gorgeous and it’s perfect for little George: Mentalist David Meade’s new, accessible home

Plus: kitchens and dining areas, bedrooms, bathrooms and baby’s room...


Belfast Telegraph | 29 March 2019





Step into spring


pring and summer are the optimum times for transforming your house into your dream home. With the clocks going forward this weekend, longer evenings are on their way and with them, a boost in energy levels – perfect for planning or getting on with that pet project.

Often our home interiors are inspired by nature and the bright spring colours are definitely making their way indoors. Some of the key colour themes for this year are bright yellows, pinks and greens as well as pastel variations. We look at those and some of the other trends in this edition. Building a home is one of the biggest projects anyone can take on and we’re delighted to go behind the scenes with Northern Ireland’s favourite mentalist David Meade, who’s in the process of building a family home with his wife Elaine. With the help of like-minded professionals, they’re creating a home that is not only classically beautiful but also energy efficient and most importantly, fully accessible to their non mobile son. All this while David continues with his intense work and touring schedule. Over in Fermanagh, the Reilly family have finished building and are enjoying making the most of all the extra space from a two storey extension to their home. Elsewhere, we look at what’s hot in the kitchen, what’s cool for bathrooms and what’s dreamy for bedrooms. Spring means boom time in the garden and we take a look at ways to create your own great outdoors and what sort of jobs need doing over the next few weeks. If the mild weather persists and we escape the frosts at night, this could be another bumper yearfor gardeners.

Contents 6-10


David Meade shares his hopes for the ‘forever’ home he’s building for his family



Introducing German product design genius Sebastian Herkner



See what’s trending in the heart of the 2019 home



Check out the innovations that are transforming lives



More space and more light were what

the Reilly family was after when they extended their Fermanagh home – and that’s exactly what they got



Make a creative statement with your dining room




Heat your home in style



Dreamy bedrooms for grown up kids, babies and you




9 jobs to do in April ... plus garden design tips

Check out 2019’s colour of the year


Calming shades of green and beige are big this year, while Scandi is getting bolder and we’re banishing boring with Boho...



The raw materials for creating a standout bathroom





Make a feature of your fireplace



Light’s fantastic in spring so help it along with clever solutions to dark spaces

PUBLISHED BY Belfast Telegraph, Clarendon House, Clarendon Dock, Belfast, BT1 3BH | ADVERTISING MANAGER: Jackie Reid, Belfast Telegraph, EDITOR: Fiona Rutherford, Realtime Editing & Design NI Ltd, | CONTRIBUTORS: Sophie McLaughlin, Davina Gordon, Maureen Coleman DESIGN: Susan McClean, INM Design Studio, Belfast | PRINTING: INM, Newry


Belfast Telegraph | 29 March 2019

David and Elaine Meade with Tilly and George


mind reader

The front elevation, image by Paul McAlister Architects

Mentalist David Meade has put a lot of thought into creating a special home for his family


elebrity mind reader David Meade spends half his working life delivering leadership training to corporate clients all over the world – but whether he’s wearing his entertainer or his business hat, he makes sure he’s back home every weekend. “I did 160 corporate events last year. Last week I was in Orlando and Portugal and Denver the week before. This week I’m in New Jersey and then home at the weekend for a gig.” He averages about 20 flights a month but says he never gets jet-lag as he doesn’t stop for long enough. “It does mean I get sick when I stop at Christmas and in the summer but apart from that it’s great. I love to travel and see so many places and meet so many people.” He was starstruck a few weeks ago to meet Satya Nadella, whom he’d worked with a few years ago and is now CEO of Microsoft. “We were speaking at the same event, I couldn’t believe it.” With so much of his time working in

the States, it would be easier to stay there but he’s home every single weekend to be with his family – wife Elaine and children Tilly (10) and George (6). David and Elaine share a love of classical architecture and currently live in a large Georgian terrace house. Seven months ago they began building their new ‘forever home’ on a rural site between Newry and Banbridge.

The house is in a beautiful rural location

The site seven months ago

“The house is being built around George as he doesn’t have any mobility. He’s non verbal but he’s the happiest kid you have ever met,” says David. “Tilly just adores him too. “When we moved into our current home we thought we were going to be there forever but all the things we were most excited about are the things that make it a nightmare for George. It’s four floors and

four staircases so he ends up living on just one or two floors. If the circumstances were different we would probably stay where we are,” says David. And while at the minute, George is very small for his age and Elaine can lift him quite easily, their minds are focused on the years ahead. Architect Paul McAlister is project managing the build and has helped them achieve exactly what they wanted – a beau-


29 March 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

Rear elevation, image by Paul McAlister Architects

tiful, light and airy two storey Georgian home with everything George needs to be fully part of the family, including a sensory room and space for storing the equipment he needs. “He’ll have access to every room with hoists and a full commercial elevator,” says David. “When you have got a wee one with special needs, you decide do you build a clinical house or a home – we decided we would build a normal home but put all the accessible stuff in.” Elaine’s father, Don Cummins, gifted them the plot on his farmland and with the four neighbouring houses belonging to Don and his other three daughters, it’s as well David loves his in-laws. “I’m never there apart from weekends and holidays and it means Elaine has so much support. They’re fantastic, I don’t know how we’d manage without them,” he says.

Banbridge for that money,” says David. “The main reason we wanted the house very efficient is because George will be there all the time apart from when he’s at school. He needs 24 hour care so we were keen to heat the house as efficiently as possible.” A born educator loves gathering information and former lecturer David is no exception, embracing the latest innova-

tions in construction, many of them with an added benefit for George. “I love all that stuff – for instance, we’re using a central vacuum system from Beam NI so all the noise from the vacuuming happens out in the garage and won’t disturb George. Also, all the dust is taken out of the house. “Like any Passivhaus we’re using heat recovery. The heating is underfloor with a gas tank but ultimately, the house is so well


Paul McAlister is an advocate for houses that adhere to Passivhaus (or passive house) principles and for a long time the Meades were hoping to build the first classical style Passivhaus anywhere. However, when they realised that fitting Passivhaus windows was going to add £80,000 to the overall costs, they decided the certification wasn’t worth it. “Everything in the house is Passiv except the windows although they are triple-glazed. I’m still disappointed that we couldn’t go for the full Passivhaus but you could’ve bought two small houses in

At home with George and Tilly

sealed the architect said you’re wasting your money putting central heating in, you will never use it. I’d rather have it and not use it than wish I had it,” says David. “Everything we generate from solar should all get sucked up, cleaned and used again.”

Classic design

While the workings are as up to date as it comes, aesthetically the house will look as if it was built in the late 18th or early 19th century. “We want it to be really classical so the ceilings are all 12 feet high. The architect has modelled it on National Trust dimensions so the rooms are all that sort of size. “Our designer is Janice Moore, of Moore Interior Design, and she’s fantastic. She totally gets the whole Georgian thing.” The only divergence of opinions has been over details that David and Elaine want to incorporate which deviate from a strict Georgian ethos, like dropped ceilings. The one in George’s bedroom has a projector built in. “It means we’ll be able to change the colour of his room with the lighting and can project animations that soothe him onto that square.” Paul McAlister made an animation of a walk through of the finished house so that the couple can see how it flows and get an accurate idea of the layout for each room – essential when it comes to getting furniture and fittings which can be challenging when the rooms are so large. It shows the entrance through the porch and into the hall which will be full of interest itself – not least because of its fireplace. “I’ve wanted a fireplace in the hall since I saw one in an hotel in Edinburgh and it really set the place off.” The fireplace will be opposite an elegant curved staircase and with the total height from the foot of the stairs to the upstairs ceiling coming to 22 feet, it’s likely they’ll end up commis-


Belfast Telegraph | 29 March 2019 The kitchen will be classical in style



While the week days are likely to see David Meade in transit across the Atlantic, the weekends are devoted to family and entertaining his fans. His current tour BrainMan, which ends in May, has been his most successful and most of the remaining dates are sold out. “This is by far the biggest tour we have ever done. We’ve been everywhere in Northern Ireland. I think the reason people keep coming back is because the show is always new, I never repeat it so if you don’t see it that year you’ll never see it again.” He loves venues across Northern Ireland but counts the Ulster Hall among his favourites. He’s forever grateful to BBCNI for giving him his big break after he quit his job as a university lecturer shortly before Tilly was born. Elaine agreed to give his mind-reading show, which he had developed to make his classes more interesting, one year to take off. The financial crash had just happened and they were barely able to pay the bills. “I knew I had to get on TV. It was so straightforward, I worked out a programme, knocked on a couple of doors and within four weeks had a contract. I’m so thankful for that.” So far he’s resisted showcasing his musical talent on stage. “Every Saturday me and Tilly go to ukulele classes. I never dreamt of being a ukulele player but it’s something Tilly and I can do together.”

Approaching the kitchen

To book your tickets for David’s next show visit - Saturday, April 13, Ulster Hall, Belfast.

David and Elaine love Janice’s designs for (l-r) the pantry, the bootroom and the orangery

sioning someone to do a piece of art for that space. In the animation, the hallway curves past various rooms to the heart of the house, the huge open plan kitchen and adjoining orangery where David expects they will spend most of their time. It’s an airy, spacious room which like the rest of the downstairs rooms, will have shutters rather than curtains and can be separated from the kitchen by concealed sliding doors which are styled to match the shutters. “We may never shut the doors but I worry that the open plan spaces might be too echoey.” The doors are extra wide to accommodate a larger wheelchair than George currently needs. “As he gets bigger, we have no idea how big his equipment will become so we want to make certain we can future proof it.” The original plans included a courtyard

but it was too big and when it became apparent that George was unlikely to gain any mobility, there was no need for it. Instead, there’s an area outside, between the orangery and George’s wing which they are going to cover with astroturf so that he can be outside when it’s muddy.

Special touches

David and Elaine love bright, white rooms and had to be persuaded by Janice to go for a slightly dark wood for the parquet flooring throughout the ground floor. The blocks will be finger sized so the floor is set to be an amazing feature by itself, however, David also loves that each of the doors has a fan light, optimising every bit of natural light going through the home. “The only room we’re doing dark is the guest bathroom downstairs. It’s going to be really busy and funky and like all the bathrooms, the taps are going to be wall mounted. “One thing we really wanted was a nice Georgian style messy bootroom where you can dump coats and bags. In our house

at the minute, everything gets dumped everywhere.” When we met, they were planning to go to Hannaways in Hilltown to select their kitchen. “It’s going to be really super classical.” They were in two minds whether to go for cabinets all the way to the ceiling or something a little smaller. “We are going to have a navy island with pale grey cabinetry. The island is three metres long – it’s enormous but the designer says, given the scale of the room it would look lost if it was smaller. I really do trust our designer, I think she’s done an outstanding job.” They’re also going to have a Quooker boiling water tap, although Elaine has misgivings in case anyone gets scalded. In keeping with both Georgian and modern styles, they’ve a proper pantry which David is delighted with, as well as a separate utility room. “The pantry is bigger than our current kitchen and we’re putting a second oven, sink and fridge in it. We can put all the ugly stuff in there like the George Foreman

grill, the toaster and the deep fat fryer that we never use but always think we need to have.”

‘Think Like A Mind Reader’

The living room, which has bay windows, is likely to be a library cum study with lots of American style white painted bookshelves. “I used to live in Washington and I loved it. All the houses over there have these alcove bookcases and I wanted to incorporate that.” Pride of place will go to David’s own book, Think Like A Mind Reader, which will be published on September 23. He’s written it to appeal to both a corporate audience and his entertainment fans and to be useful to both. While he may have a study, David tries to avoid doing any work when he’s with the family. “I try to do nothing at home because I’m away so much it feels very self indulgent if I work at home.” The house has five bedrooms and all the floors upstairs will be light wood apart from George’s room, which has wood effect tiles and the master bedroom, which will be the only room in the building that’s carpeted. “Tilly has the best room in the house,” says David. Offered a choice of a walk-in


Belfast Telegraph | 29 March 2019


 Classical style doors and American style bookcases will be features of the house


The Meades are looking forward to furnishing the rooms in the Georgian style The downstairs bathroom is fun and funky wardrobe or bathroom, she chose the latter and will have a Jack and Jill bathroom. Tilly’s bedroom is the likely candidate for their Murphy bed too, which drops down from the wall. George’s bed is a wonder too. Made by Safespace, it’s designed with safety and comfort in mind. It is motorised, adjustable and can be customised with George’s favourite characters on it. They plan to have it designed with windows that match the house windows. David is a self-confessed fan of a stylish

bathroom – it comes from seeing so many hotels – and has gone all out with stunning features for the new house. In one, there’s a beautiful, gleaming pewter stand alone bath and elsewhere they’re installing a fabulous Hansgrohe overhead rain shower. George’s bathroom is designed for his needs and to support caring for him. “The one thing we’re going to struggle to get used to is the amount of tidying,” says David, adding that one of the features they’ve installed to make things easier for Elaine is a laundry chute. “My wife is a bit of a superwoman and doesn’t want to have help with George or the cleaning.”

Building a house can be extremely stressful but David says the worst thing was waiting for planning permission as their application went in just as the councils were being reorganised. Once it was dealt with things moved swiftly and the builder is on schedule to have the house finished within the year. Every detail has been pored over in their efforts to adhere to a Georgian aesthetic, right down to the polished chrome door knobs. When we met, the exterior of the house had been plastered and was being painted in Farrow & Ball Chintz which is an identical match to one of the National Trust properties the architect showed them. “I have found the toughest bit of the job is making all the decisions remotely although Janice will send us options for things like tiles and taps. I miss being able to touch it but I know anything she presents is going to be nice. She’s done a great job of designing the tiles for the floor of the front porch.” The thought of furnishing such a large property is quite daunting and the couple want to make sure they find the right dimensions. They also want to avoid everything being new. “I hope it will be a really nice mixture of auction wardrobes and quite old stuff with new stuff as well. We like a hotch-potchy design of different styles.” Like any couple doing major works on a home, they’re picking up cues and ideas everywhere. “We were in Tony and Jens restaurant on the Lisburn Road and they have a big table made of railway sleepers

“The plan is that I work really hard because we have to be mindful of George – whatever his needs as he grows older, we want to be able to meet them. I don’t travel at all during June to August or December but through the rest of the year I go away a lot – it’s no different from builders who have to go to Germany to work. And Elaine and I are on face-time three or four times a day. “That corporate work is our bread and butter, I really enjoy it. It’s showing business people how to be better leaders and motivate people. It feels like an extension of my university work.” He didn’t much enjoy the process of writing his book Think Like A Mind Reader and had to switch publisher half way through. “I know my audience really well and I know what they want to hear. I had an idea which was worth doing and I was happy with it but they were trying to push it in a soft and fluffy, self-help kind of direction so I ended up going to an American publisher. It’s written with a business audience in mind but it’s really written for everybody.”

which they got someone to make and it’s the nicest thing I’ve seen. I also wanted to go for a bench for the kitchen as I like the informality of it but Elaine says no, you can’t have Christmas dinner at a bench.” They’re not planning anything elaborate with the garden for the immediate future. “We got a price for the landscaping but we’re not doing it just yet. I’m sure we will put the whole thing into grass in the short term.” Everything is on schedule for them to roll up with the removal vans by the end of July. “We can’t wait to move in,” says David. He said they normally go to the Slieve Donard each Christmas and for summer holidays as it means Elaine gets a proper break. “For the first year ever we will have everyone over for Christmas – and I’m absolutely confident that when we’ve done it once, we will never do it again!”

Helping Hands 

Apart from writing his book, doing his shows and flying around the world doing corporate events and inspiring leaders, David actually has another passion inspired by George. “A couple of years ago George started to have more and more seizures and I started to appreciate how important his hands are. We were looking at ways of doing CSR (corporate social responsibility) and giving something back so we cam up with this great activity that we do with corporate clients. “We buy the raw materials for real clinical prosthetic hands and then challenge our clients

in a teambuilding activity to build them. We give them everything they need to do it and then we give those hands for free to people who need them in developing countries.” The hands are donated in the name of the company which built them. To date, recipients have been aged 6 to 80 years in Uganda, Cambodia, Vietnam and India. Many of them haven’t been able to earn a living for years. “In Belfast EY committed to it and they built 160 or 170 hands. These allow people to do the most basic things. The last clinic we ran was in India and 350 people turned up to that so it’s brilliant and I really enjoy it.”

29 March 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

Simplesteps tohelpsell yourhome A


HOME & INTERIORS | 11 Historic Royal Palaces collection by GP and J Baker

s Northern Ireland’s house prices are predicted to keep increasing in 2019, a leading interior designer is urging people to take some simple steps and make the most of the spring trends to increase SoftNord Tivoli collection the value of their home. Blowing Grasses by Siobhan McNeilly, With more people putting Clarissa Hulse for Bedeck Interior Designer home to be worth. their house on the market, at Wardens homeowners should be aware “There are certain decoraand find out what can of some of the key reasons that could delay tive trends that can instantly put help increase the chances the sale of their home and some of the potential buyers off, for example of selling your home or simple steps they can take to maximise the heavily textured wallpaper, get advice from an interiWallpaper or designer. At Wardens potential sale price. patterned carpets, artex ceiland fabrics by of Newtownards we have Siobhan McNeilly, Interior Designer ings, brick fireplaces and Ralph Lauren experience of working from Northern Ireland’s leading indewardrobes over the bed, pendent department store, Wardens of so vendors should conwith people on modern apartments to Newtownards, said: “If you’re thinking sider changing these period mansions and can help with about selling your home, it’s important to to make their property just the one room or an entire home consider which of your property’s feamore appealing to project. Whether you want to make the tures might be attractive or not. House more people. most of your living space or maximise prices on one street can vary hugely and “When getting ready the value of your home we can help you small things, for example its interiors, can to put your house on the Elegant bedding adapt your inspired idea into a practical change how much viewers perceive your market, do your research from Ted Baker solution,” Siobhan added.

The Interior Design team from Wardens of Newtownards have put together their top tips for homeowners... Think neutral décor. Good interior design ✱ should be based on classic decor, with high-quality products and materials. This

spring, there is a resurgence in stone and beige neutrals. We are seeing trends with greens and navy and blush is still a key trend. Clever use of these colours will make your home more inviting to potential buyers. Declutter. Ensure your house is organised and clear of clutter. Whether you are selling your house or want to create a better living environment, decluttering brings a sense of calm. Make better use of space. Look at the rooms in your house. Are you making good use of the space you have? Try moving furniture about, make the most of corner spaces by using stylish storage baskets or plants and add some contemporary shelving with co-ordinating accessories to bring some life to walls. Pay careful attention to furnishings. Don’t be afraid to mix textured fabrics in neutral schemes. This is a great way to add layers and depth to a scheme without going bold with colour. Don’t overlook the small details. Simple touches like statement console tables, modern light fittings, bespoke chairs and stylish duvet covers can be pleasing to the eye and enable potential buyers to envisage themselves living in the property. An eclectic mix of furnishings from different eras such as antiques in a contemporary setting will bring out the original features of houses and adds warmth to modern spaces.

Wardens of Newtownards was established in 1877 and is one of Northern Ireland’s most vibrant independent stores with seven departments and over 50 employees.


Belfast Telegraph | 29 March 2019


SebastianHerkner T he Maison & Objet trade fair in Paris in January is one of those huge international events where the trendsetters in interior design and art showcase their work. From the ocean of talent involved, Maison & Objet singled out German designer Sebastian Herkner as its Designer of the Year for 2019. Herkner (37) has been collaborating with some of the leading international design houses and has racked up more than 30 awards over the past 10 years. His work combines traditional craftsmanship and innovation for enduring appeal and he’s been at the vanguard of the move towards fusing tradition and technology. Here are some of Maison & Objet’s favourite Herkner creations... His Bell coffee tables have steel and brass platters set on a base made from hand blown Bavarian glass. Herkner designed

Herkner’s Oda lamp is inspired by images of water towers by Bernd and Hilla Becher

The clear lines and stylish practicality of the Grace serving trolley, designed for Schönbuch, is the perfect modern twist on a classic

the tables back in 2009 but it took three years before he could get any backing for it as back then, the concept was so revolutionary. When ClassiCon took it on, the table became an instant best seller. “It’s absolutely vital we revive all these traditional forms of craftsmanship before they get lost forever,” says Herkner. He took an internship with Stella McCartney to learn how fashion stylists put colour together. “Colour is often the very last thing that designers think about. For me, it’s always the starting point for the whole design process,” he says. “Different cultures, skills and lifestyles all fuel my inspiration,” Herkner says. His

Bernd and Hilla Becher’s Water Towers (Wassertürme) is on display in the Gugenheim Museum, New York, © 1980 Bernd and Hilla Becher work takes him to China, Canada, Thailand, Senegal and Columbia and he is also captivated by traditional materials such as leather and marble as well as works of art.

The iconic Bell coffee table


FindthelatestproductsatDonaghy Bros


or more than 50 years, Donaghy Bros, Kilrea, has proven to be one of Northern Ireland’s leading independent electrical retailers. Centrally located between the Causeway Coast and the heart of Mid Ulster, Donaghy Bros’ Flagship showroom showcases the world’s leading brands and products. The exceptional instore experience is matched by the excellent customer service, delivery and

aftersales service available. Donaghy Brothers was established back in 1964 by a young and ambitious Sean Donaghy. Sean saw the future and realised how electrical appliances were going to become an integral part of everyday life. He began repairing electrical equipment and specialising in TVs. As the business expanded, so did his knowledge, ambition and product range. Sean knew people would want the latest TV or washing machine before they knew it themselves! Those traditional values remain to this day and have been pivotal to the success of the business. We are fortunate to have a team of highly talented and energetic individuals, many of whom have been longstanding employees for several decades. Donaghy Bros staff uphold core values and provide you with exceptional customer service; if you are buying a microwave or a full house refurbishment, the experience is the same. Since the beginning, Donaghy Brothers have continued to evolve and respond to the ever-changing market, but what remains untouched is the relationship they have with their customers. That relationship does not end on the closing of

Bosch’s range of built in appliances are designed to show perfect alignment Dyson V11 Absolute-High Torque Cleaner Head with Dynamic Load Sensor Technology the sale – the administrative team at Donaghy’s will deal with any after sales enquiries in a timely and efficient manner. Donaghy Bros have decades old relationships with the world’s leading technology providers. As a result, we are always one of the first to release, demonstrate and retail the latest technology, designs and innovations. With a more discerning and knowledgeable customer base than ever before, our staff are trained to promote and demonstrate those products which are the most ethically sourced, energy efficient and resource friendly products available to the market.

Also, Donaghy Bros Pram Centre have a fantastic selection of baby brands available including exclusive names like iCandy, Egg and Uppababy. Offers and promotions are always available instore and online across the product range and our expertly trained team will help advise any potential buyers on the best offers available throughout the year. Donaghy Brothers demonstrates excellence across all its channels both online and in store. The quality of service and experience will be exceptional regardless of how the customer chooses to shop. So whether you are interested in something new for your home or looking for after sales care and advice, you will be sure to find what you need at Donaghy Bros, Kilrea.

Below: This Scandi design peninsula is a modern take on an old favourite, image from

Two tone goes to another level with this stunning Jefferson kitchen from Home Design Group, painted in Shell and Marine Black works well with warm wood

What’s hot inthe kitchen


or many householders, the kitchen is the heart of the home and the hub of much activity. In recent years it has evolved to make living and cooking as efficient as possible and is often the first room homeowners wish to remodel when planning a makeover. Whatever your dream space – country cottage, ultra-modern or traditional wood – there are numerous trends for 2019.

Black tap Image by Karolina Grabowska, from Pixabay

Making a simple change such as refreshing your kitchen colour can make all the difference to a room. From pewter to powder blue, clever storage to glass fronted cabinets, here’s a round up of the best kitchen trends.

Back to black

Black kitchens have become increasingly popular, reflecting the trend for using darker shades in the home. Re-emerging from its heyday in the 1980s, black offers a sharp contrast to kitchens devoid of colour and also adds a touch of elegance and class. It works well with warm walnut or oak, brass or bronze and brings your kitchen bang up to date for 2019.

Powdery pastels

Navy is replaced as the go-to hue for kitchen cabinets by softer, more powdery effect colours in pastel blues, sage greens, pewter and grey. If you can’t choose between blue and green, why not go for a new rich blue-green shade that has transferred from catwalk to interiors? Combine with white marble and brass lighting to help bounce light around the space and offset darker colours.

Blues and greens, image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Banquette seating is a real space saver, image from Architectural Digest

The personal touch

Kitchens are looking less clinical and minimalist and in 2019 will start resembling other rooms in the house, feeling more homely and comfortable. Among the key features of this trend are glass-panelled shelving, bookcases and kitchens filled with personal items like artwork, pottery and vintage rugs.

The peninsula

The island continues to be a much-desired aspect of the kitchen as a great place to perch and socialise. Add a few bar stools and you’ll have the perfect casual dining area. But if you’re looking for an alternative to the island, a peninsula is ideal. Attached to a wall, you only sacrifice access to one side but it has many of the same benefits of the island. Peninsulas particularly work well in a L-shaped kitchen.

Banquette-style seating

From bar stools to benches, the kitchen is fast becoming a popular communal space for hanging out and not just for dining. As a result, banquette-style seating is an emerging trend. Not only does it provide a more comfortable seating area to relax but it’s also an efficient use of space. Say goodbye to formal dining areas as family-friendly banquette seating looks set to

A kitchen can be as full of personality as you like, such as this one from www.mariakillam. com stick around for the foreseeable future.

Two-toned cabinetry

To keep the kitchen from looking too flat and sterile, why not play around with various colours and textures? Two-toned cabinetry brings warmth to the space as well as adding a dramatic visual impact. Two-toned cabinetry can work well in any style of kitchen, whether you choose two different colours of paint or one colour of paint and one wood. A good tip is to use a darker shade on the lower cabinets and lighter on the top. Not only will you be making a statement with the bold shade but the lighter shade on the top cabinets will draw the eye upward and help make the space look larger.


Belfast Telegraph | 29 March 2019

Think smart in the kitchen


eplacing or upgrading the kitchen is the most popular home improvement project householders tend to undertake. Not only does it add value to your home, but it also impacts on the way the home feels – especially if you’re extending your kitchen to incorporate more space for the family and friends to congregate. If you’re planning to refurbish your kitchen this year, your focus is likely to be on the layout, style and colours of the cabinets, floor and walls. While a couple of years ago, smart appliances

The Hive Active Heating Multizone, allows you to control your home’s heating and hot water wherever you are. They’re iOS and Android compatible and allow you to use your smartphone to adjust the temperature and set programmes

Crock Pot have launched a smart slow cooker which you can operate using the WeMo App, including turning it on and off and adjusting the temperature, about £405 from Amazon

The Weekett smart kettle can be switched on remotely and only heats the water to the optimum temperature for the drink you’re making. It’s controlled via an APP, Amazon Alexa or Google Home. Simply say Kettle on or tap on your phone, £79.90 from

were out of the price range for many householders, the rapid expansion of connected kitchens means a whole range of new ‘mod cons’ is well within reach. We’re all used to smart TVs and watches now, and increasing numbers of people use smart heating and lighting. A smart appliance can be operated from your smart phone, pc or tablet or by one of the voice activated home assistants such as Siri, Googe Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa. Alexa can convert measurements, keep track of a number of timers at once, look up recipes and much more from a simple device like an Amazon Fire or through the smart speakers Amazon Echo or Echo Dot. Download the Alexa app to access apps like

Spotify so you can listen to your favourite tunes while cooking. You activate it by saying ‘Alexa’, then ask it whatever you like, including to remind you about an appointment. Google Assistant is accessed by holding down the home button on an Android phone or you can download the app from the App Store, If you get a Google Home smart speaker, you activate it by saying ‘Hey Google’ and you can also use it to stream music and programmes from Chromecast and to make free calls online to landline and mobile numbers with a voice command as well as send text messages, hands free. It can also link to your Spotify account or play any music you like through Google Play Music. The smart speakers’ ability to connect to other smart devices through bluetooth or wifi means you can use them to control anything from lights to thermostats and locks. Use Alexa or Google Assistant to add items to a shopping list.

San Francisco smart desk with QI wireless charger, USB ports and 2.1 bluetooth speakers, £299, Wooden Furniture Store If you think you have to choose one or the other, check out IFTTT. It stands for If This, Then That. It’s a free service which links lots of different apps and services together - including Google Assistant and Alexa. You can use it to manage any of your smart devices, such as lights and security cameras, as well as to organise your social media.


Belfast Telegraph | 29 March 2019 The final stages of the extension

The early stage of the work

Extension proves O a‘bright’ idea

ften a house can tick most of your boxes and it’s only when you’ve been there a while that you decide to make some changes. That was the case for John and Roisin Reilly who were delighted with their dream home – a gated detached house in the countryside, a few miles from Enniskillen. At this time of year, the winding lanes leading to the

house are lined with daffodils and it’s not unusual to see red squirrels jumping from branch to branch in the trees in their large garden. The outhouses included a large garage and a sizeable playhouse and indoors there was a utility room, kitchen diner, three bathrooms, three bedrooms and a living room. However, after a couple of years, the


29 March 2019 | Belfast Telegraph The kitchen is bright and spacious

couple decided to take the plunge and add some extra rooms to accommodate their four children, Aine (14), Fiontan (13), Sean (11) and Niamh (8). “We decided to build an extension because we spend all our time in the kitchen and it was a bit small for us all to sit together. Plus whenever we have visitors they always end up in the kitchen too,” Roisin explained. “We ended up squeezing a sofa in to a corner of the kitchen but we wanted to have a place where we could all be in the room together and a sitting room adjoining the kitchen seemed the way to go.” From early on, the plans included two storeys. “The girls had always shared a bedroom and Aine needed a space for studying so it made sense to put a bedroom above the sitting room and it didn’t add much to the cost.” They enlisted the services of architect Robert Brown and were pleased with his plans. “We’d always thought we would build out into the back garden but he came up with the idea of building out to the side where you get the evening sun.

The tiles behind the cooker were an early purchase “The builder, Donal Corrigan was brilliant and project managed the whole job. They started the work at the end of Octo-

A painting by Leo Donaghey helps draw the colours together

ber 2017 and finished it in March 2018.” Roisin and John had installed a new kitchen before making a final decision to go ahead with the extension and the design for that dictated how the extension developed. “The old kitchen had used dark wood and black worktops and because it didn’t get much natural light, we decided to brighten it up. We carried that on through the extension, using the same travertine stone floor tiles throughout the kitchen, living room and into the hall. The floor tiles were the first thing I picked because they wouldn’t show up any dirt being tramped in by the children and the dog.” Roisin said it was quite difficult going from a neutral palette and trying to get everything to tie in but she had a blue-ish hue in the tiles she’d picked for behind the cooker which she brought through to the blinds and the artwork in the kitchen and sitting room. They bought a beautiful grey suite for the new sitting room and the focal point is

Everyone still congregates at the kitchen table (top). Roisin can keep an eye on things when she’s working at the peninsula (middle). The extension involved knocking through to the outside of the house and building on a spacious and open living room the large stone fireplace above which is a painting by her uncle, Leo Donaghey, who was a well known water colourist before he retired. Triple glazed windows mean the fire rarely needs to be used. They painted the walls throughout the ground floor and hallway a soft greeny-grey Pearl by Little Greene. “The blinds pulled everything together - they’re by Voyage and have blue, grey and yellow.” Having had a year to enjoy the new extension, Roisin says she still loves it, especially the larder and the peninsula in the kitchen. She can plate up dinners and keep an eye on what’s going on at the table or chat to whoever is visiting. “I also love the doors – we used all the old pine doors upstairs and got new white painted ones and painted all the skirting boards white. The whole place is really easy to keep clean. Funny enough though, we still spend most of our time sitting in the kitchen!”


Belfast Telegraph | 29 March 2019 Cotton Lampshade in Sunshine Yellow & Gold, £40, Red Candy

Into the Wild Fox Tea Towel, £6, Creative Tops

Feather Lane Wooden Toast Rack, £12, Creative Tops Katie Alice Bohemian Spirit Cereal Bowl, £9, Creative Tops

Flora Dining Chair, £523, Sweetpea & Willow

Boho Plate Shibori Navy, £8.95, Maxwell & Williams Llama Egg Cup, £8,50, Red Candy

Kew Meadow Bug Jug, £22, Creative Tops

Cinnabar Platter, £8, Dunelm

Anappetitefor creative dining M ake eating a real occasion with fun and colourful tableware. Crisp white linen and sparkling crockery has its place but feel free to be as experimental with dressing your dining table as you are in the kitchen. Floral, tropical and earthy styles are a good place to start but why

not have fun and mix it up a little? If you’re after a more classic look, you can’t go wrong with crisp blue and white. Black and white is another classic option but it’s elevated when showcased in earthy patterns. Here’s our pick of dining ware that’s quirky, elegant and just plain gorgeous. Now, to decide on the menu…

Ava & I Fuel Stackable Mug, £8, Creative Tops

Laguna Oval Serving Bowl, £22, Maxwell & Williams

Ava & I Flamingo Wine Glass, £10, Creative Tops

Contessa Teapot, £20, Maxwell & Williams

Pico 15 Stackable Wine Rack, £120, Red Candy

Watermelon Ceramic Salad Bowl, £30, Gisela Graham London Geo Spot Bowl, £5.99, Dobbies

Dahlia Dining Chair in Blossom Pink, £89, Cult Furniture

Pip Studio Floral Large Teapot, £45, Hurn & Hurn

Pip Studio Multicolour Teaspoons, £16, Hurn & Hurn

Boho Oblong Platter, £29.95, Maxwell & Williams


29 March 2019 | Belfast Telegraph A glass table and metallic legs bounce the light about this stunning dining room

All together now!


ur kitchens are often referred to as the soul of the home, the place where all is prepared and all are nourished. If this is true, then it is safe to say that the dining table is very much the heart of this soul - the uniting factor that brings us all together at the same time every day. Therefore you should ensure you take the time to give this important, staple piece the attention it so rightly deserves when choosing style, shape and placement in your home. Whether you abide by tradition by keeping a sense of formality with solid wood and ornate trimmings, fancy something more modern with glass tabletops and sleek finishes or are attracted to all things rustic, your dining table should emanate a sense of harmony with its surroundings. Choosing the right shape to fit your space and company can also be make or break in achieving that perfect dining space. While rectangular tables can fit seemingly into most spaces and allow room for any extra guests, circular or oval dining tables radiate a sense of intimacy and help to break up angular lines and soften the scheme of your room. Regardless of what route you decide to take in your styling, what needs to be constantly considered is how this space makes you feel as meal times can be the only part of the day that a family comes all together to enjoy each other’s company. One way

Food with family and friends to create a warming atmosphere around your dining table is ensuring it is always a well lit space as it allows you to appreciate the effort put in to prepare your meal, lets you see the faces of your dinner guests and can generate a more relaxing and inviting setting overall. Consider using natural light as the main source of lighting for your dining space as it can make it feel more vibrant and lively while also allowing it to appear larger than it actually is. Connections with nature and outdoors are the way to a healthy heart, so why not incorporate them into your dining space? Consider placing your table by some floorto-ceiling bi-folding doors to extend your room outdoors and choose some decorative pieces that complement your garden to build a sensual relationship that seemingly flows from your kitchen to outside.



Belfast Telegraph | 29 March 2019

Another year, another colour

A soothing living room with spiced honey wall

t’s no coincidence that the same colours making an impact on the runway are leading the charge into our homes in any given year. Colour experts study a vast range of areas to predict where the direction of travel is and the result is there are normally two big announcements, from Pantone and AkzoNobel’s Global Aesthetic Centre which sets the course for major paint brands such as Dulux.

Dulux – Spiced Honey

Dulux is signalling the move towards beiges and browns with this sophisticated pick. Dulux has come up with four palettes to work alongside this year’s shade. “Spiced honey is a beautifully versatile colour that can create a whole range of moods, depending on the palette you combine it with.”

Works with: Sophisticated, warm and elegant, depending on what it’s paired with, Dulux recommends pairing spiced

honey with warm neutrals like ochre and grey, muted pastels, rich tones like forest green, teal or terracotta red. or bright yellows, pinks, blues and greens.

Pantone – Living Coral

Pantone Colour Institute’s experts read trends across social media, fashion, movies and industry to arrive at their colour of the year. The company likes living coral’s ability to be vibrant yet mellow. “Living Coral embraces us with warmth and

nourishment to provide ‘lighthearted activity’ and comfort and buoyancy in that it symbolises our our continually shifting ‘innate need for optimism environment.” They and joyful pursuits’. say that people are ‘seeking authentic and Works with: Coral doesn’t immersive experiences go with everything but it’s that enable connection great with cooler maritime Pantone’s living and intimacy’ in the face colours like greys, blues, coral of digital technology. They turquise and greens. It’s also a reckon Living Coral is ‘sociable fresh take on peaches and cream for a and spirited’, ‘engaging’ and encouraging lovely summery vibe.


29 March 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

Jenny Jacquard Duck Egg Blue Throw, £30, Ragged Rose

Bloomingville Natural Woven Water Hyacinth Camo Side Table, £119, Hurn & Hurn

Bloomingville Cotton Cushion with Tassles, £30, Hurn & Hurn

Saybye-byetoboring withbeautifulboho


oho-chic is the modern interiors trend that keeps on giving. Key features of this trend include gypsy decor, utilising vintage fashion and creating eco vibes. Layering patterns, mixing colours, combining furniture styles and textures give those who do not fear the unconventional, freedom to explore the unusual yet fashionable. This ever popular trend will not only allow you to tap into your creative side, but inspire you to add the exotic and glamorous to your home and achieve that hippie dream. Boho is all about reinventing your space with a range of different materials, textures and items, allowing you to mix and match while still exuding whimsical harmony. Wooden accents and wicker features are a go-to for achieving that rustic boho feel. The Wicker Candle Lantern from Primark is the perfect accessory to add

bohemian flair to your home, whether it be inside or out, and really exudes worldly ‘worn-in’ charm. When it comes to colour schemes, there are no rules and experimenting with contrasting colours or patterns can transform what you might once have considered chaotic into your dream home. A statement centrepiece like the gypsy embroidery rug from Home Sense is the perfect way to brighten up a room while also adding interest and uniqueness to a space. Another top tip for decorating is attention to detail – accessories such as light fittings, throws and pillows, knick-knacks, mirrors and any other collectables are a must to nail this trend. Anything with feathers or tassles is a great start - the playful multicoloured embroidered cushion from Boutique Camping is a colourful extra that really embraces the trend.

Moroccan Pouffe Chocolate Mocha, £126, Bohemia Design

Trend report Large Peacock Chair, £599, Joglo and Roost Jalore Side Table, £349, Swoon

House Doctor Gold Triangle Dream Catcher, £32, Hurn & Hurn

Natural Rattan Pendant Ceiling Light, £209, Hurn & Hurn

Dutchbone Kubu Rattan Round Lounge Chair, £239, Cuckooland

Multicoloured Embroidered Floor Cushion, £19.99, Boutique Camping

Rustic Gilded Angel Wings Wall Art, £123.99, The Farthing

Parisian White Wooden Butlers Table, £142.50, The Farthing

Hana Flowers Cushion, £32, Oliver Bonas

Woven pouffe, £49.99, Home Sense

Rustic Nest Gypsy Embroidery Rug, £34.99, Home Sense

Cozy Living Queen Rattan Room Divider, £239, Cuckooland

Wicker Candle Lantern £14, Primark

Lisbon Living Square Corkback Tile Placemats 4pk, £7, Sainsbury’s Home

Global Pattern Carved Pedestal Mirror, £15, Sainsbury’s Home

Wall Hanging Piece, £10, Wilko


Belfast Telegraph | 29 March 2019 Spring interior by Sostrene Grene

Ikea’s Rustic Coast is big on washed out blues along with dark blues, cliff inspired greys and sandy tones

Trend report EyeScandi ✱

Wicker stool, from £12.33, Sostrene Grene

The Scandi trend has morphed into a new Nordic style which maintains that much loved comination of simplicity and comfort. Furniture is simple with clean lines and design flair and the addition of warm, natural fabrics and textiles shifts the atmosphere away from minimalist towards the cosier end of modern. The latest version creates more interest and depth in terms of textures and the addition of more colour – think restful and natural shades of lavender, sage and salmon or soft pinks. Among Ikea’s trends for SS19 are Rustic Coast, with faded blues, greys and sand and in complete contrast, Maximalist ScanPicnic cushion cover designed di which goes all out with ‘70s inspired by Swedish company Almedahls, bright colours and patterns. £13.50, Andshine

Nordic life, metal medium round vase, £18, Debenhams

Bring your Urban garden indoors with these on trend concrete candles. Once you’re done with the beautiful Salted Grapefruit scented candle, the pot is re-usable, £12, Andshine

Muuto is one of the biggest names in Scandi design and it’s sticking to its minimalist guns. It’s all about the lines with new signature pieces like this Cover chair by designer Thomas Bentze, £449, from Nest

Enjoy classic Scandinavian design with this Nordic Light candelabra designed by Jona Grundell for Scandinavian design group, Design House Stockholm. Made of wood, the small Nordic Light has four arms Modern Scandinavian cotton which unfold and move around to create different shapes, £69.50, canvas cushion, from £23.99, Abode Living Mode Prints

Beigeis back

Spring look from Next

Pols Potten Enamel Side Table, set of two in Pink/ Beige, £416, Amara

Large beige lustre glass vase, £15, Gisela Graham London

Grey and white are enduring favourites but the move towards warmer cream colours is ushering in the return of beige. Whatever your feelings about this hero of the ‘90s, it’s showing up more and more in trend forecasts. It looks great with black and/or white, brights, darks, pastels, blue and green and pretty much every shade. Another popular variation is greige – grey beige. If you are interested in the soothing sophisticated calm of beige, be careful that you stick to complementary undertones. A beige with a yellow undertone will clash with anything with a yellow undertone.


29 March 2019 | Belfast Telegraph Tropical Leaf wallcovering from Mind The Gap

Intothegreen ✱

Fresh, soothing, relaxing or intense – green in all its shades is a natural fit for any room in the house. This flexible colour lends itself to most trends thanks to its versatility, from yellow green through teal to darkest night forest shades.

Pip Studio Spring To Life green breakfast plate is made of high quality porcelain, £10, Hurn & Hurn

Trend report

Humber faux leather lounge chair, £429, Cult Furniture Blue and Beige button cushion, £14.99, TK Maxx

Betsy Armchair, Mink Velvet, £1,300, Soho Home Hand made in Nairobi, this red and beige gourd works in a boho context too, £39.99, Ian Snow

Eskimo wool blanket in beige, £111, Lapuan Kankurit Luxury soft faux fur beige rug, £24.95, Melody Maison

Beauticious 100% Wool beige rug, £220, Soft and sumptuous, this deep, smooth wool rug will add a cosy feel to any bedroom or living room. Made from 100% wool, it is available in three standard sizes or can be made to your own chosen dimensions.

This green fish float pendant light is made of hand-blown glass ball in manila rope netting – nautical and nice, £95, Cheeky Tiki Ltd

This unique Umage Butterfly Shelf in forest green doubles up as coat hooks and a neat little area to keep any small items like keys, within reach, £26, Sweetpea & Willow The Umage Audacious cabinet comes in five available colour options, this one is spring green. The tambour doors slide around the edge of the cabinet, letting you choose how much of the interior you want to be showcased, £659, Sweetpea & Willow

Green glass Set of six plant pot on iron St Eval stand, £32.95, dinner candles, £6, Audenza Sir Gordon Green glass vase, Bennett £16.99 HomeSense


Belfast Telegraph | 29 March 2019

Bejewelled riches

Luxurious red aluminium blinds, from £21.50, English Blinds Jonathan Adler Milano concentricloops cushion in emerald, 56x56cm, £128, Amara

Brixton towel in emerald, £12, Christy

Gorgeous, vibrant jewel tones have been showing up in our living rooms for a while and now rubies, emeralds and sapphires are set to add the finishing touch to everywhere from the bedroom to the bathroom. They shine against a white backdrop and add richness to a dark interior.

Faux mohair check throw with fringe, £35, JD Williams Striking rhombi stripe curtain from Zoffany

Trend report

Ellen armchair, Florence stool, Essential Home

Luxe velvet cushions, from £18, Harvey Norman

Luxe looks

Dutchbone Art Nouveau flower tub chair in black, £489, Cuckooland

Chandeliers don’t come much more luxurious than the Scala made with Swarovski crystals. The price is to match at EUR 29,970, from Luxxu

Our love of luxe continues unabated but with an unfussy feel. Simple, clean lines allow fabulous luxurious textures like velvet to be the star they are, teamed with brushed metallics and concrete. Shapes are inspired by Art Deco and features include rich fabrics, a statement chandelier and for a decadent touch, a stylish drinks trolley.

Dutchbone Mil drinks serving trolley, black with green marble, £399, Houseology Mind The Gap Waldorf Emerald wallpaper, from £150 for three rolls, Viva Lagoon

Loop glass and gold coffee table kuxe £355, printed floral floor lamp £150, Le Cocktail velvet twin chair £585, Oliver Bonas


29 March 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

An attic conversion can be stunning

Need more room to grow? C hanges mean challenges for many home owners. You might need to grow your space to accommodate a growing family, or make space for an elderly parent to move in. If you need more space but can’t face the upheaval of moving, adding an extension will create the additional area you need while boosting your home’s value. According to the National Association of Estate Agents, an additional double bedroom can add the most value to a property at more than 10%. Other profitable project

Conservatories are perfect for creating an extra room

are upgrading your kitchen, adding an extra bathroom or adding a conservatory.

Enlarge your space

You don’t need planning permission for an extension in Northern Ireland, if your proposed extension is less than half the total area of the property and if it doesn’t extend beyond the roof. See uk for details. A two storey extension offers the prospect of increasing your kitchen, with an open plan kitchen/dining area being very much in demand, or adding a reception room downstairs and a bedroom above it. An architect can save you money in the long run by coming up with a design that complements your existing structure and they can also come up with solutions to technical issues that may arise, particularly if you plan to extend to the front or side of your house. Ask for written quotes from two reputable contractors before deciding on a builder, as estimates can be wildly off target. The quotes will list the work to be done along with a breakdown of costs and should make clear whether VAT is included. Consider writing a financial impediment into the contract, so that the builder knows they must complete the work within the scheduled time. No matter what size of job you are having done to your house, make sure the quote is based on the completed job and not a daily rate which can lead to mounting costs.

Also, prepare yourself for major upheaval and make arrangements to stay elsewhere if possible while the work is going on. Make sure you have valuable furniture stored well out of the way as the dust generated by building work seems to get everywhere and continue to gather for weeks after the workmen have left the site.

Keep it simple

If you don’t want to go down that route, there are more straightforward options for adding rooms, upstairs or down. Converting the roofspace is a great solution, if yours is suitable and can be accessed from the landing and not another room. There needs to be adequate space overhead — 2.4m — as well as floor area. The sloping ceilings need to take up less than half the floor area for it to look right. You may also need to strengthen the floor to comply with Building Control. If your requirement is for extra space downstairs, a conservatory or sunroom, with a solid roof, could be the ticket. They are more popular than ever, adding space and light to your kitchen or living area, or creating a space for relaxing or entertaining. Even a modest sized conservatory can give the impression of creating a lot of extra space. There are blinds and treatments which can be added to a conservatory to make it a more constant temperature, whatever the weather. For a kids’ (or adults’) den, an office for working from home, or for Airbnb guests, a garden room may be the answer. Being

Make a feature of the stairs to the roofspace removed from the house, they give a welcome sense of separation. In the case of a home office, you are less likely to interrupted by family members and you have somewhere separate to take clients so they aren’t trekking through your home. Best of all, you have that physical sense of being done with work for the day when you shut up shop for the night.


Belfast Telegraph | 29 March 2019

Thinkprettypink… andbeautifulbronze I f you love a mix of femininity and decadence, this trend is perfect for you. Dusty pink and blush tones are gentle on the eye and subtle bronze adds a touch of decadence. You can really transform a small or large space with stunning, statement wallpaper. Milana Gold wallpaper (6) from Olenka Design is inspired by traditional Russian Khokhloma folk art with its rich history going back to the 17th century. All original patterns of Olenka’s wallpaper are hand painted by interior designer Olga. The collection contains natural motifs of leaves and flowers to create the dreamy mood, providing a lush, glamorous backdrop

for any room. Feminine, decadent and beautifully styled with a pinch of the past and a modern colour palette of tropical brights mixed with classic tones, these bold patterns bring colour, personality and fun to any space. You can also accessorise your home with fabulous items that nod to the pink and bronze trend such as the Tripod Desk Lamp from Cult Furniture (11) and even add a retro vibe with the Retro Telephone

in Brush Copper (7) from Cuckooland. Splurge on the Mini Feather Lamp from Sweetpea & Willow (14) and add texture to wooden floors with the Sheepskin Rug from Oliver Bonas (18). If you’re on a budget, we love the playful Pink Pom Heart cushion, which is a steal from Primark (1). We really love this trend, it’s easy to pull off with some clever buys and the result is a classy, serene space that will be the envy of your neighbours.





Trend report 5

12 7





Pink and bronze are perfect pairs with the Monacle dressing table from Portugese company Essential Home. It has golden brass drawers and engraved circles in the solid walnut body. A large front mirror fits inside a brass enclosure and two small bull’s eye mirrors that can be adjusted will guarantee a perfect finishing touch

8 13



16 17




1 Pink Pom Heart Cushion, £3, Primark ■ 2 Day Birger Et Mikkelsen Princess Cushion Cover, £36, Amara ■ 3 Cozy Living Marocco Small Velvet Pouffe in Rouge, £199, ■ 4 Pink Pendant Light, £34.99, HomeSense ■ 5 Pink Glass Vase, £5.99, TK Maxx ■ 7 Retro Telephone in Brush Copper, £65, Cuckooland ■ 8 Zuiver Cute Desk Clock in Pink, £25, Cuckooland ■ 9 Feike Tile Pattern Rug in Pink, £199, Cuckooland ■ 10 Swan Lounge Chair in Pink and Gold, £339, Cult Furniture ■ 11 Tripod Desk Lamp, £49, Cult Furniture ■ 12 Retro Bar Chair in Pink, £119.99, The Garden Furniture Centre 13 Bronze Sequin Cushion, £18, Arthouse ■ 14 Mini Feather Lamp, £2400, Sweetpea & Willow ■ 15 Quatrefoil Metal Side Table, £220, The French Bedroom Co ■ 16 Barbra Bronze Chair, £557, Sweetpea & Willow ■ 17 Soho Home Berwick Table Lamp, £140, Soho House Retail ■ 18 Sheepskin Rug Pink, £80, Oliver Bonas ■ 19 La Forma Versa Retro Table Lamp in Pink, £145, Cuckooland ■ 20 Pink & Gold Wire Metal Circular Wall Shelf, £36.95, Melody Maison


Belfast Telegraph | 29 March 2019

And breathe...

Make a real statement with a gallery wall or two

Bring those spring scents indoors with some seasonally adjusted fragrances.

Try one of Tulip Moon’s incredible luxury room diffusers – how about Rose, geranium, red mandarin and cedarwood atlas or Lavender bergamot and lime for the fresh scents of spring and summer, £20,

Fly ahead into summer with a Honeysuckle room diffuser, £10, Harvey Norman

Belleek Living Home Fragrance Range available in Jasmine, Sage & Eucalypus, Mimosa & Rosa, Jasmine & Vanilla, Fig & Bergamot, Earl Grey and Cedar Wood & Patchouli, from £10, range of stockists

Art,it’s foreveryone


rt and interiors have a lot of things in common – both are very personal forms of self expression and both tap into the creative side of the mind. It’s no wonder that they go hand-in-hand. Artwork in the home has become a massive interiors trend. Whether it be minimalist, classical, modern, contemporary or anything in between, choosing artwork to place inside your home should reflect your personality and complement what you find interesting regardless of style, era or medium. There are no rules when it comes to art so explore a variety of colours, subject matters and styles to see how they can instantly transform the atmosphere of a room. Whether you want your artwork to merge into the overall aesthetics of your space or contrast with it to create a more dynamic vision, it’s completely up to you. Browse the galleries in your area and you’ll be amazed at how

The wall art is a key component for this bright and summery room

affordable original art can be. Art is subjective - it challenges interpretation, starts conversations and creates interest which makes it a great focal point for any room. Don’t be afraid to push boundaries!


29 March 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

Go‘aunaturel’ withBiophilic design I Biophilia: ‘The urge to affiliate with other forms of life’

Leaf Bowl, £5.99, Home Sense

A by Amara - Slotted Wooden Hurricane Lamp Large, £75, Amara

s there anything as freeing as being at Original Style epitomises the Biophilia one with nature? Whether it’s a long walk trend and showcases its ability to can on the beach, a hike through the woods reinvent a space. or simply enjoying your own garden, this Incorporating this style can be achieved relaxing connection we feel with nature in a number of exciting ways, utilising is known as Biophilia and it is the ever nature to bring your space alive. Feel free growing interiors trend that will have any to experiment. Bringing plants and flowers room radiating beauty and wholeness. into your home or making the most of natBiophilic design works on reconnecting ural light is a great way to create a place our homes with Mother Nature in a way that celebrates the allure of being outthat is sustainable yet stylish and is the doors. Equally, representations of nature, perfect way of taking what we love such as fabulous prints and natural about the outdoors to enhance materials, evoke that feeling of our home interior. As well as a harmony and serenity that this fashionable way to transform trend works to encapsulate. your living space, it’s suggestThis beautiful printed wallpaed that Biophilic design has per from Next could be used to positive health, environmental, make any room in the house a and economic benefits with few beautiful nod to nature. downsides - so why wouldn’t you adopt the trend that keeps on giving in your home? Sofia Footstool, This beautiful bathroom from £595, Soho

Ceramic Draw Knob Olive Grove, £2.95, Rex London

Vogue Velvet Armchair in Poppy Grey by BePureHome, £309, Cuckooland A La Velvet Palm Tree Cushion Cover, £46, Amara

Trend report Mustard Quilted Bed Spread, £50, Sainsbury’s Home

House Retail La Forma Creswell Solid Wood Side Table, £275, Cuckooland

Giant Palm Duvet Cover Set, £10, George Home

La Forma Greta Mango Wood Chest of Drawers, £695, Cuckooland

Wilko Debossed Vase 2pk, £8, Wilko Concrete side table, £29.99, Home Sense

Reactive Glaze Vase, £8, Wilko Ginko Tree Jewellery Stand, £26, Oliver Bonas Fab Hab Serowe Outdoor Rug, £49.95, Cuckcooland

Terrazzo Soap Dispenser, £4, Primark

Paste the wall banana leaf wallpaper, £20, Next

La Forma Laurent Recycled Teak Lounge Chair, £415, Cuckcooland

Original Style Living Hothouse Tiles, £79.95, Original Style

Ferm Living Hand Woven Mirage Cushion, £59, Amara


Belfast Telegraph | 29 March 2019

Patterned Letter Tray Threadwork Calamine and Yellow, £25, Cambridge Imprint

Spring colours from Debenhams

Valentina Mini Bowl, £8, Oliver Bonas Retro Scandi abstract wall art, £12, Debenhams

Vari Table Lamp Yellow, £68 , Oliver Bonas

Vox Concept Bedside Cabinet in White & Yellow, £155,

Moore Check Throw, Mustard, £95, Soho Home

Eland Head, £80, by Abigail Ahern at Debenhams

I Catalina Table Lamp, £145, Soho Home

Globe Light in English Mustard, £69.95,

Sunshine forrainydays

t started with a few rays but this year, yellow is flooding into our homes, grabbing centre stage in everything from walls to furniture. It’s a wonderful contrast to a monochrome scheme and serves as a pick-me-up in any room.... lemon towels in a black and white bathroom, ochre adding richness to

a grey scheme, mustard bringing warmth to blues and greens, and pale yellow hues radiating from a sea of pastels... It can be vibrant and punchy or soft and joyous and even works well in the darkest of colour schemes. So what are you waiting for? Let the sunshine in this

Ceramic Shadow Spot Layered Vase, £50, Orla Kiely Bloomingville yellow Tassel Edged Cotton Throw, 160x130cm , £19, Amara

Large mustard hexagon table, £25, British Heart Foundation

Trend report Snake cushion, £55, by Abigail Ahern at Debenhams

Marimekko Rosarium Cushion Cover, 50x50cm in White Red Yellow Blue, £29.50, Amara Vox Concept 3 Door Wardrobe in Grey & Yellow, £595,

Strom Range Yellow ceramics from Designist


Belfast Telegraph | 29 March 2019 Wood: Crosswater Wild toilet, Glenhill Merchants

Materialsfora stand-outbathroom BY SOPHIE MCLAUGHLIN

Black: This marble effect Caterina tile makes a real style statement, Exquisite Tiles


ndustrial aesthetics are quickly becoming the must have bathroom trend of 2019. Updating your bathroom with a new utilitarian makeover embraces minimalism while creating a style that is both rugged and refined. A key element of achieving this industrial style is playing with contrasting materials in order to add texture to the room and give it that perfect ‘unfinished’ feeling.

A solid statement

Becoming an ever popular bathroom material, concrete is a stylish and practical choice for everything from walls and floors to counter tops. Not only does it lend itself to sleek designs, it is almost indestructible, making it easy to clean and maintain and also, it can be installed with ease. What makes it the perfect material for reinventing your bathroom is that it shares organic characteristics of natural stone but also has the ability to be cast into any shape,

Specifically designed for a bathroom environment with its IP 44 rating, this luxurious boutique chandelier adds the finishing touch to a more traditional bathroom scheme, £175, Frontline Bathrooms

Vintage retro 3 panel wall mirror, £79.95, Melody Maison

Store items with style in this Alston Wave double door cabinet, £215, The Pure Bathroom Collection from Smiths Briten Industrial metal shelves are designed around factory tables, £295, The Farthing



ny room scheme benefits from the addition of the right accessories and that includes the bathroom, whether you want towels and a mat to draw together elements from the

Add texture to a neutral bathroom with a chunky bobble bath mat, £12, Soak and Sleep

allowing you to chose a colour and finish to suit your design.

For an industrial finish, embossed grey glass toilet brush, £12, Dunelm

The Atelier bath bridge is available in light or dark oak, £50, Lime Lace

tiles and paint, or simply to inject some sophistication or personality into the space. There’s lots to choose from on your local high street. Here are some suggestions to give you inspiration... The Dado range of metal accessories includes this funky toilet brush, Enhance a vintage bathroom with this metal door £25, Made plaque, £5.95, Melody Maison

Copper and concrete tumbler, £12, Red Candy

Wrap yourself up in a super soft saffron towel from the Bliss collection, from £5, Deyongs

Store towels in style with the Hula natural fringe basket set (2), £185, The Farthing

Brighten your morning with this Jasmine fold-over toiletry bag, £29, Beaumonde

Orla Kiely’s iconic Stem pattern appears in multicoloured form in these towels, from £4, Hurn and Hurn

Complete an industrial or vintage look with fittings like this copper pipe and iron toilet roll holder, £49, Lime Lace


29 March 2019 | Belfast Telegraph Solid: Kast concrete basin, David Scott Tiles

3D: The Aria Aurum from Exquisite Tiles

Wooden it be nice

Natural materials such as wood are a great way to balance out the colder concrete and add a rustic element to the industrial style. Wood, whether it be flooring, panelling or accessories, adds a warmth and softness which is essential in creating style and comfort. Why not start by using reclaimed wood in a feature piece such as a vanity or on counter tops? Not only is it eco-friendly but it complements the minimalist design by giving it that ‘worn-in’ look.

Why stop at two dimensions?

If you decide to introduce tiles into your dream bathroom, consider using 3D textured tiles as a creative alternative to this staple material. Add interest to the usual old plain tile and make your choice more

visually appealing by adding in this new dimension. The contemporary uniqueness of textured tiles fits in almost flawlessly with the desired industrial opulence and with such a large variation of styles of 3D tiles out there, the possibilities are endless.

Black is the new black

Nothing says fresh and stylish like black detailing and accents. If you are aiming for a monochromatic masterpiece, the increasingly popular trend of installing matte black tap-ware and showers will

be right up your street. Black’s status as a neutral colour means that it works with almost every colour scheme and therefore can be incorporated into a range of different styles, making these taps the elegant additions you didn’t know you needed.


29 March 2019 | Belfast Telegraph Add interest with lanterns like these from Lights4Fun

Fireplace painted in Moles Breath, Farrow & Ball

Warmathearth W hether you suscribe to the Scandi concept of hygge or are a natural home-maker, to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere, a few essentials are required. First off, the room shouldn’t be cluttered as that creates stress. Less is more when it comes to bringing calm to the environment. Dim lights, table lamps and candles bring a cosy ambiance while throws and rugs are perfect for snuggling down with a cuppa and a book. One area worth paying attention to is your fireplace as it’s very much the focal point of any room. Relax and enjoy the light and warmth from anything but an open fire to a wood burning stove or the stunningly realistic new breed of gas and electric fires which are not only aesthetically pleasing but so easy to operate. If you want to heat more than one room, and who doesn’t in our ever changing climate, make use of thermostatic valves on your radiators. These close each radiator as a room heats up to the desired temperature. This will heat your house quicker and lets you control the temperature of individual rooms more accurately. If you are considering major changes, bear in mind that with an open fire, 70% of the heat generated escapes up the chimney, making it the least efficient way to heat your space.

a fire log is a useful and green alternative. Firelogs are made of sawdust and petroleum wax and were created by companies as a e way to dispose of waste sawdust. They are wrapped individually and you simply light a corner of the paper wrapping with a match and sit back. As you are only advised to light one at a time, they won’t do if you are hankering after a roaring log fire but they are a useful alternative and are much simpler and cleaner to use than the traditional alternatives.


They do the same as wood burning stoves but you can also use coal and peat. They are more expensive to buy and less

For a mild evening when you want to relax by the fire but don’t want it to be too hot,

Wood burning stoves

Stylish, aromatic and eco friendly, wood burning stoves heat the home efficiently and can be free-standing or built in. Light your wood burning stove, turn the heating off and the radiators will stay warm. A possible drawback is storing the fuel which needs to be seasoned wood. You can also use wood pellets and paper logs - great if you are into recycling your paper waste and have a handy compressor in the shed. Wood burning stoves are cheaper to run than oil or gas fired central heating but they are harder to maintain, needing regular cleaning. You also need to make sure they are properly ventilated because of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Multi-fuel stoves


Fantasticrangeofproductsat AJ Plumbing Supplies Ltd


J Plumbing Supplies Ltd is a local company that has been in business since 1979. It is one of Northern Ireland’s largest plumbing and bathroom suppliers. The head office is in Newry, along with AJ Elite Bathrooms. AJ Plumbing also has branches in Ballynahinch and Banbridge. All branches carry an extensive stock of materials required by the plumbing and heating installer. Supplies range from radiators, stoves and sanitaryware. They have a fantastic range of sanitaryware on display in their bathroom showrooms and are always up to date on market

trends and demands. AJ also has a wide range of multi-fuel stoves and range heating cookers on display in its heating showroom. AJ is involved in the supply of sanitaryware to a number of new residential developments, commercial/ office projects and hotels throughout the north and south of Ireland. Showroom staff will always be available and happy to discuss and advise you. AJ Plumbing takes pride in its high level of customer service, stock levels, advice and reliability and looks forward to further growth. Find out more at:

environmentally friendly than a wood burning stove but the coal and peat option means you can generate a lot of heat when required. Dimplex stoves are designed to be easy to clean and effortless to operate, providing controllable heat and comfort when you need it. You can get stoves that heat just the room they are in, the whole house or the house and water as well.

Gas fireplace

You can have a gas fire even if you don’t have gas central heating. These eco friendly, low maintenance, cheap to run stoves can be installed anywhere and can be vented through an existing chimney or you can make a vent for them. The double-sided versions are particularly popular, as they make a feature out of a wall and heat two rooms simultaneously. Quick and easy to light, with the push of a button or command via your phone, they have much to recommend them.

Electric heater

They might have fallen out of favour but

A free-standing stove can become a focal point for the living room, like this Stanley Lismore stove, which is suitable for burning wood or coal, from AJ Plumbing Supplies there is still a lot to be said for an electric fire or radiator. They don’t need a chimney, there’s no risk of dangerous gas leaks, they need no maintenance and you simply plug them in and switch them on when you need them. Modern electric radiators have timers and thermostats, giving you even more control. However, they are better for heating a small space for a short amount of time, given the cost of electricity.

Vogue medium woodburning stove


Belfast Telegraph | 29 March 2019 Laura Ashley SS19 floral courtyard bedroom Arlette bedroom collection , Oak Furniture Land

Yourfirst‘grown up’bedroom



here comes a point in every on walls will give your room a woman’s life when she must take more spacious feel and create down the boy-band posters, throw a peaceful, feminine setting for out all the old teddies you to enjoy. Try pairing and gradate from her two or three pastel teenage room into adultcolours together hood. Whether moving and keeping this into your first home as a recurring or simply giving your theme throughchildhood bedroom a out the room much needed update, through your designing and decorating choice of bedyour bedroom can be a ding, accessories great way of exploring your and details. style and removing any unSome colours wanted clutter from your life. that pair really Everyone has their own individual great together are taste so your space should be a Laura Ashley floral lilac and mint, Vox Concept bedside reflection of your personality and courtyard decor pale blue and cabinet in white and red somewhere that you view as your yellow, and grey £155, Cuckoo Land personal haven. Here are some and pink. of the most popular bedroom trends for young women to assist you in the decoraFloral fantasy tion of your dream room. Floral prints never go out coordinating around some of style and act as a great new bed sheets and pillows, Perfect pastels centre-piece to build your room starting with a floral pattern can Pastel colours are always a go to choice upon. Whether you have a statebe a great way to choose a colour for creating a light and calming enviment wall that is top to bottom Harmony white from scheme to run with. If you want to ronment for your bedroom. Pale colours with some fancy flora or you are Kelly Hoppen take a more subtle approach to this trend, hanging framed prints of different flowers is always one way Spring style, River Island to brighten up a room.

Less can be more

If you are a person who doesn’t like much fuss, a minimalist approach to decorating is the way forward. Stick to more muted colours such as whites, creams and greys to create that crisp and clean aesthetic that will complement you and your style. To keep a serene atmosphere in your space, avoid clutter which would counteract the simplicity of your room. One way to manage clutter is to keep your storage options to a minimum and only choose furniture that will hold your essentials – extra room only allows things to pile up.

Big, bright and bold

What better way to wake up in the morning than surrounded by a wealth of colour to generate a positive mindset for the

Single black metal four poster bed by Woood, £219, Cuckoo Land rest of the day. Say goodbye to boring and reinvent your bedroom with a rainbow of colours that speak to your personality and radiate fun and joy. Utilise colour in every aspect of the room through paint, wallpaper, furniture and flooring and feel free to experiment with whatever combinations inspire you most.

It’s all in the detail

Choosing the right accessories and decorations is a perfect way of adding little bits of ‘you’ to your room. Bunting, fairylights, pillows and light fittings are some of the most traditional ways to personalise your bedroom and create a cosy and feminine vibe. Choose things that are personal to you such as family photos, awards and artwork and display them on your walls to remind you of what is important in your life.


Belfast Telegraph | 29 March 2019

Children’s Mini Teepee Play Tent, £41.95,

Leo Paper Star Battery Fairy Lights, £12.99, Lights4Fun

Createa dreamy nursery foryoursun, moonandstars

Handmade Moon and Stars Mobile by Tinyppl, £27.50, White

Stamford Cot Top Changer, £79.99, Wooden Furniture Store

D’ya Think E Saurus Bone China Blue Wallpaper, £60 per 10 metre roll,

Wall Mounted Pink Glittery Unicorn Head, £30.95, Melody

Wooden House Shelf, £95, Bobby Rabbit

Smoked Oak Cloud Lamp, £64, Andshine Infinity Mirror Star Light, £9.99, Oyoy Follow the Rainbow Wall Rug, £90,


Olli Ella Nyla Changing Basket, £55, Hurn &

xpecting a bundle of joy? Congratulations! You’re no doubt giving lots of thought to creating a beautiful nursery for him or her. Whether or not you’re choosing to know the sex, it’s a good idea to opt for neutral shades or soft mossy greens, mellow yellows or duck egg blues. You want this to be a calm, serene space for both you and your baby. It’s a good idea to paint three walls and have one as a feature wall. This way, you’ll only need to repaper one wall when your little one decides they want dinosaurs or unicorns! Wall stickers are another

fun option if you want to add your own artistic flair. Let your imagination run wild – you want the room to provide infinite inspiration for your child. Have fun with it and don’t but pressure on yourself. Most babies won’t sleep in their own room until they’re at least six months old, so there’s no absolutely no need to have everything done by the time baby arrives. Here are some gorgeous ideas for a little boy or girl. We love the lighting options from Lights4Fun, fabulous wallpaper from PaperBoy and furniture from Melody Maison. The possibilities are endless – so bring your dreams to life with a magical space for you

Fiona Walker Tiger Felt Animal Storage Bag,

Lamb Rug, £34.99,

Medium Storage Basket Winter Blue Petrol Blue, £38, Bobby 366 Rocking Chair, £650, Lime

Little Bird Told Me Celeste & Fae Unicorn Rocker Rocking Horse, £99.95,

The Final Frontier Blue Lampshade, £75,

Soft Grey Llama Knitted Throw, £53, Beaumonde Floral 8 Drawer Tallboy Chest of Drawers, £196.95, Melody Maison

Star Tabletop Neon Light, £9.99, Lights4fun


Belfast Telegraph | 29 March 2019 Souk 5 Light Multi Colour Chandelier, £129.99, Dar Lighting

Makeyourdream bedroomareality W e spend up to a third of our lives sleeping and far from being wasted time, it’s vital not only for physical health but also our mental and emotional wellbeing. A good night’s sleep helps with everything from weight control to concentration, fighting off illness and feeling good in the morning. If you struggle to get off to sleep, or wake up feeling uncomfortable during the night, perhaps it’s time to make a change. A good place to start is at Harvey Norman’s new Flagship Sleep Gallery at its Boucher Road store. There, a team of sleep specialists can advise you on what sort of bed, mattress

Micro Light Heart with pegs Photo Holder, £12.99, Lights4fun

and even pillow, is best for you. They also take the pain out of getting your new bed home with free delivery on all mattress and furniture spends over £500. What’s more, they’ll take your old mattress away, strip it down and recycle or dispose of it in a sustainable way so that you can sleep easy, without worrying about the environment. If a bedroom is on your ‘to do’ list this spring, here are some great options to furnish it. Stop daydreaming and create the bedroom of your dreams.

Calvin Armchair in Green Velvet and Linen, £399, Atkin and Thyme Pip Studio Floral Clear Glass Vase, £50, Hurn & Hurn

Fringed Bedside Cabinet, £765, Out There Interiors

Safari Bedding Set, £25, Sophie Allport Louise Table Lamp, £98, Dar Lighting

Floral Porcelain Votive Set, £24, Beaumonde

Manor Orangery Scented Candle, £32, The French Bedroom Co Ornate Rose Triple Mirror, £39.95, Melody Maison

Watch Me Wall Clock, £35, Red Candy

Rosa Orange Velvet Pouffe, £180, Ragged Rose

Elizabeth Scarlett Palmier Cushion, £60, Sweetpea & Willow

Fern Bedside Drawers, £249, Atkin and Thyme Rene Blush Velvet King Size Bed, £999, Danetti

Amelia Storage Footstool in Natural Oatmeal, £369, Oak Furnitureland

Chartreuse Yellow Velvet Throw, £198, The French Bedroom Co Motif Love Sequin Cushion, £39, Cult Furniture

Sterling Silver Free Standing Mirror, £199, The French Bedroom Co


29 March 2019 | Belfast Telegraph Pip Studio Woodsy Pink Duvet Cover & Pillowcase Set, £110, Hurn & Hurn

Love Coral Velvet Cushion Cover, £35.95, Audenza Bluebell Taransay Pillowcase, £18, Hurn & Hurn Pansy Floral Print Cushion, £35, Ragged Rose

Flora Chest of Drawers, £229, HomeSense

Brionna Accent Chair, £399, DFS

Wisteria Wallpaper Coral by Pearl Lowe, £120, Woodchip and Magnolia

Afloralflourishto finishyourspace P ay tribute to Mother Nature with an injection of fabulous florals in your home. While pinks and reds are pretty, Living Coral is this year’s go to hue. Vibrant, yet mellow, Living Coral embodies warmth, nourishment and buoyancy. Make a statement with a feature wall or adorn your sofa

with coral-infused cushions and throws. If coral is a little too loud or just not your thing, you can always opt for soft and eye-pleasing pastels. It’s your space so let your natural impulses guide you. Florals will instantly improve your mood and awaken your senses as a bright new season unfurls its verdant tendrils.

Velina Tropical Wallpaper, £109, Olenka Design

Blue and White Chaise Lounge, £299, HomeSense

Large Full Floral Cushion, £34, The French Bedroom Co

Pink and White Throw, £16.99, HomeSense

Vintage Gold Floral Wall Mirror, £28.95, Melody Maison Natural Wooden Floral 9 Drawer Chest of Drawers, £139.95, Melody Maison

Ted Baker Splendour Bed Cushion, £40, Amara

Floral Notice Board, £20, Dunelm


Belfast Telegraph | 29 March 2019



atching the quality of care given to the inside and the outside of your home can often be tough, especially living in Northern Ireland where the weather is anything but predictable. The exterior of our homes can become neglected and begin to look worse for wear. You don’t have to be a gardening professional in order to reinvent your outdoor space – here are some simple

tricks and tips to breathe some life into the outside of your house.

Splash on a lick of paint

You would be surprised how a simple retouch can give your house a much needed face-lift. Whether you chose to just go over the existing colour or feel inspired to try out something new, painting your home is something that you can carry out yourself to make it look as good as new. Consider painting any windowsills or even your front door to radiate the creativity of what you have inside on the outside.

Dig the lawnmower out of the garage

These bird houses are ornamental as well as useful for their feathered inhabitants

Nothing ruins the aesthetics of the exterior of your home than an unkempt garden. Overgrown grass, untrimmed bushes, weeds and dead plants can instantly kill your houses’s ‘kerb appeal’ and by taking time to tackle these imperfections, you will be able to feel more house proud in relation to your exterior. If you have children who are needing some way of earning their pocket money, why not kill two birds with one stone and have them help out with these tasks and keep them involved.

Create a floral frenzy

You can never have too much colour to brighten up the outside of your house. Create a botanical fantasy by planting a range of flowers and plants what will inspire you to continue to care for your garden. Many types of fruit and veg can also be grown in your garden in various months of the year - reserve a small area for a vegetable patch or green house and give a formerly boring space a new lease of life.

Spring cleaning is not just for indoors Let your planting complement the style of your home, as in this cottage garden

Keeping our homes fresh and tidy is essential, but this doesn’t mean that our outdoors don’t deserve a bit of TLC too.

Things as simple as cleaning windows, brushing up leaves or clearing out the gutters can take your home from looking a bit grubby and unloved to spick-and-span. If you want to achieve a more thorough clean, investing in a power-washer or paying a company to come and hose down your house and drive can be a great way to get the place looking spotless.

Decorate your space

Summer is coming which means that barbecue and paddling pool season is just around the corner. A great way to make your garden a standout is by creating an outdoor haven. Simple touches such as fairy-lights, colourful plant pots, bird houses or bunting all liven up a dull patio. Who says your home’s exterior can’t be full of style and personality too?

A tidy lawn boosts your home’s kerb appeal and lets your spring flowers shine


Gethelpwith yourgarden


he winter can take its toll on the garden. If yours isn’t quite making the grade as a glorious celebration of spring, perhaps some professional help is in order. Stormy weather can leave a trail of destruction with damage to plants and fencing while the wet mid March means clay soil is likely to be too sodden to walk on. Whether your garden is in need of major work or some tlc, the team at Maypole Gardens in Bangor are on hand. And with Maypole Construction part of the same group, adding a patio, decking or even a conservatory is no problem. Among the many services on offer are powerwashing drives and patios, laying

gravel or paths, mowing lawns, digging borders and tidying up hedges, even replacing them if necessary. It’s easier to keep on top of weeds with a good layer of bark chipping and Maypole can supply a range of mulches. As well as gardening and construction companies, the business includes Maypole Lawnmower Centre. Why not call in at 3 Balloo Way, Bangor, BT19 7QZ, and have a look at the range of quality equipment, from hedge trimmers through to ride on mowers. For further details call 028 9146 7644 or see and and follow Maypole Lawnmower Centre on Facebook.

Building or cleaning decking and fencing is all part of the Maypole service

29 March 2019 | Belfast Telegraph




fter the seemingly endless winter, spring has finally arrived! If you have a project in mind, now is the time to get started. A well planned outdoor area is perfect for dining al fresco and garden parties, however, with outside dining comes the mess, spilled wine, ketchup, animal paw prints… the list continues, and cleaning up after accidental spills can end up taking a substantial amount of time. Homeowners can often be time poor and are increasingly looking for low maintenance solutions. With these concerns in mind, Tobermore’s Mayfair with sparkling granite aggregates and Beaufort paving with a natural stone effect are now available with EasyClean – technology that enables spills to be wiped away with ease. The first product of its kind in the UK and Ireland, the paving flags are treated with EasyClean technology during the manufacturing process, allowing for built in protection. The inevitable spill won’t end up as a stain as most simply wipe away with a soapy cloth, similar to cleaning a tiled surface or worktop. It’s also reassuring to know that stains from muddy boots and gardening mess are never a problem for this paving. Caring for EasyClean paving is a straightforward process as its easily cleaned surface allows for dirt and debris to be washed away without the need for vigorous scrubbing or power hosing. EasyClean is the perfect paving product for those who wish to keep their outdoor space as clean as the day they bought it.

Relax,it’s EasyClean Patio with EasyClean Beaufort paving At your local Tobermore paving centre, we can assist you with designing your outdoor space using EasyClean – leaving you more time enjoying your paving and

less time cleaning! Tobermore has a wide range of landscape design services available including in-house, site call out and

premier service. Contact your local paving centre on 028 7964 2411 or visit www. to book your landscape design consultation now!


Belfast Telegraph | 29 March 2019

A stunning patio will make everyone want to spend more time outside

Love yourown



ouldn’t it be bloomin’ lovely if Alan Titchmarsh and his team turned up at your home to breathe new life into your

garden? As his successful television programme Love Your Garden proves, even the most over-grown, unattended or unattractive gardens can be transformed into a work of art, with the right amount of careful planning and creativity. Garden landscaping is the perfect way to design a beautiful space to sit and relax in, entertain or let the children play. And though budget will determine just how amazing your redesign will be, it’s still possible to create a dream space on a shoestring.

An informal garden, image by Cocoparisienne from Pixabay A 3D rendering of a more formal scheme

ger and not forgetting a skip to get rid of hard landscaping waste.

Set a budget

A budget of between £100 and £500 will allow you to prune, trim and weed, add some colour with seasonal plants and accessories, regravel or add bark to stop weeds pooping up. A bigger budget up to £1,000 means you can hire a gardener or invest in materials for a new patio. Between £5,000 and £10,000 you can afford to bring in a designer/landscape gardener to help your money go further and create that ‘wow’ factor. A larger budget will mean you can splash out on major hard-surfacing and high quality planting to give you a gorgeous garden that will look amazing for years.

Homework first

All good ideas begin with research. Know your garden and what will work. Take into consideration elements such as walls, hedges and fences, lawn and patios. Do you want areas to dine or play? What sort of shrubbery are you keen on? One way of sussing out your ideal garden is to visit garden centres or seek advice from a neighbour or friend whose garden you admire. Having a clear vision of what you want is key so sketch out what you have in mind before you take it to the gardener or tackle it yourself.

Pick a style

Decide what style of garden you want, relaxed or formal. Relaxed gardens tend to steer away from straight lines and planting is less structured. Formal gardens are neat, clipped, less curved. Pay attention to your house style too. A home designed for com-

Plans and plants

fort works better with a similarly laid-back outdoor space.

Get a pro

If your budget permits it, hiring a professional landscape gardener is the way to go as trying to determine just how much to spend on building work, hard landscaping, shrubbery, water features and lighting can be quite mind-boggling. A landscape gardener will not only take

the pressure of budget headaches but will be able to give good advice on your design ideas. If you decide to go down the DIY path instead, there are plenty of online guides or books to turn to for tips. The materials you will need – timber and decking, paving, bricks, paints, concrete, mortar and render – can be purchased from garden centres and builders’ merchants. You may also need to hire a cement mixer or a dig-

Other issues to take into consideration include whether or not you will require planning permission. Check with your local council for details on this. Also timeframe is important. If you’re planning hard landscaping, it’s best to do it in winter, ensuring the garden is ready for some serious planting in spring. Choosing a good selection of flowers, trees and shrubs to plant is the easiest way to transform any garden, from urban patch to country estate and potted flowers and plants are perfect to add colour as well as being simple to move around.


Belfast Telegraph | 29 March 2019

1Hoe down

If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to get on top of weeds before they start to take over. Hoe beds and borders and tackle weeds on paths and patios now. Powerhose or hand weed them if you prefer not to use weedkiller.

2Feeding time

The compost bin should be warming up now

9 A

jobsto tackle inApril

pril can be hit and miss in the garden with warm sunshine one minute, rain lashing your borders the next and still the occasional frost waiting to nip your best laid plans and plants - in the bud. With spring growth taking off, there’s lots to do on those dry days to help your garden look its best for the months ahead. Here’s our tips for what to do this coming month...

Roses and other hungry shrubs benefit from a good feed at the start of the growing season. Once you’ve cleared a bed or border of weeds, give shrubs a good feed of general purpose fertiliser such as blood fish and bone or chicken manure pellets, then add a layer of mulch. Trees and hedges will also thrive on a sprinkling of balanced, slow release fertiliser which should be lightly forked into the soil.

3Get mulching

Mulch is great for suppressing weeds, improving the soil and helping to prevent the soil from drying out in summer. You can also mulch container grown plants. Mid to late spring is the ideal time for mulching. Use non-biodegradable materials such as pebbles or slate purely for a decorative finish or improve the soil for your plant with a biodegradable or organic mulch such as seaweed, well rotted manure, compost, leaf mould etc. Be careful to avoid the mulch coming into contact with plant stems. Depending on the type of mulch, you may need to give plants extra water to be sure that it reaches the roots.

4Lend support

Growth is in its early stages so this is the ideal time to repair trellis or fences and

put in supports for plants that need them. Tie in climbers, such as clematis and honeysuckle, as well as top heavy plants and those which tend to get battered about in the wind. While you’re working, check that last year’s ties aren’t too tight and loosen any that look as if they might damage the tree or shrub they’re attached to. Get cages or hoops for your peonies and phlox before they get bushy. The supports will help the flowers look their best and you can barely see them once the foliage takes off. For veg and fruit crops, simple canes are all that’s necessary.

Tackle weeds now

5Divide to multiply

To multiply your favourite perennial plants, the cost-free way to do it is to divide them. Not only will you gain new plants but the old ones will be healthier for it, if they have become crowded. Lift and divide perennial plants when they have finished flowering or before they start growing to improve their vigour and create new plants for your garden. Some plants that can be divided now include primroses, hostas, bamboos, waterlilies.

6Watch out Jack

While spring has sprung, late frosts can still be a problem, particularly for fruit flowers so keep an eye on the forecast and keep your horticultural fleece at the ready.


Tidy up

Cut back dead foliage on perennials or ornamental grasses and deadhead or trim back winter flowering plants such as pansies and heathers. Deadhead your spring bulbs once they are finished flowering but allow the foliage to die back naturally.

8Seed for sowing

You can sow hardy annuals, herbs and wild flower seed outdoors from now Also, plant perennials and summer-flowering bulbs such as lilies, gladioli and ranunculus into beds, borders and containers.

9Heaps of fun

The cold months slow things down in the compost heap but the temperature inside should begin to rise again now. Mixing the heap with a fork regularly will speed up the rate of decomposition. Top up borders, raised beds and containers with fresh compost, removing the top layer of old compost from containers first.


Belfast Telegraph | 29 March 2019

Transformingyourmantelpiece into a masterpiece


f your room has a fireplace it naturally becomes the focal point of that space, whether you want it to or not. Burst past boring by following some of these tips and tricks to reinvent your mantel and make it an eye catching feature you’ll be proud of.

order and can be easily achieved by simply splitting up pairs of matching objects and placing them on each side of the mantel. A great idea for creating a sleek, mirrored decorating effect is to use similar-shape objects on the mantel to maintain the orderly look achieved by this symmetry.

Stylish and Symmetrical

Statement Centerpiece

Nothing screams classic elegance like symmetrical arrangements. This traditional style brings balance, calmness, and

Your fireplace is already going to be drawing attention to itself from the minute someone enters the room, so why not

make it a show stopper. Consider hanging a mirror above your mantel to add some polish to the room which will also help the space feel larger than it actually is. Other feature pieces like a large clock or your favourite artwork can also work to liven up your room - ensure that this centerpiece fits proportionally in the space as to make sure all eyes are on it.

Nothing wrong with a layer or two

Add some interesting depth to your mantel by incorporating overlapping elements into your decorating. Experiment with different heights and widths to create a fireplace ensemble that defies expectation. Layering different types of artwork allows for a beautiful laid back and undone feel

that can be achieved as simply as hanging one print on the wall then lying different size frames up against it.

Off balanced beauty

Just as symmetry is a desirable aesthetic for those who love order in their lives, asymmetry is a type of organised chaos that adds visual interest to the space and it makes it look more casual yet fashionable. Asymmetrical decor on your mantel allows for a ‘lived-in’ feel that can work to give your home some character. The key to achieving this look is to place an odd number of mostly non-matching objects on your fireplace while leaving some space undecorated to give your mantel that random charm.


29 March 2019 | Belfast Telegraph


Bangor Fuels–fairpricesforeveryone What’s

in your driveway?


or great service and fair pricing when it comes to home heating oil, look no further than Bangor Fuels. The family owned company, which has been operating from north Down for 30 years, is one of Northern Ireland’s most trusted suppliers and has built its reputation on its prompt, reliable deliveries and excellent customer service. Hail, rain or snow, Bangor Fuels’ fleet of over 20 oil tankers is out, delivering warmth to homes across greater Belfast and beyond. The price of oil fluctuates by the hour and the team at Bangor Fuels is always quick to pass savings on to customers, with keen prices and a transparent pricing policy. Marketing Director Johnny Fusco explains: “A lot of companies charge different prices in different areas and will give new customers deals that aren’t available for loyal customers. We don’t think that’s fair. “Our one price promise means everyone pays the same for their fill, no matter where they live, whether they are a brand new customer or a long term, loyal client.”

 Customers first

You don’t have to order a large quantity of oil to avail of Bangor Fuels’ service either. “We’re happy to cater to people whether they just want a top up or a full tank,” says Johnny. For savvy customers who like to spread their fuel bill throughout the year, Bangor Fuels offers a savings scheme. Set up a monthly payment and forget about having to pay for a full tank of oil in one go.

Cash and carry

Another popular aspect of the business is its unique cash and carry at its headquarters in Balloo Industrial Estate, just off Bangor ring road. Here, costumers can take advantage of a quick and easy drive thru service to pick up everything from coal to an emergency fill of oil. Need red diesel or kerosene? You’ll find it here. And if you feel like snuggling down by

the fireside, you can choose from logs, turf, sticks or briquettes at the drive thru. Staff are on hand to give a helping hand with loading and advice, if needed. “For us, it’s about value – we are cheaper than garages as well as being more convenient,” says Johnny. It may be a ‘cash’ and carry but don’t worry, you can use your contactless card with no fees.

Coal and gas

The company also delivers coal and bottled gas to households across east Belfast, Dundonald, Ards and north Down as far as Downpatrick. With such an emphasis on service, it’s not surprising that Bangor Fuels also offers boiler servicing to help customers keep their boilers running efficiently and cut the cost of heating their homes. You can order oil, coal or gas online at or call 028 9146 6565.

It’s not just your driveway that helps your home make an impact but the wheels that are parked there. If you’re thinking of changing your car this year, why not check out the range available at Fusco Vehicle Sales in Bangor. North Down’s largest used car dealership stocks a vast range of vehicles of all types, makes and models, ranging in price from about £2,000 to £20,000. At Fusco Vehicle Sales, finance is available on every car, even for customers with adverse credit. The company accepts all trade-ins and also buys cars for cash. Quality is guaranteed with all work carried out on the cars on site by the company’s own mechanics. As well as the workshop there’s a car valet centre and body shop on the premises at Balloo Industrial Estate on Bangor’s ring road. All cars come with a full MoT and an extremely comprehensive in-house Platinum warranty. For further information visit, call 028 9147 7598 or follow Fusco Vehicle Sales on Facebook to keep up to date with new arrivals.




Ochre rug, from £20

You can spice up your home with deep, rich shades of turmeric by adding a new eclectic rug or a hero piece of coloured glass. Not only did it appear on many of the world’s catwalks for the current season, but yellow is Ireland’s favourite interiors colour right now. Yvonne Nugent, Head of Homewares for Harvey Norman Ireland, has predicted: “The ‘Modern Indulgence’ trend is going to be a best seller this spring summer in Harvey Norman stores across the country, because it’s just so easy to add one or two contemporary touches from this trend and immediately elevate any space.”

Belluchi cushions, petrol and tobacco, £20; spice and mocha, £20; light grey and ochre, £20; ochre and light grey, £12


Modern indulgence



Belfast Telegraph | 29 March 2019


ome the Edit’ is a curated collection of all that is new at Harvey Norman this Spring Summer 2019 season.This collection is bursting with incredible designs that will spice up your home and elevate your space with a touch of sophistication.The collection is inspired by four emerging trends

Cheetah Forest cushion, £15

that reflect how home design is changing across the island. From the deeply rich shades of ‘Modern Indulgence’ that will elevate your space to the intrinsically calming ‘Wonderland’. Perhaps the glamorous ‘Parker Palm’ will suit your style? Or, the animal-inspired ‘Full Contrast’, which will add a dash of boldness to your home.

Espinillo double duvet set, £65

Antique brass conical floor lamp, £250; antique brass wall light, £85

Emerald rug, £550

ParkerPalm 

Be inspired, if you dare! This trend is all about being brave in Reef multicoloured colour choices, in shapes and wool rug, £200 patterns and textures. Yvonne explains the inspiration behind this trend in ‘Home the Edit’ you’ve seen in Harvey Norman stores collection: “Inspired by Jonathan Adler’s before and we’re really excited to share designs in the iconic hotel in Palm Springs, it with you. You can be as daring as you California, this trend is cheeky, daring and like with a large piece of wall art or a new undeniably glamorous. It’s like nothing duvet cover.”

Linear double duvet cover, £55, cushions from £30


29 March 2019 | Belfast Telegraph Camille vases, faux flowers, from £5

Reef Coral rug, £209

Wonderland Illusion woollen throw, £55


Sunset wall art, £170

Pink as a shade is becoming a staple in our homes, soothing its way into our hearts. It’s intrinsically calming and modern. To create a cutting edge designer look, Yvonne suggests: “Mix it up with spice and blue like in the Reef Coral 100% wool rug.”

Bathroom by Crown Paints

Notjustanypaint 

You’ve leftover paint from a previous decorating frenzy and get an urge to touch up the walls in the bathroom or kitchen. It’ll do, won’t it? Not if you don’t want to end up with problems in a year or so’s time. When paint manufacturers brand paints as suitable for bathrooms and kitchens, it’s not simply a marketing ploy. These paints are formulated to withstand steamy, damp

Bumble cushion, £13

Elephant family, £35 Callisto wall art, £35 each


Calex organic LED gold, £90 each


All things animal print are being embraced in our homes this season. “Whether it’s a nod to the feline strength in animals like leopards and cheetahs or the simple beauty of their markings, we cannot resist reflecting animal prints in our homes,” says Yvonne. Whether you’re looking to completely overhaul your space or you simply want to create a small change, the journey to transforming your home begins here.

Starburst mirror, £120 About Harvey Norman: Harvey Norman is Ireland’s largest Appliances, Technology and Interiors retailer. With 15 stores across the island of Ireland, Harvey Norman boasts a huge portfolio of brands including Domitalia, King Koil, Sealy, Calia Italia, Briody, Tempur, Alexander & James, Oliver B, Corium Italia, Devina Nais, Orla Kiely, Silent Night, Odearest, Joseph Joseph, Louis de Portere Scatterbox, Cole & Mason and many more. In Northern Ireland, Harvey Norman has two stores at Boucher Road, Belfast and Holywood Exchange, Belfast.

conditions. Using ordinary paint in these rooms means you’re likely to end up with peeling or flaking paint and possibly even mould. Some kitchen paints contain an antibacterial ingredient, helping you keep your kitchen cleaner. Finally, bathroom and kitchen paints are washable and easier to keep clean than other finishes.


Belfast Telegraph | 29 March 2019 Glass paned doors and mirrors will maximise the light in a dark corner. Extra large ornate silver mirror, £189.95, Melody Maison

This incredible Flower Power light is an Italian design, see

Brighten up your life M arch has brought its usual mix of sun and showers and we live in hope that April will get the summer off to a flying start. No more incentive is needed to create a summery vibe to see us through the spring and summer - whatever the weather brings. If your house is stuck in winter mode, there are simple things you can do to brighten it up.


Let it in: Natural daylight is a great

lifter of mood and helps our brains perform at their best and our body maintain a healthy circadian rhythm, knowing when to wake and when to sleep. If you have vertical blinds or heavy curtains, open them wide during the day and maximise the light flooding in. If new doors are part of your home improvement plans, why not incorporate some glass where possible?

Rather than a single light in the middle of the ceiling, add lights to illuminate your kitchen workspace. These Oxford wall lights are from Original BTC


Banish dark spaces: If parts of your

home are particularly dark, pendant lights can add the wow factor as well as brightening up previously shadowed places. Mirrors are not only great for making a space look bigger but brighter too, allowing light to bounce into the darkest recesses.

cupboards give a beautiful soft glow in the evening. Use LED tape or strips to add soft lighting everywhere from kitchen cupboards to kickboards, under an island, behind your TV, bookshelves and even steps and stairs.



Look up: Dark ceilings have the effect

of closing in a space. Why not paint them white or go for a pale varnish finish on wood panelling and add recessed spotlights. If you have a single bulb in the ceiling, a spotlight bar is a stylish and effective way of throwing light in new directions.


Easy does it: In the kitchen, downlighters concealed beneath the

Lamp fantastic: Table lamps are not

just for living rooms and bedrooms. Use them in your kitchen and dining area for a warm glow, whatever the weather.


Outdoor magic: Don’t forget the

outside of your home as lights in the garden or patio add a magical ambience and will help you enjoy being outside when summer is a distant memory.

Calex organic LED gold pendant lights, £90 each, Harvey Norman

Outdoor Bubble light up table by German designer Moree, £227, Lime Lace

Outdoor lighting adds a touch of magic, Lights 4 Fun

Profile for Belfast Telegraph

Homes & Interiors  

Get spring and summer ready, from the inside out.

Homes & Interiors  

Get spring and summer ready, from the inside out.