Homes & interiors

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Homes & interiors

Create a great indoors

Brave choice? How to work with neutrals Sharing the magic: Blogger’s home is an Insta hit

: n o i t i t Compe raeger T a n i , W l l i r g r outdoo £799 worth

Hello beautif Embracul! gorgeo e us curves

Plus: Tips from interior designer Ian Thompson, ‘Treat or Cheat’, how to avoid common mistakes & much more...

Homes & Interiors | 03

30 October 2020 | Belfast Telegraph



Home time...


his year has seen a focus on homes like never before as Covid-19 has corralled everyone indoors for extended periods. Imperfections, long ignored, seem to have become amplified while those areas of the home that we love have won even more of our hearts. Far more than simply a collection of bricks and mortar, our homes have become a place of sanctuary as well as, increasingly, our workplace. With the bulk of summer holiday plans floundering on the rocks of the pandemic, many householders have diverted time, energy and money into getting their homes shipshape. New kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms are high on wishlists, while spare rooms have been transformed into home workstations. For those who can afford the project of their dreams, it feels as if the time is right to forge ahead. However, you don’t need lots of lolly to transform your home or one part of it. Shop around and you can dress any room for less. And as our Cheat or Treat feature shows, you don’t need to scrimp on style if you are trying to save. Painting is one job that the amateur DIYer usually feels confident enough to tackle – read our tips from a pro before you start. He reports that the most popular transformation he’s seeing at present is pine and mahogany woodwork and doors being painted white as the Country style so favoured here gets a refresh. Another popular style among Northern Ireland home owners is Vintage, whether we’re loving the furniture that’s been passed down through the generations or scouring shops and galleries for those unique finishing touches. Interior designer Ian Thompson gives his tips for transforming your home into a sanctuary during this latest lockdown while blogger Erin Small talks about the pleasure of sharing her progress with her Instagram following as she has gradually transformed her family home. The usual focus on getting everything in order for Christmas may have a surreal feel this year – who knows whether everyone who’s normally present will be allowed into our homes. However, the desire to create a cosy, welcoming atmosphere prevails. Just as 2020 has caused many of us to pause for thought and take stock of our lifestyles and priorities, it’s also helped bed in a move away from transient fads in favour of things that last. We want to surround ourselves in loveliness, whether that’s a suite of furniture that will itself become a family heirloom, an original work of art or a statement piece that makes us smile inside. And goodness knows, we all need more of those at the moment!





Contents 4 Treat or Cheat: Splash the cash or get the look on a budget 6-7 Hello beautiful! Gorgeous shapes transform the everyday into works of art 8 5 ways to make your home cosy for winter 10-11 Neutral schemes go natural and how to use next year’s colour, Brave Ground


17 17 Ask the decorator: Painter Adam Martin talks us through common pitfalls

12 No regrets with our 5 tips for 28 Interior designer Ian Thompson on creating a beautiful sanctuary avoiding the fad pitfalls you won’t want to leave 13 Something old, something 30 COMPETITION: Win a Traeger new... love Vintage? You’ll like Pro grill, worth £799, with the these... Great Outdoors BBQ Co. 14 Don’t hide those greys. There’s still room in our hearts for the colour of the decade Cover image: Noreen Pendant, £756, 16 Blogger Erin Small’s Scandi rustic home is an Insta hit

Doreen Pendant, £708, Amber Pendant, £629, Naomi Table, £5567, Brabana Chair, £2045, Arteriors,

PUBLISHED BY: BelfastTelegraph, Clarendon House, Clarendon Dock, Belfast, BT1 3BH | ADVERTISING MANAGER: Julie Patterson, EDITOR: Fiona Rutherford, | DESIGN: Susan McClean, INM Design Studio, Belfast | PRINTING: INM, Newry

04 | Homes & Interiors

Treat or cheat

Belfast Telegraph | 30 October 2020

Doing up a bedroom or creating a reading nook? Relax in style with soft velvet textiles combining warming pink with timeless greys. Add storage with an ottoman and the illusion of space with a mirror.

Splash out

Rose Pink Scalloped Chair, £149.99, Sue Ryder,


Ovalva Pink Scalloped Chair, £500, Homebody Decor,

Zuiver Marvel Persian Style Rug in Moss Green, 170cm x 240cm, £299, Cuckooland,

Global Nomad Faux White Grass, £29.99 TK Maxx, Stella Floor Mirror, £445, Loaf,

Vintage Persian Style Rug in Antique Grey, 160cm x 230cm, £119, Lime Lace,

Zuiver Full Length Mirror, £89, Cuckooland,

XL Pampas Grass in Vase, £12, Primark, Pastel Pink Desk Lamp, £14.99, TK Maxx Anglepoise Original 1227 Mini Table Lamp - Dusky Pink, £95, Amara,

Arthur Ottoman, £495, Sweetpea and Willow,

Velvet Quilt with Tassels, £149, Idyll Home,

Master Ottoman, £179, MY Furniture,

Organic Bean Shapes Art Print, £75, Abstract House,

Pastel Collage Poster, £7.95, Desenio,

Cosy Soft Fleece Throw, Charcoal, £35, Cult Furniture,

06 | Homes & Interiors

Belfast Telegraph | 23 October 2020

Shape up

Create a hallway that noone will be in a hurry to pass on through. Clean lines and contrasting shapes make a strong style statement.

Formia Console Table, £3,665, by Decorus; Set of 3 Blume Vases, £490, by Arteriors; Haus Mirror, £1,575, by Loom; Lace & Eucalyptus Bouquet, £970, by RTFact X LuxDeco; Flannel Rug, from £299, by Nourison, all at

Homes & Interiors | 07

30 October 2020 | Belfast Telegraph


levate your surroundings by choosing objects that marry form and function. As we become increasingly tuned in to sustainability – opting for items that will stand the test of time over the here today, gone tomorrow – it’s more important than ever to shop around. Find well made products that also make your heart sing when you look at them and you’ll never want to let them go.

Hello beautiful

Kyoto Glass & Metal Round Side Table, £165, Rose & Grey, A powder-coated metal frame with ribbed tempered glass creates a stylish, elegant aesthetic. The black trim adds punch to the neutral surroundings. Dried foliage and rattan vase bring texture to the party. Occasional chairs from Designers Guild, Make your chairs work for you in terms of shape, pattern, colour and texture

Vitra Sunburst Wall Clock, £295,

Thai designer Anon Pairot is behind this gorgeous posable lamp, £263.86, Nedgis,

Scoring highly for both form and function, the Rillo Natural Tall Side Table, £205, Rose & Grey,

Ferm Living Meridian Lamp in Brass, £159, Made in collaboration with design studio Regular Company, this modern and sculptural light’s easy, hassle-free charging gives up to 12 hours of light at a time. Its design takes curves to the next geometric level while the brass finish is timeless.

House of Finn Juhl Chieftain Sofa, £21,315, The eye-watering price ensures most of us may make do with drooling at pictures of this remake of a masterpiece by Finn Juhl and cabinetmaker Niels Vodder in 1949. The original is at Copenhagen’s Designmuseum. Its handcrafted walnut frame is upholstered with luxurious leather for a timeless embodiment of artistry and materials of the finest quality.


The Vitra Sunburst Clock from 1949 is a simple and beautiful design from George Nelson whose clocks embody the joie de vivre of the 1950s. The Vitra Design Museum in Germany presents a re-edition of designs cherished by collectors in a true-to-the-original form. The cheery colours are absolutely on point for today’s interiors.

ur ve s to

Abstract faces are a huge trend and work well with sculptural shapes such as the lamp and vase,


08 | Homes & Interiors

5 ways to get cosy for winter...

It’s hard not to adopt a siege mentality with all that’s going on in the world. Some of the most popular trends answer our need to create a cosy cocoon where we can feel safe and secure. Here are our top 5:

Belfast Telegraph | 30 October 2020


Bouclé fabrics hark back to ‘the good old days’ with their soft, knobbly, tactile texture reviving childhood memories of visits to granny’s and drinking strong tea by a turf fire. It’s soft, welcoming and nostalgic; no wonder it’s having a major moment!

Several layers of ambient and task lighting are created in this open plan space through Contour LED strips under the island, Polespring downlights to create a pool of focused light and miniature Lucca uplights framing the window, John Cullen Lighting,


Snuggle down with a throw. Benjamin Moore’s Colour of the Year for 2021 is Aegean Teal, a calming and soothing blend of blue and green which pairs beautifully with pale neutrals, burnt orange and ochre and greys.

Made from softened cotton, Chevron Throw in Teal, £45, Extend your outdoor season by adapting your patio for year round use. An awning to keep off the rain, lighting and a firepit are the basics. Make your own firepit, buy something functional or go all out on a statement piece that doubles up as a patio sculpture... While in summer, solar lights were fine, the darker days call for LED or electric lighting. Check out Lights4Fun’s range.


Create a welcoming atmosphere with scented candles and dim the lights. Table lamps and standards are ‘light years’ ahead of a


The final piece in the jigsaw is, of course, maintaining the right temperature. Have your oil or gas boiler serviced and improve your insulation if necessary. Even small steps like dealing with draughts, adding rugs to wooden floors and thermal linings to curtains, as well as moving furniture that is blocking the heat from radiators will all help. If your chimney is not in use, stuff a chimney balloon or an old pillow up it to stop heat escaping that way – dangle a ribbon from it to remind you it’s there if you’re the forgetful type.

Evening Outdoor Seating Area LED Twinkly Smart App Controlled Festoon Lights, £124.99, Lights4fun,


There’s nothing old-fashioned about this gorgeous Kooper Accent Armchair, Whitewash Bouclé, £429, MADE.COM

ceiling light when it comes to adding ambience. The right lighting is key to getting any scheme right, whether it’s a quiet reading corner or under cupboard lighting in the kitchen, so that you can see what you’re working on properly.

Fantasy Spherical Firepit, £1599, LOGI Firepits,

10 | Homes & Interiors

Belfast Telegraph | 30 October 2020

Bloomingville Bankuan Grass Deco Flower, Amara Living

Snuggle down in comfort. Scion Composition & Padua Knitted Throw, 150cm X 200cm, £94, Wardens of Newtownards, www. Faux plants have been a hit with those who struggle to keep houseplants alive, so it follows that dried flowers and grasses were going to start growing on us. Pampas grass has shaken off its association with swingers and become a favourite with designers, thanks to its statuesque, feathery glory. Six Dried Pampas Grass Stems. £30, Cox & Cox,

Grey Bamboo Flowerpot Set, £44,: Beaumonde, Display your herbs or plants in a trio of pots on a wooden flat tray.

Goneutral, gonatural Pale neutral schemes need either lots of textures, a contrasting colour or lots of light and dark tones to come alive. Use black or dark accents to add punch. Natural wood, wicker, rattan, suede and wool bring depth and interest. Crisp white paintwork or accessories add freshness. As well as being sustainable, quick growing materials like rattan or bamboo work beautifully in everything from granny chic to rustic schemes and from Nordic to Boho.

Pampas Organic Jute Basket, made in Bangladesh: £22.50, Braided Rug Company Natural Jasmine Wall Plate - Large: 100cm x 100cm £169.99: House of Flora:

By Boo Sonnet Bamboo Shelving Unit, Black, £195, Cuckooland, With its vintage styling and natural rattan material this provides the perfect spot to show off your most prized possessions & trinkets. Made from natural rattan, available in either a black or natural finish. Width: 100cm, Depth: 38cm, Height: 76cm Natural Rattan Chair, £152, House of Flora, Lean back and relax in a Nordic style chair. Made from natural rattan which is woven in a lattice design, this one is finished with sleek black iron legs.

Homes & Interiors | 11

30 October 2020 | Belfast Telegraph

The natural look by House of Flora, www.

THE EXPRESSIVE PALETTE - Stand-out shades of reds and pinks, balanced with soft neutrals. Dulux suggests these colours can add verve and vitality to our homes, allowing us to create an individual space that energizes, surprises and reflects who we really are

Cult Home Sunburst Cane Wall Mirror, Natural, £65, Cult Furniture, Natural cane creates a striking frame for this wall mirror. A sunburst style design makes an eye-catching addition, ideal for the hallway or living room.

100% Natural Jute Circular Rug, £250, Joe Brown’s Beige Frills Cushion £45, Rose & Grey,


Toba Natural Rattan Drypots, Set of 2, £105, Sweetpea & Willow, www. sweetpeaandwillow. com

Ankhara Double Wardrobe, Rattan & Black Stain Oak, £799,

Dulux’s Colour of the Year for 2021 is Brave Ground, an earthy beige. Its overall palette is full of soothing shades and illustrates beautifully how Brave Ground can work with popular blues and pinks, yellows, browns and pale grey. Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director, Dulux UK, says: “The colours on our walls are the backdrop to how we live our life. For many of us, lockdown has served to emphasise how important our home environment has become, it has been the place where we work, learn, relax. It can lift us up, nurture us, comfort us. “We continue to live through uncertain times. In 2021, the warm and grounding tones of Brave Ground will allow us to find certainty in the strength from the very ground beneath our feet, emboldening us to go forward and begin to live again and giving us the flex to adapt to the ever changing circumstances we face.” Alongside the Colour of the Year, the experts identified four complementary colour palettes Earth, Trust, Timeless and Expressive - to make it easy to bring the colour into different spaces within the home or workspace.

WORKING WITH BEIGE Problems can arise when you try to incorporate lots of beige items in one space. As colour expert Maria Killam points out, beige can have any number of undertones: green, yellow, orange, gold and pink. No matter how pretty your rug/sofa/curtains, if one is pink beige and the other yellow or green beige, they’re not going to work together. Check out for lots of useful advice.


Make a massive style statement with your rugs. Star Rug in Rare Breed, £335, Baa Stool,

By Boo Natural Bamboo Plant Stand, Large, £75, Cuckooland, A sleek black terracotta pot sits atop beautifully curved bamboo legs creating a rustic boho look. Available in two sizes and in either a black or natural finish.


Sunkai wood And cane Screen £367, Cielshop,

12 | Homes & Interiors

Belfast Telegraph | 30 October 2020 Essence Vintage Large Chandelier, £699, The French Bedroom Co, www.

Noregrets withthese


Vintage Bird Cage, £110, Scaramanga,


intage, Traditional, Classical or Granny Chic, all the current favourites celebrate quality furnishings over here today, gone tomorrow disposable items. Linda Holmes, Interiors Director at LuxDeco Studio says traditional or classic contemporary deserves its top spot in UK hearts. “This style is timeless, flexible, homely and can be mixed with other interior design styles without becoming too confused or overwhelming. “Traditional styling typically features neutral walls with colour pops through textiles, art and decorative accents which is perfect for those who like to mix up their home decor without breaking the bank or spending weekends peeling off wallpaper.” She adds: “The Victorian style is having somewhat of a renaissance, with popularity of sombre colours, velvet textiles and patterned wallpaper on the rise, while styles like Art Deco require a bolder approach which could be daunting for home interiors.” She warns against picking a decor scheme based on what you think you should have rather than your own personal tastes. “One style might be ‘in’ right now but it’s important that the space and the design works for you.” Here are her tips for getting it right:


Copper metal/rose gold: Anything copper will date faster than classic metals. Where possible, opt for antique brass, bronze or nickel.

2. Add colour through cushions, throws or artwork. Jonathan Adler Milano Concentric Loops Cushion, £128, Sweetpea & Willow,

2 3

Bold colours: Go for colour on trimmings that you can change seasonally like cushions, throws and artwork.

Floral/accent wallpaper: Anything bold is likely to date fast. If you’re tempted by this latest trend but nervous about taking the plunge, try incorporating it through artwork instead. That way you bring in trends but also make it easy to change should you go off it.

4 5

Vintage Amber Embossed Wine Goblet Glass, £9, Dibor,

Something old, something new


Unnatural wood colours: Woods with unnatural and obvious treatments may date a lot quicker than natural woods like oak or pine.

Shiny metals: While the industrial style is going strong, where possible, opt for warm, sheen-free metals with more of a matt finish rather than shiny metals.

Blue Decor Vintage Pattern Tiles, £39.95m2, Walls and Floors, www. Perfect for creating a charming period floor space, find similar at Exquisite Tiles,

art of the appeal of Vintage decor is going trawling through antique shops, charity shops, reclamation yards and car boot sales looking for ‘stuff ’. It’s the sense of past lives and mystery as well as the uniqueness of the find that appeals, whether in the shape of beautifully crafted wooden furniture, a delicate piece of porcelain, brass lamp or an evocative piece of art. Lovingly made to last several lifetimes, vintage goodies are finding a home in ever more hearts, as evidenced by the ‘granny chic’ trend, which celebrates those old favourites that are passed down through the generations. Lots of brands also specialise in vintage style refurbished or new goodies. Here are some choice picks for you...

Painted White Vintage 3 Drawer Chest, £185, restored by Live Laugh Love, www.

1. Brass and bronze have greater longevity than copper while matt outlasts shiny. Antique Brass Tall Vase, £60, Marquis & Dawe,

3. If you aren’t sure about covering a wall with a bold floral pattern, incorporate it through artwork. Arts and Crafts Floral Poster, £6.71, Desenio,

Vintage Nautical & Boat Stamps Wallpaper, from £45m2, Purlfrost,

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30 October 2020 | Belfast Telegraph

Vintage Typewriter Print, £20, Rocket Jack, Add your own message to this vintage typewriter art print, available in a variety of sizes and colours.

Vintage Town/Village Maps Framed Print, from £80, Squark Interiors, www.

Vintage Quadrupedal Mammals from the Natural History Museum Archive, Framed Wall Art Print 30 x 70cm, £99,,

This Art Nouveau Lantern with a highly collectable Vaseline glass liner has been hand restored at Fritz Fryer Lighting, www.

We love the vintage maps from Squark Interiors and you can have a bespoke one printed that will revive memories of your favourite place. Have it framed or transformed into wallpaper. Simply provide Squark Interiors with the postcode you would like the map centred around with any landmarks that must be included. They’ll send you an electronic proof for approval before printing. Prices start from £80 for an A4 print.

Chinese antique carved console table with antique Chinese horseshoe armchair from Shimu, www.

Antique Khamseh Rug. £8000, Bakhtiyar, Weber Costello Vintage Round Globe, Woven by the Qashqai £237.50, Ionian Interiors, tribe in South Central No vintage scheme is complete without a Persia, this rug is globe. The 1920s Weber Costello globe is 2.36m x 1.52m displayed on a vintage silver stand.

Antique Gold Palm Floor Lamp, £290, Homebody Decor

Antique Brass Wall Pocket With Star Pattern, £24, Rockett St George, www.

Vintageand Countrytop inNIhomes

White Antique Candle Holder, £35, La Residence Interiors, www.

Vintage Unicycle Poster, £11.95, Desenio,

When it comes to decorating a home, most will say they like to put their own stamp on it. But with over 73 million hashtags for ‘interior design’ and nearly half a million for #myhousethismonth on Instagram, there’s a clear interest in design trends. Using Google Trends data, LuxDeco has found that over the last 15 years Traditional has claimed top spot in the UK, closely followed by Victorian. Vintage is the top design style in Belfast while across Northern Ireland as a whole the most popular style has been Country or Rustic.

Antique Brass Tray, £75, Ella James,

Vintage Magazine Stand, Antique Brown Leather, €69, Michael Murphy Home Furnishing, Large Three Tier Antique Brass Tidy, £62, Marquis & Dawe, www.

Brompton Toast Rack in Antique Brass Finish, £9.50. Garden Trading,

Bold in brass

14 | Homes & Interiors

Belfast Telegraph | 30 October 2020

Versatile, sophisticated grey is assured a place in our homes and hearts for the foreseeable future. It’s an elegant backdrop whether you’re creating a moody celebration of dark colours or applying a touch for an ethereal neutral in the softest dove grey. Use it to soften a monochromatic scheme, to add a cosmopolitan dash to your naturalistic decor or to anchor a whimsical scheme. It’s a must for fan s of industrial style and is perfect for grown-up pinks and pastels. With designers finding finding ever more elaborate ways to celebrate greys, there’s no need to hide yours away.

Don’t hide those greys Grey remains the perfect foil to this year’s favourite, ochre. Tapestry Linear cushion (floor) €25, Shyla Print cushion (chair) €35, Gabie accent chair €1299, two tone throw grey €55, Soho ochre cushion, Harvey Norman

British designers Young & Battaglia create a playful and unexpected marriage between two of the most iconic rugs in the world. Unlike real hides,a fusion between art and utility means these contemporary Persian rugs are hardwearing washable, non-slip, and will not curl up at the edges. They are available online in a selection of different rug sizes and colours including grey, black, brown, brown and natural. Super Long Grey Persian Faux Cowhide Rug, 3300 x 1500mm, £1320, Mineheart,

Play around with the colour of the century with this supersoft grey velvet cushion. Grey Round Velvet Cushion, 40cm x 40cm, £25, Mint & May,

Support wildlife with this stylish wallpaper with 10% of every sale going to the RSPB. Paste the wall means it’s easy to install, in a full room or as a feature wall. RSPB Blossom & Bird Grey Wallpaper, 10m roll, 52cm wide, £109, Lorna Syson,

Six sides, geometric styling and neutral grey tones make Palm Springs Grey an instant design classic which can be used on almost any wall or fl floor. oor. They can be rotated to form different patterns for an eye-catching look for anything from a splashback to the kitchen floor.

A soft, quilted bedspread in grey is versatile and functional. Pull it up to your ears on a cold night, kick it off when you get too hot. Peachskin Bedspread in French Grey, £98, The French Bedroom Co,

Palm Springs Grey Porcelain Tile, 15cm x 17.5cm, £66 m2,

Face forward: The abstract face trend gets a nod with this Grey Face Decorative Bowl Vase, £10.50, Gisela Graham London,

Let it shine: This table lamp ticks the box for sustainability. It’s made using recycled glass with an elegant white linen lampshade. Mia Recycled Glass Table Lamp small white, £199, Modish Living,

A timeless, versatile design, this stool has a brass finish base and velvet seat. Harper Stool in Dove Grey and Brass Base, £89.99, MY Furniture,

16 | Homes & Interiors


n our increasingly technological world, social media blogging has become an ever-popular method for people to share their passions online. From families to pets to food, people are continually interested in how others lead their lives, and interiors are no exception. Photo sharing apps like Instagram lend themselves to the world of interiors as followers are constantly looking for inspiration to obtain a ‘picture perfect’ home. Local blogger Erin Small (25) decided to utilise her social media platform to express her love for interiors and design when she moved into her first home in Ahoghill, Co Antrim, in June 2018. She made the decision to share her new home with the world as she already had a following on her blog @raising_a_rose where she would talk about motherhood and her firstborn Ava (4). This step into interiors ‘just came naturally’. She said: “I’ve always loved interiors and making a room look beautiful so I couldn’t wait to do this in my own home. I really enjoy sharing tips, tricks and bargains that I’ve tried or picked up for our home.” When she and her partner Andy Ritchie (26) first moved into their new build two years ago, it was the perfect blank canvas as everything was plain and grey. “The first thing we did when we got in was we ripped up the carpet in the living room to get a wooden floor laid instead as carpet downstairs and toddlers definitely do not mix. “I had Pinterest boards made for every room in the house before we even got the keys, so I got a lot of my inspiration from there. I also took inspiration from different home influencers and different brands on Instagram – in particular, I love the interior stylings of @thislittlehouse and @ck_homestyle and on a local level I love looking at @blossomingbirds and @ sisters_and_sons.” Erin explained how she now uses Instagram more than Google when she is looking up any home ideas as the search features and hashtags are a perfect way to see how certain items or paint colours look in someone’s home.

Belfast Telegraph | 30 October 2020

Blogger’s ‘Scandi rustic’ home is an Insta hit By Sophie McLaughlin Erin and Andy with Oscar and Ava

hall and landing is next on the list, but she thinks it might be time to hand the paintbrush over to the professionals for that one. “We did a lot ourselves over lockdown. We redid all three bedrooms upstairs while I was heavily pregnant, and I really wouldn’t recommend it.

Dark side

Scandi rustic

She would describe her interiors style as ‘Scandi rustic’ while also aiming for practical and pretty with having two young children in the house. “I recently came across this term and it is perfect for describing our home. I like the clean, minimal look of Scandinavian design, but I also like the cosy feeling from a rustic home.” Erin has been able to share some major events in her life on her blog, such as welcoming her second child Oscar to the world five months ago and the excitement of doing up a little boy’s room for the first time. Andy has also been getting into the DIY videos on Instagram for such tutorials as how to install panelling into their bedroom and Oscar’s nursery. “I must say that Andy is amazing and hasn’t said no yet. He was incredible at the panelling and it turned out so well. I think we do have quite similar ideas and by now I know when I’m suggesting something a bit whacky as he’s definitely got a bit more sense. “He also trusts what I choose and, without blowing my own horn, I think he’s quite proud to call this his home.” As for future projects, Erin says their

A stylish and practical coat hanger becomes a feature of the hallway

Scandi rustic is a fitting description for Erin’s style

“Last weekend I decided to paint the downstairs loo as Ava’s handprints were everywhere. We went to the dark side with Farrow & Ball paint in Inchyra Blue and I’m so pleased with how it turned out.” Her three main pieces of advice for anyone starting to do up their first home is not to rush the decorating process. Make lists for each room and decide what

is a necessity or not. Also, ensure you do your research before making any big purchases. “We lived with the same colour on our walls in every room except Ava’s for the first few months just to get the feel of the place and I’m so glad we did. It took me three months to decide on the paint for the living room and nearly two years on, I still love it.” As for her interiors blogging, Erin’s follower base is continuing to grow and she shows no signs of slowing down as she gets so much enjoyment from her online interactions. “Sharing different areas of your home on your social media is the ultimate form of the ‘bringing your parents to show them your clean room’ feeling to me.”

The white gloss kitchen maximises the natural light

Homes & Interiors | 17

30 October 2020 | Belfast Telegraph

Erin loves Farrow & Ball’s Inchyra Blue in the bathroom

This hallway by Norsu Interiors illustrates the move towards painted pine and mahogany doors. The DIY barn door is painted in Dulux Tranquil Retreat. The pendant light is by Louis Poulson and the Pretty in Pink print is by Donna

Andy is proud of his panelling job in Oscar’s room Ava’s room has a practical wood floor



ith the new restrictions, there’s a good chance more of us are going to be taking on a spot of DIY, including painting and decorating. We’ve got some tips for doing the job properly, from painter and decorator Adam Martin.

A. Make sure the wood is dust free and clean. Put a little on the brush and make sure to spread well to ensure there are no drips or sagging.

Q. What equipment do people need before they start? A. Scrapers, filler, sandpaper, paintbrush,

Q. What common mistakes do people make? A. One of the most common mistakes that

roller, roller tray, sheets and masking tape.

Q. How do you prepare a surface for painting? A. Fill all cracks, sand them, dust them off and that is you ready to commence painting.

people who DIY make is to not sand the filler correctly.

Q. What shades/finishes are most popular currently? A. Greys and navy are very popular at the

Q. Do you recommend starting with big surfaces or the tricky corners? A. Mask all areas that you don’t want paint on

minute. One of the most common jobs that we are currently doing is changing woodwork from pine and mahogany to white. It gives a brighter and cleaner finish.

Q. Have you any tips for working with gloss paint?

Find Brushstrokes Painting and Decorating on Facebook or LinkedIn. Free quotes for commercial and residential work available on 0770 491 3342.

and commence with tricky areas first before moving on to larger surfaces.

The master bedroom

Q. What’s the easiest paint to work with? A. Matt is the easiest paint to work with.

18 | Homes & Interiors

Belfast Telegraph | 30 October 2020 ADVERTISING FEATURE

Creating luxuriousspaces C olefax and Fowler is a fabulous addition to the collections at Wardens of Newtownards. Sophisticated elegance and low key luxury have been the hallmarks of this iconic brand since the company was founded in the 1930s. The latest collection is Jardine. Developed by the Colefax studio from an archival document, the decorative nature of Jardine is enhanced by the range of rich, vivid colours printed on linen that present varied options for gloriously exuberant interior schemes. The Interior Design team at Wardens has a long established reputation for

creating luxurious, liveable spaces. Timeless interiors are a hallmark, bringing unique character to each and every commission. Take your first step to creating a space that is unique, stylish and truly yours by calling in or phoning the Interior Design team on 029 9181 2147 to make an appointment.


Margey’s annual Culloden Show goes online

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation, north coast artist Adrian Margey has cancelled his annual exhibition at the Culloden Estate this halloween. Instead, he will stage an online only exhibition and sale of work at the end of November. The new collection will be unveiled via a virtual video tour on his website and on the Adrian Margey Artwork Facebook page from Friday – Sunday, November 20-22. Margey will film the new body of work hanging in his Portstewart home – giving viewers an insight into how the pieces look in a domestic setting.

Celebrated for his inventive approach to capturing the landscapes and landmarks of Northern Ireland, Margey uses expressive brushwork together with palette knife and finger painting techniques to create his original pieces. Forty new depictions of North Down, Ards, Belfast, the North Coast and Donegal will be released from Friday, November 20. Keep up to date with preparations for this much anticipated exhibition on the Adrian Margey Art Facebook page and on where you can view a full portfolio. Margey’s Portrush Studio remains open for dropin visitors on Saturdays: 11am – 5pm throughout the year. To arrange a private viewing during the week please telephone 07841593762.

30 October 2020 | Belfast Telegraph


Homes & Interiors | 19

Start your Christmas shopping at Gallery 1608 W

ith Christmas just around the corner we are pleased to introduce you to a new section on our website, Jewellery. Showcasing some of the best Irish handmade items, our jewellery is always extremely popular with clients, so this new feature will provide a taste of the beautiful pieces available, to those who have not yet visited Gallery 1608. Our jewellers are all Irish crafters and we stock a wide range of pieces, ranging from costume to more bespoke pieces. You can shop from the comfort of your own home and we are offering free postage on orders over ÂŁ100. We also have a wide range of other Christmas ideas including not only paintings, but also ceramics, wood and handmade glass. For that difficult to buy for person, why not consider a gift voucher to allow them to choose what they want? We continue to strive to ensure that customers feel safe during these uncertain times, and all government guidelines are in place to make your shopping experience as enjoyable as possible. For those who are still uncomfortable with visiting shops, we

Carla Penney


Banshee Silver are also providing a one to one appointment service in the evenings. Simply contact the gallery to arrange. The Gallery 1608 Team.

Louise Maguire

Ghost and Bonesetter

20 | Homes & Interiors


Belfast Telegraph | 30 October 2020

HouseProud opens 10th store


orthern Ireland’s largest independent furniture retailer HouseProud Furnishings has announced plans to open a new store in Belfast. The business will open its newest 8000 square foot store in Connswater Retail Park later this month and will become the company’s 10th store location in Northern Ireland. The new store will create 10 jobs for the local area, bringing the total number of employees to over 80, and has seen the business invest a sum of £350,000 into the expansion. Commenting ahead of the launch, Barry Muldoon, owner of HouseProud Furniture, said: “We already had the plans in place to open before lockdown and we decided to push ahead as we see huge potential in the longer term in the homewares sector despite the current situation.” Barry added that the last four months has seen ‘record breaking’ sales as the business continues to adapt to life after lockdown, while also revealing more plans for the future.

Ready for Republic

“We have also just agreed a new 40,000sq ft store in Dundalk, which is

our first venture into the Republic of Ireland which is very exciting with plans to open 10 more stores over the next five to six years,” Barry revealed. HouseProud, has been named ‘Independent Retailer of the Year’ two years in a row since it started in 2009 in Northern Ireland. “This Belfast store is store number 10 for us,” Barry continued. “Our mix of imports plus exclusive supplier ranges makes HouseProud totally unique and able to offer the best value at all times. We’re certainly the largest furniture retailer across Northern Ireland and still growing.” Houseproud also continues to grow its online presence with the recent launch of a new state of the art online store. Customers can quickly, easily and securely browse, order and buy online at


22 | Homes & Interiors

Belfast Telegraph | 30 October 2020

Sleep dreams come true in a

luxury Vispring bed C reate the ideal conditions for enjoying a perfect night’s sleep, every night, with a Vispring mattress from The Bed Shop. With over 100 years’ experience in crafting the finest handmade beds, Vispring pioneered the pocket spring mattress in 1901 for the ultimate in comfort and ease. Hand-filled with soft natural material Vispring’s pocketsprung divans and mattresses offer optimum support for the hips, shoulders and spine. Using techniques that have stood the test of time, Vispring’s craftsmen in Devon make beds to order – filling, stitching and finishing by hand. Choose from one of the three collections – Original, Classic or Luxe – or have a bed custom made for you with your choice of fabric and finish and even a split tension bed if you wish. The company takes great care with its luxurious, sustainable, natural materials to ensure unmatchable comfort when you settle down for the night. Fleecy, fluffy, smooth and soft – Vispring mattresses are hand-tufted, deep-filled and lavishly finished.

Made with care

The Original Collection is made with soft cotton, handtufted wool, highly durable pocket springs, and the most comfortable natural finishes. The Classic Collection offers the next level of comfort. Each mattress is filled with soft materials like Shetland Wool and fine horsehair. Underneath all that you’ll find layers of individually pocketed springs. The Luxe Collection delivers the ultimate in Vispring comfort. With multiple layers of handmade pocket springs for weightless comfort, each mattress is carefully filled with the finest natural materials. This is comfort unlike anything else. Complete your dream bed with an elegant, contemporary headboard, choice of wood or metal leg or castor, and those finishing touches that add an additional sigh of contentment such as the softest of mattress protectors and lush down and feather pillows. For further information, call into The Bed Shop, 75 Bachelors Walk, Lisburn, or Cregagh Road, Belfast.

24 | Homes & Interiors


Belfast Telegraph | 30 October 2020

Bring fab 50s styling to your kitchen with


Looking to spruce up your kitchen or in need of some early Christmas inspiration?


ith an extensive range of appliances to choose from, Smeg’s 50s Style collection brings real character into the heart of your home. Choose from a range of colours, from pastels and neutrals through to bright and metallic finishes. There’s a hue to suit all tastes, co-ordinating perfectly with Smeg’s range of large appliances, from ovens, hobs and cookers to iconic fridge freezers. If you’re looking for a replacement breakfast set there’s a choice of kettles, toasters and juicers to brighten up your mornings in style. Choose a standard or temperature controlled kettle, perfect for flavoured teas, or a choice of two and four slot toasters depending on the size of small army you’re feeding. Pair it with a sandwich rack or warmer for even more versatility or use the appliance’s defrost and bagel functions. For those who really want to go to town, Smeg even make

a matching citrus juicer for a spot of freshly squeezed juice. What a treat whilst spending so much time at home!

Looking for the ultimate coffee machine?

Look no further and channel your inner barista! Wake up to fresh coffee, no matter your preference, from Smeg’s choice of espresso and drip coffee machines, handy coffee grinders and milk frother, perfect for those who enjoy a milky latte or even rich hot chocolate. If you fancy, the frother will also produce a tasty espresso martini or two! Rounding up the collection, Smeg’s range of food prep appliances includes blenders, hand blenders and stand mixers, perfect for experimenting in the kitchen. Whether you enjoy home baking or just love great food, let the appliances do the hard work, from blitzing, chopping and mashing through to whisking, beating and mixing.

26 | Homes & Interiors


Belfast Telegraph | 30 October 2020

Stay home, stay safe and love your new kitchen made by MAKE


e are celebrating making kitchens and bedrooms for the last 20 years! We moved prior to Christmas to new premises at 93 Boucher Road, Belfast BT12 6HR, and now have 27 kitchens and 10 bedrooms on display. With five design stations we can offer our customers a huge choice in kitchens, appliances, worktops and even a Quooker working tap. Having a dedicated accessory area helps our customers pick the handle, sink, tap, door and worktop of their choice. Despite the disruption caused by

Covid 19 we are enjoying seeing our customers love the variety and experience provided in our new showroom. To ensure that our customers stay safe, visits to the showroom are by appointment. Our designers will listen to you, take your requirements and ideas and design a kitchen that’s unique to you. Recognising the current situation, we try to maximise your visit to the showroom and make use of digital media like email, Zoom and Facebook and Google 360 is on our website, www. Since reopening after lockdown, we have found customers now more than ever, want that special room that meets all of their requirements and this is where our designers can help turn that aspiration into reality as we manage your new kitchen from design to installation. Customers frequently comment that

they imagine that we might be out of their budget – especially after they drive past our showroom at night or call in, but we provide such a range that we can cater for all budgets – just let our designers know! As well as making kitchens, we also provide sliding robes, fitted wardrobes and bespoke fitted bedroom furniture. Again, courtesy of Covid our customers are now wanting home offices which can be created by our designers to fit whatever space you have when redoing your bedroom. With opening hours to suit everyone please ring us on 028 9521 1521 to make your appointment. Check us out on Facebook and look at our website for inspiration!


30 October 2020 | Belfast Telegraph

Homes & Interiors | 27



emember when mixer taps in the kitchen were first all the rage? Separate hot and cold suddenly seemed so out of date? Since then nothing much has changed – until now. Unlike a conventional mixer tap, a Quooker also delivers instant 100°C boiling water on demand making a kettle completely redundant. With a Quooker in your kitchen you will always have 100°C boiling, hot, cold and, with the addition of the new Quooker CUBE, filtered chilled and sparkling water too.

Delivering instant 100°C boiling, hot, cold and now filtered chilled and sparkling water, the Quooker is not just a revolution – it’s a revelation. Safety first

The first thing that springs to everyone’s mind when you think of boiling water is safety. That’s why Quooker have gone to great lengths to ensure their tap meets the highest safety standards. A specially designed childproof double push and turn handle and insulated spout is used to dispense boiling water, whilst a separate lever operates conventional hot and cold. These two completely independent controls mean there’s no mistaking their function. In addition, the flow of boiling water is delivered in a fine spray and not a solid flow which further prevents the risk of any scalds or burns.

Save water & energy

As a nation we waste

domestic supply for washing up ever again. With a Quooker tap and Quooker CUBE providing all your 100°C boiling, hot, cold needs and a constant supply of filtered chilled and sparkling water, you’ll save gallons of water and significant amounts of energy every year.

An offer you can’t refuse

huge amounts of water and energy by overfilling kettles. A Quooker however only dispenses the exact amount of 100°C boiling water when you need it. There’s no water wastage and only minimal energy is used to keep the boiling water available on demand. A perfect replacement for your kettle. If you add a Quooker COMBI which has an ‘A’ energy rating, you also need never use hot water from your

Quooker are offering installation of any Quooker system and CUBE for just £99* when you quote code HBT/10. A saving of £285 on the normal price. Plus, you’ll receive five CO2 cylinders completely free – the equivalent of 300 litre-bottles of sparkling water. Installed by a professional Quooker engineer, there’s never been a better time to own the revolutionary Quooker. Interested? Visit or call 0345 833 3333. *Usual price £384. Connection to existing services.

28 | Homes & Interiors

Belfast Telegraph | 30 October 2020

How to make your home



op interior designer Ian Thompson (inset) is celebrating 36 years of making ‘homes with soul’ for his clients. “Our homes have never been so important, with new critical design elements that are now needed to reshape property for change of lifestyle and work balance,” says Ian. Mindful that it’s ‘a privilege’ to be invited into clients’ homes, he accommodates the owner’s individual style into his designs. “It’s not just drafting a mood board and creating a spatial design.” The trick is instinctively knowing what a great home is all about: “The ambience; seeing comfortable seating that you can’t wait to curl up in and read a book; a room filled with beautiful furniture – any style, as long as it’s centred for conversation; fragrant rooms giving a scent memory of your home; great lighting to give romance; a feeling of generous hospitality, even if it’s just for yourself. “We are currently making client’s

homes into idyllic sanctuaries to nest in, whatever Covid restrictions come our way.” Ian posts daily tips on his Instagram account for creating a beautiful home to enjoy in the coming winter months. Only starting his daily Instagram stories in March, during full lockdown, he now has 50,000 followers who enjoy his posts on lifestyle, cooking, cocktail mixing and getting jobs done. “We started off thinking it would be a bit of craic for a couple of weeks – little did we think it would be 79 days later with over 250K views.”

Staying positive

The reaction has been positive, just like Ian’s attitude. “It’s time to stay upbeat, with the cold months ahead, and we are going to ramp up the positivity of being at home, showing daily tips on how to create a beautiful home for yourself with little effort, being kind to yourself and creating a home for #comfortaddicts. “Covid restrictions have changed the way we live at home and we have found

in the last few months our clients’ homes need to adapt to new rhythms, that now seem to layer up multi-functional spaces to the max. “Kitchens have always been the hub of the house but it seems even more important that they now incorporate new trends – a home office nook, a comfortable lounge seating area, a larger kitchen table to school the kids, the pantry for more storage, a wet bar area and an adjoining fire oven, outside, to appease our inner TV chef.”

Outside in

The seasonal trends are blurring too, with Ian’s outdoor furniture ranges now as popular in October as June. “It’s now our home entertaining space, to sit by an open pit fire and light our camomile garden candle to create a warm ambience and inhale the calming scent to de-stress. “Or bring the outside inside for a simple way to soothe a busy space. It sounds simple but adding plants or branches of green foliage keeps us calm, as does adding a pop of green colour to a neutral room or the on-trend of using palm leaf fabric for scatter cushions.

“It’s no surprise that the home office is top priority, the study nook is now the hot desk, and the home working parent needs a quiet room to Zoom call and be able to close the door on a cluttered desk to adjust back to family living without the decompression of a drive home.” They’ve had some fun creating backgrounds for clients’ Zoom meetings, such as conversational wallpaper or fabulous bookcases, each of them wanting an individual look rather than a digital option. Not all wanted to emulate Nigel Havers’ drinks table background on Good Morning Britain but it’s certainly a theme to Ian’s #TGIF cocktail night, each Friday, when you can catch up with his latest tips at @ianthompsoninteriors.

30 | Homes & Interiors


Belfast Telegraph | 30 October 2020



hether you’re looking to add some new flavours to your festive feasts or seeking the perfect present for the food lover in your life, Traeger, available from the Great Outdoors BBQ Co. has the answer. As the world’s number one-selling wood fired grill, Traeger continue to lead and revolutionise the industry, perfected by decades of mastering the craft of woodfired cooking. All-natural hardwood is the perfect fuel for Traeger’s signature flavour, infusing food with unparalleled flavourful smoke - whether you are BBQ grilling baking, roasting or braising. Traeger wood pellets are available in a range of 8 flavours, from Hickory or Cherry to Apple, Oak or Alder, the infused pellets add an extra layer of smoky deliciousness to your cooking. Traeger’s ease of use and simple controls let you focus on what matters: your food, your family, and your friends. With the digitally controlled convection heating system, setting the temperature on your grill is as easy as turning on your oven. The digital controllers on a Traeger grill ensure that you get precise, consistent temperatures throughout your cooking. And if that wasn’t enough, the Pro, Ironwood and Timberline series all come equipped with WiFIRE® enabled controllers – giving you the ability to easily control your grill from anywhere using the Traeger App or your smart home device. Traeger’s WiFIRE® technology means you don’t have to constantly monitor the fire, so you can relax and enjoy the whole grilling process, confident of perfect results every time. You can simply check and adjust the grill anytime, anywhere, from low and slow to hot and fast, cook everything with ease. It’s not all meat, meat, meat either – from veggie side dishes to sweet bakes

like cookies and cakes – there’s nothing a Traeger can’t handle, delivering the goods every time. Whether you’re welcoming the family round or looking to add extra flavour to your Christmas dinner, you can rely on your Traeger to tempt tastebuds and deliver every time. And you’re not alone as you learn to cook on your Traeger either. Traeger’s army of pro-chefs offer a wealth of confident cooking advice through cooking demos and video content accessed via the app too, meaning you can learn from the experts if you want to take your confident cooking levels up a gear. There is even advice on keeping your grill clean so you can approach every task with the confidence of a Traeger pro. Recipes can be programmed to your grill from the Traeger smart phone app for everything you need for a Christmas feast, from a traditional turkey to roasted crispy potatoes and smoky brussels sprouts. You can even turn to your Traeger to make a delicious spiced Christmas cake. If you’d like to find out more about the Traeger range visit

We’ve teamed up with the grilling gurus at Great Outdoor BBQ Co to give you the chance to win a Traeger Pro 575 and have it delivered in time for Christmas. These versatile grills can be used year round, freeing up valuable kitchen space and adding a new taste dimension to your food. The Great Outdoor BBQ Co, at Magheralin, near Craigavon, is your go-to destination for barbecues, grills and pizza ovens.

For your chance to win theTraeger Pro, worth £799, simply answer the following question:

Q) How many Traeger wood pellet flavours are available?

Send your answer to before midnight on Friday, November 13, 2020. Please put Win Traeger in the subject line. The winner will be selected at random.The usual ts&cs apply. Visit and search INM (NI) Competitions: Standard Terms and Conditions.

For lots more inspiration on cooking outdoors, visit or follow Great Outdoors BBQ Co or @gobbqco on social media.

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