Page 1




Top Interior Tips n Gorgeous Gardens n DIY Made Easy n Going Green n Renovations with Dermot Bannon

See inside for your Spring ideas from



Adding Value To Your Property Nuala Ryan gives some key tips as to how to make the most of your property in the current climate


Around the House Collette Devlin meets with Sinead Kelly, interior designer for the Ideal Homes showhouse


Doing it Your Way Freshen up your home in an easy and inexpensive way with DIY



Ben Murnane chats to Dermot Bannon of RTÉ’s Room to Improve about renovation options



When it comes to selling your home, a few key additions to your house can help add some extra value to your property

Katie Corkery looks at the many benefits of the Building Energy Rating scheme

n the current economic climate and with a saturated property market, it is more important than ever to go that extra mile when you are planning to sell your home. Not only will this ensure that your home stands out from other houses on the market, it can also add some extra value to the selling price of the property. A neatly kept front garden will immediately create a good first impression, while also appealing to families. If you have a nice green area at the front of your home, why not use some of this space to lay nice paving and make a little driveway. This car parking space is a great way of adding value to your property, especially if you are living in an urban area. The interior of a property is very important in adding to its overall value. Stick to neutral colours that will blend in with all furnishings while still creating a stylish design. The most important rooms in the home are arguably the kitchen and bathroom and you should aim to go the extra mile with the fixtures and fittings in these rooms. A contemporary kitchen and designer bathroom can really add value to your property – they are hugely attractive to potential buyers and will undoubtedly be a big selling point in your home. If you are looking to further increase

Making a Space

Know your BER


How does your Garden Grow? Award-winning garden designer Paul Martin gives Collette Delvin some top tips for getting your garden in shape


Cream of the Crop Nuala Ryan profiles some the leading designers in Irish interior design


News All the latest renovations and interior design news




the value of your property then an extension is a good starting place as the price you sell per square foot is usually more than the extension costs to build or refurbish. For many homeowners, space restrictions mean that extending upwards is their only option but by creating a useable space, this extension can prove very profitable. Ensure that your renovations are of good quality, as potential buyers may view a poor quality installation as a problem and possibly an added and unnecessary expense. Today, having a green home means having a better value home and the more environmentally friendly your home is the better chance it has in the property market. Eco-friendly fittings like solar panels, green-building materials, underground heating systems and wood-pellet burners will add some extra value to your house. As a seller, it is important to understand the property market and know whom you’re selling to. If you know what specifications your target market will require, then you can fit your house to suit their needs, which will save you wasting money. Finally, always remember to plan your budget and manage it well. When it comes to renovations and extensions, many people overspend which means that they may end up losing money when they try to sell their property in this difficult market.

A BeCreative Editorial Production Editor Nuala Ryan Editorial Assistant Tara Leigh Contributors Collette Devlin, Ben Murnane, Katie Corkery Design INM Design Studio 048 3751 6005 Original Photography Nic Mac Innes Barbara Corsico Cover Image Project by ODOS architects Photography by Barbara Corsico Advertising Neil Butler (01) 7055423 Repro Independent Newspapers (Ireland) Ltd, 27-32 Talbot St, Dublin 1

8W[Md\f 6hWmU

=W[YU S[ 8W[M

}VVOcX v_RbQ


jUWcPU_Q cR_ M\_R_ WUQP N_] ]cR`_V_RQ QPcRP P\_[R N_] ]RUM[V] ZUORV_K, nXcVP `cP_5 rcP_ qcK, vcRN_QP `cP_5 }O]OQP F oaPUb_R, rUacP[UV5 oOP`UUR QTca_+ wcR`_V, {UVPc[V_R5 wRUMbc]+ nUP+ kU[X, ~, x[XX c Q__` PRcK UR TUP aUVPc[V_R ",j[_ P\_ TXcVPQ PU QPcY_Q [^ P\_K D\cN[V] Wc`_ `Rc[Vc]_ \UX_Q V__` QOTTURP cQ P\_K ]RUM, =7 0!& *+1&4 -=0! )685610' ?28 #$37)& >6-&21 10+20 06 %628' 0+;& [P `UMV cV` QTR[VYX_ P\_ Q__` c ]UU` XUUY cP P\_ TXcVPQ, eUO QTcR[V]XK caRUQQ P\_ QOR^ca_, M[XX Q__ X[PPX_ Q[`_Q\UUPQ P\cP cR_ {UN_R P\_ Q__` M[P\ "97WW U^ 760 )+22,=7" >6-&21 )68=7" 6/0 aUWTUQP cV` P\_V M[P\ ]XcQQ UR cP P\_ TU[VPQ M\_R_ Wc[V X_cN_Q TUXKP\_V_ PU aUVQ_RN_ WU[QPOR_ cR_ cPPca\_` PU P\_ QP_W, eUO cV` TcT_R PU TRUN[`_ `cRYV_QQ Q\UOX` T[Va\ P\_Q_ U^^ PU ][N_ M\[a\ c[`Q ]_RW[VcP[UV, eUOR KUOR PUWcPU_Q P\_ b_QP a\cVa_ U^ KUOV] PUWcPU TXcVPQ M[XX R[T_V[V], }XP_RVcP[N_ W_P\U`Q5 VURWcXXK _W_R]_ [V ZOQP F9~/ KUO acV ]RUM PUWcPU_Q [V ~/ `cKQ, eUO acV bOK PUWcPU TXcVPQ [Va\ TUPQ DUV_ TXcVP [V _ca\ TUP UR [^ KUO acVCP Mc[P@ `[R_aPXK [V P\_ QU[X [V KUOR ]cR`_V /,nXcVP " TXcVPQ _SOcXXK QTca_` [V c D~F [Va\_Q cTcRP', ]RUMbc] cV` McP_R P\_W,


1!& @F6)!&? E+:(&? 9:><+#+6>: 2&6

2S;;<:O pYX]Q WNK HJX NO ] ETOYNE JTQQ V E I RQ,!&M! EE.! P,,- NQ0GP# V E I L,UN,- RQTR0(0NTQ .TL,QP# V ; I <#J.! XTK,Q RTNP# V 2 I J<.! K0N,Q&U(1(Q0L," NQ0G# ¤


26&.+:6 "B&)6:F) 9:><+#+6>: 5:+ I E) I2+#;.!= 2S)S+EJ V B.TUT!&.0" "TU( "&*, OK0NN ',0N,Q W MP,P ",PP RTK,Q N'0U 0U TQ-&U0QG "&('N /M"/# V AM!&-&NG 0U- 0&Q N,!R,Q0NMQ, .TUNQT"",L&0 0-%MPN0/", L,UN&"0NTQP# ¤

E+:(A+? 4E:>. C6, 7)A 0/H; 5>3?( GF*:& 9>68 5)O 9TNP= 2S)S+E2 2iQ]OI IUX MNIz PTOTP]Q YTJIHK[]OZX IN KNNIJG• ¤


~, |cQ[X5 iQOcXXK QUMV [V qcRa\H}TR[X [V TUPQ [V`UURQ cV` WUN_` UOP`UURQ M\_V cXX `cV]_R U^ ^RUQP \cQ TcQQ_`, j\_ X_cN_Q cR_ R_c`K ^UR T[aY[V] cbUOP Q[L M__YQ c^P_R TXcVP[V], /, {\_RN[X5 {cV b_ QUMV [V TUPQ UR [V P\_ UT_V ]RUOV`, j\_ TcRQX_K X[Y_ X_cN_Q cR_ R_c`K ^UR \cRN_QP[V] ZOQP b_^UR_ bO`Q bR_cY, ", {UR[cV`_R5 iQOcXXK QUMV [V TUPQ, |UP\ X_cN_Q cV` Q__`Q cR_ _`[bX_, 7, z[XX5 {cV b_ QUMV [V P\_ ]RUOV` [V qcRa\H}TR[X, j\_ ^_RV ]R__V 9=;& 9&+.&1 +2& 2&+(, %62 5=);=7" </10 *&%62& 0!& >6-&21 65&7$ :, qcRZURcW5 {cV b_ QUMV [V`UURQ UR UOP`UURQ [V QWcXX TUPQ UR `[R_aP [VPU P\_ ]RUOV`, j\_ X_cN_Q cR_ OQOcXXK T[aY_` cP >6-&2=7" 0=8&$ -, ncRQX_K5 ncRQX_K acV cXQU b_ QUMV [V TUPQ UR [V P\_ UT_V ]RUOV`, uP [Q OQOcXXK N_RK QXUM PU ]_RW[VcP_ cV` acV b_ OQ_` [V c W[LPOR_ U^ `[Q\_Q OQ[V] ^R_Q\ UR `R[_` X_cN_Q,

n_R_VV[cX v_RbQ ~, {\[N_Q5 j\_Q_ acV b_ QUMV [V`UURQ UR UOP`UURQ [V QWcXX TUPQ UR `[R_aPXK [V P\_ ]RUOV`, j\_ ]RcQQ X[Y_ X_cN_Q cR_ aOP aXUQ_ PU P\_ bcQ_ *&%62& >6-&2=7"$ /, x_VV_X5 }]c[V N_RK QOaa_QQ^OX [V P\_ UT_V ]RUOV` UR [V TUPQ, wUU` `Rc[Vc]_ cV` TX_VPK U^ QOVX[]\P cR_ N_RK [WTURPcVP, ", q[VP5 q[VP [Q N_RK ^cQP ]RUM[V] cV` [`_cXXK Q\UOX` b_ ]RUMV [V TUPQ UR [V TUPQ TXOV]_` [V P\_ UT_V ]RUOV` k__` ]_RW[VcP[UV [Q OQOcXXK N_RK QXUM ^RUW UOP`UUR QUMV Q__`, 7, oR_]cVU5 uP [Q N_RK Q[W[XcR PU WcRZURcW cV` Rc[Q_` _cQ[XK ^RUW [V`UUR UR UOP`UUR QUMV Q__`, :, kc]_5 kc]_ [Q c bOQ\K TXcVP M[P\ MUU`K QP_WQE ]R__V ]R_K X_cN_Q +7( 5/259& >6-&21$ :0 =1

_cQ[XK ]RUMV ^RUW Q__` cV` P\_ X_cN_Q cR_ OQOcXXK T[aY_` b_^UR_ UR cP >6-&2=7" 0=8&$ -, jcRRc]UV5 j\_ \_Rb [Q TRUTc]cP_` ^RUW Q__` QUMV [V TUPQ [V }TR[X OV`_R TRUP_aP[UV, uP [Q b_QP WcVc]_` M\_V PRcVQTXcVP_` [VPU c aUVPc[V_R cV` UN_RM[VP_R_` [V`UURQ, j\_ TXcVP [Q N_RK QPRc]]XK cV` acV ]RUM OT PU ~W_PR_, 1, j\KW_5 oV_ U^ P\_ N_RK TUTOXcR \_RbQ, j\_ Q__` [Q OQOcXXK QUMV [V }TR[X [V TUPQ UR [V P\_ UT_V ]RUOV` M\_R_ TXcVPQ cR_ P\[VV_` UOP PU ~:aW cTcRP, wUX`_V X_c^_` cV` NcR[_]cP_` Y[V`Q cR_ cNc[XcbX_ M[P\ M\UX_ QP_WQ T[aY_` b_^UR_ 62 +0 >6-&2=7" 0=8&$

����� E+:(A+? 4E:>. C6, -$ %&BB C?8&:6 5; 90.$= OJ22:O 2pOYTFTYH]Q ZXQQJ WNK JXXYJ+ MQHVJ ]OY ZHIITOVJG• ¤


]ti^p dtrj 57,,-P 0U- .T!RTPN UTN &U."M-,-=

{cRRUPQ l_]OXcRXK QUM QO[PcbX_ NcR[_P[_Q ^UR c aUVQPcVP QOTTXK U^ ^R_Q\ acRRUPQ, }XP\UO]\ b_QP M\_V ^R_Q\XK T[aY_`E P\_K acV b_ X_^P [V P\_ ]RUOV` ^UR QPURc]_ TORTUQ_Q cV` X[^P_` cQ R_SO[R_`, kUM[V] acV *%"<8 <8 =%*52+5. 28&%5 ):7)!%4 75 >%%)% +8& 723&7754 $579 '65<: PU _cRXK tOXK, kUM P\[VXKE ~aW `__T [V RUMQ ~:aW cTcRP cV` P\[V P\_ 5%42:3+83 4%%&:<8"4 37 -#()9 +6+53# 07 4376 )+5573 >. $579 +33+);<8" )71%5 3!% )576 /<3! >%%)% +8& :%+1% <3 78 283<: +5728& 9<& k_TP, }XP_RVcP[N_XK [PCQ _cQK _VUO]\ PU Y__T QWcXX TXUPQ T_QP ^R__ bK QORRUOV`[V] P\_ cR_c M[P\ c -.aW \[]\ McXX 7$ ):%+5 6:+43<)# 0!% )+5573 >. <48,3 + 43578" ><%5 +8& M[XX VUP b_ cbX_ PU QacX_ P\_Q_ \_[]\PQ,

�������������������������������� ;<s$$s< pYX]Q WNK MKNM]V]ITOV JXXYJ ]OY MKNIXZITOV CNHOV MQ]OIJG V 8,!TL0/", .TL,Q# V 8T"">MR *QTUN R0U," K&N' PNMQ-G D&R ."TPMQ,# V ) 9"0UN P',"L,P# V B0PG UT>NTT" 0PP,!/"G V 2):5"= I <:5K= I 2+;5'=.!



`^dpas ]ti^p ���� ������������ 5F(#&, %3)3A*&:' ������������ ������ ' �������������� ������ E:>.F?# @F6 2S;)S<<1 2S;)S<J1 2S;)S<) ¤���� ����

�������������������������� �����")> =F?F D&:* E:>.F?# @F6 ;<$s<=.9;<$s<=; 2x]JTQ+ wNKT]OYXK ]OY wUTFX JXXYJG• 2i]KJQXC+ gNJXP]KC ]OY eUCPX JXXYJG• ¤����� ����

�� ���������� HQT..T"&3 C0U-,"&TU @ F0QQTN 7,,-P 6', ,0PG K0G NT *,,- GTMQ R,NP# 52S;SS:E= ¤


��� ������ 23?I>.&: 5+)& 4P, N', N0R, !,0PMQ, &U."M-,NT YU- TMN 'TK *0PN GTMQ PMU> XTK,QP 0Q, (QTK&U(# 52S2+<S+= ¤



7K,,N.TQU3 ?,NNM.,3 F',QQG 6T!0NT @ F0QQTN

6',G 0Q, ,0PG NT (QTK 0U- K&"" RQTL&-, GTM K&N' R",UNG T* N0PNG ',0"N'G L,(,N0/",P# 52S;SS:E= ¤






HOUSE Sinead Kelly

Want to revamp your home but have no idea where to start and you’re on a tight budget? Help is at hand. Collette Devlin meets Sinead Kelly, interior designer for the Ideal Homes Showhouse and Dulux Design Consultant for Ireland HALL


he entrance to your home is the first place that visitors will see and straight away it gives an impression about the rest of the house, so it stands to reason that updating your hallway can instantly transform your home. “Most people want a nice hallway and it’s the one concern that creeps up a lot when I do colour consultations,” says Sinead. People are concerned that their hallway is dark because many houses have limited light coming into their hallway. So Sinead recommends a complete transformation that is very cost effective – painting your stairs. “Most people have teak or pine stairs and it’s quite a dark wood, or they have gone quite orange over time. Paint your


stairs in cream or an off white colour. It might also be worth changing your carpet (perhaps it’s an outdated emerald or royal blue) to a nice light toffee colour and painting your stairs in cream.” Sinead suggests that you may also want to update your walls: “You could paint them in a crispy bright colour and wallpaper the feature wall going up the stairs in a strong print.” However, if you are wallpapering all over Sinead recommends going for a classic paper in neutral or earthy colours like khaki or a crispy toffee.

LIVING ROOM “A great way to update your living room is to change the flooring,” says Sinead. “If you have a rich-coloured carpet that might have been fantastic 10 years ago it may need to be

changed. Luckily, carpets are very inexpensive, so go with a neutral coloured carpet, with a nice texture to it which will update your room immediately. If you happen to have very strongcoloured sofas that may be a very dated colour like gold or burgundy you can cover them with trendy throws or make some covers instead of replacing your furniture.” If you do intend to buy new furniture, corner sofas and two- and threeseaters are very popular for smaller spaces. As usual Sinead suggests opting for neutral colours such as caramel or chocolate brown that won’t date and are easier to keep clean than cream. Armchairs are usually only purchased now for spacious houses where people want to make a style statement; if this is the case with your house, go for a bold floral that will compliment your neutral furniture. “I recommend that walls are not the usual bland magnolia, instead go with a much nicer toffee colour that will match the caramel of your sofa – similar colour palates will make your room feel bigger and brighter.” Sinead advises clients to stick to plain curtains that are not going to date and will add a cosier feel to the room. Keep patterns on your armchair or your cushions and possibly a rug if you have a wooden floor. She also says to always try and incorporate some colourful wallpaper into a living room, whether it’s a chimney breast or the alcove or possibly the wall behind the

sofa which looks really well. “You can afford to go nice and bright, maybe a flock with a turquoise blue if you have turquoise blue on your cushions. Because it’s one wall, if you do decide to change it in five years’ time, it will be very inexpensive. You can change the look of your room simply by changing your cushions and your wallpaper.”

TV/PLAY ROOM Sinead continues: “I’m finding most people are looking for a TV unit that will fit a flat screen and has storage underneath (for a DVD player, games consoles, cable TV box) that also keeps everything out of view. Dedicate one wall to your entertainment system and then rather than having your coffee table, it’s better to have a soft ottoman so you can put your feet up or put a tray on it. It doubles up as more seating if you do have children around for a game of something on the TV and they all want to sit right in front of it. If you need darkness in the room it’s best to have lined curtains or black-out blinds so that you can dim the light in that room for most effect for watching your movies.”

KITCHEN/DINING ROOM Very few people have dining rooms anymore as most people are extending their kitchen into their dining area, thus creating a more open plan area. Sinead recommends tiling the area, incorporating the two rooms, creating

INTERIORS boards with a featured floral wall behind teamed with coordinating curtains and cushions,” explains Sinead. “Aubergine is great and still very popular, but the latest trend at the moment is definitely grey – shades of grey teamed with different shades of yellow. Sometimes the grey can turn mousey, so it’s a brown type grey which is a really nice colour combination.” Modern contemporary chandeliers look great in a bedroom but make sure they’re not overly large, because you don’t want to overpower the room. You can never have enough storage but remember to keep your wardrobe away from the bed and keep it the same colour as the walls. If you wanted to update your bedroom and make more space, put in sliding doors and have them built in right up to the ceiling, creating floor to ceiling units. You can also incorporate mirrors to make the room feel bigger than it is. “Always go for carpet (a simple, quality 80-20 twist) in a bedroom because of the noise factor and also for comfort and warmth,” says Sinead.


a good flow between them. A very inexpensive way to update your kitchen is to create a feature wall, with wallpaper on the wall behind the table adding life to this big space. “Paint the other walls a strong colour such as greens, yellows or blues because they are appetising colours and they are fresh and bright and energising,” advises Sinead. If you have the budget to replace your kitchen and want to stay on trend then opt for a high-gloss, ultra-modern kitchen – these are at the top of everyone’s list. If you prefer a more traditional option go for a cream painted country style kitchen. Work surfaces are very important and a great way of modernising your kitchen. Sinead recommends staying away from the easy choice – black granite – and opting instead for cream or cappuccino quartz. Quartz is like granite but manmade. It’s easier to keep, still has a high gloss finish and comes in a great range of colours. However, if you are in a position where you can’t afford to just rip out the kitchen and start again and you have wooden or even melamine MDF units, you can simply paint these. “Dulux specialise in paints for kitchens and tiles – so you could just change your work surfaces and paint your kitchen units and tiles.”

ADULT BEDROOM “A big trend at the moment is head-

Storage and colour are the key words. “I would definitely recommend getting as much into the room in terms of storage as possible because children need to keep floor space for playing. There are fantastic companies out there that are offering built-in bedrooms for children and they incorporate steps, desks, bunk beds, lighting, and storage all in the one unit.” You can afford to go brighter in the kids’ room, but bear in mind children tend to grow out of things fairly quickly. “If your girl wants pink then go for the timeless shades of pink such as soft shell pink instead of Barbie pink,” advises Sinead. Never go with red – there are so many kids these days that have red football bedrooms; it’s not a good colour to have in a child’s bedroom because it’s over-stimulating. “With boys if you stay neutral with denim curtains or a denim blind and a nice shade of beige on the wall, then you can throw in colourful aspects such as cushions on the bed.” If kids are playing in the room a laminated floor is perfect – you can just put the mop over it. Carpets really aren’t recommended in children’s rooms, unless they are older, and they are at the stage where they can actually look after their own room.

colour but make sure you get a bathroom paint as opposed to a regular paint as it will withstand more humidity and moisture. Dulux Paints have a bathroom range what will be much more durable on your wall. I recommend ‘Linen’,” says Sinead. Because bathrooms tend to be small rooms, add mirrored units to increase the feeling

of space. Perhaps the simplest and least expensive way to update your bathroom is by adding nice accessories which will glam it up – try black and mirrored candles sitting on your window or nice grape-coloured towels. For more ideas check out Sinead Kelly’s website:

TOP 5 TIPS FOR PRICE-SAVVY INTERIOR REDECORATION 1. Paint your woodwork such as doors, stairs, skirting boards and door frames. Pine and Red Deal tends to go very orange and dated so by eliminating these from your room and replacing with fresh, bright paint such as Dulux Jasmine White, you will see an immediate transformation 2. Repaint rooms in strong neutral colours with shades of taupe, yellow, khaki and grey. Forget peachy magnolia! Subtle, relaxing colours are an instant quick fix. Great colours currently on the market are Dulux Muddy Puddle and Mellow Mocha, Perfectly Taupe and Muted Stone. Forget expensive designer paints, Dulux and Crown have

all you need in colours. 3. Wallpaper a feature wall in a striking print that you love looking at. Forget trendy floral and flocks, go for a wallpaper that is akin to a piece of art that you love to look at and that you know you will still love in five years’ time 4. Take up the dated carpet and replace with wooden floors. If your budget won’t stretch to solids, go for the Balterio range available nationwide at superb prices. 5. Change bedlinen – go for crisp white or ivory rather than a patterned duvet cover. Coordinate the throw and cushions with your curtains.

BATHROOM If you have the luxury of choosing a new bathroom always opt for a white bathroom suite rather than an avocado or a pink, which are old-fashioned. Travertine tiles never go out of fashion; they are classic and neutral, timeless and contemporary-looking. If you are laying new tiles, go with a larger sized tile (60cm by 40cm) which will modernises your bathroom instantly. And with taps go with more sleek taps, and one single mixer as opposed to two taps. “Again you can simply update your walls by painting them a nice bright



DOING IT YOUR WAY Even if your budget doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t extend to a full home makeover, you can still give your home a fresh, new look by following a few simple DIY tips, writes Nuala Ryan


our home should reflect your sense of style and personality and a great way of achieving this, without spending your lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s savings, is through DIY. The easiest way to brighten up your home is by giving it a fresh coat of paint. And why stop at the walls? Tiles and wood cabinets and cupboards can also really benefit from a freshening-up. Most ceramic tiles can be painted, which saves you a huge expense in pulling down and replacing tiles. You can also often tile over tiles, leaving your kitchen or bathroom looking spanking new. Continue your kitchen revamp by painting the kitchen cupboards and presses. Not only will this stop the wood from looking aged,



it will give your kitchen a contemporary look and feel. Neutral colours tend to be most popular; however, you can put your own unique style on these fittings by using contrasting bright colours or stencils. Why not make a splash with brightly coloured cabinets contrasted against a clean, white backdrop? Or perhaps paint your cabinets in a glossy white and let an intense colour on the walls make a real impression? Upstairs in the bedroom, it is important to remember that this room should represent an area of peace and tranquility, so avoid harsh colours that leave it feeling unwelcoming. You can retain this serene scene by adding key accessories to the room. By covering the original headboard of your bed with your choice of fabric, you can create an elegant and bespoke finish that creates a definite air of opulence. To really freshen up your bedroom, why not spring clean your mattress? Simply sprinkle baking soda over the

entire mattress and leave for a few hours to adsorb any bad odours. Voila, a brand new bedroom! Finally, storage space is a major issue in most households and it is simply impossible to keep a house looking tidy without adequate storage space. But there are ways of remedying this problem. Ready-made shelves create extra storage and can be installed in almost every room. Or why not unlock valuable storage space by opening up enclosed staircases? If your hallway is wide enough, shelves or shallow storage units will help you take bulky and awkward items off the floor. Not only does this create extra space, it also ensures that your home looks neat and tidy. And with the flat pack providing an incredible variety of furnishings in every conceivable style, it has never been easier to revamp your home without spending a fortune.


Sinead Kelly

CREATE A FRESH OPTIMISTIC LOOK FOR YOUR HOME THIS SPRING Sinead Kelly, Dulux Colour Consultant, gives her top tips on this Spring’s big colours


Yellow bedroom wall in Dulux Spring Breeze 3 in Vinyl Matt Grey wall in Dulux Steel Symphony 1 in flat matt emulsion Floor in Dulux Grey Steel 4 and Steel Symphony 1 in Satinwood Small cupboard in Spring Breeze 2 in Gloss

resh and zesty shades are big news this spring with a deep yellow colour such as Spring Breeze by Dulux being very prominent in interiors. It’s a versatile colour that can be used in different tones and with a variety of other colours to create very diverse looks. It’s uplifting, fizzy and crispy, whether you want to achieve a sharp architectural look with blocks of colour on feature walls, or a soft, serene space with a wrap-around pale shade. Strong and fresh yellow shades were prominent on the fashion catwalk shows in 2008, with Dries Van Noten, Anya Hindmarch, Lanvin and Dior all using its optimistic power. It then went on to reach the high street and provided a welcome addition to our wardrobes, lifting our spirits in 2009 and now interior trends in 2010 are seeing this bright optimistic yellow feature strongly. I love the rich egg yolky, slightly dirty yellows currently featuring everywhere at the interior shows and indeed in the high street fashion stores. They are unfailingly seductive when combined with caramel and white, and strikingly architectural when teamed with soft greys, taupes and corals. We tend to think of yellow as an exclusively modern colour, but Chrome Yellow was first manufactured early in the 19th century and used by neoclassical architects. Indeed, Florence Broadhurst, the famous 1950’s Australian wallpaper and fabric designer loved bright zesty yellow patterns that to date still sell worldwide to top interior designers. Have a look at Florence’s Home Collection of fabrics by going to If you have a period property that needs inspiration then try combining Spring Breeze 3 with Steel Symphony 1 to create a confident, surprisingly relaxed look, which showcases rather than fights with period features. For a stunning contemporary look in the living room that is wonderfully easy to live with, and will still look superb in five years time, use Dulux Spring Breeze 2 on the wall behind a sofa in a neutral ivory or light grey colour. Use Dulux Grey Steel 1 or Steel Symphony 2 on your chimneybreast and Clouded Pearl 1 on all other walls. When looking for cushions to bring pattern and further colour to your room, you’ll find that so many colours will compliment this scheme. Bo Concept has a fantastic selection of patterned cushions that work extremely well with the

above combination of yellow, greys and creams. Check out to see these fun cushions and you will also notice a lot of modern yellow colours featured in their wonderful chairs and sofas. One very important tool for successful interior decoration when painting rooms in yellows, greys and taupes is your choice of woodwork colour. Woodwork needs to be light in colour and a contrast to the above strong shades. Oak and pine wood on skirting boards, doors and door frames already have strong yellow tones so you must paint these in off-white colours such as Dulux’s Jasmine White, Clouded Pearl 3 and Chiffon White. A novel and inspiring way to see this for yourself in the safety of the virtual world is to click onto and use the Mouse Painter tool to paint a room. Simply click the mouse and see the room change with your choice of colour, no need to buy testers and patchwork your walls with a vast array of paints! Keep flooring light when working with contemporary schemes. Painting floor boards in Steel Symphony 6 or Jasmine White is a wonderfully uplifting trick in interior design and will brighten dark rooms. Walnut flooring will also work with the yellow scheme but again, avoid yellow and orange tones such as pine, maple and yellow oak. Large porcelain tiles with grey undertones will do wonders for your room too.

The Ideal Homes Show is taking place at the RDS from the 16th - 18th of April. The Dulux Interior Design Advice Centre, in association with the Institute of Designers in Ireland ( will be on hand throughout the show, with interior designers and architects offering free advice to visitors. For more information on this great event, visit





ome improvement, says Dermot Bannon, “is a bit like acupuncture – a small interjection somewhere can have a huge effect”. The architect and star of RTE One’s renovation series Room to Improve is currently filming the fourth series of the popular show, which will reach our screens in April. He’s taken time out from his hectic schedule to chat about ways to add space, warmth and light to your home. The first thing to do, Dermot tells me, is analyse what you have and what you need. If you’d like to add a feeling of more space, often an extension is not necessary. “The first thing that will increase the appearance of size and the general ambience of your home is light,” says Dermot. “Even just knocking out a wall and putting in some glass will give the perception of increased space, and make a much brighter room. Try and link an outside space with an inside space – that’s probably the cheapest and most efficient way to create a feeling of bigger space. “I’m a big fan of skylights – they’re a great way of bringing in light. If you live in a house with high boundary walls around it, sometimes the only way to get extra light in is through the roof. Skylights are perfect for that. They can really throw light into the middle of a room. I’ve got rooflights in my own house and I wouldn’t be without them.” You should also look at whether you’re using all your rooms to their full potential. “You might be under-using half of your house. An architect can go through your needs with you, examine how you use the different spaces. Can you double up some of the functions? Do you have an office and a sewing room, for example – and they’re never used at the same time? The office and




SPACE If you’re thinking about renovating – there’s never been a better time. Ben Murnane spoke to architect Dermot Bannon, of RTE’s Room to Improve, to get his top tips the sewing room could become one room and then you have an extra room to make part of the living space.” Sometimes, people find half their house is dark while the other half faces the light; for example, the kitchen and living area might be dull and dreary while the bedrooms are nice and bright. In this case, Dermot would recommend flipping the house around: putting the bedrooms where the kitchen is and the kitchen where the bedrooms are. After all, you only use your bedrooms at night – it doesn’t matter so much if they’re dark! “If you are adding an extension, think about how much extra space you need. Again, an architect can go through that with you.” Another thing to consider is the age of the building. “There’s a huge difference between doing work on a house that’s 10 years old and on one that’s 110 years old,” continues Dermot. “Be conscious of the condition of everything in

your house: heating, plumbing, electrics. And then for older houses, the general condition of the build.” All of this will affect renovation. Despite the economic situation, this is a good time to renovate, according to Dermot – because builders’ prices have dropped, and there are many sales and bargains on offer. There are also a few basic things you can do to reduce your costs. “If you’re able to do the legwork, source materials and plan things yourself in the initial stages, you can save a lot of money. I’ve noticed that a lot on Room to Improve this year – clients have gone out and done the legwork, shopped around and saved themselves a fortune.” Particularly if your house is an older building, you can make huge savings over the long term by upgrading your Building Energy Rating as you renovate. “If you’re going to be ripping apart your kitchen, you may as well

“Try and link an outside space with an inside space – that’s the cheapest and most efficient way to create a feeling of bigger space”

insulate it, and maybe get that new boiler. It’s a good time to do it.” All this is good for reducing your carbon footprint – but you will also see the savings in your own pocket when your home is more energy efficient. Finally – what can we expect from the fourth series of Room to Improve, beginning next month? “It’s a very different series this year,” Dermot enthuses. “All the developments we worked on before were exempt from planning permission – but this year we’ve had longer to work on the series so we’ve gone for planning permission. It’s really opened up the possibilities for what we can do. I’m very excited about it!”

The new series of Room to Improve begins on RTE One in April. For more information on Dermot Bannon Architects visit



uilding Energy Rating or BER has become a vital part of the property industry. Similar to the energy labels visible on all new household electrical appliances, a BER measures the efficiency of how energy is used throughout a building. It rates the energy performance of a home on a scale from A1 (meaning extremely efficient) to G (least efficient) by taking into account the annual consumption of energy for water heating, space heating, ventilation lighting and associated fans and pumps. A BER certificate is now a statutory requirement for all buildings offered for sale or rent. If you are buying or renting a house or apartment now, you are entitled to a BER so do ask the seller/landlord or their agent for it. Having a BER cert available from the outset allows prospective buyers or tenants to make a more informed decision about the property in question. Not only that, but alongside the BER certificate you receive an Advisory Report which provides homeowners with an insight into how efficient their house is and highlights areas where they could make substantial savings. The home is one of the largest users of energy in Ireland, accounting for one third of the country’s total energy usage. Much of this energy is wasted through poor insulation and water leakage. One Dublin resident, Jon Hutton, recognised the need to go green and made steps to improving his carbon footprint by conducting a BER survey on his four-bedroom detached home. “I suppose as you are getting older you become more aware of green issues and there was also the long-term aspect to it, that in 10 years’ time, with fuel costs rising, it will save you money,” explained Hutton. One thing that was highlighted after the BER was conducted was the family’s dependency on gas. Hutton wanted to reduce the high cost of using gas, which was approximate-



The need to go green is now more relevant than ever – by making some changes to your home you could be helping the planet and your wallet. Katie Corkery looks at the many benefits of the Building Energy Rating (BER) scheme

KNOW YOUR BER ly €2,150 per annum based on averages for space and water heating, and decided to install solar panels. Solar panels can account for 70 per cent of your water heating, which is typically 30-40 per cent of your overall spend, thus resulting in a reduction of approximately €600 per annum. Installation of the solar panels was also relatively painless. “It took three days. The only disruption was with the bathrooms because there was no hot water, but they did reconfigure it every evening when they left.” After the installation of the solar panels and the upgrades to the insula-

tion were completed the BER results of Hutton’s home went from C3 to a B1, which means a 50 per cent reduction on his home’s carbon footprint. Hutton also availed of Home Energy Saving (HES) which equated to nearly a third of the total cost of purchasing and fitting the solar panels. The HES, which is administered by Sustainable Energy Ireland, is a scheme designed to provide grants to homeowners who wish to improve the energy efficiency of their home while reducing costs and greenhouse gas emissions. There are a number of different home upgrades currently eligible under

this scheme including wall insulation, roof insulation and heating system upgrades. Home owners can also avail of the grant if they choose to get a BER assessment before or after the work is completed. This scheme offers grants of up to 40 per cent of the typical cost of energy efficiency upgrade measures, varying depending on the measure concerned.

For Formore moreinformation informationon onBER BERand and the theHES HESgrant grantcontact contactSustainable Sustainable Energy EnergyIreland Irelandon on1850 1850927000 927000or or



bills. If you already have gas or oil fired central heating, you can cut your costs by installing a dual heating system; that is, having your current central heating system run in conjunction with a boiler model Stanley stove. When the stove is lighting it will not only heat the room, it will also heat radiators and water so there is no need to have the oil or gas boiler running at the same time.

stove in place of an open fire is one of the simplest and most effective ways of reducing fuel consumption. An open fire is only 20 per cent efficient as most of the heat is lost up the chimney. In comparison, a Stanley stove can be up to 80 per cent efficient, which simply means that it uses much less fuel while giving more heat. This fuel efficiency is just an added bonus to the cosy warmth generated by a Stanley stove. Combining heating systems is another way of reducing 0000_JS_21%-WS AD_Layout 1 heating 04/03/2010 15:15 Page 1

CAST-IRON RANGES Inefficient boilers are major offenders when it comes to high fuel consumption. Replacing a boiler that is more than 15 years old with a new one can reduce heating costs by up to a quarter. A

The recent spell of cold weather created a surge of interest in the home heating market. People are now deciding to upgrade their heating systems in order to improve their efficiency and reduce their bills in time for the next cold snap. By examining overall energy usage and making minor modifications, it is usually possible to drastically cut the energy consumption of a home. Stanley cast-iron range cooker is an efficient and beautiful way to provide cooking, heating and hot water functions to your home. The boilers in Stanley range cookers have efficiencies of up to 85 per cent, the BER benchmark for cast-iron range cookers. Oil and gas models provide independent control of heating, hot water and cooking and compatibility with zone control heating allows for greater fuel efficiency. Apart from functionality a range

cooker is a signature piece in any kitchen. The heat it radiates creates a wonderfully warm and welcoming environment - making it the heart of home. Are you renovating your home, interested in upgrading your heating system or building a new house? Waterford Stanley offers a Home Heating Consultancy service to help make the process easier, with no extra cost to you. Call 1850 302 502 or log onto for further details.

For more information on how you can save on your fuel bills with Stanley stoves log on to

Stanley Stoves



Brandon Range Cookers



Erin Boiler Enamel



Brandon 100k



Erin Non Boiler Enamel



Brandon 80k



Brandon 60k







he garden has become an ever more important part of our living space. Modern gardens are well kept and have strong contemporary design elements encompassing furniture and lighting. You can spruce-up your garden just like you decorate your home. Fabulous furniture and abstract accessories such as wooden gazebos, fire pits, barbecues, pretty lights and hammocks can enhance any garden so that it becomes a place to relax, soak up the sun, dine al fresco, entertain friends or simply sit back and enjoy the outdoors when the weather does eventually get warm. You’ve come through the cold Irish winter of snow and rain, spring has officially started and the days are getting warmer – what better time to find those discarded gardening gloves and get back into your garden? “Gardening is probably one of the few hobbies that everyone can get involved with despite age or fitness. It’s also a great way to get kids out into the fresh air and with ‘The Food Dudes’ healthy eating programme in primary schools (, it’s a good idea to continue the gardening from school to back home,” says Martin.

GREEN FINGERS ON A BUDGET Like most things nowadays, people are conscious of expenditure when it comes to the garden. However, according to Martin, it is possible to have a beautiful and productive garden without spending lots of money. If you are on a tight budget you first have a specific purpose for what you want the garden to be used for. Always start with getting the soil right by digging some well-rotted manure or organic material into the soil to help everything grow. This will be the biggest investment. “Keep up-to-date with seasonal planting by looking in magazines and newspapers, for example, if you’re planting trees or new hedges during the dormant season, the costs will be lower. The local garden centre will also be a great source of help.”

PLANTING We have a very mild climate and most plants do very well. According to Martin, the most important thing to get right when getting started on your gar-

Collette Devlin dons her gardening gloves as award-winning garden designer Paul Martin takes her on a tour of one of his gorgeous gardens and gives her some tips on keeping her fingers green


GROW? den is the soil. The healthier the soil, the better the plants will do. Add plenty of organic matter; if it’s very heavy soil add grit and mix well. In certain situations some plants require either acidic or alkaline soil – a ph testing kit from your local garden centre should tell you which you have and what plants are suited. If you have space for a tree, then decide what sort of tree you would like or you have room for. Martin recommends the colourful Amelanchier Canadensis tree, which blossoms white flowers in spring and dark berries in the autumn. A great idea is to visit the Botanic Gardens in Dublin for inspiration for your garden. “As you get into the swing of your new green-fingered hobby you will slowly start to find the type of plants that you like, take notes and watch how they are planted in conjunction with other plants,” says Martin. “A cottage garden feel for example would mix old English roses with nepeta, alchemilla mollis and spring bulbs. A more contemporary feeling garden would contain more ornamental grasses, festuca, miscanthus and bamboos.

PATIOS AND DECKING Before creating your ‘outdoor room’ observe the different aspects of your garden. Look where the sun is at different parts of the day and think about when you will be using the garden. For example, if the only time you spend in



the garden is in the evenings, you may notice that the sun is in the back corner of the garden. This is where you should put your hard standing or your deck. “I have always found when designing a garden, those that work well from a practical and usage point of view, are those where there is easy access from the terrace or deck area back to the engine room of the house – the kitchen,” explains Martin. Regardless of the surface of the terrace, access and a good flow in and out make it work. Get away from centrepieces; you don’t want one thing in the middle of the garden, your eyes should always be travelling around. A patio or terrace can be a great focal point but if it doesn’t feel cosy it’s not practical. When it’s beside the kitchen you can easily pop back inside the house if you forget something. Raised walls about seat height with a cushion added for comfort can make room for an extra guest. Planting scented plants like lavender and rosemary are not only helpful whilst cooking but are also great for helping to keep midges and flies away. Low growing herbs placed close to where guests might rest, such as lemon scented thyme or Corsican mint, give a magnificent scent when touched. This gives you the perfect opportunity to start a conversation about your horticultural and culinary skills. There are a number of materials on

the market now for your terrace or patio, ranging from granite to sandstone, limestone to paving bricks. Using a bigger size of slab in a small space gives the illusion of more space and a brick edge frame or border can add that extra something. “Always get a sample to check how it looks during daylight and night time, you will be surprised the difference it can make – for example, a lighter coloured slab or brick will bounce more light at night whether moonlight or electrical,” advises Martin. “Decking has its place but must be

GARDENING more light at night whether moonlight or electrical,” advises Martin. “Decking has its place but must be installed correctly. Bear in mind that our Irish climate is a damper one than in America, where it’s very popular,” says Martin. “Always allow the air to access under and out of the deck, a slight gap between the boards, and a fall away from the house, so they can dry off quite fast. Air access at the sides of the deck should have a metal screen to protect against unwanted pests.” There are three types of decking available: hardwood, softwood and composite. The latter is a mix of wood dust and manmade materials and is available in different colours. Hardwoods are generally more expensive than their softwood counterparts but if treated well they’ll weather beautifully and last a lifetime. However, well-treated softwood can last for up to 25 years and look just as good – make sure that you choose pressure-treated softwood to prevent rotting. “One great thing about decking in comparison to a stone or brick terrace is its warmth, and it’s safer for children.”

DESIGNING YOUR DREAM GARDEN “Consider how you will look at the garden from inside,” advises Martin. “After all, for a lot of the time that’s where you will be viewing it from. If it’s possi-

ble have a focal point in a far corner, as this will trick the eye into thinking the garden is bigger than it is – perhaps clad an old wall in trellis or timber. Remember, only use a few materials in a small garden as many will clutter it up.” “When it comes to lighting a garden, underuse is better. Light the steps, a distant feature, perhaps up-light one or two trees. If highlighting the terrace, use warm light colours such as warm white. New LED fittings on the market will give the same light as a 50 watt bulb from a 7 watt. When designing a small garden, every aspect of the practicalities of the house, garden and its inhabitants have to be taken into consideration: privacy, lighting, storage, play areas, vegetable patches, dining areas, etc. Make a wish list of what you like, need and want! Paul Martin has designed gardens in Ireland, America and Europe, winning medals from the Chelsea Flower Show, Hampton Court, Tatton Park, Garden Heaven and Bloom in the Park. www.paul

BBQ DELIGHTS When summer finally arrives, it’s time to dust down the barbecue and get busy in your new kitchen – the great outdoors! It only takes the aroma of chargrilled steaks to have you on the phone to all your friends inviting them round for a great evening of outdoor dining and to show off your fabulous garden! Barbecues now come in a whole range of sizes, styles and price categories, from charcoal to gas, disposable to ultra high-tech. There is no doubt that the original charcoal

flavour is still the best, but if you have a balcony three stories up in an apartment block, a small gas barbecue is more practical and slightly cleaner. Additions of oak and hickory flavoured wood chips can be added to the gas version to give that country aroma. When using your barbecue for the first time this year remember to heat it up well in advance to clear away any unwanted bugs. Disposable barbecues are very handy indeed and quite inexpensive, but only use them on a solid or heat-proof surface like an old paving slab or sand and not on a new deck, for example. Adding a few sprigs of your homegrown rosemary on the charcoal just before the chicken or meat goes on will add so much flavour that everyone will think you’ve hired a chef to do the catering!




THE CREAM OF THE With an incredibly high standard of interior design thinking in Ireland today, Nuala Ryan recognises some of the great home grown talents and gets their top tips on home renovations



nterior designer Maria MacVeigh typifies the incredible level of excellent design thinking in Irish design today. Having been shortlisted, highly commended and winner at last year’s Institute of Designers in Ireland (IDI) awards for her work on three separate projects, Maria is a force to be reckoned with in national and international interior design. Maria qualified with a degree in Interior Design from DIT before moving to Barcelona immediately after qualifying to work. Having spent 13 years abroad, she returned to Ireland six years ago to set up her own practice. Maria undertakes both commercial and domestic work, and approaches each project with a firm understanding of her client’s requirements. She takes time to meet with each prospective client, showing them her incredible body of work and explaining how the practice works. These discussions determine whether the practice will be suitable for the client’s needs and, if so, the project can begin to move forward with foundations laid for a successful venture. To date, Maria has worked on such


commercial projects as the redesigning of top chef Ross Lewis’s Chapter One restaurant and Chefs Table in Dublin, a project that she particularly enjoyed, and that was shortlisted for an IDI award. According to Maria, each project has its own narrative. “Nearly all the work that I do is in the refurbishment of old or existing buildings and all projects offer various opportunities for redevelopment. Finding out what this is can be as much a surprise for me as for my clients, but I really enjoy this process of understanding the existing building in order to bring it to a new stage in its life.” Most of Maria’s projects have required an extension of the existing space, which she has also designed. She works closely with engineer David Maher, developing and detailing the finished project to ensure that a thorough service is delivered to the client. So, what advice would Maria give to anyone thinking of renovating his or her home? “Appointing the professional most suitable for the job is the beginning and end of a good project. Search through magazines and the IDI’s website ( for listings of designers. And remember that professionals are very happy to meet you and show you what they do in order to help you make an informed judgment.” Maria’s recent work on a Mews house in Dublin won her a 2009 IDI award. Her work on the restoration and renovation of an Edwardian house in Sandycove was highly commended at this same award ceremony. Visit www.maria for further details.

Project by Maria MacVeigh, photography by Barbara Corsico





ormer art and design teacher Maria Fenlon started up her interior design business in 2002, specialising in creating functional, comfortable and stylish homes that perfectly suit the owner’s lifestyle and needs. By helping clients to focus on their preferred style, Maria designs a living space that will best suit this style. According to Maria, design is all about newness, innovation and creativity. Research and product sourcing are a very important part of this process and Maria spends a lot of time abroad researching new designs. However, even though new trends are an exciting part of the business, Maria is a firm believer in the timeless quality of classic designs that will always retain their elegance and beauty. At the end of the day, however, it is the client’s home and so it is important to listen to the client’s needs and ideas before offering expert advice. “Even improving storage space in the home can make a huge difference to people’s lives. We cater for their needs, help them to identify their preferred style and work to create a unique and seamless finished interior. “Seeing how my designs impact on

my client’s quality of life is definitely one of the most rewarding parts of the job.” For anyone thinking of renovating their home, Maria recommends you start out by looking at the structure and space of the room and list all the needs for the space. “See if the space is being fully utilised,” Maria advises. “It’s amazing how many rooms in people’s homes can look like separate spaces. You should think about how to link the room to the rest of the house and best use the space and the light.” Maria recommends you next consider what storage space is required, as well as your living needs, and how you plan to accommodate these. Think about the style of the room and how you might carry this style throughout the house. If you can achieve a unified look throughout your home, you can make it feel bigger and more organised. Using her background in sculpture and model making, Maria provides her clients with a 3D model-making facility. This has proven to be a very useful tool in helping clients and builders to visualise the space they are working with, which in turn saves time and prevents people from making expensive design mistakes. Maria was recently commended at the IDI awards for her work on The Mill House in Carlow, a magnificent and traditional thatched structure with working wheel on the banks of the River Slaney. Visit for further information on her work and projects.





DKM Architects and Designers is a newly formed practice located in the heart of Terenure. Promoting an open door policy, ODKM are with you from the beginning to end of every project, offering an initial free appraisal and inspection of your home, as well as sharing ideas as to the potential direction that the property renovations and design could take. Partners Declan O’ Donnell, Barry Kane and Ciarán Cole are undoubtedly a talented bunch. In fact, Declan was headhunted from college to work with one of the leading architectural firms in the world, Norman Foster and Partners in London. Having spent some time abroad, Declan returned home and together with Barry and Ciarán set up ODKM. Since then, and with the help of Declan’s incredible design training and experience, the practice has been laying a solid foundation in the architectural design market. According to Barry, the current market is a lot different than it was a few years ago. Today, it is almost inconceivable to spend 200-250 thousand euro on extensions and renovation work, as many had done during the boom time. But, as Barry points out, now is the right time to be developing your home as labour is cheaper than ever and building costs are down.

“People’s lives have changed over the past 10 years and the vast majority of jobs that we work on are home renovations. Most people want to create an open plan kitchen, dining and family area, as this is where they spend the most time. And by investing in these well-used areas of your home you will see the most benefits and get the best value for money.” For many people, renovation work can be a huge undertaking, both financially and emotionally. Barry offers his expert advice on how to make the most of this investment. “We would advise people to have an overall plan or idea of what they would like to achieve at the end of their renovation work. We recommend that people who are getting work done now should ensure that this work will not have to be undone later or affect the overall plan. “If you are serious about getting work done then get an architect to review your home,” Barry advises, “This way they can take into account what you are looking for and what is the best way to reach your end goal.”

nn-Marie McCarthy is a determined young designer. Not willing to let the economic downturn affect her career, she set up her own interior design practice and hasn’t looked back since. Having left Griffith College with a BA Honours degree in Interior Architecture, Ann-Marie was working with a practice in Cork before being let go due to the recession. Not content to sit on the sidelines, Ann-Marie decided to set up her own company and has been lucky enough to be busy ever since, making sure that her clients are looked after 110 per cent. Having felt the impact of the recession first hand, Ann-Marie noticed a lot of difference between then and now. “Back in the boom times, people didn’t really invest in anything; when the wanted something they just bought it. Now, people are thinking long term instead of short term. Not only do they want to get good value for money, they want something that will stand the test of time.” According to Ann-Marie, there are many ways to freshen up a room without it becoming an expensive process. “Most people have lovely homes with lovely furnishings but sometimes they just have things in the wrong places. You can change the look of a room by simply moving a few things around, and this won’t cost you any money!” “Also, I find a lot of people are not happy with the tiles they have in their bathrooms or kitchen. What a lot of people don’t realise, however, is that, as long as the tile is suitable, they can tile over tiles. This saves the mess of having to pull down tiles and is a great way of giving a room a fresh, new look.”

ANN-MARIE McCARTHY Mac INTERIORS Ann-Marie also offers her clients a shopping service. Having put in all the groundwork beforehand, she brings her clients around to all the shops to pick out all the key ingredients needed to put their room together. If you are starting out by renovating a single room in your house, Ann-Marie advises you to consider the overall style of your home and to make sure that this new design is in keeping with this overall style. She always reminds her clients that it is their design and is ultimately their choice – her job is to make this design real and to make sure that the client loves it. If you would like more information on Ann-Marie’s work, visit

For more information on ODKM Architects and Designers, why not call into their office in Terenure or visit

THE IDI DESIGN AWARDS Established in 1997, the Institute of Designers in Ireland Awards is an occasion to celebrate the excellent standard of design achieved by designers on the island of Ireland and to promote this creative talent to a commercial audience. It is the only ‘all-Ireland’ design competition, covering all design sectors and judged by a distinguished panel of international jurors. Judging is conducted in a round table discussion format and entrants vie for the coveted ‘IDI Eye’. For more information of the IDI and the work that they do, visit



NEWS Create an even sweeter scent with Jo Malone and Farrow & Ball

Epoch’s outdoor rattan and cast-aluminum garden furniture


poch’s new range of outdoor rattan garden furniture adds a contemporary feel to their garden furniture range. Manufactured from fully weatherproof PVC rattan and hand-woven over a rust-resistant frame, this MAINTENANCE FREE product can be left outdoors all year round. Any dust or dirt can be easily washed off with a hosepipe or power washer. It is also UV light resistant to ensure that the coloured rattan does not fade in the sunlight. Epoch’s cast-aluminum range is also proving to be very popular due to its MAINTENANCE FREE character, while the timeless traditional designs look amazing in any size garden. Go to for more details.


o Malone and Farrow & Ball have recently joined forces to launch their first ever collection of coloured candles. Farrow & Ball have used their expertise in interiors to match each of the Jo Malone iconic fragrances to a colour intrinsically linked to the unique inspiration behind each scent. The candles come in five limited edition fragrances – Lime Basil & Mandarin, Wild Fig & Cassis, Grapefruit, Pomegranate Noir and Blue Agava & Cacao. For your nearest stockist go to

Sony redefines how you watch television


he new Sony BRAVIA collection is set to change the way you watch TV forever. The new BRAVIA NX800 Sony duet Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) gives you the power to connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi and explore a huge choice of content and services from your living room. Also now with the new BRAVIA range you can watch full High Definition 3D movies from the comfort of your own home.

Win a stove worth €499!


his is the year to invest in a Stanley multi-fuel stove. One of the most talked about reasons for choosing a stove over an open fire is that stoves are 3-4 times more efficient. Simply put, you will use less fuel in your stove and obtain more heat from it. Waterford Stanley are offering readers the chance to win an Oisin stove worth €499. For details on how to enter log on to


Colour me beautiful


mporting marble and granite from quarries all over the world, Irish-owned Marble and Granite Supplies Ltd boast a wide range of products including fireplaces, granite worktops, quartz worktops, vanity units, breakfast bars, marble and limestone tiles and a large range of garden paving. Improve the value of your home with a visit to Ireland’s largest stone superstore and view the extended showrooms in Malahide Industrial Park. Current special offers include new worktops from €1,500 and marble fireplaces from €950. Visit for more details.



hoosing a colour for the outside of your home is a risky job, with so many factors to consider. The Dulux Weathershield colour card offers the largest range of ready-mix colours on the Irish market, as well as excellent hints and tips to help you choose. Colours of the season include Wattle, Innisfail and Claystone, muted shades perfect for our sometimes dull and grey Irish lighting. For more information visit

Revamp your home with Marble and Granite


ith the help of the Kenwood Cooking Chef, you can make light work of tricky dishes – even the most pedestrian of cooks will be able to churn out perfect choux pastry, creamy risottos and Italian meringues. Available from Brown Thomas stores in Dublin and Cork for €1,200 RRP.

Unique and handcrafted furniture


he Handmade Furniture Company design and craft a full range of living room, dining room, bedroom, children’s and nursery furniture as well as custommade pieces, supplied exclusively to their unique shop in Waterford City. With an eco-friendly profile and green philosophy, they purchase all their raw materials and wood from government-controlled renewable sources and handcraft a large range of solid hardwood furniture using traditional methods of construction. Each piece of furniture is a labour of love, passionately designed and then crafted with great care



oday, more and more people are becoming aware of the dramatic impact that upgrading window blinds can have on a space. Ranging from traditional Roller and Venetian Blinds to Exclusive Silhouette and Duette shades, the Luxaflex collection can provide the solution for all window scenarios, whilst adding an eye-catching element to one’s room. Most importantly, there are product ranges to suit all budgets! To find your local dealer, call 1850 360 860 or log on to

and skill so that there are never any two pieces exactly alike. The Handmade Furniture Company is definitely worth a trip to Waterford, or you can shop online at

Inside Out Magazine  

Magazine designed by myself. Editorial supplied.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you