Hi everyone, Happy New Year! Hope your first week back to normal routine hasn’t been too much of a shock to the system. I’ve said before that September often feels like more of a new year for me as my academic music year begins there. But for some reason 2015 feels like a really exciting fresh start with lots of promise for what the next twelve months might bring. I hope you feel the same way about your year ahead and that you’re feeling rested and relaxed after the Christmas break. I took a step back from blogging as frequently in the second half of last year and took some time to assess the balance of computer vs other time. It’s still a juggling act, but I’m looking forward to sharing projects and images that I’m really passionate about, both from my own styling work and those that inspire me. First up this year, a gorgeous Edwardian House in leafy Sandymount in Dublin shot by Mark Scott, which I had the pleasure of styling for Image Interiors and Living.
Home to talented photographer Doreen Kilfeather and her lovely family, not to mention star of the show Bonnie the Westie! The space is warm and intimate and serves as a true testament to living with your art. Her photographs mingle with vibrant oil paintings, all of which look right at home among Farrow and Balls Hague Blue walls. It was another reminder of how rarely I print photos these days. Reassuringly though Doreen says it was the shoot that gave her the push to frame some of her favourite images of her kids from summer holidays past.
“I’m always encouraging people to who come to the house to update their own pictures, You have to practice what you preach. Each one has a bit of a story behind it. My son Jamie is just totally at home in the water, and I wanted to bring that out. They remind me of summers away. It’s a bit corny, but it’s nice.”
Her kitchen and dining space is the heart of the home and flooded with light thanks to skylights and beautiful floor to ceiling glass doors that open straight out into the garden. She enlisted the help of architect Denis Looby to transform the room from a dark and gloomy area to the current warm and welcoming family hub. I love the combination of wood and stone which Doreen softened with clusters of loose ferns and herbs. “Everyone just gravitates to the kitchen, so it made sense to make it into a big, decent room,” she explains. “The reason we got an architect was that the house was quite dark, and Denis has a genius for light and space. We love cooking here and having people over. It’s a real party space.”
One of my favourite little corners in Doreen’s home was her office tucked into a lovely space behind the kitchen area. How amazing are that table and chair?! It certainly looks so much more glamorous than my desk and captures her innate sense of style perfectly. The industrial table was sourced in Paris (all good furniture stories should start like that!) and the singer sewing chair was discovered at an antiques fair around the corner from her home. Sublime indeed!
If you thought the bathroom was a space where art was off limits think again. A past Christmas project Doreen collated with family photos has found a welcoming home in their airy bathroom that captures some of their favourite moments over the years. She simply printed them out on paper, cut them down to size and added captions and clips to create a truly unique collection of stories. “Originally I had hung them off the staircase garland,” she explains. “People walked into the hall and starting pointing, remembering where and when they were taken. I love that people can connect with something – that you can touch it. It’s beautiful paper.”
So what do you think, pretty stunning right? I loved spending the afternoon styling here though as Doreen’s taste is so impeccable I didn’t have to add much to bring the photos to life, what you see really is how they live. Which gives me hope that one of these years I’ll be able to bring all my dream interior pinterest boards to life…another thing to add to the to do list for this year!
Image Credits: Photography: Mark Scott | Interview: Amanda Kavanagh for Image Interiors and Living | Styling: Ciara O’Halloran