Thursday, August 25, 2011

Upstairs at the dream house

So previously on Stylish Irish I was 'fantasy decorating' my dream house that's currently on the market back in Ireland.  I'd managed to work my way through main rooms downstairs, so now it's time to move on to the first floor.

Wowee!  Not only 5 bedrooms to decorate but 5, yes 5 bathrooms AND a generously sized dressing room!!!  Shall we start with the Master suite?  Here's what I'm thinking...

Click for a closer look
I've looked to Suzanne Kasler again for inspiration here.  I'm loving lattice print right now and this neutral colour scheme is restful while also being sophosticated. 

via Suzanne Kasler
It's the interiors equivalent of a classic camel coat - luxurious and elegant without being showy.

That's my idea of style perfection.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Decorating my dream house

A while ago I blogged about my dream house back in the home country.  Check it out here.  Then the other day I was reading Blue Fruit's blog (a current favourite of mine) and I was totally inspired by Virginia's 'Rescue me Please' post.  Basically, she imagined buying a diamond in the rough Art Deco house currently on the market and imbuing it once again "with dignity and drama".  Well it occurred to me that I should also embark on a fantasy redecoration project and what better subject than my dream house.

There's quite alot of floor area to play with here so let's chunk this down and focus first on the ground floor.

What's our vision?  I'm thinking classic with a contemporary twist.  As a jumping off point, I thought of this photograph by Mario Testino:

If you look carefully at the picture of the stairs in the 'before' photos, you'll see there's already a black and white tiled floor to work with in the main hall. 

I like the idea of mixing the classic checkerboard floor with a more contemporary approach.  For example, the hallway below a la Suzanne Kasler is classic but contemporary in its simplicity and lightness.  I love how fresh and unstuffy it looks.  And bye bye Mr Red Carpet on the stairs (what were they thinking)!!

The room below is again by Ms Kasler.  I'm a sucker for black and white and I think extending the colour scheme from the formal entrance to the drawing room provides continuity.

You gotta admit, it's a step up from the current arrangement.  For some reason, terracotta is a big hit in Irish interiors (yuck!).  At least the carpet is neutral but I wonder whether original timber floors lurk beneath...

Next, let's step into the dining room.  I'm thinking of a scheme somewhere in between the following two looks, one of which featured in a recent edition of Lonny and the other is by Kelly Hoppen.

via Lonny 

Once again, it's about striking the right balance between classic and contemporary.

Now, what about the kitchen? What I ask is that navy stripe about?

How about something a little more like this...

via Lonny
and this...
via decorpad
It's fantastic that with such a large space, there's ample room for both a generous kitchen and a less formal dining area.

Every home needs a comfy living area for some serious relaxing, coach potato-ing even!  So here's what I'm thinking for the sitting room that's directly off the kitchen:

Winters are cold these times in Ireland and it's hard to beat an open fire as a focal point.
And finally, the study:

Soon to follow is the upstairs.  There are still five bedrooms, numerous bathrooms and a dressing room to go so the fantasy decorating is far from complete!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The house next door...

Whether you consider it a constant source of envy or an ever present motivator, the fact is that the villa right next door to ours has had it's full makeover including a big loft-style extension.  One half of the couple who developed the house was an interior designer.  They've since sold up and the new neighbours have just moved in.  The other day however, quite by chance, I came across this article which appeared in the NZ Herald when the house was on the market a few months ago.  I thought you might be interested to see the pics as an insight into on how these villa renos go in my neck of the woods.

Monday, August 15, 2011


Eventually, when we get closer to building THAT extension I've been talking about, I'm going to have to choose a kitchen.  Now I always thought of myself as a modern kitchen kinda gal and I was bracing myself for an argument with 'himself' who I know would like something a bit more ... cosy.  Lately however, I've found myself drawn to a more traditional style of kitchen - see the pics below:

Are these what you call shaker style doors?  I would just never have thought that was me!!
This interest in something a bit more traditional started I think when I saw this kitchen by Thomas O' Brien.  It isn't shaker style but it definitely marked a departure for me away from solely admiring contemporary styled kitchens.
This is from the old school house he renovated (in upstate NY I think) and I just love that entire house.

Anyway, this desire for something a bit more classic on the kitchen front won't keep me completely out of trouble with 'himself".  I know he would also like something a bit more woody and as you can see, I very much like white kitchens.  Oh well - I guess we'll have to cross that bridge when we come to it!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Random Inspiration

I was cleaning out the hard drive on my computer at work today and came across these random interiors images I've been storing.  Enjoy!

Currently Coveting...

... this bag from Gucci. 
Unfortunate isn't it that the ONLY black leather handbag out there that I like happens to be this one, which has a price tag of 3,300 pounds sterling (I fear to think what that is in NZD!).  I really like the shape, the bamboo handle, the detailing AND it's got some tassels (I'm obsessed!).  Sigh. 

Here's the description from net a porter:

Embellished with delicate gold studs and signature bamboo tassels, Gucci's black leather tote is a covetable new-season carryall. Team it with a sleek sweater and tuxedo pants for a hit of the label's understated glamour. Shown here with an Yves Saint Laurent ring and a Gucci top, pants and shoes.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Last week's round up

Hi all.  Hope you've had/are having a good weekend.  It's been stormy and wet here in Auckland.  It was lovely therefore to see Small Acorns' cheery picture of daffodils to remind us down under that Spring is on the way.  I also really like how Amanda has displayed the blooms in a tray of old milk bottles. 

Meanwhile, Erin at Elements of Style received this gorgeous Hermes bangle as a surprise birthday gift from her hubby last Friday.  This baby has been on my wishlist for a while so I am very impressed ... and a tad envious!  Check out her post here where she tells us how he hid the little orange box behind a pretend gift of a sweater.
Hermes Bangle via Elements of Style
Moving on now to something more frivolous, yes it's the needlepoint cushion from Jonathan Adler that hass been featured on many blogs recently including So Haute earlier this week.  I believe these words of wisdom come from Kate Moss and I hate to say i tend to agree with her...

...which is why this delicious sounding salad recipe from A Cup of Mai is just the ticket!!  I'm looking forward to trying it next summer.

Watermelon Mixed Greens Salad
3 cups mixed greens
2 cups seedless watermelon, 3/4 inch-diced and chilled
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice ( 2 lemons)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Wash mix greens and spin dry.  Place the mix greens and watermelon in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Pour enough dressing on the mix greens to moisten. Toss well and place on salad plates. Sprinkle feta cheese on the mix greens and watermelon. Sprinkle with salt and serve.

Have a great week!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Marc Jacobs to the rescue?

Since my post yesterday (the one where I lamented the lack of truly delectable Ipad covers), I went on Net a Porter in one more brave attempt to find a winter coat for my new baby.  I was delighted to discover the following by Marc Jacobs, a new addition to the range available since I'd last checked on the website.

Cute, n'est ce pas? And bang on the money at approx 100 NZD.  I particularly like that it has faux fur lining to keep my little Ipad nice and snug.  Another Marc Jacobs number that caught my eye was this:
I like it for it's "Chanel-ness" and the fact that it can double as a handbag.  However, at around 700 NZD, it's a lot more than I want to spend.

This Pucci also stirred my interest though I's prefer it in a pink/orange colour scheme.
All images via netaporter
 Maybe there's hope afterall?

Thursday, August 04, 2011

DVF Ipad Cover Dilemma

I've been MIA the last few days. Family related stuff. Moving on...

Himself was most kind recently and bought me an Ipad 2 (yes, I'm spoilt - it wasn't my birthday or any other occasion). It's white of course. I don't know what Apple were up to when they didn't offer the original version in white - most odd. Anyhu, I've decided my ipad needs a stylish jacket and from my trip around the blogs, I've found that quite a few of us are rather disappointed by the offerings out there at the mo.  Made By Girl commented that the perfect Ipad case does not exist and I'm afraid I must agree.  In the end she went with the Michael Kors python number as shown below, which I think is rather nice but not quite for me.  You can read her Ipad case post here.

Above 3 images via Made By Girl
I thought I had struck gold when I saw these from DVF.  Look - there's a tassle on the zip and everything, which is a trend I'm still really into.
I particularly love the red one.
Alas, I then realised it was in fact a lap top cover for laptops up to 15" and consequently too big for my wee Ipad.  DVF does have a range of actual Ipad cases but I just can't get as enthused about any of these.  The prints (and the tassle!) on the laptop cover are so much more appealing.

What do you think?  Has anyone else had trouble choosing an Ipad cover?
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