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Top Tip #1
Tip ‘Turn your Bedroom into a Sanctuary’
We spend more time in our bedroom than any other room in our home. Yet it is often the room that is left to last in terms of design. Put aside some budget to turn your bedroom into that relaxing haven that you all deserve. Remember to design a bedroom that reflects your personality and taste, whilst is still conducive to sleep.
Louise is owner of Aspire Design and Perfect headboards and specialises in soft furnishings with an extensive fabric library from across the globe. She designs curtains and bespoke upholstery to give your home that real WOW factor. Louise is also a winner of a Best of Houzz 2017 & 2018 award and is a committee member of the Interiors Association.
Aspire Design and Perfect Headboards Studios
Web : www.aspiredesign.ie
Winner of ‘Best of Houzz’ 2018
Top Tip #2
'Don’t be a slave to trends'
Don’t be a slave to trends but enjoy having fun with them. A low commitment way of achieving this is to keep expensive items like floors, sofas and curtains neutral and introduce accessories, such as cushions, rugs & lamps as trends dictate, keeping the space fresh and modern.
About Divine Design
Divine Design is an award-winning Interior Design studio specialists in creating unique, bespoke, luxury interiors using innovative and creative solutions. Established in 2004 we have executed projects for high profile commercial and residential clients, creating refined and memorable spaces.
Gwen Kenny, Divine Design
T: +353 087 679 4147
T: +353 01 457 6236
Top Tip #3
“Working within the footprint of your space”
Oftentimes people look to extend a property without really considering the exisiting space that is available to them. Of course, if space is not an issue, an extension can completely transform a home.
Remodelling within the exisiting footprint is environmentally beneficial requiring fewer materials resulting in less waste and requiring less energy to heat and cool than building large additional spaces…and furthermore, when your family are starting to move on, you will actually need less space! Finishing a space to a high quality finish is a satisfying experience and results in spaces being used and enjoyed more.
T: +086 805 7557
Top Tip #4
‘Test Drive your Kitchen’
Kitchens can be one of the most expensive investments when refurbishing or building your new home. Therefore, it’s important you get it right. Consider the requirements of everyone using the kitchen and write your wish list.
Plan the layout, get an electrical and lighting plan drawn up before anything goes into production. You can even ‘test drive’ your kitchen before you order to ensure you’re 100% happy.
Angela Connolly is Creative Director of Conbu Interior Design. Established in 2008 Angela has been delivering bespoke luxury design projects for residential and commercial customers.
Angela is President The Interiors Association and Winner ‘Best of Houzz’ 2017 & 2018.
Angela Connolly, Conbu Interior Design
T: +353 (0)86 8269995
Top Tip #5
‘Plan the layout of your room’
In an open plan space it can be possible to float furniture away from walls. It is often not considered during the build to include floor sockets to accommodate phone and laptop charges as well as lamps and more recently electric recliner sofas and armchairs.
Anita Oakey is the owner and chief interior designer at Aoki Interiors which was established in 2010. She offers an interior design service that help clients to realise the dream they have for their homes. Anita enjoys the challenge of reading her clients wishes correctly to create a scheme that is perfect for them and their homes. She thrives on the great excitement of that creativity and of putting the concept into reality. From custom made window treatments to decorating an entire home, she takes care of it all; designing, measuring, ordering and installing without any hassle.
Anita Oakey, Aoki Interiors
T: +353 (0)51 614054
Top Tip #6
‘Use plants to enliven a room’
Plants are an important feature in interior design but I have noticed that they are often an afterthought when the finishing touches are being brought into the design. From the onset of the design I would encourage clients to bring some into their home and consider where they will be placed and why that specific spot.
Some of the benefits are obvious:
The list goes on. However, they are living things and need care. Too often we receive, buy or give plants that look wonderful at first but are unsuitable for the environment they are going to and soon die. This can prove to be an expensive, wasteful mistake. To ensure that you are choosing the right plants for your home, I would recommend visiting a reputable plant store with their in house experts. They will recommend plants that will thrive in the spaces you want them. Choices will be made depending on a variety of factors including lifestyle, space (they grow!) and the time you have to give to maintaining them. You will save yourself a small fortune in the long run.
T: +353 (0)86 334 3400
Top Tip #7
Tip 7 ‘Keep some money aside for original art’
Put a little money aside to save up for a piece of original art for your interior project. In fact this could be the first piece you buy and your designer could be inspired by the colours etc., of this piece to base a great scheme around it.
Wallpapers and new paint trends come and go but if you have a piece of wall art , a piece of sculpture, a nice photograph or a ceramic piece, that you love, then you will derive years of pleasure from it aesthetic value.
Don't follow trends!!! Buy what you love! And you never know, it could be worth a fortune in years to come!
Buy from your local art gallery. They will love chatting to you about your taste and budget etc., and lots of local libraries host great exhibitions of their local artists too.
Serena Kitt, Kitt Interiors
T: +353 (0)86 2576695
Top Tip #8
'Bring in natural light’
Natural Light can bring an uplifting atmosphere into your home and is one of the ways that gives the feeling of more space. It makes a room lighter and brighter. If you want to flood your home with natural light, these top tips are a great place to start with:
Katharina Gummelt is the founder of Xiu Feng Shui with office based in Dublin where she provides professional and personal authentic Feng Shui advice for your Home, Business and Lifestyle. In October 2017 she received an Award for Best Design 2017 by Colourtrend Interior Design Forum for her sophisticated Home Office and Guest Bedroom Design. She also holds a distinction in Interior Design Architecture.
Katharina Gummelt, Xiu Feng Shui
T: +353 (0) 87 3216 740
Top Tip #9
‘Design your home for the way you live your life’
No matter how beautiful a design looks in the pages of a glossy magazine, if it doesn’t work for you and your family, it doesn’t work!
Good design is now just about how something looks, it must also be about how something works. Choose elements that work for the way you live your life. If you’re a clutter bug, steer away from open plan shelves, if you’re a doggie family, that white velvet sofa is probably not the best choice.
Once you have the functionality right, you can let your personal taste and creativity style shine through and you will create a home that is not only stunning, but beautiful.
Emerald Interior Design provide creative design solutions for residential and commercial clients. Our projects vary from new builds to extensions; from total refurbishments to individual rooms.
Karen Hughes, Emerald Interior Design
T: +353 (0)87 988 2077
Top Tip #1
Make sure your new furniture will fit.
Furniture sizes can be deceptive when on display in large showrooms. Measure potential purchases, and the entrance to your property, to ensure the furniture will fit before purchasing. If you’re unsure hire an Interior Designer who will make the most of your space. Mistakes can be costly.
Top Tip #2
Be honest with your designer, let them know what you don't like as well as what you do like. We love working with clients because then we know they'll be happy with the results.
Top Tip #3
You only have one chance to make a good first impression.
The same rule applies to your home. Make sure your Entrance and Hallway reflects your personal style and sets the tone for the rest of your home. Like a good book, it should draw the visitor into your home and create a great opening chapter as the visitor becomes eager to explore the other rooms.
Top Tip #4
Hiring an interior designer can sometimes be intimidating, the biggest concerns are generally, “how much will the service cost” and “will they impose their own style”, however working with an Interior Designer will save you time and money, helping you to manage your budget and avoid expensive mistakes, a professional designer will also invest considerable time as part of the design process to realise a clients requirements and style in order to build a design concept, primarily focusing on functionality.
Taking on a renovation can be overwhelming, before thinking about your furniture and fittings a realistic approach is vital, your initial considerations should be windows, roofing, insulation, electrics, plumbing, heating, energy efficiency, doors and floors, do you need to hire an Architect etc, and are you entitled to a renovation or energy efficiency grant?
It is important to accumulate numerous quotes from building contractors, and crucial that all professionals will work well together.
It is vital that your Interior Designer is brought in at the start of the project in order to liaise with your Architect and Tradespeople, this will allow them to plan your timeline and manage your interior budget from the outset, the colour of your windows will effect the design of your interior and before reconstruction it is important to plan your interior layout.
If your budget is restricted, prioritise, invest in quality when it comes to your fixed items, a kitchen is the most important room in an Irish home, your bathrooms, fireplace and flooring should be at the top of your list. Don't be afraid to customise furniture, sofa and storage units, with quality you get longevity. Consider lighting from the beginning of the project, the influence of natural light on the building and how you will counterbalance with light fittings. Soft furnishings and paint colour is the most enjoyable and final part of the process.
It is difficult for an Interior Designer to give an estimate for their services without meeting a client, book an initial consultation, the Designer will do a site visit, analyse plans, get an overview of the project and put together a proposal with an estimate of cost.
Top Tip #5
Tips on how to pick your sofa and chairs.
Before you purchase your soft upholstery for your sitting room you need to consider these rules to avoid a costly mistake
What style do you want?
Will it fit? There is no point know your style to find when it arrives it won’t fit!
Is it comfortable?
Is the covering fit for purpose?
Call on expertise advice
Look up the Interiors Association for recommended professionals. Happy Hunting!
Top Tip #6
Painting with Dark colours
Dark colours are in, whether on walls or furniture: Kitchens, dining rooms, bathrooms, and more… painted in rich shades from grey to navy to black. Take a risk, use dark colours you might be pleasantly surprised.
1. Room size:
Don't let the size of a room stop you from using rich, bold colours, keep to dark colours on maybe one wall and lighter furnishings and linens to balance the room."
2. Add accents for dimension:
Whether it's a painted chair or a throw pillow, place a few bright-coloured accents in a dark room. This redirects the focus to the forefront, allowing the walls to disappear, acting simply as a backdrop.
3. Start small:
Dark colours can be a pop of colour or act as a deep neutral depending on your home's lighting. If you're anxious by colour, start small. Small rooms painted in these dark tones create a little jewel in your home.
4. Kitchen Units:
I personally when painting a dark kitchen prefer my floor colouring to be lighter, it makes the kitchen stand out more and frames it in a way.
Another way to frame in the colour and add a luxurious touch, is to dress you’re windows in rich vibrant coloured fabrics.
Top Tip #7
How to embrace this years Interior design trends?
Trends are by nature somewhat transient and “of the moment”, so use with caution on high cost purchases. It’s simpler to incorporate this years "must have" colour or pattern on accessories like cushions and decorative objects that are inexpensive to replace.
Style fusion allows the introduction of trends without changing your entire scheme. For example, vintage and contemporary styles, when combined in a creative way can complement each other beautifully. Older looking items give the space a sense of history; so don’t feel restricted to one type. By fusing various styles, you can re-use existing furniture and accessories, repainted or reupholstered to create unique new designs. Then simply add a dash of your preferred current trend for an up to date yet individual look.
Top Tip #8
Just a few special touches can add so much personality & soul to your home. Until these elements are included, no room is quite finished. We always encourage clients to include the below items & we really enjoy helping you create a space they love, want & need.
Art: Display your personality, stimulate intelligence and add interest to a room.
Statement Lighting: For increased drama combined with practicality.
Window Dressings: The type of window dressing you choose really defines the style of a room.
One Talking Point: Stimulates a guest's curiosity, tells them more about your interests or quirks.
Antique Or Heirloom Pieces: Give presence to pieces with a story and let them influence or compliment your space, whether that space is contemporary or traditional.
Top Tip #9
Lighting is one of the most important elements of design, and should be considered as early as possible in the design process. Natural light is very important and shouldn’t be blocked by poorly placed curtains and blinds. The placement of mirrors directly across your source of natural light will allow the light to bounce around the room. You should have multiple light sources illuminating your room to create different ambiances for the different functions of the room. Ensure the lighting you have is bright enough for the function but not so bright that it blinds you, dimmer switches are a great way to get multi-functions from your lighting.