2011 - MUNSTER INTERIORS - MAKEOVER MAGIC - SUMMER

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SOUTH-SPECIFIC STYLE

IN A RANGE OF SCHEMES ACROSS HOMES IN TIPPERARY AND WATERFORD, WE SEE HOW CREATING A NEW , FRESH LOOK IS MORE AFFORDABLE IF YOU WORK ROOM BY ROOM AND APPLY INTERIOR DESIGN PRINCIPLES TO REJUVENATE EACH AREA’S LAYOUT AND FURNISHINGS. WORDS BY KATE ALLEN. PHOTOGRAPHY BY KAREN DEMPSEY. There may be certain areas of your home that you love and others that you loathe. If you’re working on a budget, the most affordable option is to focus on one room or area at a time. Interior designer Nina Kati has recently worked with clients to redesign targeted areas in their homes to great effect.

SPRING SCHEME - LARGE KITCHEN WITH DINING AREA (CLONMEL, CO TIPPERARY)

“In this home, the kitchen area was formerly a dark room badly in need of redecoration,” says Nina. The room was dated with wood kitchen units, a worn vinyl floor, laminate worktops and poor lighting. The homeowners asked Nina to carry out a total makeover, to make the kitchen more workable, and to give the room a whole new look. As the clients were on a tight budget, existing appliances were retained. “My recommendations included prioritising the budget across flooring, worktop and lighting,” says Nina. “Some minor adjustments were made in the room to make it more user friendly such as repositioning the dining table under the window to take advantage of the beautiful, private view. The room was transformed into a light, spacious and calm kitchen-diner by installing new lights, painting the kitchen units, replacing the worktop with a (Quartz) reconstituted stone worktop, installing a new sink/tap, tiling the splash-backs, and adding a dresser,” she explains. “The new scheme is based on various shades of blues and blue-greens for a calm effect teamed with bright whites for a fresh, clean, new look. The floor was levelled to ensure it had an even surface before covering it with a heavy duty vinyl floor tile (Polyflor).” Finishing touches included wall mounting various pieces of the clients’ own artwork, specially commissioning a mural for behind the window shutters and displaying and displaying award-winning wood turned pieces.

AUTUMN SCHEME - SITTING ROOM (BALLYMACARBRY, CO WATERFORD)

IN THIS CASE, THE HOUSE IS LOCATED IN THE HEART OF THE SCENIC NIRE VALLEY, A VERY NATURAL LOCATION SO THE SCHEME IS BASED ON AN AUTUMN COLOUR PALETTE (OLIVE, MULBERY, CHERRY TEAK), TRAILING BIRD AND LEAF WALLPAPER DESIGN, AND NATURAL MATERIALS.

The sitting room in this Ballymacarbry home was formerly a heavy looking dark room badly in need of a total update. “One look at this client’s home and I knew the new scheme would need to ‘fit’ into an immaculate home! I always take into account a client’s taste and lifestyle, the style of a house and the view from the room’s window and then I choose the scheme that best fits the criteria.” In this case the house is located in the heart of the scenic Nire Valley, a very natural location so the scheme is based on an autumn colour palette (olive, mulberry, cherry teak), trailing bird and leaf wallpaper design, and natural materials (wool carpet, leather suite, wood furniture). “My brief was to crate a simple, modern, formal sitting room scheme that would be totally different to the clients’ existing informal living room at the other side of the house”, says Nina. “The paint colour for the room was hand mixed until the correct colour was achieved. We were aiming for a gentle shade of olive. The wallpaper adds the only pattern to the scheme, drawing the eye to the fireplace recesses to give the illusion of more space in the room. To further increase the sense of space, I chose curtains of a similar colour to the walls.” The clients wanted a leather suite (as their living room suite is upholstered) which was teamed with quality wood furniture for a sophisticated style. The light fittings were chosen from a range of artisan products and give a soft ambient effect because they are shaded. Choosing a fireplace can be a difficult decision so Nina advises “Keep it simple; select a quiet colour in the right style that has perfect proportions for the room.” “The lack of decoration, including tie-backs on the curtains, is deliberate so that the rich leather suite, finishing touches on the mantle and fine art on the walls can become the outstanding features,” says Nina.

SUMMER SCHEMES - TWO BEDROOMS & CORRIDOR (COMERAGH MOUNTAINS, CO WATERFORD)

THE CORRIDOR ALSO HOUSES WARDROBES BEHIND THE MIRRORED DOORS, A CLEVER WAY OF TAKING THE DRESSING AREA OUT OF A TIGHT BEDROOM AND MAKING BETTER USE OF A WALK-THROUGH SPACE

The brief for this country cottage in the Comeragh mountains was for a total redecoration and fit-out almost from scratch of the private quarters of the home. “I wanted to create a comfortable interior with a hint of luxury based on the theme of ‘The Summer Palace’ using ice cream colours and floral fabrics for a relaxed, colourful and pretty interior that integrates well with the exterior. The window boxes co-ordinate with the interior schemes,” says Nina.

I wanted to create a magical fantasy and the priority was to distract the eye from the limited space so that the focus is on the pretty colours, distracting patterns and the finer details,” she says. “The next most important element in the brief was to provide plenty of storage without filling the rooms with too much furniture. Finally I wanted to ensure the finished rooms would be easy to keep.” Corridors are usually long, narrow and tall, resulting in a poorly proportioned space. “To cure this problem, aim to shorten, widen and reduce the height of the space. The blue corridor is a great example of ‘my corridor cure’,” says Nina. “Halve the length of the corridor using an archway. In this case the inside of the arch has been painted white to put a full stop on the centre of the corridor thereby visually cutting it in two. Use mirrors at the side of the space, which can be even more effective if the mirrors are reflecting a lovely view. Fit wall lights to draw the eye to the width of the space, rather than ceiling lights which draw the eye to the height of it. Use a narrow piece of furniture to give the impression of a (wider) room rather than purely a walk-through space.” The corridor also houses wardrobes behind the mirrored doors, a clever way of taking the dressing area of a tight bedroom and making better use of a walk-through space.

Work in the pink bedroom started with the installation of an extra window and radiator for more light and warmth. “I also organised a total re-wiring of all the electrics throughout the house and the installation of additional power points,” she says. As well as new carpets, Nina sourced new furniture, soft furnishings and bed linens. New window treatments included a pair of pelmets. The walls in the yellow bedroom and the headboard wall of the pink bedroom have been done in a special paint effect (called colour washing) to soften the hardness of plain painted walls and to add some texture. She also had all the radiators painted the same colour as the colour of the walls to make them disappear, particularly important
in small rooms.

For storage reasons and better display surfaces, Nina recommends choosing small bedside chests over bedside lockers. This will make the room seem marginally larger too,” she says. She installed double Roman blinds
(voiles and fabric on the same blind unit but with separate mechanisms) in the bedrooms and existing chandeliers were fitted with replacement droplets to give them a fresh update. “I also sourced a crystal droplet trim that was added to the light and lamp shades as a finishing touch,” she says. “In the bedrooms, I fitted fairy lights behind the fabric positioned behind the headboards of the beds - these glow at night and are safe because they are cold LED lights”.

The cottage now has a lively, romantic feel to it, enlivened by the floral fabrics, sparkling finishing touches and fresh summer colours.