Home files: Five minutes with LyonsKelly
Eoin Lyons and John Kelly met in 2008, while Eoin was working as an interior designer and John was senior architect in de Blacam and Meagher Architects. They had collaborated on a number of projects, but soon their clients who knew them as a couple encouraged them to work together, leading to the opening of LyonsKelly Architecture + Design in 2013.
Be Brave with colour
We don't do 'greige'! The type of house will dictate how you use colour: a contemporary house is best painted white, use soft furnishings and art to introduce colour. Older, traditional homes can handle stronger colours on the walls. If in doubt, take a piece of art that you like and examine the palette that has been used - if it works in the painting it will work in your home.
Pieces must earn their place
It's hard to argue with (English textile designer) William Morris's maxim that you should "have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful".
Open-Plan living starts with a sensible layout
The primary living space needs to be planned carefully. You should be able to walk away from the kitchen in the evening and relax in a comfortable space. Place the seating area away from the kitchen ideally with the dining area separating them. Plan the kitchen area so there is an element of screening - consider an island with a breakfast bar that screens the worktop from view. Keep the units plain and consider ways of hiding the toaster and kettle such as a tambour unit.
Create the illusion of space with continuous flooring
A single floor finish across the rooms will make the space feel bigger. Some people are still reluctant to use a timber floor in a kitchen but, with the correct finish, staining shouldn't be an issue. If you prefer tiles or stone then consider a big rug in the seating area to make it cosy.
This month we're...
...meeting our match
It's the most frustrating of experiences - finding the perfect accessory but not in the colour that you need. Easing shoppers' rage is the new ColourMatch collection from Argos, which features household staples in multiple colours, so you can always find what you need. Simple, but brilliantly so.
ColourMatch Bentwood dining chairs, €39.49 each, Argos
We read recently that clever concert organisers at a US festival played the sound of a light breeze over the speakers to cool down an overheated crowd. We intend to put that power of suggestion to the test with some exotic decor, which will surely transform a cold semi-D in Drogheda into a balmy Caribbean beach hut.
Bamboo leaf print cushion, €8, Penneys
Limerick School of Art and Design graduate Marie Varley hosts a solo show at the trendy Damn Fine Print studio in Dublin's Smithfield. Running until March 2, the exhibition features Marie's retro designs, inspired by stamps and matchbooks from the 1950s. Buy one and live happily ever after!
Little Red print, €40, damnfineprint.com
Making the move from spas to stores is the Petalwell aromatherapy diffuser. An Irish company, Petalwell uses only natural ingredients in its six mood-enhancing scents. Buy the pocket-sized rechargeable diffuser from House of Fraser, Dundrum Town Centre, for €59
Whether or not you’re a fan of Scandinavian design, we challenge you not to find something pretty, quirky or plain old useful at Tiger stores. The Danish chain’s strawberry range, including these suitcases for €2 each, will brighten up any kid’s room