Friday 9 December 2016

A place to call home

Blanaid Hennessy visits a rented apartment that's full of cosy and stylish personal touches

Blanaid Hennessy

Published 11/12/2010 | 05:00

Angela Scanlon
Angela Scanlon

It can be difficult to make any city-centre rental apartment feel like a truly personal space, filled with everything that makes you feel like you. Perhaps it's easier if you work in a creative field, as you're surrounded by the results of your endeavours, or the stuff that inspires you -- or, if you're involved in fashion, the stock too.

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If you're Angela Scanlon, you take that stock and fashion it yourself.

Angela is a renowned stylist, writer and presenter. Depending on the day, she could be doing anything from interviewing designers, writing fashion features, styling magazine shoots and ad campaigns or chatting about fashion on TV or radio. Sounds exhausting, which is why having a comfortable home to return to is so important.

Two years ago, Angela heard about an amazing apartment that was right in Dublin city centre, a minute's walk from Grafton Street. Then, a friend emailed her from Madrid to say that there was a room available to rent in the same place for six months. Angela took it and has been living there ever since.

"I can't imagine living anywhere else at the moment," she says. "It's so central, and as soon as I step outside I'm in the thick of it all. Since I work freelance I've got lots of meetings and random jobs, so being able to access so many places in seconds is a saviour."

The only downside was that the apartment was rented, with the impersonal furniture that tends to go with it. But Angela quickly made it her own.

She livened up the furniture by placing silk scarves on the leather seating. One is from Whistles, which she picked up at London Fashion Week, while the other is from Beta, a UK company that promotes artists' through fashion.

She also used prints to make the space more inviting, including illustrations by Australian fashion illustrator Kelly Smith and American photographer Matt Schwartz. A vintage-trunk coffee table, bought for €40 from an antiques dealer at the Blackrock Market, adds character.

The Ikea Flokati rug (€14.99) makes it cosy, while the plaid cushions (€19.99 from TK Maxx), mixed sequinned and feathered finds hide a multitude of leather on the sofa.

The living room is where Angela works, so the shelves are full of magazines and fashion books, shoes, jewellery and other inspirational items, including Zebra wedges from Ashish for Topshop and 1960s-style leopard platforms.

A rail of clothes may sound like an unusual thing to find in a living room, but not in the world of a stylist. In fact, it adds another dimension to the room, filled as it is with the likes of a fur coat from a car-boot sale in Spain, a Gianfranco Ferrè leather dress found in a vintage store in Milan and an ostrich-feather cape from Monsoon.

Angela isn't finished putting her stamp on her home, however.

"My parents have loads of rugs made out of cow hides and I'd love one of these," she says. "It would be perfect in this room and I could ditch the old sheepskin. That, and a set of massive antlers for above the fire!"

Irish Independent

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