Saturday 16 December 2017

Home files: Five minutes with interior designer Elaine Tomlin

Artist and interior designer Elaine Tomlin.
Artist and interior designer Elaine Tomlin.
Aldi chimnea, €44.99
Neptune Wardley 4-poster bed
Paperchase skull collection

A native of Dublin, Elaine Tomlin is an artist and interior designer. She runs Clonlea Design and specialises in creating limited-edition, abstract interior wall art and complementary textiles.

Colour is key

For me, colour is key. In the majority of paintings, people are drawn to the colour. I like my paintings to complement their interior surroundings.

Create a focal wall

Hanging a framed painting on a focal wall can add great impact to a room, particularly if the wall colour picks up a key colour tone from the painting itself. Colours such as greys, light blues, sage greens and mellow yellows keep it fresh and calming.

Take your time…

Always use testers! Paint each of your selected tester colours on an individual A4 page, hang them on the wall and live with it for a little while. You will soon be drawn to the right colour, as you will see it in every light type from morning to evening, and under artificial light.

Small items prevent the need for big, costly changes

By keeping big interior items such as the sofa, dining table and chairs relatively neutral, it allows cushions and other interior accessories bring in the various accent colours. This is far more cost-effective to change.

Clonlea Design is among the exhibitors at House 2016, Ireland's first high-end interiors event taking place at Dublin's RDS from May 20-22. Buy tickets at a reduced online price now at

Elaine is among the exhibitors at House 2016, Ireland's first high end interiors event taking place in Dublin's RDS from May 20-22. Buy tickets online now at

This month we're...

...adding some edge

Paperchase skull collection

Much as we like florals for spring, having bowers of flowers in your decor can quickly become cloying. Add a bit of attitude to your seasonal scheme with the Mystic Rose collection from Paperchase. The funky stationers have mixed roses and skulls to create a pattern that perfectly skims the line between pretty and dark. The range includes everything from mugs and plates, to candle holders, jewellery boxes and magazine files. Buy at Paperchase, Arnotts, Henry Street, Dublin 1 or

...going outside

Aldi chimnea, €44.99

Ever the optimists, we've decided that April hail showers must signify that a mild May is around the corner. So get outside with Aldi's sturdy, stylish and affordable range of garden furniture, which hits stores nationwide this Thursday, April 28. The range includes patio sets and sun loungers, as well as a swing seat and a selection of barbecues. For those a little more realistic about the weather prospects, there is also a pop-up gazebo and this warming chimnea (€44.99) on offer. See

Princess & the poster

Neptune Wardley 4-poster bed

If your home is your castle, then furnish it with appropriate regal splendour. The four-poster Wardley bed from Neptune is available in painted tulip or solid oak, and you can choose from sand, navy or pink headboard fabrics. From €2,020, see for Irish stockists

Irish Independent

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