Put your stamp on . . .
It's not very often you can say that you're looking forward to going to school – but this restored schoolhouse could present you with such an opportunity every day.
Laphoil Schoolhouse in Cootehall, Co Roscommon. has been lovingly restored by its current owners and now offers four spacious bedrooms. The home is 6 km from Carrick-on-Shannon, and on the shores of Lough Eidin on the Shannon-Erne Waterway.
The central living room still hosts the high boarded ceilings of the traditional schoolhouse and is the scene for this week's hypothetical makeover. I want to create the feeling of being in the apartment of some New York- or London-based, style-orientated, well-travelled person, yet still have all the comfort of a house nestled in the Irish countryside.
A sort of arranged marriage of effortless interiors with an incredible exterior view.
I start, unusually, with a coffee table – one that perfectly blends the industrial and cottage feels – the Spear Warrior Coffee Table (GBP£427) from Sweetpea & Willow, www.sweetpeaandwillow.com. A rustic, wooden top on factory-style metal legs sets the scene, complemented by the vintage, stitched tan armchair from (GBP£1595) 'Alexander & Pearl' (www.alexanderandpearl.co.uk).
The 'Cove' cabinet (€650) from Next introduces a soft colour palette, picking up on the green oxidised tone to the metal legs of the coffee table. Planted on this cabinet are some vases from Carolyn Donnelly Eclectic, that provide a mid-century injection without the need to go on the hunt for an original version. (Tube Vase €20, Napa Vase €30, Dunnes Stores)
A stack of wooden lanterns near the fireplace offers a heat-free alternative to that whole romantic, flickering, flame-light feel on summer evenings (large version €95 Meadows & Byrne); while we add some more graphics and interest with the Yellow Trident cushion from Hunky Dory Home ( www.hunkydoryhome.co.uk)