Saturday 21 September 2019

Designer notes

Angelina Ball and Grace MacDonald from Phoenix Interior Design.
Angelina Ball and Grace MacDonald from Phoenix Interior Design.

Grace MacDonald and Angelina Ball have built up over a decade's experience each in transforming some of Dublin's most stylish homes.

They recently formed Phoenix Interior Design together in the hope of bringing their innovative vision to a wider Irish audience. Their design philosophy is that "anything goes", and they believe that each home should be a true reflection of its owner's personality. At their design hub in Terenure, Co Dublin, clients can explore their carefully curated range of lighting, furniture and home accessories, and find inspiration for their own interiors space.

Look abroad for inspiration

We find inspiration when travelling to other cities. We don't ever look next door, we like to go further afield and set our sights high so that we can bring something different to a design concept. Angelina recently visited New York and made a point of viewing some of the stunning hotels and buildings there. Every time we travel we come back with fresh ideas ready to bring to the thriving design industry in Ireland. We like to think outside the box.

A neat home is a happy home

We are neat freaks and think every house should be decluttered at least twice a year. If you have the hoarding gene and find that your home is full of things that you never use, we would suggest doing a very ruthless clear out. Our homes reflect our state of mind so when there is too much going on and lots of stuff everywhere it doesn't allow for clear thinking and ease of maintenance. So start filling those black sacks!

Less is more

Gone are the days where houses were decorated room by room, such as 'the blue room', 'the red room' and 'the themed room'. We very often use one paint colour throughout an entire house so that the rooms flow into each other and there is an overall "feel" to the property. We then create interest with a feature wall in wallpaper or perhaps a dark paint colour, and introduce colour and texture through artwork, mirrors and accessories. Simplicity is true elegance in our eyes and very often, less is more.

Always take proportion into account

Some people find it hard to gauge the space they have and will not complement it with correctly sized furniture and fittings. They might see a sofa in a large showroom and think it is lovely but when they get it home it takes over their living room and leaves very little space for anything else. The opposite also applies if you have large rooms and high ceilings - don't put a small and insignificant light fitting up. Instead, we would suggest complementing the space with a large chandelier or feature light.

Go all out for Christmas

We are going to totally contradict ourselves with our "less is more" rule now but at Christmas this gets thrown out. We love using large decorations to make an impact. Group different sized candles in hurricanes, lanterns and vases and use natural materials collected from your winter walks, such as acorns and branches of holly with berries, to decorate the bottom of the glass. Cushions and throws can be changed out for red or gold velvet ones in the living room and mantle pieces come to life when you drape a garland complete with fairy lights on it.

Irish Independent

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