Guest Rooms – Making Guests Feel at Home

Guest Rooms


Guest rooms are a luxury in most houses, the majority of us don’t have a spare room to designate as a guest room, but if you are one of the lucky ones here are a few tips on how to decorate them. The great thing about having a guest room is you can decorate it how you choose, as there will be no other family member dictating how they want it. Also, when you have it finished, it is usually the one room that always stays tidy and clean. So, here you can go out on a limb and let your creative juices flow with colour and accessories. We have a few tips on how to make your guests feel more comfortable and relaxed. We also picked a beautifully decorated room to give you some ideas.

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1 Make the most of every space, but be aware that you should also focus on creating a welcoming room for your guests.

2 Choosing what color to paint is important. For a small space, a light color is a good choice, creating a bright room. You can then add another color for a certain atmosphere: green accents for freshness, yellow accents for cheerfulness or blue accents for calmness.

3 Don’t make your guests bow to the floor, add a bench or ottoman for your guests to place their bags.

4 Give them space – place a well appointed night stand (include a clock, a bottle of water, a dish for earrings and a lamp). Don’t overfill table tops, your guests may want to lay out their own belongings.

5 Have a desk cleared and ready for their digital gear. Be sure to place it beside power points.

6 Give your guests something to do – have books and magazines at the ready and if you can, an iPad is very handy. Don’t forget to leave the password out for them.

7 Get them smiling with pictures and photographs – some old memories will make them feel at ease and will bring a smile to their faces.

8 Make it cozy with soft lighting and keep it cool at night. Sleep therapists all agree that turning down the thermostat at night is best for sleep. Be sure to leave out an extra duvet or blanket just in case.

9 Make room and add lots of hooks & hangers – give your guests places to hang the things they use frequently.

10 Nothing says “Glad you’re here” more than a welcome basket. Fill it with big fluffy towels and an oversized robe and slippers. Be extra thoughtful and leave a flashlight incase they wake during the night. If the room looks on to a view it would be a real treat to place a set of binoculars on the window sill. Some favorite toiletries would be a nice touch also. Finally, if you have a busy home, leave a set of ear plugs and eye shades.

Contents 2014 August/September Issue 89

August/September 2014 – Issue 89


Features- Meet The Maker, Colour & Mood, Box Chairs, Upcycling Reader’s Project, New Season’s Paint Trends, Galway Garden

Shopping this Issue

Last Of the Summer Wine, Storage, Tried & Tested, Olde Style, Modern & Chic, Galway Garden Get the Look



Classic Design

The location and site aspect were the first thing that attracted this couple to their beautiful home. The back garden slopes down to a golf course and the Classic Designowners could see beyond the overgrown lawn and unkempt shrubberies – they could both visualise the potential of this space.

When they got the opportunity to return to Galway, Ronan and Liz jumped at the chance to bring up their children in the safe environs of Galway City.

From Dreams to Reality

It all began in 1998 with a dream. A dream of living in the countryside, somewhere peaceful and with scenic views. We had idyllic dreams of walking through fields, keeping hens and ducks, picking berries and making jam. “The good Life”, with the Ennis-Creative-Arts-Centresimple things. As a little girl having lived in the town I had longed to live in the country, so when I met my husband we went in search of a farmhouse that we could renovate bit by bit ourselves. I had just started my Interior Design business, we had no credit history and we were first time buyers, so we only had a small amount of money to play with.

Total Revamp in Loughrea


Total Revamp

To our delight we were invited back to see this totally revamped Loughrea home. When the owner bought this house, she followed her heart and her creative ideas and went with her instinct and her own shockingly loud colour style. Her taste and style have changed rather dramatically since our last visit 16 years ago. It is amazing to see the difference in the trends of 1999 and 2014. We dug out a few of the before pictures just to give you a flavour of what the house looked like back then. Pine was all the rage and the owner went with a complete contrast to the pine kitchen units with a blue wall colour and navy splashback tiles. Outrageous orange wallpaper in the hall and chinese slate tiles complemented this look. However outrageous it was I remember thinking at the time – how brave, vibrant and wonderful it looked.

Claddagh Arts Centre

For this feature we have gone into the heart of old Galway – Claddagh. One of Galway’s Claddagh-Arts-Centremost historic areas, ‘The Claddagh’ as it is affectionately known, is full of stories of old Galway families. The Claddagh Arts Centre was the brain child of Cathriona Walsh, who has used her skills and imagination to create a very interesting space filled with unusual stone and antiquities. A keen interest in bog oak is evident and many bespoke bog oak sculptures are abundant inside. In the landscaping outside you will also find unusual stones interfaced with fascinating carvings.

House For Sale

High & Beautiful – Cnoc Ard

1 High-&-Beautiful

High & Beautiful

Our house for sale this issue is a tall modern home set on a hill at the top of  Cappagh Rd, Barna, Galway, with panoramic views of Galway Bay and the Aran Islands visible in the distance. This architecturally designed home sits on a beautifully landscaped garden which can be enjoyed and viewed from a large timber deck at the rear of the house.  When the owners of this home returned from London with their 5 children they set about designing a home that catered for the needs of their large growing family. Large light filled rooms were very important to this family, with the kitchen being the most important. As most of the family activity would take place in the kitchen/dining room area, it was vital that it was ergonomically designed, with ease of movement and comfort being the top priorities.

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Bespoke Kitchen by Surreal Design

A bespoke kitchen with state of the art integrated appliances and granite work surfaces fit the families requirements perfectly. Integrated Neff appliances including double ovens, a microwave and a separate steamer oven, a touch screen Neff hob with stainless steel canopy, a breakfast bar and an integrated double liebherr fridge/ freezer unit makes this kitchen any home maker’s dream. The high vaulted ceilings allows the light to flood into the space all day long.  A large deck is accessed through double doors from the dining area which is floored in a solid wood maple wide plank. A subtle shade of mocha is highlighted with a series of track lights throughout the kitchen’s double height vaulted ceiling.

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Architecturally Designed

The kitchen leads into the main hall and a generous sized family room and living room/lounge. Italian marble tiles in tones of honey and cream sit effortlessly next to the timber floors throughout the rest of the ground floor. The timber and cream stairs have unusual bannisters with a chrome spindle adding a touch of modernity to an otherwise traditional staircase. A feature window is a major source of light and the stairs act as a platform for the dramatic view of the Boley Beg countryside.

High & Beatiful 5

Spacious Sitting Room

Subtle tones and shades of mocha and light creams are the chosen paint colours – no jarring shades here. The owner brings colour and vitality with all the accessories scattered throughout this home. Dramatic rugs and classic furniture show the classic sense of style of the owners. A gold pendant drop light in the lounge is in direct contrast to the simple lines of the marble fireplace. Large window panes show off the magnificent views of the surrounding countryside on either side of the fireplace. Double doors from the living room also lead out to the west facing deck area. A dramatic drop pendent light fitting hangs from the vaulted glass ceiling bringing drama to the landing which is carpeted in a thick pile luxurious carpet. Two of the bedrooms are on the ground floor with the other three bedrooms on the first floor – all have built in Sliderobe wardrobes.

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Beautifully designed garden

This home has all aspects of family life covered. There are large spaces both inside and outside for energetic children and the family room is very child friendly and easily maintained. The large lounge is perfect for family gatherings and entertaining friends and family. An office on the ground floor is perfect for working from the house. There is a large garage, fully plastered, wired and plumbed with a 12′ motorised up and over door. This room is suitable for conversion with very little work.

Now the children have grown up, the owners have decided to move closer to town. They are now offering this magnificent home for sale. DNG, Francis St, Galway are the auctioneers responsible for the sale. 

DNG Maxwell Heaslip & Leonard, 11 Francis Street, Galway City, Co Galway. Tel: 091 565261

Upcycling – with decoupage

Upcycle – give your old pieces a new lease of life with Decoupage.


Decoupage is a craft that has been around for Centuries. It was actually back in the 12th Century that the Chinese used the art of cutting out paper to decorate objects. The art then ended up in Europe around the 17th century.

The art of Decoupage is cutting and pasting paper and sticking it to an object. For many years people used napkins for decoupage by cutting out a design on the napkin and then glueing it onto an object or piece of furniture. Then layers and layers of varnish made the napkin look like it was an inlay. It’s a wonderful technique and can look great.

Old pieces - new life

Old pieces – new life

It was only really in recent years with new companies introducing glues to Decoupage, with that the art has taken on a great revival. Since the recession the idea of throwing anything away would bring us all out in a rash so the new phenomenon of revamping our tired old pieces has become quite fashionable.Decoupage is not for antiques- it is not for furniture that is worth a lot of money. Decoupage is taking tired old pieces that perhaps are not worth too much or aren’t really worth restoring and giving them a new look.

Most homes have many pieces lying around that would look beautiful with a little bit of care and attention.Nothing is safe once you start.

Shoes, dressers, chairs, coffee tables, school benches, stools, cd racks, vases, lamps, mirrors, frames, glasses, suitcase and much more have been treated to decoupage. Before you get started you would be advised to take a short day or week end course in the art of decoupage and once you know the technique, there will be no stopping you

Workshops at Ennis Creative Arts Centre take place over one day and you bring the piece of furniture from home. Revamp it over the day and bring home your piece finished by the end of the day.

To decoupage you only need a few small items.

Decoupage glue, a brush, a wet cloth, newspaper to stop glue getting on your floor, scissors, your piece of furniture, varnish and of course the paper to decoupage with.

You can use lots of different papers – for instance you can use newspaper print, maps, prints, posters, magazines, old books, printed out pictures from computers, tissue paper or decoupage paper that you buy. If you plan on printing out pictures make sure you print onto cheap paper and not good glossy photo paper. Just print onto your normal paper. Then get a Hairspray (approx €2) and spray the photo well and leave to dry. The hairspray acts as a lacquer so your photo won’t bleed when you put glue on it.

So that’s it really. Why not check out the next workshop at Ennis Creative Arts Centre and you can bring an old piece of furniture from home.


Spring/Summer Fashion

If floral prints, teamed with nude trousers or bright block colours teamed with white trousers is your style then check out the new collections at Style Closet Boutique in Galway. We have chosen a selection of their new range and Gemma from Premoli Shoes has picked some fabulous  shoes and handbags to match.


Floral print trousers teamed with coral tunic style top


Tan & Cream leather bag


Ivory wedge sling backs

Contents Issue 87

Tulira – A Jewel in Galway’s Crown

Tulira Castle-Amergin Art & Photography 2013IMG_4604-01

Tulira Castle

A national landmark and one of the finest examples of an Irish Castle set within 101 hectares of mature woodland and parkland.  On c. 101 Hectares (250 Acres) is now on the market – Galnly Walters are selling this castle and estate for €6.5 million Tulira Castle is without doubt one of Irelands most historically significant Castles, with a rich architectural heritage. One enters Tulira Castle through an impressive entrance gates which were brought from Dunsandle House in 1950. The Castle is approached by an immaculate three-quarter-mile avenue, lined with 95 lime trees.

Classic & Timeless


Classic timeless and  elegant are the perfect description for this family home situated just a couple of miles outside Kilcolgan. The address is the Dark Road but it has to be said, it can only be described as a winding woodland road that is picture postcard in its beauty. ‘Lisbeg’ sits on an acre of land surrounded by trees and shrubbery. It was only fitting that the owner of this house would build a classic home of timeless beauty here. One of the nicest parts of living on the Dark Rd is the garden which is regularly home to pheasants, foxes, hares, hedgehogs and the occasional squirrel

Contemporary Chic in Claregalway


Stairway To Heaven

When the owners of this home  saw this 1/2 acre site, just outside Galway City they decided it would be the perfect place to build their family home. Having studied architecture for a short time Shauna knew how she wanted the layout of this house, but its the interior decor, seen throughout the house that you see where Shauna’s style and flare shines through. Although she is a fan of Italian decor there are only some slight influences of Italy here. Having four small children, a large open plan living area and a play room close to the kitchen was very important. Also she but a lot of thought and work into the children’s bedrooms – it was vital to create three very different rooms that were fun and colourful.

Renovate and Decorate

Renovate & Decorate Without Breaking a Nail

Renovate & Redecorate


Renovate & Redecorate Without Breaking a Nail has been written by Orna O’Reilly as an insider’s guidebook on how to project manage the renovation and redecoration of your own home.

The thought of beginning a home renovation project can be daunting. In her insider’s guide, Orna, an experienced interior designer, shares a step-by-step process that allows anyone to confidently manage an entire home renovation from start to finish, with or without assistance from an interior designer or architect.

Orna, who has more than twenty years of experience in interior design and home renovation, explores the most challenging aspects of such project management.  These include hiring a builder, managing subcontractors and knowing when and how to involve an architect or interior designer. By providing a detailed step-by-step process with vital information-gathering questions, Orna teaches you how to:

  • understand basic building terminology
  • create a workable design
  • set a realistic budget and schedule
  • choose the perfect finishes for your home
  • coordinate a show-stopping colour scheme
  • incorporate important elements of kitchen and bathroom design

Renovate and Redecorate is an insider’s guide that can help you to successfully manage a home renovation and ultimately make your dream home a reality.

Orna O’Reilly is a highly experienced interior designer who has worked on home renovations for more than twenty years.

Architecturally Designed Home

Designer Home in Galway

Designer Home in Galway

An architecturally designed home on the edges of Lough Corrib  sits neatly in a verdant hollow near the river Corrib in Bushypark, Galway. This substantial 3,000 sq. ft. residence was designed by award winning architect Pat Mc Cabe of Patrick Mc Cabe Architects, the residence won an award for design in 1999, shortly after its completion. Planning in the area is extremely sensitive owing to the vast majority of lands zoned as either agricultural or SAC (special area of conservation).

Timeless in Galway City



Fireplace from Eamonn Hughes Fireplaces

We were delighted to be invited to photograph this gem of a house right in the centre of Galway City.  There was only one word to sum up this home – Timeless. It is actually impossible to say if it had been built l0 years ago or 2 years ago. The couple who built and designed this house wanted just that – a house that would not date and they have achieved their goal without a shadow of a doubt! Large,airy, open spaces with many American influences make this house the perfect family home