Modern & Elegant

Modern Elegance in Galway City

Decorated for Christmas

Modern In Galway City

This home located in the outskirts of Galway city is a mix of traditional elegance with a delicate modern twist. The owners felt that their home needed a lift, having lived with the decor that was already in the house when they bought it a few years previously. They employed the services of Laurent Billet of  La Maison Chic. Having visited his showroom over the years they were very taken with the richness of fabrics he had on display.

Shabby Chic At Its Best

The House That Mary Built

The House that mary Built

Shabby Chic At its Best

On a bleak Saturday afternoon I followed my nose along the roads around the Gurteen area of Ballinasloe and eventually arrived at my destination – Mary’s Home. A rambling overgrown garden, only hinted of what it looks like in the Summer, led to an old house that certainly gave no hint of what lay beyond its front door. The warmth of the stove greeted me at the front door and the old bench with its shabby chic cushions told the story of the style and design that was seen throughout the house. This home was ‘shabby chic’ at its best. The care and attention to detail showed Mary’s – the owner of this beautiful home – style and love for all things old and new.

Beautiful Forms & Simple Detailing from Noel Brannelly Kitchens.

The tiniest of rooms can seem more spacious with good design and in a home space is a highly desirable luxury. Upstairs Downstairs visited one of Noel Brannelly Kitchens to see some of Noel’s clever use of space. This kitchen has solid a solid timber units hand painted from Farrow & Ball paint range. Colour, whether a subtle ivory or vibrant crimson, brings life to kitchens. All Noel Brannelly kitchens can be painted, whether in part or in their entirety, in different shades and hues. They tailor to suit each of the client’s measurements. Tall, hand painted cabinets with feature bespoke internal storage.

Here is a sample of some clever use of space in a Noel Brannelly Kitchen.

Solid Timber by Noel Brannelly Kitchen

Solid Timber by Noel Brannelly Kitchen

Solid timber Kitchen.

Dish Washer Drawer

Dish Washer Drawer

Pull out dish drawers from Fisher & Paykel.

Key Cupboard

Key Cupboard

A key cupboard, the drawers behind this cupboard only allow a shallow space where Noel cleverly designed a key cupboard.

Open Storage

Open Storage

A shallow shelf perfect for books.

Solid dovetailed drawers

Solid dovetailed drawers

Solid dovetailed drawers varying in depths for cutlery on the top with the pots in the bottom.

Solid Walnut Timber trays

Solid Walnut Timber trays

Another ingenious use of small space, home for two solid timber walnut trays.

Walnut Breakfast bar

Walnut Breakfast bar

A circular solid walnut breakfast bar sits neatly on the side of the solid hand painted timber island.

Content Issue 84

A Futureproofed Home in Salthill

A white wooden kitchen in the a future proofed home in salthill article
Having acquired one of the last remaining prime sites in the Salthill area, Michael & Sheila were anxious to ensure that the house they were about to build would have a low carbon footprint and use as much renewable energy as possible. Over the next six months there followed a lengthy process of meeting, discussions and consultations with Gerard Carr of Gerard Carr & Associates and Declan Dooley of Kilcastle Construction Ltd to design what would best suit such a site, and meet Michael and Sheila’s expectations. The brief was to create a ‘home’ that was bright, warm, easy to maintain and with as much “future proofing” as possible and with sights on an “A” BER to create a low carbon footprint. This result was achieved in the final analysis.

A Picture paints a thousand words

Living room in a 1840's period house, freshly painted by Donal Hegarty
This 1840’s period house is located a few miles outside Galway City. Originally used as a family home, it was turned into a Bed & Breakfast in the 1980’s and traded very successfully as such for many years. The first thing you will notice are the brass name tags on some of the doors. They remain in situ and I can’t help thinking they are a rather nice addition to the story of this fabulous home. When Donal Hegarty – Painter & Decorator was invited to tender for the painting contract of the property, he was delighted to do so as he could show his skills as a decorator and showcase his speciality – painting old period homes.

An Eco Hideaway

The Three Towers and Slieve Aughty Riding Centre
Some things are hard to find but sometimes you just have to know where to look. I am talking about ‘The Three Towers’, what sounds like the title of a fantasy novel actually is an Eco-Resort with riding facilities not far from Loughrea, Co Galway. Taking the R352 from Portumna you head to Loughrea, it is important to take care on this road, the sign for Slieve Aughty – although quite large, you come upon it rather quickly so it is easy to miss. Then you turn left and left again down a very narrow road which opens on to one of the most amazing hidden gems Ireland has to offer – The Three Towers Eco House & Organic Kitchen.

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Content Issue 83

Extend your Space

Extended kitchen
The ordinary façade of this three bed semi belies the airy, light-filled space that is inside, thanks to a large kitchen extension to the back of the house. This kitchen definitely has the wow factor. The first feeling on entering it is of light and space. It is a bright, spacious room, cleverly arranged in three sections, of living, cooking and dining, all in one!

A Family Home Extended beyond Recognition

Garden in a renovated house
Elaine and Frank invited us back to their home many years after we had featured it in Upstairs Downstairs. They had just completed some major changes and were delighted with the results. The house had been extended and it truly had been changed beyond recognition. The wonderful thing about this extension was that it was within 40sqm, so they would not have to go through the planning permission process. The extension was exactly 40sqm and fulfilled all their wishes and needs.

Story of a Claddagh House

Claddagh house living room
When I met Orla Sheridan to discuss her new business as a Personal Stylist, we got around to talking about houses and interiors. She told me she lived in the Claddagh. My attention was spiked as it is one of my favourite places in Galway. The homes in the area have been a fascination for me for years. The Claddagh is one of the oldest parts of Galway. Although sadly none of the old cottages survived, the houses that replaced them have since been replaced and changed or morphed into large medium and small homes. The area has become rather trendy and many houses have been bought up by young professionals and renovated beyond recognition.

Heron’s Rest – The Long Walk Galway

Kitchen of the heron's rest b&b
I was greeted at the door of the Heron’s Rest Boutique Bed & Breakfast by Sorcha Molloy owner of one of Galway’s best kept secret hideaways. The Heron’s Rest is situated on Galway’s famous long Walk, under the Spanish Arch along the banks of the River Corrib. And across the mouth of the river – it overlooks one of the oldest parts of Galway – The Claddagh Harbour home of the world famous Claddagh ring and Galway hooker.

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Story of a Claddagh House

When I met Orla Sheridan to discuss her new business as a Personal Stylist, we got around to talking about houses and interiors. She told me she lived in the Claddagh. My attention was spiked as it is one of my favorite places in Galway. The homes in the area have been a fascination for me for years.

The Claddagh is one of the oldest parts of Galway. Although sadly none of the old cottages survived, the houses that replaced them have since been replaced and changed or morphed into large medium and small homes. The area has become rather trendy and many houses have been bought up by young professionals and renovated beyond recognition. I immediately ask Orla could I just have a peak at her home. Orla is in the unusual position in that she rents one of the newly extended and renovated houses. Although rented, Orla has put her own style and stamp on the house. Well, the house was a treat and I was delighted when Orla’s landlord allowed us in with our camera.

Living room in the Claddagh House with a burning fireplace

Surrounded by greenery you almost have to duck down to enter the house. Orla refuses to cut it back as it allows her privacy. It also hides the bins, as it is a terrace house the refuse bins can be placed discretely at the front of the house, out of sight from the occupants and the passersby. The first thing that is obviously a new addition to the house, is a little entrance porch. The front door leads straight into the main sitting room which extends the length of the house – hence the need for a little porch. The original house had a staircase directly opposite the front door with a small room to the left and right.
Dining Area in a Claddagh House with wooden floors, a wooden table and white chairsThe original beams show the exact placing of the staircase. When the house was renovated the stairs were removed and placed at the back of the house in the extended part. This extension houses a very unusual kitchen and dining room. The staircase then leads up to a mezzanine with access to the two bedrooms. The original house was very small and very basic – a two up two down house so to speak. It got me to thinking about the original family that once lived here and I wondered how many children grew up here. Having grown up in Galway I always remember many of my friends’ Grandparents living in the Claddagh, in these very houses and they were not small families – another source of fascination for me but maybe that’s a story for another article.

The kitchen area seems so large and airy and its then I realize it is because the extension is double height and the light streams into the kitchen through some velux windows in the roof. Double doors lead out to a back garden which appears like a very small space with the decking and shrubs. But Orla explains that she has allowed the shrubs to grow quite wild as she loves the feeling of greenery around her. The deck area is topped with a gazebo style structure and Orla and her husband have had many an evening meal outside in her overgrown garden.
Kitchen in the Claddagh House with a movable island and red accessories
The living room has the original fireplaces still in working order although Orla tells me she only has need to light the larger one and the smaller one is purely decorative and is mirrored by two similar ones in the two bedrooms upstairs. Cream shelving is matched up with the cream and glass coffee table and the cream unit on the opposite side of the living room. Numerous copies of Vogue Magazine and style books sit o the coffee table indicating Orla’s keen interest in fashion and style. A red and cream theme is seen all around the house with a red desk contrasting with the cream units in this very comfortable living room.

The simple timber floor running through the ground floor and a timber kitchen was already in situ when Orla moved in, so she really had no say in that but she has enhanced the simple semi rustic and semi contemporary look and feel to the house. The kitchen units are very unusual with open shelving above the cupboards with a series of copper piping going through each set of shelves – a really unique touch to the kitchen. A movable island was added which complements the kitchen and can be wheeled out of the way when it is needed. A rough timber table sits to the right of the kitchen and ultra modern white chairs sit neatly at the table. Orla chose red accessories to blend with the copper piping and also added large red dome shades to cover the drop lighting in the kitchen area. A large metal beam is painted in red and denotes where the old house ended and the extension started.
Working Area in the Claddagh House with a small decorative fireplace, a red desk and a few red accessories
A sisal natural carpet covers the stairs and leads to the mezzanine and into the two bedrooms – both very simply decorated with cream beds and crisp white bed linen. Simply stylish and quaint is the only way to describe this beautiful home. Having visited many houses over the last ten years this was one of my favorites and the one house in which I would be very happy to live. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that it is situated almost in the city and within spitting distance of the sea, in one of the most historic and beautiful parts of Galway – The Claddagh.

Orla Sheridan, personal stylist

Orla’s new website is  www.orlasheridan.com or you can contact her on – +353 (0)87 2389283.

Words by Julie Keary
Photography by Alan Smyth

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More pictures of the Claddagh House:

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