April/May Issue

Cover 99

As the building boom takes off again, many of us are contemplating an extension or renovation. I often ponder, when looking at my own space, whether I would plan it out any differently if I were to start over again. Now, my space like some of my readers’ homes most likely, is open plan with one large room incorporating the kitchen, living and dining space.

February/March Issue 98

Upstairs Downstairs Feb/March Issue 98

Cover Upstairs Downstairs 98

A bi-monthly publication showing readers homes and all the latest trends in home interiors and lifestyle. This issue we have a beautiful home in Ranelagh – ” The Ranelagh Project” and all the latest trends from the the European trade shows. Including, Industrial Interiors a new concept in Interior design – we show you how to achieve it. Latest issue  – On Sale Now

Cosy & Warm Energy Efficient Home


Cosy Energy Efficient Home

When the owners of this home decided to move, there was no arguing about the setting of their new abode. As they already owned the site with a run down old cottage in situ, they were very confident that everything would go according to plan and that planning permission would not be a stumbling block, and they were right. This beautiful home is surrounded by the rugged countryside with a luscious green forest in the distance.


A Luxurious Home

A Luxurious Home on the Edge of Galway City

The brief for interior designer Sharon Matthews, was to create a light and airy property that would make an ideal family space for all age groups.  The owners wanted a home that was modern, stylish yet relaxed with plenty of open space for all the family to be together and yet offer areas of privacy within the open plan layouts.

The Ranelagh Project

When the owners of this home decided to move, there was no arguing about the setting of their new abode. As they already owned the site with a run down old cottage in situ, they were very confident that everything would go according to plan and that planning permission would not be a stumbling block, and they were right. This beautiful home is surrounded by the rugged countryside with a luscious green forest in the distance.


The Ranelagh Project

Interior Design Course

Interior design course @ La Maison Chic.


Successful Interior Design Course with Joy O Keefe

Big congratulations to the La Maison Chic Interior Design night class who graduated this week with flying colours (pun intended!)

Jokes aside, we are proud as punch here at La Maison Chic to have our first in-store course be such a great success!

When we first decided to run a night course from the our gorgeous store we didn’t really know what to expect as it has never been done before, but here at La Maison Chic we like to lead the way when it comes to design, so it was obvious that we needed to lead the way in educating our customers about Interior Design also. Having being a tutor of Interior Design for 12 years myself, I have always been passionate about educating people when it comes to design.

The format of the course was to give our loyal customers the opportunity to design a room of their choice in their own home in the La Maison Chic style which we did using the format of mood boards.


Sample Mood Board – Natural Greens

Students had access to a range of expert speakers from our own fit-out team who covered a whole range of topics.

The team included our new La Maison Chic architect, Juan Sotoparra, (who will be available to do our brand new “architects clinic” service which is free of charge and can be booked instore) our resident curtain maker, furniture restorer and upholsterer James Maguire, and even the tres chic director of La Maison Chic himself Laurent Billiet who gave an inspiring and very informative talk on French style, and yours truly, who covered a range of weekly topics including concept development, colour schemes, soft furnishings, lighting, flooring, kitchen and bathroom design.  A special thanks to Mark Ryan of Universal Kitchens, Limerick who drove all the way up to Galway after a hard days work to give a brilliant talk on kitchen design!


Juan Sotoparra

As well as having access to the widest range of fabrics and wallpapers this side of the country and expert talks and demonstrations, they also benefitted from receiving the newly launched customer VIP card which entitles them to a 10% discount all year round on any of their purchases in-store as well as on fabrics, wallpapers and curtain making services etc. As if all of that wasn’t enough, all of their materials were included in the course fee and all samples needed to complete their mood boards where ordered directly from our suppliers. We concluded with our students receiving their specially designed La Maison Chic Certificate of attendance  (insert pic 2 of certificate please!) and as a parting gift our La Maison Chic candle.


Sample Mood Board – Strong Colours

The feedback from our students was extremely positive and included comments.

Joy O’ Keeffe and the team at La Maison Chic guided us through the world of Interior Design with the relaxed aplomb of those who know their subject intimately. Their 8 week interior design course is a must for anyone interested in adding style to their surroundings or gaining knowledge on how to pull a moodboard together for a design project. Delving into their vast library of fabrics and furnishings every week opened my eyes to a world of interior design possibilities that I didn’t know existed. A thoroughly enjoyable experience overall – highly recommended!

The new course starts –  Tuesday 10th February for 8 weeks.


Student’s Mood Board

Places are limited so call –  La Maison Chic to reserve your place – Tel: 091 530694

We look forward to welcoming our next bunch of eager students!

Joy O’Keeffe, Manager, Interior Designer, La Maison Chic.

A Maker Worth Meeting – Louise De Vignoles

Meet the Maker – Louise De Vignoles


Louise De Vignoles – Atelier

The wheels for De Vignoles Atelier were set in motion many moons ago, born out of a hobby for craft & a love of floral fragrances. Michael Vignoles was a young  man and worked very hard to support his wife & 5 children. Michael’s own original family came from an area in France near Provence and he remembered fondly many summer afternoons traipsing through fields of lavender on his grandparent’s land and the aromas that filled the air. This he claims set him sail on his passion for fragrance. Curious and capable Michael set about making a homemade wax candle. He melted his wax among other components in a slow old fashioned double boiler on the cooker in his wife’s kitchen, much to her amusement. The candles were poured with the use of a solid copper pitcher which the Vignoles family still have to this day and is still in use!! Michael used old oil lamp wick to get a flame for his candles & even though the scent was beautiful he only ever made five different candle fragrances lavender, rosa-geranium, geranium, patchouli and plain rose. He liked to stick to the floral base and he made a unique formula to ensure that each candle burned equally. Even though highly scented candles back in 1927 were somewhat a rarity, Michael loved creating his aromas & blends from a make shift shed in the back garden. He had rose bushes in abundance and made a really beautiful geranium and rose blend from cold pressing his own home grown flowers. Unfortunately for Michael his candles never took off. Money was tighter in those days & small mouths had to be fed. This however did not stop Michael experimenting & passing his experience down to his children. His son Michael Junior is a highly skilled and sought after instrument maker, making  bodhran & uillean pipes. Michael is also a very talented musician. Craft is simply in the blood.

Fast forward to 2014 and De Vignoles Atelier has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Louise who is the owner of De Vignoles Atelier, in keeping with tradition has penned a poem for each candle fragrance. The De Vignoles family grew up on a healthy diet of poetry & music, so it seemed fitting to keep this theme going through the candle line. Each poem is unique to each candle scent. Every candle is personal from start to finish. No mass production. All hand poured and finished. Old fashioned methods mixed with some new romantic poetry. Perfect.

1 Pouring the wax

Pouring the wax


Great care & attention

2-Attention to detail

Attention to detai

The Christmas Eve in Galway candle was undeniably one of the must have gifts this Christmas.

Fill your surroundings with the undeniable echos of aroma, all in exclusivity at La Maison Chic, 11 Lower Abbeygate street, Galway City 091530694

Christmas Eve in Galway

Christmas Eve in Galway

A Maker Worth Meeting

Meet The Maker – Steve Attwell


Steve Attwell

A Maker Worth Meeting

“Steve Attwell lives and works in Kilconly, County Galway.  He creates unique pieces of functional art using traditional blacksmithing techniques and various materials including iron, brass, copper and coloured glass.  Clients can choose from one of his existing designs or opt to have something individually designed to suit their own particular space.




Las Orquideas – Andalucia

He has recently completed a large project for boutique hotel ‘Las Orquideas’ in Andalucia, where he designed and made individual beds for each room, two spectacular staircases and the bar furniture, some of which can be seen in these photos.






Floor Lamp

Another of his projects has recently been featured on Channel 4’s Home Truths and is available to view on 4oD.  You can find a link to this programme on his Facebook page (Steve Attwell Ironwork).”

Inside – issue 90

Georgian Home – Back to Life

Period Residence on the River Moy

Georgian Elegance – Back to Life

  Imagine your own pier on the River Moy, your own stables and yard, and room after room in which to play hide and seek. This house, built in the early 1800’s, is any child’s (and adults!) dream come true, and it certainly was for Laurent Billet from La Maison Chic, when the owners asked him to help them decorate their original Georgian home after a complete refurbishment. Laurent’s challenge was to respect the Georgian design and layout of the rooms, while accommodating a young couple and their children, yet adhering as much as possible to the period of the house. He did not want to create a stuffy and old atmosphere in this home. Laurent achieved this by alternating period looking wallpapers with plain silk curtains while painting the rooms in neutral colours mixed with lightly patterned floral patterns.

Anne of the Taibhdhearc, Queen of the Castle

Killeen Castle

Castle For Sale

One of the hidden gems on the outskirts of Galway City is Killeen Castle, a beautifully restored medieval tower with a fine-size farmhouse attached. The Tower is listed as one of the hidden castles of Ireland and although not overtly visible, it is located just a short distance off the Tuam Road a few miles outside Galway City. It has been the home of Anne McCabe, the newly appointed Artistic Director of An Taibhdhearc, for the last twelve years. It is one of the finest examples of a medieval tower house in the county, with most of the stone work including the spiral staircase totally intact since the 1500’s. The history of Killeen Castle spans the centuries. Killeen Castle passed from the Burkes in the 1500’s to the Blakes in the 1700’s and to Alec Finn  of De Dannan in the 1990’s.

Architecturally Designed Home


Architecturally Designed Home

Upstairs Downstairs have teamed up with Sean Dockery Associates to bring you some very useful tips when it comes to engaging an Architect. Our project for this issue was an architecturally designed family home in Galway City.

Architects are highly skilled and professionally trained to turn your aspirations into reality. A registered RIAI architect is a specialist consultant qualified in the design and procurement of buildings and can advise from initial ideas, site selection through to completion of your house. Many architects are qualified Building Energy Rating Assessors and some have qualifications in conservation and historic building preservation. When choosing an architect, whether for a new house, an alteration, extension or renovation, you should see samples of their work and get their advice on the services they offer relative to your brief and budget.