Exceed Expectations with a Noel Brannelly Kitchen

Classic Bespoke Kitchen


Exceed Expectations

This bespoke classic kitchen was handmade and hand painted in classic style by Noel Brannelly Kitchens. The large island also works as a breakfast bar. The cabinets are all off standard, are custom built to fit to the ceiling. The units are topped with Silestone this is composed of 94% natural quartz and is the first and only countertop with bacteriostatic protection, giving it unique features. The seating area of the island in American white oak has a rounded area to soften the look of the island and add some extra seating space.  The contrast of the painted timber and the natural look of the American white oak gives the kitchen that extra character and this is why it can be said that a Noel Brannelly Kitchen  ‘exceeds expections’


Whats in this Issue – April/May

Cover 99As 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.

On the Edge of the Wild Atlantic Way

Sitting Room

The Edge Of The Wild Atlantic Way

This little gem of a home is situated slap bang in the middle of Roundstone village. I was lucky enough to spend a weekend here recently and thoroughly enjoyed it. A very simple layout catches the eye with one main living space, leading into to a galley kitchen and dining area at the rear of the house. The hall door opens directly into the living room and as a consequence it has enlarged the space as well as brought in more light.

Home Away From Home


Country/Contemporary style

Driving out along the Wild Atlantic Way you will enjoy many a feast for the eyes. The scenery is wonderful, while taking in the Atlantic Ocean and all its wonder, you will from time to time come across a run down cottage or farmhouse. Perhaps you too dreamed of owning a house by the sea and dreamed of doing it up. It’s not for the faint hearted and many of us aren’t lucky enough to do so or maybe you just find it all a bit too daunting. This wasn’t the case for the owners of this beautiful cottage.

Stylish & Functional Home


Functional Space

The brief here for designer Pauline Dowling was to create a stylish yet functional home. The owners wanted to put their own stamp on this previously owned property while taking into account their busy lifestyle and two teenage children The living room/dining/kitchen, was a vast space incorporating all the elements for functional living. As the hub of the home, this needed to be a casual comfortable yet very functional.

December/January Issue 97

Check out our Cover Story

Our latest Issue for December/ January

Cover Story. – A Veritable Wonderland

Once again we went to Home Gallery Interiors to style our Christmas cover. Although they have numerous displays of Christmas trees in every colour scheme, we were very taken with this white room. Both Christmas  trees are decorated completely with white decorations to create a very dramatic effect. It blends in charmingly with the white french style furniture. Likewise we feel it would look striking in a more colorful room. For this room we chose a light blue canvas sofa and a graphic patterned rug. The ‘piece de résistance” has to be the selection of deer at the base of the tree. We highly recommend a visit to Home gallery Interiors, as we think it is one of the best decorated stores in Ireland. All decorations and furniture are available at Home Gallery Interiors, Newtownsmith (above Born) Galway. Tel: 091 895228

Cover Story

Cover Story

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

Whats New Issue 91

Upstairs Downstairs – New Issue


Styled by Home Gallery Interiors

We have some beautiful homes to show you and some wonderful decorating ideas too. I particularly enjoyed my visit to Galway Golf Academy and I would like to wish Michael best wishes in his new venture.  Thanks to Tony & Caroline for going to the trouble of putting up their decorations a tad early for us – check out their home on page 10. All the regular features are there and we also have a four page Holiday Gift Guide. I hope you enjoy this edition as much as I did putting it together

High & Beautiful


Calm sitting room

High on a hill in Menlo, overlooking Lough Corrib, Co. Galway, is the beautiful home of Caroline and Tony. Having jumped and stumbled for two years with planning restrictions, they eventually got the permission to build this stunning home with panoramic views of Galway City and Lough Corrib.

Georgian Restoration & Interior Design

Exterior of Georgian Home

Restored Georgian Home

Last issue we featured this wonderful period home in Co. Mayo. As we didn’t have enough space to show you all the pictures, we decided to show you some more images. We chatted to Laurent Billet of La Maison Chic about this massive project. Here are his top tips on how to achieve an Irish interior design period look, keep in mind though that ideally your rooms should be at least 9 feet tall:

Architecturally Designed Home


Superb Architecture

This house involved the complete replacement of a small 50’s style bungalow that had fallen into disrepair. The previous house was very low lying and built with a rising outcrop of land immediately behind it, contributing to dampness. The houses on either side were on higher ground and the site had a number of large trees overshadowing evening light.

Galway Golf Academy


Cozy Cafe at Galway Golf Academy

I was delighted when Michael Mulryan invited me out to see his Golf Academy in Cregboy. Michael opened the academy one year ago.  It started with a range consisting of 10 bays and a golf professional on hand to give lessons when needed. Once the range was up and running he started work on his cafe. An eclectic mix of furniture and memorabilia gives this beautiful cafe its atmosphere and makes the clients feel relaxed and nourished before, or after, hitting a few balls on the range.

Oct/November 2014

Upstairs-Downstairs-Magazine-Cover90 copy

House Features

Georgian Elegance Back To Life

Anne of the Taibhdhearc, Queen of the Castle

Architecturally Designed Home.

Features – Wedding Gowns to Angel Gowns, Feng Shui , Upcycling, Moments Of Colour, Hotel Revamp, Water Water Everywhere  – Water Conservation, New Design Studio. Loads to see – in the shops soon and available on iTunes.

Property News

2014 will see a thriving and buoyant
property market in Galway
property news
Michelle Burke is one of Galway’s leading property auctioneers specialising in high end sales and rental of quality homes, There are signs everywhere that the economy is improving, nowhere can this be seen more than in the property market. In fact a lot of auctioneers are saying there is a chronic shortage of quality homes on the market currently. We asked leading auctioneer, Michelle Burke MIPAV for her professional opinion on the property market in Galway. “There has been a strong improvement
in the property market over the past 6 to 8 months. Properties have sold with increasing speed and prices are starting to creep up also.” She went on to say ” There is a
significant shortage of quality family homes for sale currently. This, combined with the pent up demand for both 1st time buyers and trader up properties has resulted in some homes selling in excess of the guide price. A phenomenon unheard of since 2006/2007.”
Michelle Burke was keen to point out that sellers need to be realistic about the value of their property and listen to a professionals opinion – she said that both sellers and
buyers have great access to property prices in so far as the PSRA (property services regulatory authority) allow open access to the price register on their website showing actual sold prices of every property in the country since January 2011. She welcomed this, saying it brought openness and transparency to the market. She also advised the following : Once an individual decides they are going to sell their home, they need to change the mindset of “This is my home” to “This is a commercial transaction that I need to maximise the return on” It is important to ask your Auctioneer to justify the price they value a property at and not to fall into the trap of choosing an Agent, just because they place a higher value on property. Also to explain how they intend to market the property. Poor marketing (ie poor quality photography, write up etc. can really make a property get off to a bad start.) Michelle is now taking videos of all her properties for sale and uploading them onto YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn. How can one increase the value? Some simple, cost effective steps can add thousands to the value of a property. Michelle advises using the following maxim: Declutter, Clean and Stage the home. – be clinical and ensure the property looks clean warm and inviting to prospective buyers. She has invaluable tips for vendors regarding home staging. She went on to say ” I’ve been known to even taken lamps and rugs out of my own house to help stage a property !” – That’s dedication above and beyond the call of duty It is vitally important to get your solicitor to request title deeds to the property. He/she will need a vendors written instructions in order to release the deeds – contracts can not be issued without the solicitor having the title deeds. (this can delay a sale, needlessly , for up to 6 weeks. It could also frighten off buyers who might think there was another reason for the conveyance not progressing. In relation to buyers, she advises that a buyer to ensure they have a loan offer when looking at prospective homes as there is nothing more frustrating than finding the home of their dreams only to find an offer won’t be accepted as they are only in the process of getting finance. Also, buyers need to be aware that house prices are increasing and that an extremely low offer on a property will lead to they not
being taken seriously as purchasers. “I always advise buyers to email their offers as it’s a great tool to ensure there is no miscommunication between an auctioneer and purchaser. When they are putting in their offer, ensure any codicil is included (ie offer includes contents, or fixtures and fittings, curtains etc. or else includes the garage is emptied prior to the sale
closing )” If a buyer is unsure about an area, it’s a good idea to drive around the area at different times of the day to get a feel of the neighborhoods? Also, knock on a neighbours door and ask them
what the neighborhoods is like – most people will be glad to be of help. Michelle has a lot of practical advise for both sellers and buyers. Her realistic, straight talking approach is a refreshing. When asked the reason for her success she said “I’ m fortunate to be in a profession that I am passionate
about – it is both rewarding and exciting achieving a great price for a vendor and also seeing a couple moving into their dream home. Michelle Burke is keen to point out that she is always available to assist any individual with theirproperty queries and is looking
forward to a robust year ahead for house sales in Galway city and county.
Michelle Burke can be contacted on
Mobile: 087 2500716
e- mail:

Apartments for rent in Fort Eyre

Live in a piece of Galway" History

Live in a piece of Galway” History

Having passed by a gated house hidden behind a high wall and tall trees, on the corner of Shantalla Road and Maunsells Road many times,  I was delighted to see the greenery being cut back to expose a beautiful old house by the name of Fort Eyre. As I live close by, I could safely say I pass Fort Eyre at least 4 times a day. As  the building and construction work came to and end, the house looked extremely well and I was delighted to see it lit up in all its glory at night time.