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.

House For Sale

Family Home

Beautiful Home For Sale

Sun drenched back yard

Sun filled back garden

Superior family six bedroom detached residence in a mature, well-established cul-de-sac. Generous dimensions throughout this fabulous 3 storey residence togetherwith a stunning, south-facing garden to the rear makes this one of the very best family properties to come on the market in recent years. No. 45 is loaded with a myriad of features including a generous Study, cosy yet roomy Den, Open Fire, Gas Fire, Back Kitchen, Timber Floors, Spacious landings—the list is endless! Close proximity to a host of Schools and walking distance to the City Centre, and Salthill Promenade. 

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.

Renovations Extensions

Home Renovation Tax Incentive Scheme is very exciting for home owners – also Bank of Ireland are releasing €75 million in response to the government’s new scheme.

We featured two fabulous home renovations in one of our previous issues both were done without the hassle and need for planning permission

Upstairs Downstairs are doing feature in the Dec/Jan issue, on this government’s home renovation scheme, so here are a few tasters to whet your appetite and get your ideas flowing for your home renovations

A very user friendly kitchen

Extended Living Space

Extend Your Space

Light and Airy Extension With a Wow 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!

Builder – Stephen Mullins – Tel: 087 7999707

Kitchen – Michael Doyle – Tel: 0879600262

Extended Living Area

Living Room/Kitchen

A Family Home Extended beyond Recognition

Elaine & 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 40 m2, so they not have to go through the planning permission process. The extension was exactly 40 m2 and fulfilled all their wishes and needs.

Builder: Tony Connealy (087) 2069740

A garden for all seasons

Room Outside

Hard landscaping: Cara Landscapes (David) (086) 8204595