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.

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.

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.

Screen shot 2014-10-21 at 11.58.09

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.

Small Space – Grand Designs

Small Space – Grand Design


Contrasting gravel & paving

Five years ago Clarenbridge Garden Centre set up a landscaping division within the garden centre and this has now developed into a thriving business. They can take a garden from scratch and come up with a creative, innovative and inspirational concept. A detailed design is drawn up with a design and cost proposal. The design is carried out with full installation by the Clarenbridge Garden Centre’s team.

It starts with a home visit from the designer who will discuss your requirements and give you ideas.


Bespoke garden shed

The brief for this featured garden was to bring colour and contrast to a rather flat space. The owners also needed an outside storage area but did not want a typical garden shed. They wanted something that would blend in with the space while also acting as a feature in the garden. The garden shed/sunroom was designed and constructed by David Farragher of Clarenbridge Garden Centre. The materials used are tannillised shiplap, toughend glass and the roof is finished with felt tiles.


Under the pergola

The design of the garden was extremely important as David needed to bring a series of upright features into it, thus giving it more character and making it much more interesting. He did this with the use of the pergolas and the upright timbers in the paved area at the back. This area could also be used for barbecuing and dining in the evening sunshine. The painted timber is also used as a retaining wall for an upper level which is set with decorative pebbles and colorful shrubs. The shrubbery areas are finished with membrane and Tipperary pebbles and large beach type pebbles in parts.


Beautiful paving

Railway sleepers and wood were used in the garden to soften the overall hard landscaping. The paving is an Indian sandstone giving the garden great colour even on rainy days, as the paving stones take on a completely different hue in the rain.


Under the pergola

The owners of this garden were delighted with the design and the quality of the workmanship of the Clarenbridge Garden Centre. They are looking forward to some long sunny days in their outdoor space.

f you would like to discuss your garden, however small or large, please contact David to arrange a free no obligation garden consultation. Tel 091776492

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.

5 High-&-Beautiful-3

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.

6 High-&-Beautiful-4

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.

2 High-&-Beautiful

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