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INTERIORS Insider tips for your home

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Insider tips for your home


Náoimh Tuohy

Have I mentioned before that I’m not a big fan of rules? I don’t know why. I blame my uncle. Over the years, as I went from toddler to teenager and eventually into adulthood, he remained a constant influence in my life, both good and bad.
While my mother tried desperately to keep myself and my siblings on the straight and narrow, the uncle was always there to lead us off the garden path as often as he could. I think this is where my dislike for rules and regulations was born.
Tips and tricks, on the other hand, are not a problem. Being told what to do never worked for me. Being guided, on the other hand, got results. Every time. Which is why, when it comes to home interiors, I like to pass them on where I can. So, here goes...

  • Try to steer clear of coving or dados in a relatively new house. They are features that tend to work better in a period property due to the increased height of the ceilings. Using them in a modern space will not only date it, but will give the false impression of a lower ceiling
  • Where possible try to use colours and patterns that ‘complement’ each other – try not to ‘match’. To my mind, there’s nothing worse than walking into a bedroom with curtains made of the same material as the bed cover.
  • Make an effort when it comes to wall coverings. Be inventive and try using mirrors in a fun and different way. Perhaps have more than one on the same wall. Or make a photo montage using lots of your old family snaps all framed separately and in several different shapes/sizes and hung so that they fit around one another, almost like a jigsaw.
  • Think about using tiles rather than wood. They are fantastic for giving that ‘wow’ factor and come in so many different shapes and colours that it’s practically impossible to find one that won’t work.
  • If you’re in a position to bring samples of flooring and kitchen fittings back to your property before purchasing them just to see if they work or not, do. Every space has a different light and feel to it and what might work in the showrooms, may not necessarily work in your own house.
  • Likewise, if you’re going to be painting, it’s always a good idea to get samples of the paint you’re thinking of using and physically putting it up on the walls of your house rather than choosing your colour scheme from the charts.
  • While it’s important to think about your lifestyle now and design around the present, it’s never a bad idea to be thinking about further down the line and preparing now for possible future alterations. It can add to the resale value of the house.
  • If you’re opting for an open-plan style downstairs, it’s never a bad plan to section off just a small part of it to allow for some degree of privacy if and when it’s ever needed.
  • Make an extra special effort when it comes to the finer details. It will make all the difference in the overall result if attention is paid to finishes and fittings.
  • Lastly, have fun! This is supposed to be an enjoyable experience for you, so dive in and relish the experience of turning your house into a home.


Náoimh Tuohy is an interior designer based in Westport and working countrywide. Originally coming from a property background, she made the jump from valuing buildings to redesigning their interiors. She has worked freelance for the last six years and specialises in show houses, home-owner renovations and investment-property fit-outs. She can be contacted at 087 7625539.