A Beautiful Belfast Home’s Original Details Get a Boost from Bold Color
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Name: Laura Magee, husband Jonny, and cat, George
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Size: 1800 square feet
Years Lived In: almost 2 years, owned
I’m a fashion buyer and have spent most of my career living and working in London, but moved back to Belfast almost two years ago with the aim of finding a beautiful period property with lots of original features. After searching online, we came across a property in the area we had pinpointed, and after some quick negotiations we were able to move in a few months after. You get much more for your money in Belfast, so we were able to carry out some renovation work to the property to make the living area more open plan and to suit our lifestyle better.
We entertain quite often and the [renovated] living/dining area is completely open plan, so it’s a great space to gather with friends and family. With my job I travel a lot, so during the week, it’s not uncommon for me to be away from home for three to four nights at a time (during buying season). So when I get home it’s a treat to sit down at the dining table on a Friday evening with some good food and a glass of red!
I pass my time in a variety of ways in my home; I’m a big fan of indoor plants, as you can see from my home images. My personality is quite fast paced; I always have to be busy, or have a project on the go. I recently set up my lifestyle blog whilst on furlough, just to pass the time, but it’s ended up becoming a real form of stimulation for me and a bit of a challenge to work on every day. My husband is a great cook, so I also spend a lot of my time eating or drinking red wine from our monthly wine subscription. Also I’m always changing up the styling in my home, or adding new art, plants, or textiles. I have succumbed to the fact the house decor is ever changing, but I love it! Styling is a real passion of mine! I also worked as a visual merchandiser before I got into buying and have a degree in fashion and textile design, so I suppose styling is in my bones!
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Art Deco, mid-century modern mash up!
Inspiration: Instagram, Pinterest, Google, interior magazines, fashion blogs, interior blogs, everything around me, really! I love visiting other countries and taking inspiration from their shops, restaurants, hotels, etc and I love a good antique shop and you can’t beat a good trawl on eBay or Gumtree!
Favorite Home Element: I love the high ceilings and original Victorian windows! Original period property features are something that should be cherished!
Biggest Challenge: Creating one room out of two smaller reception rooms. We had to hire a structural engineer and get technical drawings constructed before we had the wall removed. We then hired builders and had a beam inserted as the wall we removed was load bearing, which meant that we needed to ensure the stability of the rest of the house when the wall came down. When the wall was removed, we had quite a big hole in the floor and a substantial difference of around two inches between the two rooms. This meant we had to get the flooring leveled before we had the parquet laid. All these obstacles were things we wouldn’t have known before we moved in. But you find out and learn so much about period properties when you start the reno process! We also had original cornicing fall down when the wall was removed, so we had to get these remoulded, again something we didn’t account for in the initial project.
Proudest DIY: My proudest DIY moment would have to be my express 24-hour bathroom makeover. I had a magazine shoot taking place and was asked if my bathroom could be photographed, I instantly panicked as the bathroom was a room I generally hid from visitors, and would direct them to use the downstairs loo instead. After a quick mood board, some savvy purchases, and a lick of paint the bathroom was transformed. I started and finished the project after a full day’s work!
Biggest Indulgence: My green velvet sofa
What’s your best home secret or advice? Indoor plants are everywhere in my home; they instantly add color and balance to any room. Even if you are afraid of using color in your home, greenery can be added easily and can transform a space. I think of plants as a piece of art or decor; they can fill an empty corner, add interest to a blank wall, and balance room heights. Not to mention their calming and mood-boosting qualities.
What to people most get wrong about using color in their home? For me one of the most important things about using color in the home is considering the natural light. If you have a naturally dark room, using a dark color will just suck the light out of the space even more. Also paint colors can look different depending on the light, so always check your testers in different light situations before deciding upon a color.
What are the biggest tricks/secrets to using color in decor? I think you can use color in any size, shape, or style of property. If you love brights for instance, who’s saying you have to use brights on the walls? Add these colors into your wall art, textiles, or home accessories. Also I would recommend a few mood boards with your color scheme ideas. If you look to nature you can find color palettes everywhere; flowers are a fab place to look for natural color palettes. Or if you are a little stuck with which colors to use together, you can check out the color wheel to see which colors work together and which ones don’t.
Favorite wall paint color of all time: “Setting Plaster” by Farrow & Ball. It’s the perfect mix of pink and peach tones and looks completely different in various levels of natural light. I have used this paint in my dressing room and also in upcycling projects and it looks totally different depending on surface, light, and environment.
PAINT & COLORS
- Living Room — Hague blue Farrow & Ball
- Dining Area — Pink Ground Farrow & Ball
- Dressing Room — Setting Plaster Farrow & Ball
- Master Bedroom — Whimbourne White- Farrow & Ball
- Hallway and landing railings — Farrow & Ball
- Console table — La Redoute
- Light — Wayfair
- Art — Junique
- Hanging Mirror — La redoute
- Art — Desenio
- Black and white photography — Christina Kernohan Photography
- Green velvet sofa — Swoon Editions
- Tan leather sofa — Made.com
- Rug — La Redoute
- hanging plants — Bloom & Wild
- Footstool — TKMaxx
- Coffee table — Swoon Editions
- Sunburst mirror — La Redoute
- Pink velvet chair — Made.com
- Cushions — Oliver Bonas, Cushook, La Redoute, Made.com, Haus Concept, Sotti and Co
- Plant stand terrazzo — Made.com
- Candles — Matthew Williamson, Lo studios, Rituals
- Dining table — Made.com
- Velvet chairs — Cult furniture
- Brass chairs — Made.com
- Bench — Made.com
- Sheepskin — Dunelm and IKEA
- Cabinet — Gumtree
- Plant stand — Made.com
- Mantel art — Mapiful
- Brass planter — Made.com
- Drinks trolley — Swoon Editions
- Vintage bureau — Antique shop
- Hanging plants — Bloom Box Club
- Bed — Can’t remember?
- Bedside cabinet — HomeSense, this has been upcycled
- Boudoir chair — HomeSense
- Rugs — Dunelm
- Sheepskin — eBay
- Bedding — Soak and sleep
- Waffle throw — Urbanara
- Cushions — Tk Maxx, Next, Cushook
- Brass side table — Maisons Du Monde
- Round mantle mirror — Amazon
- Mirror — Antique shop
- Dressing table — Upcycle project
- Wardrobe — Upcycle project
- Plant stand — La Redoute
- Basket planter — La Redoute
- Art — Desenio, mapiful
- Rug — La Redoute
- Shower curtain — Amazon
- Art — IKEA
- Plant pots — Tk Maxx
- Rug — IKEA