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Stylish Homes 6 "Olde Worlde Elegance"

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Today is the final installment in our "Stylish Homes" strand. Our first week saw us look at the stunning "Art Deco" themed home of Laura Barnes and family, we then looked at Ireland's most Eco friendly apartment, the stunning church conversion in Mayo and shabby chic with a beautiful American style country cottage in Louth.
Last week we went North to find the most incredible modern/contemporary home in Co. Antrim and finally today we wrap up our strand with an Elegant "'olde worlde" home in Arklow, Co. Wicklow

In this series, we've been looking at some of Ireland's most stylish homes and showing the viewer how they can achieve a similar look in their own home- on a much smaller budget. With times as tight as they are, interiors may not be at the top of everyone's priority list- but for those of us who can't afford to move to our dream homes, now is as good a time as any to fall in love with our homes once more by doing a little DIY design.

Ciaran Sweeney:-

Ciarán Sweeney trained at The National College of Art and Design, Dublin where he majored in printed textiles.
Within a year of graduation in 1994, the former waiter, staged his first one man show 'The Drowning of Ophelia 'in a Dublin gallery. The show received rave reviews, a packed audience and his story began to unfold.
At the age of 26 British Vogue described Sweeney as a leading light of Irish fashion, he works in a highly labour intensive almost ancient manner. All Ciaran's pieces start with a drawing he then dyes, prints, paints and embellishes his garments and accessories with his drawings.
Sweeney works from his studio in The Liberties area of Dublin city, he works on a 7 metre table on some of the most precious fabrics and fibres from around the world. He is most known for his use of 19th century silk screen textile print methods.
Over the last 12 years Sweeney has gone on to show his work in The United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, France, The USA, The United Arab Emirates and 2006 marked Sweeney's first show in Moscow, Russia.
In February of 2006, Sweeney exhibited in Madrid, representing Ireland in a unique show of international designers entitled 'Men in skirts' which ran in Retiro Park, Madrid and included John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier,and Vivienne Westwood.
In the same month was awarded a medal at The American Design Awards, California, USA.
The list of owners of Ciarán Sweeney creations includes The President of Ireland, Madonna, Elton John, Kylie Minogue, The Corrs, Moya Brennan, Altan, Dinah Carrol, Brenda Belthyn. His corporate clients include Guinness, Smirnoff, PGA, Irish Distillers, Nokia, The Ulster Museum, Vodafone.
He has designed ranges in fashion and home for international outlets including Harrods, Liberty and Brown Thomas. Ciaran Sweeney also acts as Producer of the National College of Art and Design Graduate Show annually since 2000.
Ciaran is currently working on a interior collection for Gallery 13, Los Angeles and continues to show his work both in fashion and interiors in Ireland and abroad. Sweeney is a regular contributor on design and lifestyle issues in print and tv media and also lectures in the department of visual culture in The National College of Art Dublin.

The History of Ballybeg:-
"The history of Ballybeg House dates back to the early 1700s when the Rev. Michael Symes, the first in a long line of Trinity College educated Clergymen, leased from the Earl of Marlton, the lands at Ballybeg and surrounding countryside.
During the 1798 Rebellion the original house was burned to the ground by the local insurgents.
The occupancy of Ballybeg remained in the Symes Family until 1873 when on the death of Arthur Rowley Symes, a major George Newton became the new tenant of Ballybeg House under Lord Fitzwilliam of Coolattin Estate.
Major Newton became a well-known local magistrate and very active in the Anti Home Rule movement and had many a lively verbal exchange with the pro Parnellites of the day. He died on the 19th June 1910 and was succeeded in Ballybeg by his eldest son James Hibbert Newton. James Hibbert Newton lived a quiet and unassuming lifestyle at Ballybeg until poor circumstances forced him to sell Ballybeg House and farm to a well-known circus family called Fossetts. The Fossett Family used the extensive farm buildings as their winter training quarters and being suspicious that the main residence was haunted, levelled it to the ground in 1948 and built in its place the colonial style residence that remains today.
Shortly after the completion of this residence Ballybeg was purchased by the present owner's mother, Mollie, who with her husband Pat O'Toole carefully and lovingly maintained and enhanced the surrounding gardens and arboretum."


The Style of the Interior:-

A little girl who was once in the house compared it to a dolls house and one must agree as every room is so different and each one has a sense of its own little world.
Dominique Schefmann, an interior designer, was employed with the task of bringing the look of the house up to date without losing its integral sense of the past.
Some of the original features from the house include the tiles in the hallways, the doors and the free-standing bath. These were the pieces Dominique liked most but almost all of the rest is newly acquired but not necessarily new.
As the dining room is on the North side of the house, it tends to be very dark. So they made it as cosy as possible by giving it lots of character. The wallpaper adds plenty of that! This wallpaper is from Laura Ashley and the fireplace surround is made from wood found in a skip.
A bric a brac shop down the road called "The Shed" provided some interesting pieces for the house, and it transpired that Paddy's mum, the previous owner of the house, had also shopped there.

The fireplaces in the house were really dated and so, although the fireplaces look like they've always been there, they're actually relatively new.
The beautiful stained wood floors were discovered when carpet was pulled back. Paddy was able to re-create this in the rest of the house using Jacobean walnut flooring.
The front room:-
By mixing old and new, a really elegant yet up to date look was achieved, without compromising on the integrity of the house. Laura Ashley wallpaper was again used to inject personality into the room and, as it a room that is used infrequently, you don't get sick of it too quick.
The sitting room,:-
Cosy armchairs, a gramophone and lots of books give this room a real sense of relaxation and time-out. Antique books are easily found at markets throughout the country. They lend a really authentic air to a room and can be picked up for very little.
The veranda:-
The piano in this room came from an old lady in Dublin who had to get rid of it because she was having work done on her house. "It's the best room to play piano in and it has the best views as well".
The bathroom:-
The bathroom was once a bedroom but Dominique decided it was best suited as a relaxing bathroom. The bath was already there and the sink and the toilet were bought in Victorian Salvage. The mirror on the wall is one normally found on a dresser but is a really unusual statement piece in the room.
The master bedroom:-
The four poster bed is a rosewood copy of an antique (which are expensive and really hard to find). Inspiration for the unusual blue ceiling came from the curtains, which gives the room a really cosy feel.
Pelmets in all the rooms were made from MDF and glued -on plaster moulding. They were then stained to look like carved wood. The MDF was much cheaper than using genuine carved wood. Pelmets in the rooms give a real air of elegance to the house.
When Dominique was designing the interior, she wanted Paddy and his brother to walk in and still feel at home, so she went for a cosy, non - pretentious, family feel, which Paddy maintains she achieved to a tee.

Ballybeg House is now a commercial property, a luxury wedding venue complete with honeymoon suite at "Grouse Lodge".

How we recreate the look in studio is with the following pieces:-

1. On the walls:-
Wallpaper, €35-€45 per roll, Laura Ashley
High gloss paint, Crown Colours for 2009

2. Flooring:-
Reclaimed timber, from €30 per sq. yard, Deckclad

Hall Runner, from €200, The Carpet Showrooms at Arnotts
Selection of hall runners, €20- €30, Heatons

3. Furniture:-
Bath, €300, Mac's warehouse
Vintage Towel rail, €65, Dunnes Stores
Vintage toilet paper holder, €22, Dunnes Stores

4. Throws & soft furnishings:-
Bathrobe, €8, Dunnes Stores
Towels, from €2.50- €12, Dunnes Stores
Bed linen, from €115, Laura Ashley
"Versailles" quilt, €320, Laura Ashley
"Venetian" bolster, €48, Laura Ashley
"Venetian" duvet €115, Laura Ashley
"Couture rose" oxford pillow case, €TBC, Laura Ashley
"Couture rose" duvet, €120, Laura Ashley

5. Bits N' Bobs:-
Antique books, from €100, Stokes Books (6 volumes Works of Goetag €100.00 & 6 volumes Dalton History of Ireland €150.00)
Large jug, €15, Dunnes Stores
Twisted metal lamp, €56, Laura Ashley
"murohy" lamp, €90, Laura Ashley
Brass lamp, €80, Laura Ashley