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Archive for March, 2009

All Things Beautiful

I love looking at pictures of beautiful rooms and things, it always puts a smile on my face, so here are a few of my favourite things at the moment, maybe put a smile on your face.

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I love flowers, candles and old furniture, its so effortless and beautiful. This setting is so romantic, I could picture a dinner party here, a summers evening with the candles alight and laughter round the table.

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 I love flowers, especially now when its spring, there are so many colours to choose from. I always have flowers in my house, nothing to fancy, at the moment I have bunches and bunches of daffodils from my garden in all sorts of jugs and tins placed in every room. Adding a little ray of sunshine yellow everywhere. Can’t wait till my roses start blooming.

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I think floral dresses in the summertime are beautiful, Yasmin Le Bon and daughter.

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Spread the love, Cath Kidson fabulous selection of fun cushions.

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I love this colour pink on the walls, it really compliments the white covered antique two seater and the black framed pictures really stand out. Check out Dulux red and pink colours, also Fired Earth  paints there’s very good variety and Farrown & Ball.

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 Blue room, love the clear glass lamps. Blue has become a favourite colour of mine lately.

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Stunning picture of Dita Von Teese, a dress to die for. Really love the colour blue and the green background, it adds a dramatic effect. This is the type of picture I get my inspiration from, already putting these colours together for a room in my head.

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Don’t yeah just love this colour blue. Oh yeah.

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Painted furniture, I own several pieces myself, to me it adds life to the furniture gives it individuality.

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Gorgeous hand painted screen. You don’t see many screen dividers aroun but  try  TK Maxx stores and also Littlewoods Ireland have cream screens, if your feeling adventurous you could paint a picture or even stencil on it, create a one off piece.

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 I am a big fan of pretty delph,  Oriental Flowers”china by Meissen in Los Angeles. I have picked up some really beautiful delph throughout the years, I love to rummage through old antique shops. One of my favourite’s for delph is a small antique shop in Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, its call Fearneys Antiques. Its a really old shop, but be prepared to rummage. I recently bought an old Parker Knolls ladies chair for 20 Euro.

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Using curtains instead of a door, adds such a cosiness feeling to connecting rooms. I have a beautiful curtain in the doorway, from the kitchen to the sitting room because its an old house the doorways are small, it really suits the style I have created. Great idea the stencil white floor boards.

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I really like brick in a house, any colour whether its painted or not, I like that unfinished look, like the true heart of the building is being shown.

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I love unusual table displays, like items that you’d never thing of putting together, actually look really good when you do put them together, taking a chance, creating your own individual style. That’s why I always use a mood board when I am working with clients, to give them an insight to the design you are creating.

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I love floral wallpaper, this is one of my favourites, it give the effect that the flowers are growing up the walls, as they would do outside, very clever.

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Loving blue, white and pink together so refreshing. Animal print rugs are available in all sizes and prices, have a look Ikea in Belfast,                            North Western Wool & Hide Co Ltd, Sligo.

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Loving this woolen throw from Avoca , 45.70 euro, it would look perfect on the back of my wooden rocking chair. I can just picture myself snuggled up in that throw reading a romantic novel, when I’m not trying to design the world.

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Black & White Interiors

Classic Black & White

The use of white and black in decorating can create a stunning and dramatic decor. Black in accessories, light fixtures, trims, paint, or in one bold piece of furniture will help to catch the eye and sharpen any decorating scheme. It will serve as an outline that sets off specific areas or objects. Black by itself is striking! The use of black and white in decorating gives a fresh, clean, and unquestionably sophisticated and elegant look to any room. If you’re afraid of using just black and white, add variety by adding areas of yellow, pink, camel, red, or purple for a striking look. Keeping black and white prominent, however, preserves the elegant effect.

Black and white really suits a modern style, I highly recommend Ikea for shopping for this look, I live near in Dundalk, so I am fortunate that Ikea in Belfast is only 2 hours away. If I am working on a budget and my client wants a more modern style, this is were I go.

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This is such a fresh room, modern black and white at its best. Love the pictures, in the mood for love.

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White rug from Ikea £39.05.

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Cosy black and white all fabrics from Harlequin.

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Black and white terracotta vase €12.99, from Zara Home.

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Really love the architectural structure of this building ,the black and white adds to the sharpness of this design.

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 White dining chair Ikea £83.19.

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Cool black and white cow print cups,£4.99 at Urban Outfitters.

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Making a statement with a rug.

55748_pe159780_s3rug from Ikea £19.56.

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 cool and easy black and white.

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White desk from Ikea £14.66

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For a fresh white duvet on a budget, go to any TK maxx store, they have a variety of Egyptian cotton duvets, sheet, and pillow cases. I buy all my bedding there.

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Making a statement with a black and white fabric covered headboard.

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The black and white picture on the wall, finishes off this room.0092466_pe229028_s3 Picture from Ikea £11.00

 

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This design is so simple to achieve.

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White walls with door frames painted black will achieve a high contrast look.

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Floor lamp £39.90

 

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 Black and white flooring is so elegant. National Tile  Coes Road, Dundalk, Co Louth have a great selection of tiles, with good prices. Silkstone, in Co Laois, have a very good variety of tiles.

cxds361  Add a bit of drama to your bedroom.                                                                          

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 Wallpaper from Laura Ashley £25.45 a roll.

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 Also in the black version.

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 Laura Ashley wallpaper £25.45 a roll.

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 Black and white stripe chair Ikea £204.55.

68065_pe182155_s3Black and white floral two seater Ikea £273.07.

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Love these black and white lamp shades.

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Circle drop light £40 Urban Outfitters.

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Hanging Pictures

Hanging pictures on any wall, will bring the wall to life, there are no rules ,its a matter of your very own style. Pictures can make such an impact in the design of your room.

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 If you’re working with a large wall and have the floor space, make some decisions by arranging the artwork on the floor first. You can also measure how far they need to be from one another. Then take one at a time and put them up on the wall.  

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 Not all of your frames will always be matching sizes, so approximate and just try to balance the impact of the frames — not match them perfectly.

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 These are actual stickers, you can purchase them from Ikea, I was decorating a room for a wedding and there was a large white wall as you entered the room. I got lots of photographs off the couple, when they were young, happy times and recent times, printed them in black and white, put them in these frames. It was the talking point of the wedding, it was such a personal touch.

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 This is a scene from the film, The Devil Wears Prada, I love the mirror in the centre of all the different size pictures, very stylish.

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 Here is a lovely contemporary style idea for family pictures.

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Here’s a great idea, instead of hanging pictures on the wall, place them on shelves, adds more character to the room.

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Depending on the style of your room, sometimes less is more.

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 A simple picture, continues this style of bodices, a very feminine feel.

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Pictures can add balance to a room.

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This picture works so well with the style of this room, very subtle.

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The colours of the flowers in this picture breaks up the green colour in this room. A simple picture makes all the difference.

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A mixture of antique frames and a frame-less canvas really works here, remember there are no rules.

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Colourful pictures on a colourful wall.

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Different frames, different pictures, different sizes, make it your own style.

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Even in the bathroom, pictures add to the character of the room.

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One single picture can add more colour to your room.

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Pictures definitely make a big difference in this room, without them, dull walls.

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Contemporary style, more like a work of art the hanging of these pictures.

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Making your own statement with pictures.

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When buying pictures for your room, stand back and take a good look of the style you have created in the room, don’t be afraid to try all kinds of different pictures and frames. Remember no rules.

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Living With Dogs

I know this post isn’t for everybody, but those of us who love and live with our dogs, well we are all in the same boat. I decided to do this piece because I recently lost a very good friend two months ago, my beloved Charlie, a German shepherd, aged Nine ( Nicknamed scooby doo because he ate everything and got into trouble all the time).

dscn0105Charlie out for a walk, he was such a happy dog, he always looked like he was laughing. 

It didn’t help matters that I went to the cinema to watch Marley & Me the other day, my partner had to practically peel me off the floor, I didn’t cry, I roared crying, in the cinema (how embarrassing) and the whole way home and then I continued to cry myself to sleep. I know I shouldn’t have went, I knew the storyline before I did but I am a glutton for punishment, it nearly did me in.

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So I dedicate this post to Charlie & Me.

If you have time please read Charlie’s Story (believe me Marley wouldn’t have a look in)

Nine years ago myself and my partner decided, why not get a dog, we are both animal lovers and I grew up with dogs, cats, hamsters and a gold fish. We visited the pet shop on a Saturday morning, there were several dogs in a cage all brothers and sisters, but one got so excited when we went up to the cage, jumping around like a lunatic, I thought he really likes us (but he really just wanted to get out of the cage). He was black with brown ears and the most beautiful chocolate eyes, I was hooked, I didn’t even know he was a German Shepherd. So off we went with our new adorable puppy  Charlie, to welcome him into our home.

Boy were we in for a shock, we kept him in a small utility room were he slept at night and if we went out, it all started within a week, the nightmare. I got up one morning to let him out and realised I had left my handbag on the counter in the room, he didn’t come bouncing out as usual but staggered, as if drunk, banging into walls and falling over. When I looked into the utility room there was my bag in pieces, money, cards all its contents destroyed but worse, my bottle of ponstan tablets (painkillers) lying empty on the floor, he had eaten about 20 ponstan. We rushed him to the vet, with me in the car crying that I had killed the dog, he was in the vets for two days, he had to get his stomach pumped, I know.

After a few weeks the utility room had a complete makeover, the thick lino on the floor was gone, chewed to pieces, the rubber inside the washing machine was all gone, seriously he must have ate it cause I never found it and as for the clothes that were in the machine, destroyed and for afters he decided to chew on the cupboards. So plan B, we let him sleep and stay in the kitchen, dinning room area, that didn’t go to well, we went away for the day to Dublin and came back to five kitchen chairs with the legs chewed to bits. So plan C, we put him in the bathroom, I mean what damage could he do there, besides chewing the skirting, the floor and the toilet seat. So plan D, we left him in the hall, because we knew he had a passion for chewing he was always left with a variety of toys and chews but that wasn’t good enough for Charlie. There was nothing in the hall for him to damage as all furniture was removed, what damage could he do there, until I went to make a phone call and realised he had eaten the phone wires connect to the phone box.

Life was not dull with Charlie he was nuts, sorry but he was, we have chased him around the streets for hours when he broke free, he would run and keep on running, away from us. He once swiped an ice cream off a little boy when passing him, seriously. We couldn’t go away on holidays, when we finally did, the kennels he was staying at told us not to come back, he howled the place down and chewed up his bed and even the wire fencing. We once had to go to Sligo for a day, a 3 hour drive and had to take him with us, god he never sat for the whole trip.

He wasn’t the type of dog that would sit and you could pet him he never stop moving, even when he went to sleep if you were in the same room and got up, he was up like a shot. He slept on a piece of mat cause any dog beds I give him, well he ate them. So if you have seen the film Marley & Me and think its a bit over the top all the damage he done, believe me its true cause Charlie was the same.

Now he is gone even though I still have two other dogs, German Shepherds

dscn051800011Molly & Shannon. Shannon on the left aka Big Bear loves to sing and Molly on the right would lick you to death. If you are considering getting a dog, visited your nearest dog rescue center, the dogs there really need a home. I got my dogs at Carrick Dog Shelter.

There’s a void in our lives, I think because he was such a menace we loved him even more, we miss him everyday. Still waiting for him to come bouncing over and knock me down, I have less bruises now.

 

Living with Dogs 

Sometimes I think I would rather live with dogs than people but not everyone is going to love your dogs as you do. Luckily, there are ways to keep the house looking neat and tidy while you pets make themselves at home ( unless you own a dog like Charlie, I’m afraid there’s no hope). Needless to say, its essential to keep your dogs clean. 

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Have a look at this before you leave your dog on its own, in your house.

 

I’m not a believer in sacrificing your own style for the sake of your dog. I stick to my guns (including cream curtains), make sure that all fabrics and surfaces are easy to clean, and wash everything as needed (which is frequently, I admit). One of the best lines of defence is protection. If you’re stuck with an expensive sofa or chair fabric, use a co-ordinating throw in a washable, heavy fabric (preferably cotton). I keep an assortment of throws in a basket for when I do invite them to sit with me on the sofa.

If dog hairs are forever adorning your curtains and tablecloths, opt for blinds and a bare table instead – but only if it works with the feel of your home, and if you can bear to deprive your dog of its comforts!

Dining with dogs, of course dogs have to eat and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t dine out of something visually pleasing.

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diningsetsmallLuxury Pet Department  Dinning set, contemporary style.

Also from Luxury Pet Departmentbitch1Dining with attitude, match your red kitchen?

 

 For the prim princess, to match the kitchen seat covers, soft pink?

bonebowlThe fun bowl ( Charlie would have destroyed this, trying to get the bones).

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For the coffe lover, to go with your white delph.

 

Why not get him a real bed?

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For the monochrome, black and white theme.

 

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Match the blue curtains maybe? blending colours together.candyloveThe colourful candy strip look.

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The country look.

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Or go for some funky looking throws.

Heres a few Irish websites that sell dog products, Petsfunclub online shop,  Galliel in kildare and will deliver, good prices. Zooplus this is a great site they sell a very good section of dog beds, they delivery all over Europe and its on 4.90 for delivery to Ireland. TK Maxx is great for dog beds, try your nearest store. The Pet Centre in Linenhall Street, Dundalk, Co Louth have a very good variety of beds for dogs.

 

Its the best feeling in the world, being loved by a dog.

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I talk to him when I’m lonesome like; and I’m sure he understands.  When he looks at me so attentively, and gently licks my hands; then he rubs his nose on my tailored clothes, but I never say naught thereat.  For the good Lord knows I can buy more clothes, but never a friend like that.  ~W. Dayton Wedgefarth.

Love this video.

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Interiors Of Movie Houses’s

Every year I sit up to watch the Oscars and this year was no exception, even though I was cross eyed, its a tradition since forever. I love, love, love, films every kind, I am a big fan of old movies, its a passion of mine. I could name off actors, films, directors anything to do with films, oh yes I am the film freak.

A lot of my ideas come from films, the interiors of some of the buildings are breathtaking, such imagination. Even when I was doing my diploma in interior design, we were given an assignment to draw and design a three bedroom apartment and we could do anything we wanted. It was music to my ears, I chose a dramatic old movie style and for introduction into each room, I got a film picture like casablanca  and put a caption.

  “Of all the joints you had to walk into, you walked into my bedroom”

 

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The style of the whole apartment was  draped with rich velvets and unusual antiques very ott. I loved doing every minute of that assignment.

There are so many great movies out there with fabulous interiors here are my favourites, some old, some new, in no particular order.

Dinner At Eight

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1933 would you believe, this is Jean Harlow one of the greatest actresses, she is in her bedroom it is so over the top but the detail and glamour of it is magnificent. I know it ain’t practical but a girl can dream.

Step mum (the saddest film ever)

1998 The film was dedicated “In loving memory of Irene Columbus”, director Chris Columbus’s mother, who in the year before the movie was released had died of cancer.

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I adore this house, it feels like home.

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This is Jackie (Susan Surrandon) in her sitting room, I love the fact that this house is very big and grand but the style of the interior makes it feel very comfortable and very homely, there are beautiful structural features throughout this house.

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What a fabulous staircase, the detail alone.

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High Society 1956

 High Society marked the final acting role for Grace Kelly before she became Princess of Monaco (the film was actually released three months after her marriage to Prince Rainier III of Monaco).

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The legendary Grace Kelly swoons through this film with such elegance. Its a fun film to watch, beautiful colours in the house, clean cut American style.

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Atonement 2007

Keira Knighly, so beautiful, who could forget that beautiful green dress she was wearing.

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Never mind the film, its all about the house and what a house. For production designer Sarah Greenwood, who has worked with director Joe Wright on five projects so far, including this film atonement, she brings us back in time with her beautiful interiors.

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Each room is filled with eye candy, full of treasures, the wallpaper is like a wild flower growing up the walls and the golden antique frames brings the walls to life. The lights throughout this house are truly unique and so rich.

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The detail in every room is genius and the structure breathtaking.

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 A must see, just for the house.

Somethings Gotta Give 2003

Production Designer of Something’s Gotta Givewas Jon Hutman and the Set Director was Beth Rubino. Interior designer James Radin name has never been mentioned in any articles that I’ve read on the set design but his names pops up when talking about the design of this particular house. Check out his website and see the resembles. Jon Hutman is also listed at the Production Designer for “The Holiday”, another movie of Meyers’ where the set steals the show.

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Besides this film having two great actors, Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton it also has a great house. I have never met anyone yet who dislikes this house, it is the perfect Hamptons beach house.

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The light-washed living room, brings the cool sea blue from outside into this room, the large blue striped rug adds comfort and cosiness. The furniture layout is perfect for this room and compliments it, I love the splash of colour on the picture above the fireplace and also the lamps situated in the centre of the room.

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This is also part of the sitting room from above, a mini library, I like the change of style of furniture here compared to the rest of the room, the two wicker chairs, it creates a cosy separate area.

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For the perfect house, of course the perfect kitchen, when I grow up I want a kitchen like this one. Its so large yet compact, it has a touch of country style to it with the cupboards and handles, I love the mixture of the stainless steel, white tiles and cream cupboards. Again in the far corner the brightly coloured pictures brings life to the room.

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And for the icing on the cake, to finish off we have the terrace and pool area. Seriously what is there not to love about this fine house.

I bet you are away out to rent the movie.

 

Down With Love 2003

 This is an old-style romantic comedy complete with actors who play to the cameras while spouting smart dialogue loaded with sexual innuendo, its fun all the way and so is Renee Zellweger’s apartment, its  the 1960’s and colour is everywhere.

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  I love the  poppy pink against the virginal white color, such a contrast, the modern style of this apartment is minimal yet leaves a big impact in the room.

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Indiscreet 1958

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This is another favorite. Ingrid Bergman’s stage actress character lives in a fabulous London apartment, where most of the action takes place. We love the soft blue walls, hung floor to ceiling with art and the stately brocade sofas and chairs. If it weren’t for the glorious costumes (and—okay—Cary Grant), we’d be focused on the apartment from beginning to end. Definitely a must see, just take a look at this video.

 

 

 

The Sound of Music 1965

This will put a smile on your face, growing up I religiously watched this film again and again and again, I was in total awe of the house they lived in. It was breathtaking, I used to sing around my house pretending to be one of the Van Trapp family and as for Maria ( julia Andrews) making the children clothes from her bedroom curtains, I thought it was genius. What a film, what a house.

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The beautiful Leopoldskron palace, Salzburg, Austria

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The Van Trapp, children.

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I get all tingly just looking at these pictures, they bring back so many memories of my childhood, God I wished I was one of the Van Trapp children living in that house.

 

The Holiday 2006

I think this is a favourite of every-bodies, you get the choice of the ramble stone cottage and the modern chic house, the film is set around these two wonderful houses, spoilt for choice.

Rosehill Cottage

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 Yes these cottages do exist, I am actually living in one, a Thatch cottage in the countryside in Ireland, I know sounds so cliche but its true. I promise I will put pictures on this post some day, lot of work going on at moment with the house but it has all the characters of Rosehill Cottage.

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 The wooden beams on the ceiling brings the room closer together for that country cosy feeling. The furniture is all mix and match with stripes, floral and velvet materials. The large tufted, blue velvet ottoman serves as a coffee table. Plenty of cushions to add cosiness and for extra charm a drum used as a side table, such an idea.

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The side wall of the cottage with the stone fireplace and bookshelf piled high.

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The  grand library  (How Cute is this)  lovely antique Edwardian chair sits on its own with a warm woolly throw just begging you to sit down. 

 

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What a cosy bedroom, wouldn’t you love a fireplace in the bedroom, god I’d never get out of bed.  The Large white painted iron bed is piled high with warm blankets and cushy pillows. Its not a big room but with the ceiling rafters exposed it gives the feeling of space, would you have thought you could fit four lamps into this room and it would look cluttered? Well there’s a surprise.

The Modern House

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This is an old style house on the outside, the roof tiling gives it a Spanish feel but when you enter the style is so different to the age of the house.

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 The main living room is very subtle and modern, with chocolate shades of browns and whites and black colours. I like the black framed french windows against the white walls and brown curtains . A variety of small tables are placed around the room in dark wood with white lamps again to add contrast to the room. A large checkerboard rug covers the floor adding a bit of warmth to the room. This living room is not particularly cosy, it has clean lines and very contemporary.

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The movie room, well for me I would live here day in day out watching all my favourite movies and if you look closely to the left of the picture, there is a popcorn machine what more could you want.

The  deep chocolate covered walls and the  brown carpet on the floor provides a high contrast to the white ceiling  and the white build in unit. I actually got units similar to this for a client in ikea . Instead of a sofa, there is a line of four slip covered, white chaises with brown pillows to relax and put your feet up.

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 Again bright and dark colour is used to add  contrast to this large bedroom soft white tones and different shades of grey are used to keep it from being boring. Love the large shaggy room to sink your feet into.  The two large lamps on other side of the bed on table adds balance to the room and anyone who seen this movie will know about the magical blinds that covers the room in darkness with the flick of a switch, oh yeah.

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 This is a very large bathroom, two large units with glass surround this room with the bath in the centre, I really like this room except the floor is a bit dark and cold for me, it just doen’t have that warmth or cosy feeling but it is still beautiful ( minus the floor).

I could go on forever and ever about film interiors, there’s so many more I love, what about you, do you have any?

 

 

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