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Designer notes – tips from an interior design expert



Julianne Kelly is managing director of Kevin Kelly Interiors, the interior design house established in 1976 by her parents, Kevin and Carol. Julianne became interested in design from an early age, and after working in fashion for a number of years, she took on the family business. Based in Donnybrook Village, Dublin, Kevin Kelly Interiors offers a showroom filled with innovatively-designed furniture, as well as an interior design consultancy service specialising in residential homes.

Avoid impulse buys

So many of my clients have bought an item simply because it was on sale. In my experience, such impulse purchases can turn out to be costly mistakes as you end up designing your whole room around this item. Just because it’s a bargain doesn’t mean it will work in your house, so you have to ask yourself: would you buy it if it wasn’t on sale?

Carpets provide A backdrop for a room

When choosing carpets, keep in mind two things; what they are made of, and how they are made. This affects the carpet’s quality, feel and resilience. In terms of style and colour, carpets are a big decision as they provide a backdrop for a room. In my opinion, it is always advisable to invest in the best quality carpet you can afford. It is a false economy to buy cheaper carpets as they end up needing to be replaced much quicker than a well-made carpet which is made to stand the test of time.

Add warmth with a stair runner

Carpet stair runners can add softness, warmth and colour to a hallway. They can be understated or a real design element in their own right. I’m also a fan of bare wood stairs which can be simply beautiful. Be warned though, they can be very noisy and, if highly polished, can also be quite slippy! Stair runners are a great solution to provide peace, quiet and even added safety to your stairs.

Design a home office you’ll want to use

Nowadays, with laptops, tablets and smart phones being so portable, many people tend to end up working in their kitchen or sitting room. A home office can help keep your work/life balance on track by moving your work to the home office and not allowing it to infringe on spaces in the home that should be used for relaxing in. Making the home office bright and cosy is so important and I would advise people to pick a room that has as much natural light as possible during ‘office hours’. I love a wall of shelving for storage, and books are also great for adding colour and personality to a room.

Each room must have a purpose

Have a function for the room – whether it’s a music room, tech room, study, or trophy room. In nearly all houses I call to there is a room that inevitably turns into a dumping ground, filled with suitcases, clothes-horses, etc. To avoid this, use design to turn the room into something that you are proud of, that way you won’t want it to become a storage area and you will find pleasure in using it.

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