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Kevin Kelly Interiors Design Blog

Brave lighting in the Sunday Business Post April '18

Brave lighting in the Sunday Business Post April '18

From making the wrong statement to choosing the wrong size, we have such a range of beautiful lights to ensure our client's find their perfect pendant.

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Tiles covered! Our tiling secrets in The Sunday Business Post May '17

Tiles covered! Our tiling secrets in The Sunday Business Post May '17

Tiling continues to be one of most innovative areas of interior design and I’m delighted at the swell of requests this past year – not just for tiles, which are as old as houses, but for tiles made from cutting edge materials and displayed in inspired ways. The visual effect you can create with modern techniques of tiling seems to have ever-increasing parameters and this includes traditional tile styles and layouts so if you don’t happen to like a modern interior, you can absolutely create a stunning traditional look.

This reworking of the look and appeal of traditional tiles to such stunning effect is possibly the reason that this tile ‘trend’ has become mainstream.
Aesthetically, contemporary tiling creates impressive and transformative effects by way of introducing colour, texture, pattern, depth and light all at once and it can be used on almost every surface creating a seamless and stunning statement interior.


I can wax lyrical about the aesthetically impressive results you can achieve with modern, engineered tiles that alternative materials can’t compete with such as wood and marble effect tiles vs. wood planks and Carrara marble, but you need to understand their makeup and see and feel the tiles in order to make the right decision. It is worth noting these effect tiles are produced to a level that not only make them more user-friendly but at a price point that reflects their material so don’t think of tiling as necessarily a cheaper option!

I use Tubs and Tiles a lot of my tiles and so I decided to go to their source of tiles, which took me to Modena in Italy to Ragno, one of the market leaders in the tile industry. I have examined all their contemporary tiles and here are some valuable tips and trends stolen from the factory floor.
Wood effect tiles have been around for a while yet still I have clients looking nervous at my genuine suggestion of oak effect tiles instead of oak wood flooring, which by the way look identical and are cut into ‘plank’ tiles. These wood effect tiles are worth examining and you will be amazed - the tile revealing all the subtle variations and natural markings that you would find in real wood. Real vs effect / plank next to tile, I think the wood effect looks better and it can be laid in parquet and herringbone patterns as well as straight and the tiles fit more easily and can run between rooms more seamlessly than real wood. I particularly love this look of wood effect tiles seamlessly passing through open rooms such as the sitting room to the hall to the kitchen, creating this natural flow. This is near on impossible to do seamlessly with real wood and wood doesn’t always work in every room. The key benefit too of effect wood tiles is that it doesn’t mark easily and is far more durable than wood, which looks incredibly tired and scratched in ‘busy areas’. Wood effect tiles are just far easier
to maintain and clean. Also, don’t be afraid to put them on the walls too – wood effect tiles have this striking, rustic look in both modern and traditional homes.


Price wise, wood effect tiling is comparable to the more expensive wood flooring so it is not an inexpensive choice. A downside however is that tiles are colder than wood so if you wouldn’t consider under floor heating in large living areas, they will feel cold. However these tiles work better than wood flooring if you do have under floor heating because they the tiles are thinner and conduct heat better.


This naturally leads me on to stone and marble effect tiles, which are a
personal favourite because I absolutely love the subtle veining and shade
variations (that you would find in real stone) yet these tiles are warmer and
softer in texture and I genuinely love marble so I am not selling you a dummy! I personally don’t feel in any way like effect marble is fake marble – it has the best of marble’s aesthetic qualities but it feels nicer and it won’t mark, chip and damage like marble does, and it does very easily. Also, stone and marble effect tiles can be cut much more easily to the exact dimensions you want meaning you can create a much more dramatic, seamless look, which isn’t always possible with a lot of stone suppliers. A lot of clients want huge kitchen islands clad on all sides with marble and have big bathrooms where huge pieces of marble would
be too heavy and not practical.

Very recently I created a huge backsplash with two book-matched marble effect tiles. Book-matching is when a single piece of marble is sliced and then placed side by side to create a mirror image of each other with the veining matched up to create an unbroken pattern. I’ve seen the technique used to fantastic effect in bathrooms and it’s a wonderful tool to showcase the beauty of marble and is so easy to do with marble effect tiles.

Patterned tiles have been all the rage for a long time, but I am seeing a new elegant and softer take on the bolder colours and styles like Moroccan tiles that have dominated. The colour schemes illustrated in Ragno were monochrome, pastels and neutrals that bring a subtlety to a look. Pattern tiles look great on floors in hallways and bathrooms or to define or even differentiate areas within an interior space. The effect can be soft and subtle or dramatic and concise depending on the pattern and colour. Striking patterns have strong visual impact especially when one colour is bold and softer coloured patterned tiles create a calming scheme with depth.

This leads me onto tiles with texture, including three-dimensional structures, lace-like décors and geometric patterns, which will be a key design trend for 2018. The look is very contemporary and it’s not for everyone, but the interplay of light and beautiful patterns do create visual interest and by sticking to a single colour, it keeps the look elegant and understated.


The design possibilities because of today’s tiles are really exciting and with
colour schemes that are not shouting for attention, I’m really looking forward to creating interiors that exude a timeless, understated and elegant appeal and that are practical and long lasting. As ‘we’ become more confident using effect tiles and blending tile styles and patterns, I can see tiles being used for a myriad of creative places outside of the floor and in more creative and beautiful ways.

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The Golden Age in the Sunday Business Post Sept 2017

The Golden Age in the Sunday Business Post Sept 2017

The interiors style that was defined during the Golden Age of Hollywood film is a fabulous look to draw on today. It is glamorous, colourful and luxuriously textural so if these interiors attributes are making you smile, then a splash of Hollywood Regency is for you. 

Hollywood Regency is a playful look, combining bright colours and sparkling metallics; yet it is equally elegant and design-led - taking its cue from Art Deco's geometric lines, slick curves and restricted colour palettes. 

Click here to read the article in full in the Sunday Business Post. 

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How to discover your interior style in the Sunday Business Post May '17

How to discover your interior style in the Sunday Business Post May '17

A home style worthy of any homes interior glossy is practically the standard remit of every progressive, dynamic Irish person. Its not enough to whip up an egg white omelette with Donegal cheese and Connemara kale, drop your kids off dressed head to toe in cool labels from Dublin 4 boutiques, run a Hell and Back and then go to work. We also all want an awesome pad that we and our partner and kids are proud to show off, but equally a home that ensures all its inhabitants will unwind from their own anxiety and work ridden days.

 

In our search to improve and ultimately create a ‘perfect’ home for ourselves, we scroll through the feeds of Instagram, Pinterest and Houzz and 600,00 of us tune into RTE’s Room to Improve on Sunday nights. The feedback we receive from our clients is, totally understandably, that you are overwhelmed by choice and have lost a sense of what your own style is.

 

We run a lot of consultations to help decipher what our client’s styles are and how to best execute it in their home. Often clients come in loaded with printed Pinterest images, many of them of wildly different interiors; go through our fabric library chasing different colour schemes and moods, only to go for something completely different, which is undoubtedly their core sense of style.

 

I always have my radar on when I’m looking at Pinterest to recognise when the interior is completely incomparable to the clients or where the photography has falsely played with the reality of the room. So how then does one discover their interior style?

 

One way I read a client's style is by looking at what they are wearing. This isn’t 100% the case, but is more often than not extremely telling and I would definitely recommend to someone who is confused about their interiors style to analyse their wardrobe. How do you dress when you want to look great? Do your special clothes lean towards a conservative cut (safe but expensive looking) or do you go for an awesome design before the fit. If you like wearing cool trainers you’re probably lean towards industrial chic materials; Tory Burch pumps I’d go with textured fabrics in a neutral palette but with a twist – nothing overly traditional.

 

Study your wardrobe objectively and think about why you love certain clothes and ultimately how you want to feel at your best. If those pieces are predominantly sophisticated yet modest then this is how you probably envision your home. To the extent of how comfortable you are bringing in patterns, bold colours etc into your fashion, this may well be reflected in your ‘perfect’ decor. Look at the colours and fabrics of your favourite pieces too and what mood they create in you, which again may well cross over into your interiors.

 

Another way to depict your style is to revisit the accessories, homewares and other items in your own home. You may have picked up pieces over the years but not realised why you are drawn to them. This is a good opportunity to do some editing and styling by riding off dust collectors and reworking uncluttered spaces with a fresh eye. Taking away all the accessories will create a clean canvas and help you to recognise which pieces are making the room and what might be missing to enliven the scheme.

 

Another source of inspiration for you to look at is your travels as these environments that you love say a lot about the mood you can transfer to your own home. Do you love a very slick city appeal or prefer coastal chic ambience? Think about the colours that you associate with that place and how they make your feel – crystal clear blue waters, hot pink Indian colours or do you prefer the softness of Provence?

 

At the end of a consultation, I pull some of the fabrics they are leaning towards as a starting point to teaching them how to build a mood board. A mood board can include pictures of furniture, images you’re drawn to, pieces of fashion, patterns etc. When you step back from the board/s you’ll notice a style emerging and hopefully an interesting colour scheme with certain similar patterns coming together.


Don’t be overwhelmed if you think you like a myriad of interiors looks that you worry can’t be married as we will find a common vein running through and help you to choose the best of each style and mix and match it with other styles. The thread running through might be a core colour palette and a defined mood, which we will bring out so that ultimately you have an even flow throughout the house. It is essential to remember that the most interesting homes embrace uniqueness and personality.

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