When I came across Niamh’s instagram feed @CooleCottage I fell in love with the beautiful family home she has created and just had to find out more and delighted that she has shared her story below with me. I see so many homes that have huge cold kitchens or living rooms with big couches, a big TV and a big coffee table where nothing is cohesive and where you can’t see any personality of the homeowner well Niamh definitely doesn’t fall into this category and obviously has a great eye for interiors, colour and style. Niamh has created a stunning home with lots of personality and this really shines through with all the beautiful home accessories that have been lovingly bought and placed in just the right place. What I also love is her use of colour throughout her home – she hasn’t gone completely over to the dark side or kept it safe, white and neutral throughout the house but has struck a perfect balance and the splashes of beautiful bold colours help define different spaces.
Sometimes kids get allocated a playroom which is often in a different room in the house (which means if your in the kitchen cooking, eating or watching TV they will be playing in a separate room) but Niamh has ingeniously created a beautiful nook which is part of their open plan living space but which gives the kiddos their own little space to craft, chat or play in and it’s their very own space. It’s beautiful how the kids can be in their nook while someone is cooking in the kitchen and someone else is relaxing on the couch but everyone’s in the same open plan room. This is a space that’s all about family being together and connected.
It’s the little touches that make a house a home like the beautiful open shelf over the kitchen worktop, the stunning Macrame behind the dining table, rugs, throws and cushions, the sliding door, the huge pots with plants, the geometric kitchen backsplash.
With the high ceilings and lots of windows and doors the beautiful open plan living space is flooded with light. As for that STUNNING concrete floor – no words.
The family purchased the house ‘Coole Cottage’ in Tipperary (which was an old railway cottage) in 2012 and got the keys that Christmas. It was their first home and although a little cold and damp in areas it was ‘home’. Although the original plan had been to renovate the cottage there were a few hurdles and eventually the work started in 2016 just as they found out they were expecting their second child.
The build was stressful and they temporarily moved in with Niamh’s parents. With a tight budget every move had to be carefully planned and there was no room for costly mistakes. The extension was really more along the lines of building a house and fortunately they had a great architect and great builder. This is the saving grace really for any build/renovation project – someone you can work with who can translate your requirements into a great design and a builder that can get you to the end game.
Niamh was striving to create a cosy home and wasn’t a fan of the ‘perfect showrooms’ as they didn’t feel cosy or homely and she was striving for open plan living that was a warm, inviting space. After 3 years in Niamh feels like she’s only just finding her gear. It takes time to get a feeling for the space.
Sourcing beautiful pieces was an ongoing process and while Niamh was pregnant the postman came almost every day with a little knickknack or two and some of her sources were TK Maxx, Penney’s, Sostrene & Grene and Ikea.
Niamh’s advise to anyone going through a building project is to ‘keep it real’. Humans don’t need vast areas in which to live and keep warm. Clever design facing the sun will allow you to live in harmony and remain afloat financially.
Follow Niamh’s progress over on her IG @ CooleCottage
If you or anyone you know of with a beautiful home would like to be featured on our Blog and share their home with us I’d love to hear from them. Please drop me a mail on firstname.lastname@example.org or dm me on Instagram IslandLiving.ie
Thanks, Joanne xx