As St Patrick’s Day approaches we are dreaming of the lush landscape and cosy cottages of the Emerald Isle. Using natural materials and perfectly in tune with the beautiful landscape of Ireland, the traditional interior of an Irish cottage is our décor inspiration this month.
Here are some tips on how to bring some of that romantic country style to your own home design…
The beauty of wood flooring
Thick walls and small windows to keep out the chill of the sea winds, the comfort of a warm hearth and cosy interior details – the construction of traditional cottages was all about simplicity and comfort, as well as sealing out the elements.
Traditional stone cottages would have been insulated inside with simple wood panelling cladding the walls and sturdy wood flooring – warmer underfoot than stone. Replicate the look with plenty of wood in your own living room – you can add tongue-and-groove paneling easily by buying it by the metre from most DIY stores.
Paint in an antique, milky white for light and a touch of warmth. And add the natural beauty and warmth of wood to your floor too with a hardwearing engineered wood floor or any easy-to-lay wood effect laminate in warm oak. Throw down a traditional hearth rug on top for an extra layer of cosy warmth.
Simple shapes & traditional craft furniture
Folk style is back on trend this year, so the simple, functional shapes of cottage furniture are easily available.
Think of a traditional cottage scene with high-backed wood chairs close to the fire and three-legged stools instead of a side or coffee table.
Display your books and blankets on pared-back, unfussy wood shelves and light your room with standing lamps and wall lights to give soft pools of light rather than one modern, harsh, overhead light source.
Lucky enough to have a fireplace? Dress it for that cottage style with woven log baskets and copper accessories hanging on the chimney breast.
Go for green carpets or walls
It’s not called the Emerald Isle for nothing. Green is everywhere in Ireland, from the country’s flag to the Celtic characters of its folklore and its rolling hills and forests. Take inspiration from this by introducing a range of greens to your decorating palette.
Green is big for walls this year – for a cottage look think of the colours of nature, and create a soft palette of moss greens, silvery-green lichen shades and, of course, a deep sea green.
Layering up sympathetic green shades will bring a natural look that works brilliantly with wood. A green living room carpet can create just the right base for the rest of the room – go for a soft, soothing shade that won’t dominate and accessorize with stone and sand neutral shades for walls and curtains.
Alternatively use strong emerald green as a single accent in a mellower cottage living room – cushions or curtains in a rich green velvet will provide a luxurious nod to Irish style that sits easily with creams, whites and greys.
Inspired by island and want the flooring to match? Use our store locator to find the branch nearest to you and add that cosy Irish feel with engineered wood flooring or green carpets.