Do Irish homes have a specific style that you can stick to, or will you have to get creative?
If you’ve got a property in Ireland, you might find yourself caught between two concepts when it comes to refurbing your home. You can either fit in or stand out. In an ideal world, you would do a bit of both. So, does Ireland have a specific style that you can stick to, or will you have to get creative? Read our guide to find out.
Yes and no
There is an image that comes to mind when you think of an Irish home, and you’re not Irish born and bred. It’s a long winding road that eventually leads to a bungalow with a thatched roof. It’s rustic, full of furniture that was made by hand. The floorboards creak, the fire crackles, everything is a shade of beige or brown, and its imperfection is all part of the charm.
And there’s a potato famine going on, but you haven’t noticed because the home is so cosy.
There is such a thing as the modern Irish style, but it’s far more varied and harder to pin down. And, like the rest of the UK and Western world, it takes inspiration from lots of different styles from around the world.
However, that thatched cottage look is what comes to mind when people think of the Irish style and what people are aiming for when they try to replicate it. So, is there a way to replicate the “Irish style”? Yes, but it takes a careful touch.
Think “concept”, not “theme”
The first step is to understand the difference between a theme and a concept. If you go looking for Irish home décor because the concept is such a niche, you’re going to get a lot of frankly insulting items. Shamrocks, Guinness, leprechauns: basically anything that would find a place at the St Paddy’s Day Parade is outlawed and considered a theme.
Instead, aim for a concept. Take what you love about the Irish, and don’t put it so blatantly into items. Instead, put it into your colour scheme, the materials you use, the patterns you evoke, the items you use, etc. For example, an Irish colour palette would not be filled with primary green but pastel greens, blues, peaches, and creams, to reflect the landscape. Rustic solid wood flooring in a deep tone would fit nicely in an Irish concept home. Find some here at woodfloorwarehouse.ie.
A brown leather couch would also fit nicely. If you want to evoke the Celtic patterns of organized swirls, you can add some in artwork or a floor rug featuring the Celtic knot. And take any excuse to bring nature indoors. Succulents, moss, leafy plants, water features, branches, clay, and twine are all great ideas.
If you’re really stuck for ideas, you can look at other styles that evoke the same principles, like cottage core, coastal, rustic, and even Scandi, to an extent.
Mix and match modern and rustic
If you’re not one for taking on the cottage core look entirely, you’re looking for something a little more modern; there’s nothing wrong with mixing and matching. Keep the charm of the old ways in little touches and keep the rest modern. For example, you can have bold black grout between white tiles in a bathroom that features a standing bath and bronze taps. How’s that for immediate impact?
Mix simple solid colours with rustic materials. A gorgeous modern rug over solid wood flooring, a marble fireplace in an otherwise modern living room, an old-time stove in the TV room, or a vintage piece of art in a room full of modern décor. Play about with time, and you’ll soon see the Irish charm of old pieces shine through the modern elements of the room.