Hallways can often be overlooked, but this intriguing Tipperary entrance hall painted in Gingko commands attention
In partnership with Fleetwood
The brief Add a sense of grandeur to this entrance hall
This period home near Cashel in Co Tipperary was in need of an update. The exterior looks almost like a castle which certainly makes a statement, but inside, the home still felt neglected and stuck in the past.
Having worked together before, the new owner trusted interior designer Alison Dunne to transform this previously unwelcoming space. No matter what size hallway you have, it’s important to create an atmosphere with colour and styling.
“In general, when decorating entrances and hallways, people almost forget that they’re actually part of the house. They just paint it and put a light fixture in. But you have to remember it’s a room as well,” Alison says.
“When people walk in, they expect to see furniture and detail. They should feel something, and I think it’s nice to bring the outside in with green and the foliage, especially when in a home in the country.”
As is her way, Alison is unflinchingly honest about the work she had cut out for her.
“It was really awful. The floor was all red deal pine, and it all looked so old fashioned. It was a period property with potential but it had no character. The homeowner handed me the keys and said ‘work your magic’,” she says.
“What I wanted to do was to create an opulent, inviting entrance hall. I wanted it to have a grand feel because it has high ceilings.”
While Alison knew she wanted to create drama with luxe fabrics and accessories, she also wanted this entrance space to instantly have a sense of comfort. She achieved this through colour and plush custom furniture.
The floors were stained in a deep mahogany by John Kelly Flooring and the walls and existing panelling were painted in Gingko CP1546 by Fleetwood. The doors were painted in Hepburn by Fleetwood, a warm neutral that is ideal for woodwork.
“I knew this room could take a deep statement colour like Gingko, it’s a sage green that feels sophisticated,” Alison says.
The project started in November and finished in February.
“This is the owner’s favourite room now. Even though there is a lot going on in the room, it is still really relaxing and that’s all down to the colour, Gingko. It adds a real sense of stillness and calm.”
While it’s lovely to have a room with such space, Alison explains that extra care is needed when styling.
“It’s really important with a tall room that you don’t forget about the volume of space. You can’t keep everything on the floor and on the wall, you need to fill the room,” Alison says.
“That is why I have the contemporary chandelier. It’s not only interesting, it’s also very impressive when you walk in and really fills the space well. Maybe it won’t be easy to see in pictures how massive it is, but you really need high ceilings to pull off a piece like it.”
The chandelier was sourced from Raymie Ryan Lighting in Cashel. To complement this gold piece, she included gold accessories and a mirror from Hummingbird Interiors in Portarlington and Design Options in Portlaoise.
Alison likes to incorporate a mix of old and new in her work, and so she sourced an antique Victorian table for the centre of the room. “It was beautifully restored by Demesne Furniture Showrooms in Abbeyleix, it is a really amazing shop.”
Alison used orange as an accent colour, with King occasional chairs made in Ireland by Finline Furniture.
“I went for a houndstooth material in orange and taupe. It’s the only pattern in the room, and that is because I have so many statement pieces in the room. You never really do that, but I took a gamble. If I had added any more pattern or detail, it would have been too far,” Alison says.
“The curtains are orange velvet, with a pelmet on top as well, and the tie backs are so beautiful, they have silk running through them. They’re from a company I use all the time called Laois Blinds and Curtains.”
Alison wanted to include the stag’s head as the house is surrounded by nature. One day while working on the room, she looked up to see a deer looking through the window at her.
It is clear that Alison values supporting local wherever she can, and the result proves you don’t have to travel far or source things online to get a high end, unique result.
“The way I see it, why should I expect people to hire me if I don’t also do what I can to work with local people? You don’t have to go to cities like Dublin or Cork to find great pieces and talented people.”
To find your nearest Fleetwood Prestige stockist, visit fleetwood.ie. Fleetwood Prestige is exclusive to the Vogue, Ventura and Pantone Colour Collections, and any colour can be mixed into Fleetwood Prestige; fleetwood.ie.
Words Róisín Healy
Photography Claire Nash
Wall colour Gingko by Fleetwood
Woodwork Hepburn by Fleetwood