When it comes to colour, I absolutely love it. I try to bring colour into every aspect of my life daily, from my clothes to my home, and my garden (not that I’m much of a gardener but I am trying!)
The original cottage has beautiful, simple, wood doors with painted black iron latch handles and hinges. When we are renovating the house, we wanted to keep this idea of black and wood as core elements to carry through the overall design. This idea wasn’t just the prime driver of the smaller details in our home but also helped push us to put black cladding on the back of the house.
The house’s main rooms, kitchen, living, dining, were to be kept white to keep them light and bright, bringing colour in through the accessories and flooring. In the kitchen, we have a lot of red brick in an old fireplace and some pillars – we are still toying with the idea of painting these a dusty white (my hesitation being once we go there, we can’t go back!). We also have teak parquet flooring so there are a lot of darker colours in this room. So to bring in the light we have some open shelving where we house our colourful glasses, wine bottles etc, as well as artwork for more colour. Keeping the walls white also allows for as much natural light to bounce off the walls as possible as this is the last room in the house to get the daylight, so can be quite dark in the winter.
The living room gets a lot of natural daylight, and so has allowed us to go a bit mad with accessory colours. We used oak flooring and a bright pink rug as our starting point. I still have a lot of work to do in this room, with the added extras. Art is going to play a big part here, but at present, we don’t have the money to go all out (when we win the lottery we’ll do this room first 😉). There is a big wall at the back of the couch. I envisage some circular art hanging here, and have in my mind a Juju hat. These are hats worn by dancers in a Cameroon tribe known as Bamileke to symbolize prosperity and are created from natural or dyed chicken feathers. You can get so many different vibrate colours, and I have been in love with them for years. However, ensuring they come from an ethical seller can be difficult and I’m still on the search!
When we first moved into the cottage, we painted the two existing bedrooms we had in soft colours, one a mint green and the other a soft yellow. I decided I wanted to get away from softer tones and go a bit stronger for the extension. So for our room, I picked a royal blue, and for Bill’s room, a bright pink. This is the one thing I wish I hadn’t done as I do find the bright colours too much in the bedrooms. When the time comes again, I will soften up the bedrooms and bring back my tranquil spaces!
However, all is not lost, with the introduction of soft lighting, and some feature pieces such as the macrame wall hanging helps to tone down the strong colours, bringing the cosy feeling to the rooms.
Monica grew up with a screwdriver & bulb in her hands before she started to 'hassle' the boss! After gallivanting around the world & getting an education she worked in all areas of the business, and was a natural fit for developing Willie Duggan further. She does her best thinking struggling up a mountain, hiking a trail or beating herself up in the gym!