Teal Sofas , Blue Themes and Vintage finds

  • Interiors

On this week’s Top Tips on a Tuesday we received some really great questions. Below are Saras’ top three design tips




Question 1 | I’m considering doing a blue theme for the ground floor any colours or suggestions?

Two things here, I love a theme and I love that your theme is blue. I would go different tones and textures I’d probably keep it lighter on the bigger stuff, darker on the smaller stuff and that will take you far. To be specific and make tonal work – go for a light shade on the walls, the carpet, or rug. Then layer it. Go slightly darker on the sofa and the armchairs in terms of fabrics and then a tone on the cushions. I love personal items too, so have your favourite coffee table books on your table, style with your favourite scented candle and photos of your family in black and white in matching frames.






Question 2 | I’d like to add some older furniture pieces to my home where do I start?


I’d do a mood board of similar images, so you know what you are looking for. I’d look at my Sunday supplements the property supplements you’ll find fares and auctions that are coming up. I’d also do an Instagram search for vintage or the style that you want.

See below an article I wrote last year for the Sunday Times for further tips on buying vintage and antique furniture…

First off it is always good to clarify what one means by antiques, a verified antique is a piece with having value as a result of its historic importance or appearance. For some, it means a piece older than 100 years although the term is often used loosely to describe any object that is old, so for others it could mean anything from before 1980! I often like to use the word Vintique, which means the item is somewhere between vintage and antique, if you are unsure. I personally love to mix old and new and feel that the most interesting interiors have this trait.

To make them work together well you can upholster an old chair with a modern fabric or add vintage handles to a modern piece. Often working with one key antique and surrounding it with modern décor can add a wow factor, you don’t need to go all out if you are just getting started.

In terms of sourcing antiques there are 3 main ways, antique shops, auctions or online.

Using antiques shops is definitely the most straight forward way, we can see the item and access its condition, often antique shop owners have a very special eye and select really the best pieces for your consideration. Increasingly you are able to see things online and then check them out in real life, and when it comes to antiques it’s always a good idea to see the piece in flesh if you can.  You can check the measurements and condition and satisfy you are happy with it. I love The Store yard in Portloaise, Heirlooms in Dun Laoghaire, Lassco in Brunswick House London and Willow Antiques in Cork to name a few… antique shops are beguiling in general and should always be explored.

Another great option is through auction, for those that want to pick up some crafty bargains to those looking to collect an iconic investment piece. There are a wide range of auctions to choose from –  DeVeres have two furniture auctions a year, Herman and Wilkinson have auctions every Thursday and Adams have several interesting auctions throughout the year including house sales. I buy a lot this way, I love to upcycle upholstery pieces in particular as well as source interesting cabinets and porcelain. I would say however caveat emptor – once you win the bid you have to go through with the purchase. I recently bought a dining table and the leg fell off as we were collecting it – luckily I managed to get it fixed good as new, but it was a reminder to get as much information on the condition as is possible prior to bidding.

Increasingly, as with everything, antique shopping has migrated online. We buy from the American website 1st Dibs and love the access to dealers all over the world one gets. It’s great for unique pieces, another site is the saleroom.com which gives you access to auctions all over the world, and is super useful if you are interested in specialist items. My top tip is to triple check dimensions before you buy… and double check whether they are in inches or centimetres! There is nothing worse than a sofa turning up that won’t fit through the door.





Question 3 | I have a large teal suite what cushions /throws etc and in what colours would you add?

So, for me I love violet with teal, I also love fresh greens and whites. Sounds like a bit of a contrast but it works really well together. See the scheme above – we had two teal armchairs and brought lighter and darker versions of the teal onto the sofas. This fabric came from Rubelli, however  Boeme also have lovely vibrant prints…


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