Barna village is easily one of the most desirable places to live in Galway, and it is not hard to see why, it is close enough to the city yet captures the peacefulness of the countryside, all in one neat package. Not to mention that it is also surrounded by breathtaking views, while all the amenities you should need are contained within Barna village, everything from award winning restaurants to hair and beauty salons, to café and health food shops. Also just a stone throw away are the golf club, Barna Pier and the beach.
After finishing a cup of coffee in Barna village I decided to walk to Thornberry, which really is only a two minute walk away, the early winter sun was shining down and I don’t expect you could have gotten a more beautiful Irish day. I arrived at the house just seconds before Sharon, the owner, who greeted me with a big smile. “Come in,” Sharon continued as we walked toward the tall black doors and she prepared to open them. Just before the doors opened Sharon pointed out a small section of the door where there had been a letterbox cut out, but it hadn’t been in keeping with the clean lines, so she had it filled in again. A faint outline was still visible, and she was going to have it fixed, it was then I realised I was in for something special. Sharon’s attention to detail was obviously going to be superb.
The door swings open into a wonderfully proportioned reception area, with cream Italian marble tiles that run through the entire downstairs area, while the entrances to each area are punctuated with a black marble tile detail. The walls are the subtlest shade of cream that blends seamlessly with the marble floor. The double doors to each area are fitted with hand crafted glass features that inject flecks of colour into this modern yet classic space. The glass design, Sharon tells me is by her designer Shirley Bredin, while the glass feature on the front of the house surrounding the door area is her own. But it is Pat Laden from Upmarket Glass that she credits with the execution of this wonderful feature.
“Finally for the piece de resistance,” Sharon smiles as she opens a door at the front of the reception area. Inside is the most divine downstairs toilet, with cream and chocolate detailed tiles. The feature wall is chocolate with a brass coloured flower detail, Sharon tells me that getting the exact grout colour for the tiles involved a lot of trial and error, she even thinks a bit of food colouring was used. The room is finished off with a beautiful circular brushed metal mirror and wood Venetian blinds.
Moving on into the living room Sharon has created an intimate family room that maintains the classical yet modern look, which begins so beautifully in the reception area. Cream and brown cosy couches surround a cherry coffee table. A beautiful cherry unit fits into the main feature wall that houses the flat screen television, and various family items. The unit fits so perfectly; it is then that Sharon tells me the wall was built around the unit. This room again is finished off with silk curtains and Venetian blinds, classically proportioned lamps with glass details, recessed lights and a cherry bookcase.
The living area moves smoothly into an exquisite kitchen through sliding doors with the same glass panel detail. Here again the attention to detail is mouth watering. A detail to take note of is that running through the entire house is the classically proportioned skirting board, architrave and cornicing. The kitchen though definitely has the wow factor, beautiful lines fill the space, while being beautiful to look at with stained solid oak units and a cream solid marble worktop and splash back, this is also one of the most functional kitchens I have ever seen. It takes everything into consideration; Sharon wanted to have a wide oven, which is self-cleaning. Every unit has a function, from sliding drawer fridge to a cleverly housed drip tray for the dishes above the kitchen sink. In the centre of the kitchen area is an island, which is used as both a breakfast bar, as well as again providing extra storage space. Auora in Italy designed the whole kitchen after a consultation with Sharon. To the left of the island large glass doors open up into the garden, which are adorned in sheer cream curtains. A glass table with adjustable chairs sit cosily by the door, for that morning coffee and newspaper.
The main dining table, which is cherry, is complemented by a beautiful shade of blue fabric on the chairs and runs the length of the central area to the room. Sharon tells me her favourite colour is blue and she picked that shade to have the chairs upholstered as they were being manufactured in Italy. The blue is continued through with the use of featured sections of wallpaper that ties the entire scheme together.
Leaving the kitchen/dining area we enter back into the reception space through another door and on towards the upstairs. The staircase, in white and cherry turns elegantly towards a wide landing area, passing a feature window, overlooking the garden and finished in a rich deep black curtain. The curtain detail is picked up in the black stitching that runs along the edge of the cream carpet, and is further defined by panels on the wall which also carry featured wallpaper sections in black with patterned details. A chaise long sits in a cosy area at the top of the stairs and is bathed in warm light that filters through Sharon’s glass feature that continues through to the landing area. Another detail Sharon insisted on is that she wanted the whole area painted in the same shade, as the top of the house is dormer she didn’t want the lines that define the wall and ceiling areas to be apparent. This is definitely a tip that works extremely well.
Turning immediately to the left we enter the guest bedroom, the feature wall here is covered in a rich brown wallpaper, while the area just to the right of the door is adorned with cheeky brown and pink curtains with matching upholstered chair. The ensuite bathroom again carries all of Sharon’s attention to detail, with immaculate cream tiles throughout, and tiled recessed area for toiletries when in the shower. But as you turn around, Sharon’s bubbly personality comes through with a feature wall papered in pink, silver, black and white. The bedroom is finished off with a walk in wardrobe and a Flou bed, which not only has great storage along the sides but cleverly opens up to allow for storage underneath.
Leaving this room we continue along the landing, passing more panelled sections in the wall, featuring Gustav Klimt framed prints, before turning to the right. Sharon tells me along the panels in this wall she is going to have a family gallery, featuring all her nearest and dearest. At the end of this landing we arrive in the boy’s room, which has matching red car beds. The red detail is picked up in the Ralph Lauren stripe that adorns the top of the wall, built-in wardrobe doors and ensuite door. This detail was hand-painted by Noel Donnellan and is just perfect. The room is finished off with similar patterning on the bedding clothes and matching lampshades.
Finally, we move into the master bedroom, which is just a haven of peace. The winter sun continues to filter through the Venetian blinds and the view is just spectacular. The master bed has a soft leather headboard that sits in front of beautifully striped wallpaper. Matching fabric compliments throughout with cushions matching upholstery and throws matching lampshades. The furniture here again is cherry. Curtains and pelmets beautifully frame the windows, and here again the attention to details is just perfect. Because the curtains were designed to be mock curtains, instead of running the curtain track along the full length of the wall, it was decided to mount it to the left and the right, while the pelmet on the opposite window ties both windows together. Again the ensuite bathroom carries the hallmark wallpaper with beautiful almond shapes in creams and beiges.
Sharon indeed has a wonderful house, with details that are beautiful on the eye. A perfecting marrying of classic proportion and modern living, while still being a family home the oozes warmth and joy.
Source the style
All furniture by Martina Dempsey / Bella Casa
Interior design, wallpaper & lightening by Shirley Bredin, 16 Barrack Close, Ennis Tel: 065-6822331/086-8119393 Email: email@example.com
Paint by Colour Trend (available at all good paint stockists)
Decorative Artist Noel Donnellan Tele: 087 9441447 Website: www.noeldonnellan.com
Glass features by Pat Laden, Upmarket Glass Ltd, kilquane Shanaway rd, Ennis Tel: 065 6820213
Architecturally designed by Sean Dockry & Associates (Architects who designed the whole Thornberry development for Nexus Homes) 22-26 Prospect Hill, Galway Tel: 091 568522
Published UR Dream Home
Words Tina O Rourke