If you haven’t met Alex Carberry of The Interior DIYer, you’re in for a treat. We love following her adventures in DIY and upcycling, as well as her warm, witty posts. Here, she gives us a tour of her Dublin apartment, and shares her inspirations and tips….
My favourite thing about my home is… The textures throughout our apartment. I’m such a sucker for tactile finishes. To the point that anything that stands still in our apartment is draped with at least one overstuffed pillow, fleece or chanille throw. I’m basically a giant cat; kneading everything I come in contact with.
The first thing I did when I moved in… was paint the wall behind our living room shelves. That was about six colours ago though. The wall behind our shelves is now a lovely deep burgundy colour that I custom mixed.
People visiting always… comment on the pieces I’ve upcycled, revamped or DIYed. They don’t realise how many pieces in our home were found for next to nothing, so I take great pleasure in telling the story behind how I found, upcycled or made each piece. They’re always surprised at how easy it is to redo something and make it your own. You just need to be able to think outside the box.
My smartest saving was… Our mahogany desk. I had a basic IKEA desk but before long I was looking for something with a bit more character, so I sold our IKEA desk and with that money I was able to buy a an incredible little second-hand mahogany desk. It’s like, a million times better than my IKEA desk (no offense, IKEA). I’m so happy I was able to find it. I just wish I had a proper office space at home to show it off.
My one investment buy… for us, it’s rugs. Because we don’t own our home I tend not to buy larger pieces of furniture.
In a fire I would grab… Assuming my husband, both of our fur babies and my external hard drive made it out safely, if there was a fire the one thing I’d grab would be our leopard print blanket. It’s an immense blanket I got from Wayfair.co.uk late last year and it’s an actual dream. It’s so incredibly soft and warm. It’s giant enough to cover our bed and perfect for hiding under on the couch in the winter months. Not to mention it’s easy on the eyes.
My favourite interiors trend right now is… Dark viridian (blue-green) everything. I’ve always loved rich, dark berry colours and viridian perfectly compliments them. It’s a beautiful jewel tone that I don’t see ageing or going out of style anytime soon. I have Otto from Beetlejuice to thank for introducing me to it!
The interiors trend I’ll always love is… Sourcing second-hand pieces for a space. Second hand can be anything from a luxurious antique to a dumpster find. There’s something so exciting about finding a piece in a charity shop, flea market or on even the side of the road. Second hand pieces are quirky, one of a kind and won’t be found on the high street. They have so much character and a story that comes with them. I for one love seeing when people opt for pre-loved pieces vs. brand new buys.
My favourite Instagram account to follow for interiors inspiration is… She’s not strictly an interior designer, but I get a lot of interior inspiration from Kat von D’s Instagram account. She has (I think) an incredible taste in design and art as well as being an artist herself. She shares images of her home regularly as well as her lesser-known DIY side. Kat is a surprising master at DIY, especially remaking intricate Victorian lampshades. She’s also a fellow crazy cat lady, so there’s that too. #Represent (image credit)
My top three tips for designing your home are..
1. When you first move into a space, the immediate urge is to fill it as soon as possible. Take your time. Obviously, if there are things you need right away (i.e. a bed), get those. But take your time. This not only is more budget friendly as it gives you time to save up, but you’ll also have time to decide on a strong design.
2. Consider each section of a room individually. If there’s a small corner in your living room, think of what it could serve as. A small area for a desk? A reading nook with an overstuffed chair? Room for a large potted plant? Or a mini gallery wall of your favourite holiday pictures? Consider individual aspects of a room when designing a space.
3. Try to avoid one-stop-shopping. Unless you want your home to look like a catalogue, visit a wide range of shops for each piece you need or want. Not only will you be able to compare prices, but you’ll also find some more unusual pieces that you may not typically consider.