GAFF Tour: Take A Look Around This Travel Bug’s Industrial-Chic Abode
The perfect shelfie
"The teddy bear was handmade by my mum, the little Sylvanians were a nostalgic Christmas gift from my boyfriend. Among the hanging pieces are a recent birthday card and wedding invitation that I made for my cousin. The plant in the centre is from Industry and the dreamcatcher is from Thailand."
Photographer, designer and travel nut Claire Brown combines industrial elements with an elegant twist in this Dublin townhouse. She’s a new-age collector, keeping select treasure from her travels instead of collecting dust-gatherers and using her photographer’s eye to seamlessly incorporate DIY details with her pared-back living and work space. Step inside for a closer peek.
Hi Claire! Thanks for having us. So, first up, can you describe your GAFF’s personality?
I’ll say industrial vibes with a feminine touch. I love the rawness and textures of metal, wood and exposed brick so I’ve tried to incorporate those elements into my home alongside my own keepsakes and mementos.
Tell us about your inspiration – what gets your creative juices flowing when it comes to your home’s design?
My inspiration has mostly come from Pinterest and sites like Houzz and Dot & Bo.
Claire, we know you have a MAJOR travel bug. Does being away a lot mean you want to come home to a serene environment? Or do you collect loads from your travels and use your house as adventure inspiration?
I do love coming home to a clean and clutter- free environment. Since I work from home, it’s important for me to feel relaxed and happy here. I used to bring various souvenirs home from trips but eventually I realised that it was accumulating as clutter so now, unless I really love something, I try not to bring too much home. My photos are the primary keepsake from my travels. The house does have a little nod to travel running through it though – I’m a sucker for globes and vintage maps.
Give us the scoop – where have you found some of your favourite home furnishings?
Some of my best buys have been at the Dublin Flea Market. One of my favourites is a little marble-topped side table that I got for 30 quid. I saw the same thing online for €300-€400. When I haven’t been as lucky at the flea, I’ve sought out specific pieces on eBay like my coffee table trunk.
Tell us about your DIY projects and the decor tips that have made your GAFF great.
My other half is very handy in that department, so a lot of the bigger projects are down to him. The exposed brickwork in the hallway was a super messy job – about a tonne of plaster, old mortar and dust was cleared out, but it was worth it and I love it
Your best ever bargain and biggest splurge?
I got my kitchen table, chairs and standing lamp pretty much for free as they came with another table that I sold off for more than what I’d paid for the whole lot! My sofa was the biggest splurge, but it’s so comfy so totally worth it.
OK travel aficionado, f you could transport your home to any destination in the world where would it be and why?
Anywhere warm with an infinity pool, views of a beach and a lush rainforest out the back door would be great. A girl can dream!
What has been the biggest challenge in designing your living space?
It’s taken time to really get to know my own taste and understand what will work in a space. Trying to be ruthless and selective about what should stay and what to get rid of is also really challenging.
Favourite nook in your GAFF?
I love my bedroom shelves as I’ve styled them with travel photos, keepsakes,
and favourite gifts from loved ones.
3 books/magazines we’ll find on your coffee table?
Not that I get that much time for them but Kinfolk, the new Harry Potter book
and my adult colouring book.
Is there an interiors piece on your wishlist that you’re dreaming of?
Gold rimmed agate coasters!