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The GAFF #shelfie Series: Naturally Nordic with Stylist Ciara O’Halloran – GAFF Interiors

The GAFF #shelfie Series: Naturally Nordic with Stylist Ciara O’Halloran

Welcome to the third installment of GAFF #shelfies! We are so excited to bring you this Instagram series, as we explore some of the coolest nooks and crannies of cool homes in Ireland. Each week, we’ll be taking a snoop at a special shelf or space in a super stylish GAFF, examining the owner’s favourite accessories, asking about their home inspo, and taking styling and decor tips as we go. This series is designed to help YOU get excited about your own home space. It doesn’t matter if you have a single shelf or an entire room to get creative with – we want to help you kick start your own interior inspiration.

This week, we stepped inside the super-cool abode of freelance stylist and musician Ciara O’Halloran.

Ciara, thank you so much for sharing this elegant space with us. Tell us everything!

“Our apartment used to be a convent and school and while it came with all those amazing 19th-century details (like high ceilings and original shutters on Georgian windows), our portion of the building was converted into one open plan living space. In some way this has been great for the life stage we are in now, as I can keep an eye on my two young kids while they play, but zoning the space into different areas has been so important to maximise the functionality of the room.”

“The space you’re looking at here is a storage unit combined with a little desk and reading area designed by my talented friend Holly of Avenue Interior Design Studio. The deep drawers have been amazing for storage and hiding toys at the end of the day, while the desk area gives us an additional workspace and kids’ art area. We designed the shelves to display some of my favourite things which are constantly being rotated. I love having objects around me that tell a story and bring back special memories.”

Ciara at home.

Can you tell us about 3 of your favourite items in this space? Where you got them from, why you love them?

“I have a big weakness for ceramics and have amassed quite the collection over the years. It’s one of my favourite things to seek out when traveling and I try to always pick up something local and handmade to bring home (much to my husband’s horror!). Those pieces seem to have taken on even more significance now that the chance to travel and return to those places seems a lifetime away, but I know the next piece I find when we can finally adventure to new places again will be extra special.”

“It’s hard to choose a favourite ceramic piece but I think the collection from a shoot I styled for the potter Hannah Slade of Speck and Stone would have to be up there. There’s nothing better than working with a talented creative to evoke a story through images that sees the heart of their work shine through. I get joy from using her pieces in our home every day. You can see this shoot in full in my Instagram stories if you’d like to see the beautiful ceramics in all their glory.”

Speck and Stone bowl.

“I have a photo book we made after my daughter was born and she loves taking it down and hearing the stories of the first few months of her life and seeing photos of all the important people in her world. We’ve yet to make one for my son but it’s on the to-do list. Second child syndrome!

“And finally I have a small piece of art I purchased at the Incognito art exhibition in the Lavit Gallery in Cork last year. It’s called Dancing in the Wind by Michele Fox-Bell and makes me think of a warm Summer breeze every time I look at it.”

Ciara’s ceramic collection and beloved pieces on display.

How would you describe your home and interior style?

“I wanted to stay true to the history and features of the building when making design decisions for the space, as well as allowing it to reflect our lifestyle and values. In general, I would be quite inspired by the minimalism of Nordic design and love when spaces feel calm, light, and airy. I prefer to keep the backdrop as a blank canvas and use neutral colours and natural materials as much as possible. I try to bring interest and warmth to our home through art, treasured objects, and textures.”

The Nordic and Finnish vibes influencing Ciara’s palette and interior aesthetic.

How do you approach styling areas of your home?

“I always like to consider how I want a space to feel as well as how it needs to function. Once those priorities are clear I allow the space to evolve slowly. I might stumble across one statement piece and then wait a while for the rest of the pieces of the puzzle to come together. I’m often impatient for it to be all finished immediately but giving it time and space allows it to feel more natural and cohesive in the end.”

“As a stylist, there’s the danger of always acquiring more and more lovely pieces to fill the space but I try to keep in mind Ilse Crawford’s words that a home should meet human needs and desires, not intellectual ideas and concepts. If we can pinpoint how we want a room to feel, the design decisions that impact and influence that often look after themselves.”

Where are some of your favourite places to shop for interiors?

“I like to keep an eye out on the Finnish design shop but I think my favorite ever is By Molle, most of their lovely things have been on my wish list at one time or another. More locally there are always beautiful things to tempt me in Industry & Co and Lamb.”

Lamb Design

What was the last thing you bought for your home?

“We finally bought a full-length mirror for our home recently from Industry & Co. We haven’t had one for years so it’s been on the to-do list for a while and I love the simple elegance of the design.”

Industry Design mirror

We’ve recently become obsessed with the Architectural Digest Home Tour series on YouTube – where do you find your home inspo?

“As unexciting as it sounds Instagram and Pinterest are responsible for my favourite finds and inspiring interiors. I discovered Ingredients LDN beautiful journal and shop this way and many other gorgeous resources. I completed Natalie Walton’s styling course last year also and discovered a whole range of talented creatives around the world through that class so it’s been fun to follow their evolution and get plenty of inspiration along the way.”

Check out Ciara’s beautifully curated Instagram HERE and find out more about her work on her website HERE

Stay tuned for more house tours right here. See you next time GAFFers!

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