30 August 2017

Inside the Interior – Boho-chic at Ballyholme


Starting in the month of August, we’ll have a special feature from Northern Woman Magazine’s Editor Catriona Doherty. This month, Catriona had the privilege of talking to Peggy about the interior of her gorgeous seafront home in Ballyholme, Country Down.

When viewing this Victorian mid-terrace on the Ballyholme seafront, Bangor for the first time Peggy Bell “hadn’t got much further than the front hall” before she “just knew it was the one”.

Peggy and partner Phil made the move from Belfast almost two years ago, and haven’t looked back since.

“The best thing about Ballyholme is that it’s the perfect size,” Peggy explains. “You get to know your neighbours whether on a walk to the crossroads or along the beach. There’s also an excellent park for the children. And the thing that struck me most when I first moved down is that everyone is so friendly; everyone smiles, says hello and people often stop to chat.”

Peggy would describe her décor style as “eclectic, glam and boho-chic”. She says, “There’s a mix of old and new, a few investment pieces and some very cheap upcycles in our home. I just buy the things I love and make them work by restricting the colour palette. Buying things that are just okay doesn’t work for me and I only buy things I’m completely in love with now.” 

Duel Aspect Eclectic Glam

Photograph by Michael Bradley

The kitchen is Peggy’s favourite room of all. “I love that it’s at the front of the house and I get to enjoy the view while I’m cooking,” Peggy says. “Two rooms have been knocked through so it’s dual aspect; you can view both the south facing garden and the bay. This room works hard – it’s got the dining area at one end, the kitchen in the middle and the snug at the other end.”

Dramatic Backdrops and Faux Foliage

Photograph by Michael Bradley

I have kept a restrained palette in order to unify the different pieces, so chartreuse and plum spring off the neutral backdrop. The living room is painted Farrow and Ball Railings (by M and M Services, Bangor) on the wall, ceiling and woodwork. The all-over colour makes the room cosy and cocoon-like. It’s a look I really appreciate because when woodwork is painted in a different colour, your eye can be unintentionally drawn to skirting or doors instead of the pieces you’ve chosen to furnish the room. The dark all over colour creates a dramatic backdrop for the art, faux foliage and chandelier to be the features as they were intended.

Next up, the homeowners plan to revamp their hall. “I’m going to approach it with the same principles I have the rooms; all over colour and an eclectic collection of art, faux flowers and furniture pieces,” Peggy says. “I want it to feel welcoming and personal – after all, it’s the first space you see on entering the house and you can’t just close a door on it like other rooms, so it might as well be fabulous!”

Peggy gives NW a tour of her home sharing more information on the décor throughout, first up is the living room.

Reflective Relaxation

Photograph by Michael Bradley

This room has a great view of Ballyholme bay. Each day the view is different: it’s like a moving oil painting. Some days it’s clear blue skies and ripples glittering on the water, other days it’s rolling cloud and tumultuous waves. I placed my Dad’s old writing desk at the window so I can enjoy the view as I write. He was a self-taught scholar and spent years studying at this desk. He would have loved this view and I think he’d approve of its new home.

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The Finishing Touches

Photograph by Michael Bradley

This was my parents’ writing bureau. I painted it in Farrow and Ball Pitch Black and updated the handles with simple gold bar pulls. The faux cactus is Abigail Ahern and the lampshade has a William Morris fabric.

Many of my cushions are bespoke from local designer Amy Scott. She has a brilliant eye for colour and pattern, and her pieces have a look that is instantly recognisable. Her cushions made each of the rooms become harmonious and just work.

I love blue and white vases; they are eye catching while working as a neutral. I’m always on the lookout in charity shops to add to my collection. The flowers are faux; good faux flowers are essential to my look. I simply couldn’t afford to buy fresh in the quantities that I like, so when I find a quality faux, I buy in bulk!

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