Love your living room: Katrina Carroll from Vintage Irish Kat adds direction with Penneys’ Retro Luxe collection

By House and Home 05-10-2018
Love your living room: Katrina Carroll from Vintage Irish Kat adds direction with Penneys’ Retro Luxe collection

“It’s an adult room, no doubt. The kids are banned,” laughs Katrina Carroll, of the art deco-inspired living room in her Dublin 12 house. Living here with Katrina are husband Adam and the aforementioned nippers, daughters Nainsi (three-and-a-half) and Bonnie (six months). The girls have their own playroom, dedicated to all their toys, so Katrina and Adam reserve the living room as an evening retreat to relax and unwind.

Katrina Carroll's Living room Mustard and navy are Katrina’s colours – and co-incidentally they’re the same shades used in Penneys Retro Luxe range, meaning the pieces blend perfectly in her living room. On wall behind couch: wire picture hanger, €7. On couch: Print cushion, €8, mustard velvet cushion, €6, white sheepskin throw, €12. On table: sequin fairy lights, €6, faux plant (in yellow pot), from €3, faux plant (in gold pot), from €3, candle, €1, calendar, €7. Faux plant (on floor), from €3. On mustard pouffe: large jar candle (lit), €5, diffuser, €6, all Penneys.

Katrina Carroll's Living room Catriona’s gallery wall contains lots of personal family mementoes including her grandfather’s pipe and her dad’s First Communion photo. On cocktail cart: white sparkly vase (just seen), €5, candle, €4, faux plant (to back), from €3. On wall: Gold sunburst mirror, €9. On couch: navy velvet cushion, €10, mustard velvet cushion, €6, navy quilted throw, €25. On side table: white plant stand with legs, €6, faux plant (inside), from €3, jar candle, €5, all Penneys.

A regular on our Instagram ‘like’ list, her @vintageirishkat feed is full of inspiring ideas to copy – whether you want to recreate a clever upcycle or take inspiration from one of her rooms. Katrina’s clever eye means her style is a blend of affordable trend pieces from stockists such as Penneys, vintage pieces and highstreet buys.

Katrina Carroll living room Katrina’s mix of bold colours, decadent textures and clashing prints makes for a very inviting adult-only space. Table: hurricane lamp, €15, brass candle, €5, diffuser, €6, faux plant, from €3. On couch: white sheepskin throw, €12, mustard velvet cushion, €6, print cushion, €8. On pouffe: black candle, €5, brass tin candle, €4, small leaf dish, €3, all Penneys.

Style guide

“I got into decorating as soon as we bought the house in 2016,” she says. “I’d never really been into it before, but I was clear about what I wanted. I wanted an art deco living room,” she says.

Katrina Carroll's Living room A classic combination, mustard and navy work perfectly together. Products as before.

Katrina’s always had a personal vintage style so it’s no surprise she’s adopted the same approach with her décor. “I’m very old school,” she agrees. “I’ve always been into vintage, and second-hand, and I’ve always been addicted to charity and vintage shops. It’s always been my style – the same with clothes.”

Memories matter

When it comes to the pieces Katrina decorates with, they must have meaning. “I like old things with a story,” she says. On the gallery wall in the living room is a pipe which once belonged to her grandfather. “Every time I see it I think of him. I have a black and white photo of my dad on his Communion day – it’s little things like that I love.”

Katrina Carroll's Living room Katrina’s TV unit is the perfect spot for a little accessorising. On top: candle, €4, faux plant, from €3. To the side: faux plants, from €3 each, candle in tin, €4, candle in patterned holder, €4, brass candle, €5, hurricane lamp, €15, all Penneys.

Her TV unit has a globe-spanning tale, too. “This has such great story,” Katrina enthuses. “I bought it off eBay when I lived in London, and my husband collected it from a really expensive apartment in Chelsea. The woman who owned it was from San Francisco; it had been her grandfather’s and she’d shipped it over. It was pine with creepy scorpion handles so I painted it grey and put the antler heads on instead.”

Katrina Carroll's Living room A recent upcycle, Katrina recently recovered this pouffe with luxe velvet and gave it a whole new look. White sheepskin throw, €12; framed print, €2, small leaf dish, €3, sequin fairy lights, €6, faux plant, from €3, candle in tin, €4, all Penneys.

A dedication to DIY – which you can follow on Katrina’s Instagram @vintageirishkat, where she showcases regular projects as well as does engaging daily Stories – has helped personalise her space further. “I’ll try my best to make things – as opposed to buying them,” she agrees. Recent DIYs include a fringed lampshade, the materials for which she bought on eBay, and a cute neon light sign. “I’ll give it a go! For trend pieces, I’ll try to make it instead of buying it.”

Living room lovelies

In her adult-only space, she loves the sense of peace it has. “It’s just the cosiness and calm,” she says. “With two kids, when they’re in bed it’s a haven for us. It’s an oasis of, ‘let’s just relax now’.”

Katrina Carroll's Living room Creating a sense of cosy comfort is a cinch with carefully-selected throws and cushions in snuggly fabrics. Mustard velvet cushion, €6, navy quilted throw, €25. On side table: white plant stand with legs, €6, faux plant (inside), from €3, jar candle, €5. On wall: wire picture hanger, €7, all Penneys.

To achieve that cocoon-like feel, Katrina has decorated in her favourite shades of navy and mustard and brought in elements she really loves. “I always wanted a drinks trolley, so we got that, and I love a good rug,” she says. Candles too, are a living room essential. “I love cinnamon and spice for winter – something cosy when it’s bitter out.”

Katrina Carroll's Living room This gallery wall houses Katrina's memories. Gold sunburst mirror, €9, Penneys.

Lighting must be right. “I’ll have fairy lights everywhere – it’s a grotto!” She loves to add in throws as well – “I’m all about more comfort” – she and her husband will have a tipple on a Friday, add a few nibbles and watch a good film.

So, if cosy comfort is Katrina’s bag, what wouldn’t she have in her living room? “Grey! I’m not into it. I hate any crystal candle holders and diamante or mirrored furniture too,” she reveals.

Katrina Carroll's Living room Other elements might change, but the frames stay!

What she does love is a plan, and she has a few up her sleeve for this room. “I want to change up the walls – I love the frames so those will stay but I’m going off prints. Now I love finding pictures instead – I love supporting small businesses I find on Instagram.”

Katrina Carroll's Living room Accessories are the ultimate way to change up your space easily and affordably. From left: Faux plant, from €3, hurricane lamp, €15. On suitcases: faux plant (in gold pot), from €3, brass candle, €5 patterned candle, €4, small candle, €3, (all to front), sunburst mirror, €9 calendar, €7, sequin fairy lights, €6. Bottom right: faux plant, from €3, all Penneys.

More long-term, Katrina wants to change her couches. The icing on her cosy cake? “I’d love an open fire – that’d top it all off. We want a stove – and we’ll get that at some point.” With her prolific redecorating output, we’ve no doubt she will.

Photographer: Philip Lauterbach; Stylists: Emma Kelly and Leonie Henson

This post is sponsored by Penneys. The Retro Luxe collection is available from Penneys stores nationwide now.

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