A boho Victorian with jolts of hot pink in Cobh

By Anna Shelswell-White 17-02-2016
A boho Victorian with jolts of hot pink in Cobh

Claire had no qualms about working around herself to turn this house into a home for her young family. “I thought, as I was doing the project managing anyway, I may as well be here full-time,” she says. “As soon as we had hot water, we moved in.

“The three bedrooms needed to be completely renovated. When I was taking the previous wallpaper down, the plaster started to come off, so we had to re-plaster everywhere. As it was summer, the fact that we didn’t even have central heating, when we moved in, wasn’t a problem at all.”


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The walls in the dining room are painted in Farrow & Ball’s Charlston Grey. Claire struck it lucky with the rug, nabbing it for €140 on Adverts. Amazingly, Claire’s four Winsor spindle backed chairs were bought at an auction for €20. Deirdre from Style 25 spray painted them in Grecian Spa by Dulux. Claire matched the unit to the chairs


As an added advantage, the most used rooms are south facing and they bask in sunlight for much of the day. The bathroom and spare room are at the front of the house, which from the outset looks like a two-storey home. Take a trip around the back and you’ll spot a basement; a whole other floor that makes it a three-storey house, essentially.

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The house’s former owner is a pianist who moved to Vienna and sold the piano to Claire. The loveseat and matching chair were picked up at Mother Jones Flea Market in Cork city, and is upholstered in one of the latest fabrics by Designer’s Guild. Claire’s couch is from DFS, while the vase and realistic faux flowers are both from Meadows & Byrne. The two embroidered footstools are from Style 25. The mirror and pineapple lamp are from Paul & Co.



The spare front room is used as a playroom for the kids or guest bedroom. The IKEA bed pulls out and the kids’ toys store underneath. The Bjerre rug was found on Ebay. The neon pink picture is by Astella Hrela, an artist based in London. The faux cherry blossoms are from Ballyseedy Garden Centre.


The pink flamingo, reflected in the mirror, is from Harvey Norman, while the free-standing bathtub is from Irish International Trading Corporation.

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Claire’s favourite stores include Decor and Dust, both in Dublin city,  along with TK Maxx, Paul & Co., and Style 25 in Cork. Claire describes her interiors style as quite bohemian but, as she is also a lover of pink, sprigs of it bring each space to life and have the ability to veer the look in a different direction. Her style is certainly eclectic and surprising; a prime example of a mix of old and new that works.

Styling: Claire Carlos

Photography: Joleen Cronin

Once home to interior designer, Claire Carlos, we featured this Victorian house in Cobh, in House and Home magazine.

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