House tour: Having an Instagram-ready home is a snap for blogger Barbara Taylor

By Aoife Valentine 10-07-2018

A rental revivalist ­– that’s how Barbara Taylor describes herself. After 13 years in Edinburgh, where she and husband David stockpiled some incredible pieces – “we were spoilt with the wonderful charity shops and the bargains Edinburgh had to offer” – the couple moved to Ireland and into this 1990s bungalow outside Newbridge in Co Kildare.

And yes, their house is rented. There were several things in the property’s favour: it felt spacious with front and back gardens and had potential for improvement. Plus, it was unfurnished, so there was plenty of room for their Scottish treasures. “We were able to pick up some mid-century pieces before they became popular,” Barbara says, highlighting a sideboard they found for £60, along with an astral glass top coffee table that was an impressive £10.

Over the past three years the couple has given the house a much-needed update. First, they replaced the dated magnolia paint with Farrow & Ball off-whites and greys. This created a jumping-off point in terms of design.

Barbara and David think creatively. They were adamant that they’d transform their home even if they couldn’t completely renovate. “Painting the cabinets and changing the hardware was a complete game changer for the kitchen and has really made the biggest difference,” reveals Barbara.

“We very much stamped our style on the house with our palette of colours and the furnishings and fittings we added to the space. With a lot of creativity and a carefully considered budget we’ve created a design we are very happy with,” she says. “Some of the most stunning homes on Instagram are rentals, particularly in the US, and I wanted to embrace this house for the time we are in it,” she adds.

“I would encourage others who are renting their home to do similar. Simple changes can make a huge difference to a space and don’t cost a fortune,” she points out. “New curtains, light fittings and soft furnishings can transform a space. You don’t have to spend a lot either. Invest in key pieces you can take with you to your forever home," Barbara enthuses.

An avid Instagrammer, her interior style is constantly evolving, with strong mid-century and Californian boho vibes. “Instagram and Pinterest are my ‘go-tos’ for inspiration. I’ve met some amazing people on Instagram. We’ve connected over a common love for interior design. From that, we’ve formed some great friendships. It’s an amazing online community,” says Barbara.


Take the tour of her home, below!

KITCHEN The room is furnished with a table that David made with reclaimed wood and a work bench made by his late father. The Modern Brass chandelier is from The old-school chairs came from Blackrock Market and the pair of Cesca chairs were a bargain find in a charity shop.


DETAILS The vintage onion tray on the table is from Industry and Co., while the vase is from Meadows &Byrne.


Barbara’s 1920s drinks trolley was made for the White Star Shipping Line.


LIVING ROOM The open fire creates a lovely focal point and keeps the room cosy and comfortable. The sofa, from Ikea, is adorned with a selection of cushions from TK Maxx and H&M Home. The sideboard and coffee table were bargain finds, both from a charity shop in Edinburgh. The cowhide rug is from TK Maxx.


This bench was from Barbara’s old family pub and was restored by David. It now displays one of her beloved typewriters.


BEDROOM This bright space is painted in Ammonite by Farrow & Ball. The wall lights are from Oliver Bonas, the rug is from Industry & Co., and the velvet cushions are from TK Maxx. Bedding, the woollen throw and matching cushion are all from Foxford Woolen Mills, while curtains come from Homefocus atHickeys. On the wall, the vintage Liberty framed swatch is from The Storeyard.


HOME OFFICE This simply furnished office is the perfect spot for Barbara to get creative. The desk is from Ikea. The gold lamp is from TKMaxx. The Eames-style chair is from CA Design. The Vogue and Prada Prints are from Desenio. The rug is from H&M Home.


GUEST BEDROOM Painted in Dulux’s Brilliant White, this monochrome scheme looks stylish and welcoming. The chunky knit throw, from Lauren Aston Designs, adds a cosy touch. The black wall lamps are from The cushions are from H&M Home and La Redoute. The side table is from TK Maxx.


MASTER BEDROOM The master bedroom is painted in Manor House Grey and strong White by Farrow & Ball. By layering different shades and textures Barbara has created a welcoming feel in this room. The bedding and some of the cushions are from Foxford Woollen Mills. The beside lights and velvet cushion are from TK Maxx. The print above the bed is from Desenio. The curtains are Home Focus at Hickeys.



Follow Barbara on Instagram @livingandbeauty and visit her blog

Photography Philip Lauterbach | Words Penny Crawford-Collins

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