Irish fashionista Orla Kiely's fabulous London home

By Jimmy Loughran 20-10-2010

The London home of Orla Kiely, Irish ex-pat fashionista is a fabulous example of classic proportions with a contemporary twist. Just what you would expect from a doyenne of design...

(Words: Eimear Nic an Bhaird Photos: Jake Curtis)


A thick stripe of bold orange paint acts as a cheeky runner down the middle of the stairs. It’s a cheerful greeting to visitors and balances out the neutral shades elsewhere.

Living Room:

Light echoes around the house, with tall ceilings, large windows and clever touches, such as this oversized mirror, that leave lots of space for bold and beautiful dashes of colour to work their magic.

Pale walls and rich dark floorboards are given a bit of pizzaz with bright colours, funky accessories and retro shapes. Orla’s trademark patterns are splashed about, and she has introduced a rainbow of colour to the room without making it dizzying. Her love of 70s style is particularly evident in the curves of the armchair.

Only a particularly artistic eye could so successfully put together this  cacophony of colour in such a harmonious way. The tall ceilings in the Victorian house carry the strong colours well, and a combination of vintage furniture and Orla’s own textile designs give an individual feel.


This busy family home manages to be both good-looking and functional at the same time. Smart units and clever recessed shelving that runs from wall to wall are jazzed up with colourful kitchen accessories.

Pieces picked up from markets are in keeping with the retro style of Orla’s designs, and sit perfectly in the old Victorian house, where old and new blend seamlessly.

Dining room:

Orla’s aim was not necessarily to have a particularly trendy or uber-stylish home, but primarily to create a comfortable family home- though she managed both perfectly.

Not only beautiful but practical too - a panel painted with blackboard paint makes the perfect noticeboard for a busy family.


An oversized headboard behind the bed is perfect for hidden storage, so essential bits and pieces have a place to call home without cluttering up the sleeping space


The bathroom is a perfect example of the virtues of keeping it simple. A vast stand-alone bath is perfect for relaxing, particularly when surrounded by the pale calm of the neutral walls.

Tell us what you think:

Which room in Orla's home is your favourite - do you love the hallway with the bold orange stripe, or the bright and eclectic living area? Leave a comment and let us know!

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