Transform an unloved room into a contemporary space for adults only
Interior stylist Alannah Monks remodeled an underused room with beautiful pieces from DFS’s Halo Luxe range
It is safe to say that the last 15 months have brought new meaning to the concept of staycations. From working at home to weekly Zoom quizzes, we’ve had to adapt and integrate every element of our personal and professional life within the same four walls.
The pandemic has also given many of us the opportunity to re-evaluate the functionality of our homes and to improve and modernize our spaces accordingly. For interior stylist (find her on Instagram @theabodestylist) and mum-of-two Alannah, this is tantamount to turning a previously unloved trash can used for storing work accessories and gear, into a stylish adult-only space. .
Monks lives in Naul in North County Dublin with her husband Patrick, their daughters Rose, 12, and Alice, seven, and three canine companions.
“When the girls were little everyone was sitting in the same room and we were constantly together, but as they get older they want their own space,” she says of her decision to create a new room for herself and Patrick. .
“We originally only had one lounge, but the girls claimed it as their own, and that’s where they hang out and spend their sleepovers with their friends. So that was the big incentive to do the second living room, as we needed our own space.
With a background in fashion, Monks has always had a creative mind, but it wasn’t until she started building her home from scratch ten years ago that her passion for design became evident.
She admits that when the couple rushed to build the house to escape the ‘mad rush’ of the Dublin rental market and provide a permanent home for their growing family, mistakes were made.
The house is constantly evolving just from my desire to have a creative outlet, it’s like a canvas
Her appetite for DIY projects and her eye for eclectic fixtures and furniture has marked changes in the home in recent years, earned her a dedicated Instagram following, and helped secure a coveted spot in Home Series Six. of RTÉ’s Year, which aired in 2020.
“Our house is constantly evolving and not even in the way it needs to,” she laughs.
“A lot of things don’t need to be tinkered with. Sometimes I just have an idea and I have to take it out and I have to either paint the wall or build something. I am very impatient when it comes to creating things, I want it to be done yesterday. So the house is constantly evolving, just for me who wants to have a creative outlet, it’s like a canvas.
When it came to designing the new living room for adults, Monks sought to move away from his usual penchant for prints and rattan furniture, and wanted to create a clean, grown-up vibe.
The bedroom is now a chic and upscale decor decorated in tobacco, saffron and slate tones. Brass accents and generous leather seating add to the ambiance, and the room also includes a bar that Monks built and tiled herself, as well as a sleek seating area designed for comfort.
His starting point came from The Space sofa and The Rest ottoman from the DFS Halo Luxe collection. “Often what happens to me is that there is an individual starting point, whether it’s a particular paint color or a piece of furniture,” she explains of her design process.
This time? “It grew for me around the sofa,” she says of The Space’s contemporary square style, upholstered in supple, hand-made graphite leather that showcases the natural patina of high-quality skin. Its clean design provides an elegant backdrop to The Rest deeply buttoned rectangular ottoman. A smart piece, which offers form and function, playing the triple role of centerpiece, coffee table and additional seating.
Making the space accessible and adaptable for guests in the post-containment era has also been a major motivation in his furniture choices.
“You can accommodate four people on the sofa and you can use the footrest as an extra seat. We wanted this room for entertaining so we needed to have as much seating as possible.
Monks used a dark palette on the walls and vintage-inspired industrial light fixtures that perfectly complement the graphite leather of The Space sofa and The Rest ottoman.
“When I saw the sofa, I think it really sparked something in me that I wanted something a little more minimal and a lot more modern than the rest of the house.”
While lockdown restrictions have meant the couple have yet to share the space with friends and family, she admits it has become a safe haven for her husband in particular as he has been forced to work at home for the first time in his career.
“It’s very difficult to finish the job and close the door, and feel like you’ve finished the job if you’re here morning, noon and night. So it’s great to have that separate space that you don’t go into during the day, ”she says.
As the room has an east-facing perspective and doesn’t get much natural light during the day, it has organically transformed into a nighttime nook in the house.
“It’s really a room for the night, so when we’re done with work and dinner and the kids have gone to bed, we have a separate place to go. It is only really used from Thursday to Saturday, there are no late nights on Monday and it feels like you have a place to hang out.
Thrilled by the change she’s made to a rarely used and unloved space in her home through smart furniture choices and cool, contemporary decor, Monks says the new bedroom conjures up fond memories of evenings.
“We were joking that when things started to open up we should start charging for admission, especially as the weather improved,” she laughs. “It’s very exciting to think again about entertaining people. “
We say well done to that.
DFS has been manufacturing furniture for over five decades. With every sofa handmade and a design to suit every home, DFS is Europe’s leading sofa expert. DFS has stores in Blanchardstown Retail Park and Carrickmines in Dublin; City Gate, Mahon, Cork; Ballysimon Road, Limerick; and Well Park Retail Park, Galway, and delivers nationwide.