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Dublin: 10°C Monday 20 September 2021

'I painted the walls inky navy to contrast with the shelves': Valerie shares her plant-filled reading nook

‘The bookcase was mahogany, and the paint really brought it into its own.’

EACH WEEK, FOR My Home In One Photo, we ask someone based in Ireland to share one photo of their favourite spot in their home.

Valerie Robinson lives in a detached bungalow on the outskirts of Belfast. 

“I moved into this 1950s four-bed house five and a half years ago,” says Valerie. I’m slowly, single-handedly (and with a very limited budget) putting my stamp on it.”

There are so many big changes I’d like to make but at the moment I can only afford to make smaller cosmetic changes. You can only eat an elephant one bite at a time!

This week, Valerie (@belfast_house_bird) chatted us through her favourite spot: her reading nook.

Image from iOS (1) Source: Valerie Robinson

What do you love about this part of your home?

I’m a bookworm so I love having somewhere to display books. It’s also where I display mementos of my children’s childhood art and crafts.

What’s your favourite object in here and why?  

I think my children’s little clay creations are my favourite things here, followed by my vintage February 1959 Vogue framed magazine, which is when the foundations of my house were laid.

What was your inspiration when you were putting this room together?

This bespoke bookcase was built in the 1970s when my bungalow was extended by the original owners. It had been mahogany so painting it white brought it into its own. I then painted the walls an inky navy as a contrast. I’ve always loved the combination of navy and white together and it’s a common theme throughout my home! If I was wealthy I would probably love to commission new bespoke bookshelves that could wrap around the space, with some rolling library ladders thrown in for good measure!

Be honest: how much tidying did you do before taking this photo?

I didn’t really tidy it for the photo (sorry!) but I did move a few things away.

More: ‘The circus idea came from some Cath Kidston wallpaper’: Corinne shares her baby’s colourful bedroom

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