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'It's always bright even on the darkest of days': Bernie shares her charming period-style kitchen

Bernie Connell’s home was built in 2006 – but has a classic feel.

EACH WEEK, WE ask an Irish person with a passion for interiors to share one photo of their favourite spot in their home.

Bernie Connell moved into her self-build period-style home with her husband Feargal and three children in 2006.

“We spent considerable time when designing the house to try and replicate a period property by including features such as timber sliding sash windows, high ceilings, wider doors and taller skirting and architrave, while also having the advantage of underfloor heating run by a geothermal heating system, built-in vacuum and rainwater harvester,” says Bernie.

This week, gardening lover Bernie (@countrylifemystyle) chatted us through her favourite space in her Co Westmeath home: the kitchen. 

IMG_20170306_113824_153 (1) Source: Bernie Connell

What do you love most about this part of your home?

When I’m not working, I am usually found here in the kitchen. It’s my favourite room in the house for a number of reasons: the room is triple aspect with a window over our sink which catches the morning sun, there’s a large bay window where we have added a couple of armchairs and the breakfast table, and then there’s French doors which open out onto our patio and let in all of the evening light. The kitchen is always bright even on the darkest of days.

Talk us through some of the objects in the photo. 

The red Aga was the one ‘must have’ when we were planning the interior and we bought this in Fired Earth in Dun Laoghaire. It’s still my favourite piece in the house and there is never a day that goes by when it isn’t used.

The KitchenAid mixer was a surprise Christmas present one year from Feargal and again, I just love it. The Belfast sink was also close to the top of the list when designing our country kitchen. There are a number of old jars and pots on display in here which we have collected over the years and they add to the period feel of the room.

What was your inspiration when you were putting the space together?

Back in 2006 when we were planning this house, Instagram and Pinterest didn’t exist and so all my inspiration for interiors came from magazines. At the time I created an album where I would cut out and paste in pictures which inspired me. I discovered kitchens made by a company called Clive Christian in these magazines.

The kitchens were stunning but unfortunately they were well out of my price range. So, I decided to plan my own based on the elements I loved. The units had to be cream, which wasn’t that common back in 2006 as most kitchens were usually oak, pine or even mahogany those days. 

How well does this photo reflect the rest of your home? 

I would class my style as being ‘modern country’ and to me our kitchen epitomises this classic look. The furniture throughout the house is a mix of antique and more modern pieces and the older furniture helps to give the house that period look.

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

I am a bit obsessive about keeping the worktops clear and I absolutely hate clutter. However, our island unit has always been a bit of a dumping ground. I did have to clear away post, some groceries from our most recent shop which hadn’t found their way to the cupboards and there were a couple of cups too. 

Do you have a spot in your home that you’re particularly proud of? Do you enjoy styling the different rooms in your house? Are you always adding and changing little things to make your space stand out? If so, we want to hear from you! Email amy@thejournal.ie with a few lines about yourself and your home for a chance to feature in My Home in One Photo.

More: ‘A little clutter can cause chaos’: Dubliner Susan takes us inside her 256sq ft log house>

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