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'The chairs were a splurge of yellow happiness': Rhona shares her old-and-new sitting room

Home-made curtains, a piano… and a telescope.

EACH WEEK, WE ask someone based in Ireland with a passion for interiors to share one photo of their favourite spot in their home.

Rhona Ryan moved into a 1980s bungalow overlooking Lough Derg two years ago. 

“Before we moved in, the house was empty for quite a few years,” says Rhona. “It needed a lot of love, but we just had to take a chance on it.” 

This week, Rhona (@the_foreverproject) chatted us through her favourite spot: her ‘fancy’ sitting room. 

Image-260 Source: Rhona Ryan

What do you love about this part of your home?

I love that it has a bit of everything. The table, lamp and telescope were inherited. I made the curtains with an extreme amount of help from my mam. The lampshade is good old IKEA. The yellow chairs were an indulgent splurge of yellow happiness.

I love mixing old and new and bright, and I feel that this room embodies that. Plus those chairs are super comfy. It’s a great place for an evening drink.

What’s your favourite object in here and why?  

It has to be my yellow chairs. They were literally the only thing I could afford in the shop where I found them. We are trying to be sound with our budget and do up this old house without breaking the bank, so these really were an indulgence on my part. But we do love them and they always seem to be a talking point. I suppose you’d call them a key piece.

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

This room was hard to put together. There is a giant 1970s ski lodge-style fireplace in the middle. Plus, it’s the second sitting room so it didn’t have a function that helped steer the design. In the end, we decided to make it a fancy, adult music/sitting room. So from that came the idea of a bit of opulence, with rich tones, luxurious fabrics, moody lighting – and a big black piano.

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

Honestly, no more than probably should be done weekly but I wouldn’t call myself housekeeper of the year! This room doesn’t get as much use as others, so it doesn’t get destroyed by the toddler. 

Is there anything in here you’d like to change?

I’d like to make more use of the high ceilings in here by adding more bookshelves, more photos and prints. Plus, add the tiniest bit more higgledy-piggledy to that opulent edge. Then I think it would be truly homey! 

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

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