The home: A Georgian townhouse in Armagh
Who lives here? Jennifer, Daniel and their three children
A life-long love of travel was one of the biggest influences on Jennifer and Daniel’s home and interior choices.
Having travelled all over the world the couple, who are both originally from the United States, have been settled in Northern Ireland for the last few years, though Daniel continues to work internationally and the eldest of their three children is currently at university in New York.
Both Jennifer’s parents were interior designers so that, teamed with the fact they still live in the house she grew up in have definitely had an impact on her style.
Jennifer remarked: “My parents still live in the house I was brought up in, so on some level, I guess I still feel that is home. I have definitely injected a little bit of Americana into my home here but not in a big way. We lived in China for two years – in Beijing – in an extremely contemporary villa and that was another major influence, mixed with the Georgian simplicity of this house, I would say that, as a result, my style is cosmopolitan and eclectic.”
“I did not want to get too predictable with my Chinese souvenirs and momentos. I prefer things to be displayed in an unexpected way.”
The house was dated and tired when they bought it and Jennifer quickly set to work on it, modernising and updating it.
“I started with the kitchen, going for a neutral, contemporary look, possibly slightly American, but that was not my aim,” she admits. “It is my favourite room now though, as it is where I spend most of my time.”
For this room Jennifer chose white cabinetry topped with a creamy stone worktop on both the island unit and around the edges of the room and the simple contemporary styling contrasts well with the elegant period features already existing in the room.
The décor had to be completed quickly before the move to China but this turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it was while overseas that Jennifer discovered exactly the look she wanted for the house.”
“Daniel has very urban taste and has resisted curtains throughout the house so the result is a clean, minimal aesthetic with even the television and entertainment system hidden away in a beautiful wooden cabinet.”
“I have definitely injected a little bit of Americana into my home here but not in a big way.”JENNIFER
She said: “I came across so much fantastic art and design, it was tremendously inspiring. We bought a lot of furniture and objets d’art, and when we returned, we were able to complete the house and really stamp our individuality on it. We acquired some beautiful finishing touches, that I simply would not have found in this country.’
When it came to completing the house Jennifer learnt a valuable lesson and that is to take your time when decorating. “When we returned I actually changed quite a few things that I had done in a hurry beforehand,” she commented. “For instance, I had carpeted downstairs and when we returned I replaced the carpet downstairs with wood. It had not worn well and now, I find the wood warm as well as practical. I also replaced the Victorian plain glass with the original Georgian astragals – it has made such a difference.”
While there are reminders of their travels throughout the home nothing is overly obvious or clichéd. For example, the collection of Chinese calligraphy brushes would typically be displayed in a stand, but as Jennifer explains, “I did not want to get too predictable with my Chinese souvenirs and momentos. I prefer things to be displayed in an unexpected way.”
With a neutral backdrop running throughout the house Jennifer has added colour through the artwork and soft furnishings and while there is a definite theme in the home it is still a unique, eclectic mix.
Jennifer explained: “I don’t have a favourite shop, I think my style rests on the fact that I like to shop around!”
Daniel has very urban taste and has resisted curtains throughout the house so the result is a clean, minimal aesthetic with even the television and entertainment system hidden away in a beautiful wooden cabinet.
While there is some beautiful furniture and rare pieces of art in the house Jennifer is quick to point out that it’s not a museum. “It is first and foremost a comfortable family home,” she states.
And one that is still a work in process as she believes, “When you stop working on your house, it’s time to move!”
PHOTOGRAPHY DOUGLAS GIBB
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