Chats with artist and interior designer Ali Kirby
Ali Kirby is a Dublin based artist and interior designer. We recently worked with her providing houseplants for this stunning home.
We had a chat with Ali about where she finds inspiration, and how she styles a room using layers, like a beautiful composition…
Where do you look for inspiration?
I find Elle Decor really inspiring, I have a subscription and get so much out of it. I also regularly save Instagram images into various folders and always refer back to them. ‘Portraits of Interiors’ by Axel Vervoordt, is a gorgeous coffee table book I am currently flipping through. It has really fed into my approach to a current project in Monkstown.
I also really like the designer Ilse Crawford. She creates spaces that are effortlessly stylish, but not staged looking. A perfect balance.
What advice do you have for people trying to pick a wall colour at home?
I always encourage people to be led by the home itself, and work with it's light, scale and qualities. Look to maximise what you have.
Dark, moody paint colours are a big trend right now which can work well in the right space, but there is also such great flexibility and warmth with neutral wall colours. You can easily change the look of a room by changing the cushions, or curtains and so on. I like using Little Greene paint for the quality but also because they do these ‘colour scales’, and choosing a few paint colours from the same scale is an accessible way to create ‘flow’ in a home.
I feel like there is a trend now towards following your heart, painting using a colour you love and finding the confidence to do what makes you happy. We’re probably going to see more exuberant colours, a real desire to inject joy into our lives with pattern and colour.
What tips do you have for taking on a decor project at home?
I find it helpful to think about it in layers, like an artist would layer a composition. The anchors are sofas, armchairs or a dining table. They guide the overall shape and flow. Rugs, lamps and side tables provide a further layer. Finally, decorative accessories like art and houseplants add extra personality and warmth.
Houseplants are a great way of bringing beautiful natural forms into your home. I see the pots as being sculptural and decorative, and then you have the added beauty of the plant bringing vitality in. For me, they are an essential part of layering an interior scheme.
If the budget is there to make small reconfigurations, like knocking a wall to open up a kitchen that can have a huge impact. Also, take the time to measure and make sure you're buying the right size furniture. And a change of paint colours can completely transform how a home looks and feels. I've seen amazing results from people just doing colour consultations.
Tell us a little about this recent home you designed in Dublin?
The home owners wanted a warm, inviting family home with good design finishes. It was important that we kept things comfortable and relaxed. To create this, we used a lot of exposed brickwork, and natural earthy tones.
It was built in the 60s and the homeowners had lived in it for seven years untouched. The kitchen and dining area were divided by a wall - it was quite dark and cluttered, with not much storage. Eden architects did great job work opening it up, removing the dividing wall and getting lots more light flowing into the home. I had a perfect re-configured space to work with.
Ali’s favourite instagram accounts to follow:
Are you an interior designer or home owner looking for some stunning greenery? Drop us a line firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to chat about how we can pick plants and pots to suit your home and style.