House Tour: Aisling’s Eclectic Shack
We are kicking off 2020 with the fabulous Aisling, a self-confessed vintage addict, whose self-build home is crammed full of amazing thrifted finds, vintage furniture and eclectic art. A labour of love over many years, a family home layered with history, stories and intrigue … I think I could happily get lost here for days ….
How long have you been collecting vintage?
I’ve been collecting vintage for over fifteen years and to be honest I don’t think I can ever see myself not buying vintage – it really is an addiction!
Where does your love of vintage come from?
My love of all things vintage came from my Mum. She brought me to my first auction as a child and taught me to appreciate the detail, craftsmanship and beauty in things from the past. We shared a love of ‘treasure’ hunting at auctions, carboot sales, charity shops and salvage yards. My Mum was massively involved in sourcing items for our home and having passed away in 2014, I’m so thankful that we shared this passion as I am reminded of her everyday going about the house.
How would you describe your own vintage style?
As the hashtag I host suggests, my style is quite eclectic, a mix of vintage, retro and boho. My interiors style has always had a vintage, rustic feel but in recent years I have definitely been drawn more to mid-century design and retro pieces.
(more details on Aisling's instagram hashtag further down)
Do you have any specific criteria for your home decor based on style/era/colour ... or is it a gut reaction?
My decor decisions are very much based on a gut reaction. If something gives that rush of adrenaline, makes the heart beat faster or simply won’t leave my mind then that is enough for me. As I mentioned before, my style is very eclectic; I appreciate and am drawn to different elements of all eras but I am by no means a purist and am not committed to just one style or period. Our G-Plan Fresco sideboard sits alongside a rustic farmhouse table, not necessarily everyone’s cup of tea but it works for us!!
What is your favourite era /maker?
I don’t have a single favourite era but I do have a particular love for mid-century design and art and get very excited by the sight of G-Plan furniture – I think I’m a bit of a teak geek at heart.
Where do you source your items / furniture from?
I generally tend to source furniture from auctions, salvage yards or second-hand websites such as Donedeal.ie, Adverts.ie and Ebay.co.uk - Facebook Marketplace can also be worth keeping an eye on. Charity shops and carboot sales are always great for picking up quirky bits and pieces – one man’s trash is very much another man’s treasure and should never be ruled out if you’re trying to curate an individual look.
What do you look for when you are thrifting for your home?
When I go thrifting I always go with an open mind as you never know what you’ll come across. I don’t necessarily go hunting for something specific, the fact is you’ll rarely find it when you’re looking for it! I take my time and have a look in every section / stall, I don’t rule anything out and if something catches my eye, I’ll check for any damage and if it’s something that doesn’t break the bank I’ll usually buy it, even if I don’t have an exact idea of where I’ll put it. Curating a vintage eclectic look is very much about building a collection first and then arranging it to suit your space. This of course is in respect of vintage art and accessories and things that don’t take up too much space to store; needless to say you have to be a lot more mindful when it comes to buying furniture and larger pieces.
Your home is a self-build, did you have a vintage aesthetic in mind during the design and build process?
As it was a new build we didn’t really go with a vintage aesthetic externally, apart from my wish-list half door. However, internally our goal was to create an interior that reflected our personalities, had charm, character and plenty of stories to tell, which our collection of vintage helped to achieve. The flooring in our sitting room is reclaimed parquet from a London dance hall, and comes complete with cigarette burns! This is one of our favourite features in the house but it was also one of the more challenging aspects of the build as each parquet tile had to have the bitumen and dowels removed and then sorted according to size, all 2,000 of them!
What plans do you have for your home in the future?
Eight years and three children later, our house needs a good deal of re-painting. I am currently in the never-ending process of decorating our study, in an attempt to make it look less like a ‘junk room’ and more of a retreat from the madness. I then hope to start on the master bedroom and guest en-suite - to be honest the list continues to grow by the day! Now that the kids are a bit more independent, we also hope to do a lot more work on the garden.
Your home has had some press attention, care to tell us about that?
Our home was featured in this year’s March/April issue of ‘House & Home’ magazine, Ireland’s bestselling interiors magazine. I was initially very unsure and nervous about having a photoshoot in our home, as I really didn’t know what to expect. However, it was a fantastic day and turned out to be a really fun and memorable experience and one that brought with it a lot of welcome exposure to my Instagram page @vintagehillcork.
Please tell us about the hashtag competition you run on Instagram, #myeclecticshack.
I host the #myeclecticshack hashtag with fellow interiors fanatic @saara_mcloughlin. We don’t generally have a specific theme and often collaborate with a prize-giver over a period of four weeks. Saara and I pick a weekly winner and then it goes to a public vote at the end of the month to decide on the overall winner and prize recipient. The hashtag has really grown over the past few months and it is very exciting to see more and more people using it.
Photo credits: All photos kindly provided by Aisling
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