INTERIORS: Northern Ireland woman Kerry Devlin’s cool and quirky home

Kerry Devlin’s unique Belfast home recently featured on RTE’S Home of the Year. She chats to Helen McGurk

By Helen McGurk
Friday, 8th April 2022, 10:56 am
Updated Friday, 8th April 2022, 11:09 am
The living room has a mid century vibe
The living room has a mid century vibe

Kerry Devlin’s favourite room in her gorgeous home on a hill is her living room, and it’s easy to see why, as floor-to ceiling windows provide a picture-perfect view over Belfast.

“The living room has a pitched roof that has tongue and groove cladding giving it a mid century modern feel,” said Kerry.

“It is a bright, comfortable room. It also houses our large music collection so is perfect for either watching TV in or listening to music. Music is also a recurring theme throughout our home too.”

Kerry Devlin loves to mix vintage, modern, preloved and new

Kerry, 48, is a learning support teacher and lives with her husband and 11-year-old twin boys. Their home, which they have lived in for five years, was built by the previous owners in 1985.

“It was originally a bungalow but we have recently converted the basement into a downstairs room.”

Kerry (Instagram @blonde_at_home) recently took part in RTE’s Home of the Year and appeared on Episode 6, with the judges bowled over by her fresh approach to interior design.

“It was a great experience and one that I am very proud to have taken part in,” said Kerry, who describes her style as “quite eclectic”.

Not a run-of-the-mill kitchen

“I love vintage pieces and am always drawn to the mid century modern style and Scandi interiors. Our home is a mixture of vintage, modern, preloved and new. If I love something I’ll make it work in the space I have.

“I am a fan of colour and pattern but equally love including black into a colour scheme, to ground and enhance the other colours. I tend to choose styles, colours and pieces that reflect us and our style more, rather than something than is on trend. I want the furniture and pieces that we choose to be here for a while with us! Having classic vintage pieces alongside quirkier pieces such as a swan tap gives our home plenty of personality.”

Kerry love of interior design stretches back to her school days.

“I studied art at school and for GCES one of my projects was redecorating my bedroom, for which I designed and made a tie-dyed purple patchwork quilt, upcycled and painted second hand furniture and painted a mural of flowers on the ceiling. This love of designing has stayed with me ever since.”

The Snug with Kerry's favourite piece the reupholstered green sofa with rattan arms

And she loves nothing more than upcycling a piece of furniture.

“It’s such a budget friendly way of creating a very individual look. We have also inherited lots of pieces of furniture as well. I shop anywhere and everywhere. I love picking up bargains on Facebook Marketplace, Ebay or charity shops. I also love a sale bargain! TK Maxx can also be great for one off items and cushions, that are a bit different. La Redoute, Oliver Bonas and Sostrene Grene always have beautiful pieces that I buy as well. I also love collecting pieces from our travels.”

Kerry believes it is possible to have good design on a tight budget and said using paint is an economical way of creating an individual home.

“If you have a cushion or piece of art that you love, you can base a room around this, using different painting techniques such as colour blocking. I also love wallpaper and it is something that features in most of the rooms. I love how it instantly gives a space more character and colour. As I do all the painting, wallpapering and decorating it means that we can invest our money in other areas. Searching charity shops and Marketplace you can find some great bargains, that can add real character to your home.”

The garden has had a makeover too

Kerry’s home is packed full of interesting pieces and quirky objects, but the ones she loves most are those inherited from family and grandparents over the years, which hold “real sentimental value”.

“My favourite piece of furniture is a vintage sofa with rattan arms that I got recovered in green velvet, that is used in ‘The Snug.’”

So what’s next for @blonde_at_home?

“The next big job in our home is replacing our 1980s bathroom. As a temporary measure until we have saved for this next project, I decided to gold leaf the panel of our corner 80s Jacuzzi bath and added a retro patterned wallpaper. This at least has put our stamp on the room until we are ready to create our mid century bathroom of dreams.”