Small Town Stars – Life At Number Ten.

Hi guy’s, I’m taking a different approach with my blog post this month. This is something that I’ve wanted to do for a while now but I didn’t quite know what direction to take until recently. You see I’m a proud New Ross girl, I always have been but I’ve experienced negativity because I live in a small town. You know those judgy people that think you’re a nobody and you don’t know much because you’re not living abroad or a city slicker? Like, ‘why would young people want to stay in a small town?!?’ This is a minority but I’m sad to say I have experienced discrimination in this way and it irks me to the bone. Now, getting to the point. I’m a creative person at heart. I love art, fashion & interiors and I find inspiration everywhere. I tend to be drawn to creative people all over the world but I’m proud to say that some of them live right here in New Ross or are at least from New Ross but are living abroad, but like me, are proud Rossonians just doing their thing. I admire all of these guy’s so much and I want to tell you all about them incase you haven’t heard of them already) and to share with you an insight into their lives and what they do. I’m so thrilled that they’ve agreed to answer my questions. First up this week we’re talking all things home and interiors with the lovely Alison Osborn. Alison has created quite a following for herself on Instagram. Her account Life at Number Tenhas amassed thousands of followers from home lovers around the world that appreciate the simple things in life. Alison never fails to keep us interested in her daily offerings of behind the scenes life in her beautifully renovated Georgian home, that I’m sure was far from simple to create. She, along with her husband, daughters and animal friends are quite content living in a small town and being famous on social media hasn’t changed a thing for her (yet). Scrolling through her images you won’t find Alison herself (apart from a wedding photo). No, Alison likes to stay behind the camera and draw us in with her heartfelt captions and gorgeous décor. I promise you, you won’t be disappointed. Here’s our interview on how Alison created Life at Number Ten : Describe your home and it’s style. I think my style essentially is vintage but only a certain type of vintage, I don’t like retro or granny chic. I love country cottage style and English country home style, I love floral fabrics and cushions and I definitely think it’s the “bits and pieces” you add to your home that make it what it is. I have no problem saving to buy an expensive cushion but I also have no problem buying from my local second hand shop, my home is a mix and match of old and new and I think they marry well together. Every single room in our home has second hand items in it and I love thinking about their history and who had them before us. For example I’m often sat at our vintage kitchen table set with vintage plates and cutlery and I wonder who sat here before us, who held these pieces, what was their story. For me that is wonderful and it’s where the character and style in a house comes from rather than just buying new. When did the idea for creating your interior style come about? I think the house really dictated how it was decorated. It dates back to the 1800’s so it is very much Georgian style, so I spent ages googling Georgian style and colour schemes. Luckily I love Downton Abbey and films like Pride and Prejudice so I got so many ideas from them. In a way it was a good thing that it was in really bad shape as it was a blank canvas as such, but I remember walking down the overgrown wobbly path to it for the first time and thinking WOW, this house needs love and we were the best people to love it! I knew the second reception room was going to be a room with no television, I’ve always been a reader and love being able to curl up there with a book. The kitchen I just wanted a basic, homely kitchen with a table in the middle. Did you always have a plan of buying and renovating an existing property?When we sold our previous home we didn’t really have a plan, before here we’ve had 2 previous homes, one old and one new, I think we knew we were leaning towards an older house in an established part of town, I love the community spirit on the streets in New Ross. I grew up on a street and still love how everyone helps each other and looks out for each other and I felt that was lacking in our last area so in my heart I knew I wanted to return to that. When the auctioneer rang to say come look at this house I already had my heart set on another house in town so I reluctantly said ok we will go have a look, but I wasn’t holding out much hope! Boy am I glad we did! You nor your husband are interior designers, so when did your love of interiors evolve? I think I’ve always loved making things nice and pretty. I never had to be told as a child to tidy my room, I loved keeping it clean and tidy and moved things around until I was happy with how they looked. My mother always kept a nice home, always homely, always comforting and always somewhere you looked forward to returning to, so I suppose my love of interiors started at home as a child. What’s your favourite room in the house and why? Oh gosh this is a kind of difficult one because I genuinely love every room! There is things I still want to do with every room but essentially now I’m happy with how they look and feel. I suppose it depends on what I’m doing and the time of year! On a cold winters Sunday afternoon I love nothing more than sitting with a book and a glass of wine beside a crackling fire in the library but on a Summers morning I love sitting in the kitchen with a coffee with the back door open listening to the birds and the sun coming up. I’m blessed to be able to move from one nice room to another. Where do you source your furniture and accessories? Lately most of our big purchases have been second hand, either on eBay, Done Deal or local antique shops. As I’ve got older I’m more patient about waiting to find the right piece rather than just going buying something new. Cost has also come into it, why buy brand new for a large amount when I can wait and get something better for a fraction of the price?! I’m currently on the lookout for an armchair for the library, Im scouring the local charity shop weekly! When it comes to accessories, I’ll splash out! Cushions and fabrics are a big thing for me. I’m currently saving for 2 bolster cushions for the sitting room, by the time I’ve paid for postage on these and had them handmade it will be the bones of 200 quid. Yes that’s a lot of money but I work damn hard for it. I don’t go out too often, I’m not too bothered with fashion, this is my vice, buying nice things for the house and once all the bills and things are paid I feel justified in saving for something that makes me happy and I know they will be something I’ll have for ever more, so I don’t allow myself to feel guilty about it! Do you upcycle?  Not really! While I feel I’m creative in my ideas and I think I know what looks right and where, I’m useless at painting and stuff I’ll have the idea but won’t know how to put it into place. My husband is very good at upcycling and we have done a couple of small things but we just don’t have the time unfortunately. Where do you get your inspiration from? I suppose early on it was home magazines, I’d buy them all and look forward to sitting down in the evening with a cuppa reading through them but then I found Instagram and boy that was inspiration on a whole new level. I mostly follow home interiors accounts and I could scroll for hours through some pages! What do you love about living in New Ross? I just love New Ross. I’m so proud to say I’m from here, the spirit and character of ‘Ross people is amazing. Genuine, decent good people who look out for each other and care for each other. I love walking across town and being able to stop and chat to almost everyone I meet. Everyone says hello, we grew up together, our children are now growing up together, I love that! I’m excited for the future of our town, the greenway, the new river walk is fabulous and the bypass I actually think is going to be great for the town. The pretty little streets, the nice little shops. It’s my dream to one day open a cute little home interiors shop on South St. When did you start your Instagram account and did you ever imagine it becoming so popular?I started to think about it 3 years ago, I had got fed up with Facebook, found it very negative. I’m not even sure how I came across Instagram. It wasn’t as popular then as it is now, hardly anyone I knew was on it. I wasn’t really sure how it worked either but as I followed more and more people it started to click. I remember following one particular woman from Scotland who’s home was just so beautiful and homely, I could of looked at her posts all day and that is how I was inspired to document and photograph my life and home here. As I answered before my dream is to own an interiors shop, so I see my page as a great online platform to start me off. In the last few weeks I’ve had a few brands approach me about collaborating, one is a well known Irish brand and I’m very excited about that, it will be in late August and it’s going to be my first proper collaboration so I hope I do it justice. It’s definitely the right time to try go the next level with my account so hopefully watch this space. Finally, Is Number 10 your forever home? No! It’s our third home and we love it but I can honestly only see us here for another few years. Our girls are growing up and will soon be doing their own thing, it’s a big enough house and as a person obsessive (in a good way!) about a clean and tidy home it’s hard work to keep it that way! Our retirement dream is a cottage by the sea, with a small bit of land for a donkey and to grow our own veg, I can see it clearly in my mind, it will be hard to say goodbye to this house though! Thanks so much to Alison for taking part and kicking off my Small Town Stars series. I hope you guy’s enjoyed it! Keep and eye out for my second creative soul interview. Aileen x p.s I want you all to read it here first. When Number Ten is put on the market, IT’S MINE. 😉

5 thoughts on “Small Town Stars – Life At Number Ten.

  1. I did enjoy that Aileen, not least the photos of Alison’s beautiful home. Looking forward to the next in this series …Hugs..xxx

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  2. What a lovely article! And such a brilliant idea! Our small towns here in Ireland have really had a hard time in the last ten years but we need to rejoice in our communities and support them as best we can. F

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  3. Loved your new approach Aileen, I’m from a large village/town and I love home to bits as well. Alison your home is beautiful and perfectly put together. It looks so homely. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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