Oct 08, 2018, Inspiration

Guest Blogger – Orla Kelly

Now that showering has become an experience, so too must the surroundings of your shower room. Inspired by the elegant lines of MERLYN Black, Guest Blogger Orla Kelly chooses to give a bathroom the Parisien feel.

Be Inspired with the New MERLYN Black

By Guest blogger Orla Kelly


It is time for some luxury in the bathroom. Now showering has become an experience, so too must the surroundings of the shower room. Inspired by the elegant lines of the MERLYN Black, I’ve chosen to make the bathroom look more like a living room, filled with beautiful objects inspired by Paris.

Any of the Parisien apartments I have been in always treat their bathroom with the kind of respect we would give to a formal dining room. I love this approach, it’s bold and eclectic, elevating the bathroom to it’s true status of a place to luxuriate, dream and be inspired for the day ahead.

In true Parisien style they borrow from many cultures and embrace daring colours and patterns. All these different styles will be mixed resulting in beguiling charm. There will be actual pieces of furniture rather than just cabinets hidden behind mirrors. Walls will be paneled and painted instead of just tiled. Lush fabrics will adorn armchairs and decorative ceramics will add a bold graphic element to the walls. Think quirky five-star hotel.

MERLYN Black Parisian Inspiration Bathroom

The MERLYN Black is singular in it’s “blackness” so instead of contrasting it with brighter colours, I decided to go for a palette of dark hues to create a broody, sophisticated, elegant look that incorporates the shower as part of the overall design.

MERLYN Black Sliding Door With Side Panel

Paneled walls immediately transport one from bathroom to country house hotel, this gives the showering experience an extra air of escapism.The dark paneling also makes the MERLYN Black look like a part of the architecture of the room, it becomes an integral part of the design.

Farrowandball.com “Railings No.31”

Often bathrooms look vaguely unfurnished so this beautiful French Sassy Boo chest lends a cinematic feeling to the room, the open leg and alluring curves also add to the design without looking bulky in the space. I always like to choose an antique piece in any interior, it allows the modern design of MERLYN to look more contemporary by contrast. Curves are always needed in a bathroom, so it doesn’t end up looking too geometric. The curves of the chest, pouffe and ceramic jug all add to creating this juxtaposition.

Sassy Boo Chest – thefrenchbedroomcompany.com

Showering is no longer the rushed affair it once was and a bathroom space should encourage one to luxuriate and take time to relax. I like an armchair in a bathroom, preferably with some exotic pattern or colour on the fabric. In place of this an elegant pouffe will add the desired luxury without taking up too much space.

Aurimont pouffe – manuelcanovas.com

Upholstery and fabrics are an essential part of sound absorption in a bathroom and they create a sense of luxury. Gone are the clinical roller blinds and all good bathrooms now require a curtain, again with plenty of character. I love this cheeky classic from Gaston Y Daniella. It is inspired by ancient Roman tiles but it cleverly prints the design on fabric not ceramic in a Trompe L’oeil style, making the bathroom private for your shower can now increase it’s elegance too.

gastonydaniela.com – Trastevere fabric in blue/grey

Lighting can often bring down the tone of a glorious bathroom. These Mashiko art deco bronze wall lights from Astro work well with the pannelling but also give a very good soft light which is not shockingly bright like some bathrooms. This is a space for relaxing after all, not interrogation.

lightplan.ie – Mashiko Bronze Wall LIght by Astro

Final touches, no Parisien apartment would be complete without some art, sculpture or the occasional palm tree. As bathrooms can be damp environments for paintings I usually choose ceramics instead. It’s not just the finish but I like the bold graphic lines and colours too. A current favourite of mine is Andrew Ludick from Kilkenny. The profile of his ceramic pieces are wonderfully quirky but the addition of the black and white stripe on this piece really animates the silhouette of MERLYN Black. There is even the ironic quote of the jug and ewer from bathrooms of old.

andrewludick.com – Black Striped Jug

Starting with the MERLYN Black, now is the time to elevate your bathroom, embrace the Black, dare to be dark, run with the patterns, mix the styles and make the mood. It’s all about escape – free your mind.




Guest Blogger – Orla Kelly 

Orla Kelly is an interior designer based in Kilkenny, South East Ireland. After studying Architecture, Orla Kelly began her career in Milan where she learnt Trompe L’oeil techniques, using traditional and modern methods. She worked on the Versaces Apartment in Rome, Fila Family Home in Bergamo and Central Park in New York. On her return to Ireland she did stenciled and printed oilcloth floors for the National Museum and many private and public clients. She was also the interiors and DIY expert on Our House on RTE television with Duncan Stewart.