Letterkenny interior designer has answer to ‘lockdown blues’

LETTERKENNY interior designer Anne Tuohy has taken her expertise online in a bid to inspire and distract during the coronavirus pandemic. Every afternoon Anne takes to Facebook Live to share tips on topics such as decluttering your home, creating the perfect home office and making the best of small scale living, to name but a few.

The series has gone down a storm, reaching over 20,000 people in the first week alone with viewers tuning in from all over the globe including America, Bermuda, Australia and mainland Europe. Speaking to the Donegal News Anne said she decided to start the videos as she realised many of her 7,500 Room Junkie followers were feeling isolated at home, were anxious and fearful.
“My mission is to help them create a space that will nurture and support them through these tough days, using what they currently have in their own home. I will also guide them through the planning of any future design projects that they are dreaming about. This also applies to people who have recently achieved planning permission or are preplanning. I want them to use this time to plan a sensational, functional home,” said Anne.
“The reaction to these 3pm Lives has been nothing short of unbelievable. I have received hundreds of messages from people saying that 3pm has become their favourite time of the day, that they are getting such a lift and a positive distraction, that they are being inspired to do some DIY jobs at home, that it keeps them in a good mental place. Others who have lost loved ones and who now live alone have been in touch to say thanks for creating this community which keeps them company, and so many just say that they love the videos.
“I have had healthcare workers on the front line, Mum’s with young children and people working during the day come back to me to say that they just love to sit down in the evening with a glass of wine, and watch.”
Anne’s videos, which can be replayed and viewed anytime, have provided much needed relaxation and have offered a distraction for many that see them as something to look forward to each day. Her audience is mostly female but she does have tradesmen joining in including painters, furniture manufacturers and glass makers with whom she plans to collaborate with in live guest interviews to share their individual area of expertise. The most popular themes so far have been: ‘Declutter your home and calm your mind, Creating luxury in a small Master Bedroom, Creating the perfect home office, and Making the best of small scale living.’
As we spend a lot more time at home many of us will start to think about how to make the best of small spaces especially with children running about. This becomes even more challenging if you are now trying to juggle working from home and keeping on top of school work.
Offering some advice Anne said: “Survival of multifaceted living in a small space is dependent on a few things. A ruthless declutter and reorganising of your home. Creating a specific work and schooling space which is not your kitchen table. Bringing as much natural light as possible into your home.
“I have covered all the ways to make your home support you during these challenging times, even while living in a small space, and there is so much more to come.”
Like so many people Anne, who specialises in the interior design of new builds and renovations, has found her work has changed overnight. The projects she was due to start have been postponed due to Covid 19, and all of her current new builds are now closed sites. However, she is keeping positive and this time has allowed her to focus on other areas of her work.
“This has provided us with the perfect opportunity for detailed planning for the most spectacular design results, when the country is up and running again. The success of the Facebook Lives also made me realise that my Masterclasses must now go online, and the preparation for this is keeping me very busy. I also write a weekly design article which keeps me focused, but the most significant contribution to my sanity and positive mental health has been the routine of my daily Facebook Lives. I get up, get showered, put on a dress and some makeup, and I look forward to our live interaction every bit as much as the people joining in. Every day is a surprise, there is a new topic daily, and I have no idea what questions will be asked!
“We all need routine now more than ever, coupled with some daily fresh air and exercise. These simple measures will get us through tough days, as we isolate and help save lives. So far, there have been 15 Live daily videos over the past three weeks, and my commitment is that I will continue them everyday until Covid 19 is no more. I publish a weekly topic schedule every Sunday, and I eagerly encourage people to request anything that will help them improve their home and their life. I trained as a nurse in another life, so helping people is in my DNA, and during this time while I am cocooned at home, I will happily share my knowledge and provide some interiors distraction.”

You can follow the series on the Room Junkie Facebook Page.

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