Andrea Horan , the founder of Tropical Popical, has a serious eye when it comes to punchy colours and kitschy-cool interiors. She has filled her red-brick abode in Portobello, Dublin with a slew of hard-to-find vintage treasures, neon brights and prints galore – creating a dazzling display of originality mixed with a good dose of fun.
Using the same design aesthetic she applied to her incredibly hip nail bar, Andrea has painted oversized polka dots into walls, blue stripes on ceilings and lashed heaps of neon pink …everywhere and in doing so has created an eclectic, original and well, SAVAGE home that is 100% tropical.
A&TB: What’s your design mantra?
Andrea: I always think it’s a great idea to come up with the story for a room before you start adding anything in to it. This means you end up with a cohesive theme once it’s done. In the past I didn’t do this and just ended up with loads of random (but gorge) things bunged in a room. Now I create my theme before I go near the room. For example – the theme for the sitting room is tropical safari. I see a straw cabin in a palm tree forest with a roof fan inside and loads of bamboo furniture, and that translated to me only putting green, white or gold in the room and trying to source bamboo and palm tree elements.
Lush yucca plants, palm-leaf wallpaper and golden accessories give the living room that ‘Island-life’ favour.
A&TB: Where is your favourite spot in the house and why?
Andrea: My bed. For all the obvious reasons but most of all I’m really lazy and could laze in these for hours, nee days! When I was figuring out what to do for the bedroom I was conscious of my obsession with busyness when it comes to decor. I wanted to make my bedroom the complete opposite of this and go for something plain. Obviously, the word plain brings me out in a rash so instead I was inspired by Maser and his polka dot wall that he did for his Homebird launch. The wall was an off white colour so I figured if I painted white polka dots it was the perfect compromise for my pattern loving self whilst still retaining the calm I was craving.
Andrea enlisted the help of her sister for painting the large polka dots on her bedroom wall.
A&TB: Who currently has your dream home (it could be your own)?
Andrea: Anna Dello Russo. She’s soo over the top and I love it. I don’t understand or see the point in minimalism. I can’t even appreciate it. I want excess and she nails it. I also think she’s an absolute gas bitch.
I also love Cindy Gallop’s apartment. It’s a great party house and although I’m past all that most of the time, sometimes I do like to let my hair down.
A&TB: Favourite Designer?
Andrea: I don’t really follow any interior designers tbh. But I adore every single thing aesthetically that Dolce & Gabbana turn out. I wish I could just live in the life they create in their ads. They’re the best marketeers in my opinion cos they just make me want to buy into the life they create. So I bought one of their bags.
A&TB: What’s your favourite piece in the house and why?
Andrea: My boat bar. It’s a good social centre when there’s people over and it’s so kitsch, it’s almost too much. But not quite. It’s never too much!!
Andrea Horan of Tropical Popical
- Andrea’s commitment to a theme – what could be more nautical than a boat bar and Ursula – the Sea Witch under a bell jar?
- Her exacting attention to detail.
- Russo, Andrea’s gorgeous dog.
- Andrea’s conviction in going her own way – she did not compromise and in doing so has created a house that is cool, kitsch and unequivocally ‘her’.
We’d like to say a HUGE thanks to Andrea for letting us poke around her amazing gaff. For more on Tropical Popical click here