Design and Decor

Woody browns and grey, stone-like whites are an ultra modern adaptation of the organic modern look (Plana wardrobe from €1,200 at LOMI)

Going modern organic will give your home a light and relaxing look

ANOTHER week, another trend. This time it’s modern organic, and before you start thinking this means ditching your poly cotton linens and upholstery for 100% organic cottons and all the ensuing ironing, wait a minute.

A stark contemporary room is softened by the warm Xsmall sofa (LOMI €2,975), while the eye is drawn downwards from the double height ceiling by a prominent canvas and tree branches with a sculptural aesthetic.

Find a harmony between old and modern objects

Mixing antique and contemporary elements is an enduring look and helps to pull together different styles in furniture and objects you have and which don’t seem to get along.

Madame Mystery, c.1780. Zwischengoldglas salt, a tasty collectable picked up while browsing in Bygone Times in Dungarvan, Co Waterford.

Vintage view: Tasty collectable

Kya deLongchamps believes browsing through smaller collectables can bring its own rewards.


Vintage View: Eames’ chairs

The achievement of an unqualified architect, Charles Eames (1907-1978) and his remarkable wife Ray (1912-1988) — the Eames’ collection holds a unique place in the history of art and design.



FOR some women it’s chocolate and shoes.

The Canada rug features clerical grey and charcoal detailing set against a white background. Flat hues of blue and teal add colour and interest (from €395 at LOMI)

Monochrome, with lighter versions of black, is an alternative to bright white and dull magnolia

I confess to having magnolia walls in my house, even though the colour has been out of fashion since its monumental popularity in the ‘80s.

Detail of mi-century Danish buffet showing the much coveted finish of solid rosewood, but is it legal?

Vintage view: Antique rosewood

Kya deLongchamps says resilient vintage or antique rosewood retains strong appeal.

This sexy little number knocks the stuffing out of upholstery. Called the Love Love, it's perfectly large enough to accommodate two sitters comfortably, surrounded by a tactile pink mohair velvet finish.

Aiveen’s art

Carol O’Callaghan meets Cork-born, Aiveen Daly whose furniture and interior design is in international demand.

Lucite handbag with carved clear top to a trunk style, probably made in Miami. Clear Lucite pieces are generally less expensive than a searing colour

Vintage View: Auction fever

Lucite handbag with carved clear top to a trunk style, probably made in Miami. Clear Lucite pieces are generally less expensive than a searing colour.

Message in a Bottle by Siobhán Steele would make a lovely wedding gift for design-conscious friends. (€36 at Cork Craft and Design Gallery, Douglas)

Buy items you love when creating a new look in your home

WE all do it when we visit a friend’s house for the first time. Our eyes rapidly scan the space to get our bearings, but also to see how their style matches our impression of their personalities and the expectations of their home we developed before arriving.

Meissen 18th century group with bronze mounts

Vintage view: Meissen 18th century group with bronze mounts

Kya deLongchamps takes a look at the very collectible and very beautiful Meissen porcelain.



Carol O’Callaghan says a new exhibition explores the relationship between craft and mathematics.

Italian brand Jesse's Frame sideboard appears to hang from the wall but is supported by finely wrought metallic legs for a contemporary finish. (€1,694 at LOMI)

Sideboards make a spectacular return

I NEVER fail to be excited by the sight of a new sideboard design. It’s the legacy of a childhood fascination with my aunt’s G-Plan version and its cutlery drawers hidden behind solid teak doors.

Keeping everything pale will give the illusion of space. Here the wall tint is carried into a dresser and skirting board, with a white compact table giving lightness and texture (paint by Dulux 10GY 58/105 €56.99 for 5ltrs at Woodies and B&Q)

Organisation goes a long way when entertaining in confined settings

ARE you an aspiring hostess yearning to entertain regularly, but trapped in a tiny space, with unfulfilled dreams of place settings for 10 and breakfast buffets for overnight guests?

Victorian glass epergne in cranberry and clear glass with trailed and pinched decoration, c.1890.

Vintage view: Victorian glass

CRANBERRY, ruby or gold ruby glass will not be ignored. You can set a single piece on a mantle, or crowd it at the back of a glazed cabinet.


It’s easier than you think to make your house immaculate

IN achieving an immaculate house we tend to focus on the kitchen and bathroom — perhaps because they have the most obvious hygiene issues and are the two rooms used by everyone in the house.

Make a style statement with the eye-catching Amanda crockery, and use the range together or with the addition of plain wares in white, red, blue or black (from approx. (€11.50 for individual pieces by Danish brand Super Living at

Wedding gifts with a difference

Carol O’Callaghan extols the gift list as the most sensible approach to present-giving in this, the nuptial season.

Stickers allow an opportunity to play with bathroom decoration. Theme a wall or create your own mural (from Dotty Frog Interiors €16.79).

Introduce the fish look to your home

A nautical theme can lift the look of any room, from textiles to shower curtains, writes Carol O’Callaghan.


Enamel kitchen ware making a comeback

Tough, durable and wistfully old fashioned Carol O’Callaghan says enamel has staged a stylish comeback.


Separate the matched look by uncoupling

LET’S explore the latest trend, one that amounts to the interiors equivalent of conscious uncoupling.

A minimal interior with neutral décor and streamlined wooden furniture can be transformed with unfussy, bright upholstery (Claire chair by Calligaris €246 from Casey's Furniture).

Get the yellow look for spring

Carol O’Callaghan says yellow is a sign of spring, but it may not always work indoors in Ireland so be careful.


Vintage View: Antiques and vintage pieces

Thinking of investing in some works? Here are some useful tips, writes Kya deLongchamps.

Organising cupboard contents and culling ornaments are huge aspects of clutter-busting. It's also an opportunity to show off the ornaments you keep in a new way. Try matching some to your décor.

Tick the boxes for your spring clean

Carol O’Callaghan approaches the annual clutter-busting with the aid of a 10-point list.

Try a modern cup and saucer style where the cups are large enough to use as mugs everyday (Stencil cups €2, teapot €12 at Dunnes Stores)

Get out your best tableware for Mother’s Day

Carol O’Callaghan proposes an alternative Mother’s Day, which usually just creates more work for hard-pressed mums.

The ultimate executive desk lamp — Fase, Madrid, Boomerang c.1970.

Vintage view: desktop lamps

Kya deLongchamps puts four leading examples of desktop lamps under the spotlight.

A very bold approach to ombré sees a strong background tone off-setting a selection of colours that are its natural companions (paints by Dulux €53.99 p/5ltr at Pat MCDonnell Paints, B&Q, Woodies, Atlantic Homecare)

Bring colour into the home with the Ombré effect

Fans of the late, great but much repeated Sex and the City will remember that amongst Carrie Bradshaw’s experimental hair dos was her attempt at the ombré effect.

Denise O'Connor creates a mood board showing a warm, Scandinavian style as part of a makeover for the event.

How to transform your house space

Does your home ache for a makeover? Is a new extension the cure for your storage problems, or is it lack of light that’s making you gloomy?

The Bubble Chair, a real 1960s trip from Eero Aarnio c1968.

Vintage view: The Bubble Chair

Take a seat and let Kya deLongchamps fill you in on iconic mid-century chairs still in production.

A compact sofa in a statement colour won't overwhelm your space if walls are neutral, and other furniture in pale woods balance out the look (Twirl sofa, €1,599 at DFS)

Brighten up wintry greys with turquoise colours

As we continue to embrace colour in our interiors, we’ve been seduced by dazzling gem-stone emerald green, sapphire blue and ruby red.

Neon meets concrete in a light-footed 50s inspired dining table, here doing duty as a working desk. Phrenology head, €61, Akemi 6-seater rectangular dining table, €485, Steuart Padwick Sticks table lamp, €237.

Work hard at getting the home office right

Outside the set dressing of a glossy magazine, inserting working space in the general body of your home is not easy.

Plain, neutral upholstery and wall colour are the perfect backdrop to ethnic-style rugs and cushions (Persisk rug, €150-€1,025; cushions, €10 at Ikea).

Ikat print, with ethnic or tribal prints are all the rage

Carol O’Callaghan is astonished to discover her lounge gear in Ikat print is this season’s hottest interior fabric.