Design and Decor

Vintage view: Classic lamp

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Art that has designs on your food

PSYCHOLOGISTS say we don’t like food on a plate that points towards us, no matter how beautifully it is presented. According to new research, anything pointy — a young carrot, perhaps — should be at a 45-degree angle from the diner.

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Decluttering your house is first step to a new you

DECLUTTERING teaches people to shop selectively,” says Breda Stack, Limerick-based owner of LifeStyle Coach, a decluttering and styling company. 

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Discover bold new designs in lamps and bulbs

I HAVE a vivid recollection from childhood of making an unannounced visit with my mother to an elderly grand-aunt, and her fluster at having visitors when she had just taken down her ceiling light shades for the annual wash, leaving the light bulbs exposed.

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Dark botanical patterns are all the fashion

IT’S THE season of florals as bright yellow gorse and forsythia are starting to give way to the pink of cherry blossoms with their short burst of happiness. 

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Wedding gift lists benefit both giver and receiver

EVERY season is wedding season nowadays, but there’s something about spring and summer — probably the slightly better chance of good weather — that sees the invitations drop like confetti through the letterbox.

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Designist, a toy shop for grown-ups

WHAT little girl doesn’t love to play shop? For me it was a favourite game after Christmas to set up my store with empty chocolate boxes and biscuit tins, and left over wrapping paper.

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Cork artist Daniel MacDonald’s hunger for truth

The 19th century Cork artist, Daniel MacDonald, was the only painter brave enough to paint the Famine as it was happening, and Professor Niamh O’Sullivan is appealing to people in the Cork area to scour their attics for his valuable work.

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Holy Trinity Church, an ornament to Cork City

Tom Spalding reviews a new book on Holy Trinity Church and the discovery of its Harry Clarke window.

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Vintage view: Formica

Lovable old Formica is as versatile as ever, writes Kya de Longchmaps.

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Migration vessel by master glass maker Karl Harron

The best of Irish design at Side by Side exhibition in Kilkenny

EVERY two years the Design and Craft Council of Ireland, in consultation with an advisory panel drawn from the design world, compiles a publication called PORTFOLIO: Critical Selection in which they feature Irish designers and craft makers they deem to have made the most significant impact internationally in the previous 24 months.

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Spellbound by Galway-based candlemaker Maggie Mangan

HOW does a Canadian–born film executive who has worked on some very famous films, including the Harry Potter series, end up making award-winning home fragrances and perfumes in Galway?

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Decluttering is not just about a tidy house

SINCE the recession, the number of home-interior books being published has fallen dramatically, but a new crop this spring is offering practical advice on perennial topics and have utterly stylish photography to inspire you.

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Virtually Bidding - live online auctions

Kya de Longchamps looks at virtual bidding and live online auctions.

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Create an interior look which reflects your personality

Carol O’Callaghan says take a confident approach to styling this season.

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Vintage view: horses in art

Kya deLongchamps nags us to take a closer look at the place of horses in art yesterday and today.

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Bring your walls to life with a vertical garden

HAVE you ever heard of an urban ruralist? 

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Vintage view: Women and retail

Kya deLongchamps takes a stroll through the intimate history of women and retail.

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Fresh Talent exhibition showcasing a wealth of talent

THE design exhibition Fresh Talent is taking place at the National Craft Gallery in Kilkenny, bringing together recent graduates from third-level design colleges with designers who have been working for a few years.

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A jug decanter in John Singer Sargent's "A Dinner Table at Night" —c.1884.

Vintage view: Wine decanters

WINE decanters of the 18th and 19th century have a fascinating history rooted in the feasts of ancient empire and the re-energising skill of Venetian glass makers of the Renaissance.

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A totally redone, inside-out job in Sunday’s Well house

New owners of elevated Sunday’s Well house opened it up within, instead of extending, says Tommy Barker.

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Room to improve: a new beginning for an old building

Kya deLongchamps says conforming to the original design does not always work. But a radical design departure can complement the existing structure.

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Ercol Studio Couch in Cummersdale Archive Print, Silver. John Lewis, €3,718.

Vintage view: Ercol furniture range

Ergo — it’s Ercol. Kya de Lonchamps on the steadfast British brand    

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Use objects together when house styling

Those of us who love playing house live somewhere on the “acquired accessory” spectrum — at one extreme we’re trying to cull objects from our collection — and at the other we’re looking for ways of displaying an ever-growing collection. 

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Hitler takes interest in a demonstration model of the Peoples Car, April 1938. Ferdinand Porsche is to the left with the moustache.

Vintage view: Ferdinand Porsche’s VW Beetle

 

Kya deLongchamps examines the troubled and troubling past of Ferdinand Porsche’s VW Beetle (1938-2003).

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Meet colour trend predictor, Leatrice Eiseman

WE interior enthusiasts know that the colour of the year is Marsala, says Carol O’Callaghan.

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Charles Rennie Mackintosh, a design genius who distilled Scottish vernacular with Art Nouveau.

Vintage view: Works of Charles Rennie Mackintosh

 

Kya deLongchamps marvels at the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the famous Scottish designer.  

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Making waves with furniture designer and maker John Lee

The first time I met furniture designer John Lee was some years ago when I was prowling around London’s 100% Design show, says Carol O’Callaghan.

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Wishlist: Valentine’s Day pressies

It’s all about the look of love this week with Esther N McCarthy’s pick of Valentine’s Day pressies.

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Vintage view: How to identify real elephant Ivory

 

Kya deLongchamps advises on how to identify real ivory, and when to avoid it like the plague.

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Wishlist: Knopparp sofa from Ikea

Bright bursts of colour figure strongly in Esther N McCarthy’s cheerful choices.

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An Irish dresser— "in the paint" — its original state. Set against the whitewashed wall of an Irish cottage, the look is a tourism staple but is also highly evocative for natives too.

Vintage View: Advise on buying once and buying right

We’ve all done it — tenderly taken in some injured old thing with a venerable past, only to see it pass away before our eyes. 

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Meet Eleanor Harpur, the woman behind Ireland’s craft showcase

Last weekend was one of the biggest for Irish crafted design when Showcase — Ireland’s Creative Expo took place at Dublin’s RDS with over 450 exhibitors.

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Tony Bennett and dog Duke

Vintage view: History Channel’s Down East Dickering

Kya deLongchamps takes a look at the quirkier end of collecting shows on the TV — programmes like the History Channel’s Down East Dickering.

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Be creative and hang striped rugs or throws to make wall art. This collage is by Australian company Cranmore Home but you can try it with your own selection of textiles.

Stripes get star billing on the catwalks

 

Stripes give a lift where décor is washed out says Carol O’Callaghan.

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De-clutter to free up much-needed storage space

Every house has its weak spot, that place where the odds and ends of domestic life gather, says Carol O’Callaghan.

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Vintage view: Collectible 20th century plastics

A chemical wonder at the time of its creation, Bakelite has a devoted following, writes Kya deLongchamps.

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Practicality is key when choosing upholstery

Has your cat wrecked your sofa? Or your dog chewed up your cushions? 

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The facts of the Home Renovation Incentive scheme

The Home Renovation Incentive scheme or HRI was introduced by the Government in October 2013 as a way of stimulating activity in the construction sector. 

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Vintage view: Clever uses for antique and vintage buys

It’s the spring season yet again, and if you’re doing up a dump and sick to death of trawling the high street glamour hangars — rejoice.

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Vintage view

The pinch-faced war regarding the copying of mid-century design by modern manufacturers in continental Europe and the Far East rages on — a lucrative trade that apart from statutory moves in the US and UK, remains largely unchallenged.

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Simply the best

IT’S that time of year when the annual RIAI review is published and although it feels like a familiar annual event, (it arrives at Christmas), the 150-page, fully illustrated booklet, the Review, has been in print only since 2010 — ironic really that it coincided with the lowest point in our slough of despond, but also marked the moment of recovery, perhaps.

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Pink Please

BY the end of the month we’ll start to see a stretch in daylight, and although still in the clutch of winter, that light will show up paintwork yellowed by open fires, and black patches on walls above radiators.

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Trends and themes for the happy new home

Kya deLongchamps reveals the top interior looks for the coming year, from boutique bathroom fittings to warm copper colours and bold graphic prints.

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