Design and Decor

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.

For those who love to spend time on the road, try the Camper Van clock (from €41.41).

How to use the wall clock, to good effect

When there’s a clock to be hung most of us will simply gather a hammer and nail together, find a central spot in the room and apply hammer to nail firmly.


Wish list: Vintage butterflies

Vintage butterflies, teal trends, lighthouse oils and enchanted cakes, Esther N McCarthy rounds up this week’s ones to watch.

Furniture doesn't have to be eclectic to work with rough luxe. Comfort, softness and contrast work equally well (two-seater sofa from €935, chair from €615 at Casey's Furniture).

The key to the rough luxe look is balance

Sledgehammers to the ready, please, as we hack our way into the rough luxe look.

Vintage rhinestone brooches here used to embellish a wedding bouquet, a popular choice in the United States.

Vintage view: Costume jewellery

Kya deLongchamps channels her inner starlet and finds much to admire in costume jewellery.


Vintage view: Six Tips to avoid a Vintage Lemon

WE all want to thrill at finding something highly desirable, but running after the extra satisfaction of a once-in-a lifetime price on an antique or vintage item can easily cloud our judgement.


Just tint it

ALL of those clear crystal glasses we insisted were necessary to show the glossy red of our glass of claret, or the grassy tints of a pinot grigio, are having to share table space with the new vogue for tints.

Moody walls can be in a good mood too with lighter colours that maintain the all-important flat tone (€53.99 for 5 ltrs of Dulux 16BG 29/350 at Woodies DIY and Atlantic Homecare).

Dark colour walls used in the right setting are elegant and stylish

So, the latest thing is the moody wall, but what’s that when it’s at home, eh?

Delphis, orange vase and spear shaped tray c1963. €40-€60 for small period examples.

Vintage view: Poole Pottery

Kya deLongchamps on the impact Poole Pottery has had on popular interiors.

Fauteuil aux Dragons c.1919, designed by Eileen Gray and owned by Yves Saint Laurent, sold for €21.9m at auction by Christie's in Paris in 2011.

Vintage view: Chairs and sofas

Kya deLongchamps says that despite the artistic merit of chairs, their first function is comfort.

It's easy to go to extremes with simple, streamlined furnture and end up with the stark minimal look of the Noughties. Try introducing florals to soften and brighten everything up (rug from €95 at Casey's Furniture).

Opt for simplicity when choosing furniture

Opting for a simple look in furniture does not mean everything has to be about sharp angles, writes Carol O’Callaghan.

Neutral decor means the combination of glazed textiles and metal effect furniture aren't over-the-top (Lucette Oyster bedlinen by Kyle at Hickey's Home Focus, €70).

The new trend is all about glitzy glam interiors

Carol O’Callaghan sets out to challenge the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles — but minimally, of course

Bisque-headed German porcelain doll c.1900, maker unknown. Dolls are classified by the material from which the head is made.

Vintage view: antique dolls

Kya deLongchamps overcomes her loathing of dolls to admit the collector value of even relatively modern models.

Silver plate can take a rub, but treat good silver very gently and clean on a padded surface with a butter-soft, old tea towel.

Vintage view: Looking after the family silver (and copper, and brass...)

Kya deLongchamps says there is a difference betweena cleaning and a determined polish

Jean Paul Gaultier's love of tartan sees it applied to furniture that will stand out in a minimal space (available in a choice of four colourways from €4,640 at Roche Bobois)

Tarting up your home with ... tartan

Carol O’Callaghan looks at how tartan can transcend the catwalk to create a fun and inspiring look at home

Candle holders are always welcome gifts at Christmas, especially designs that can be used at other times of the year. Try a touch of timeless Swedish design with the Lene Bjerre candle holders (€29) and tree pot (€28) from Boulevard Interiors.

Here are some practical tips for buying affordable gifts

Don’t panic — you have this weekend and next to secure presents, tokens of appreciation, stocking stuffers and gifts to take to friends’ houses.


Picking the right table

FOR anyone who loathes cooking, rustling up Christmas dinner is a particularly low point in the year, accompanied by high stress levels.

The Book Rest lamp is a witty little gift or a welcoming accessory in a guest bedroom (€60 at Designist)

Gifts for all this Christmas

Carol O’Callaghan has some great buying ideas for those who may be stuck for inspiration at this time of year.

Pretty vintage oddments make a set. Foley China from 1900 meets a Branksome 50s side-plate. Anideal trio for a small boxed gift.

Vintage View: Pretty vintage oddments

Kya deLongchamps says vintage gifts, such as Roman coins, will go down a treat this year.