MY favourite part of Christmas decorating is laying the dining table — china and glassware that normally sits forgotten in the back of a cupboard has a seasonal renaissance with a rinse and a buff.More
As the youngest unmarried makes several elastic laps at the melting butter from a steak knife at Christmas dinner, you might wonder — what’s the point of table manners?More
Six months after staggering through college, and confused as to my future prospects, I took a working post in southern Sweden.
Nothing else can so immediately influence what is described as the ‘tone’ or ‘mood’ of a place as the layering, quantity, quality and the positioning of light.More
At this time every year I wheel out a particular gift idea — that of filling a bag with little bits and pieces for the home.
The real gift of giving is to have a big slab of fun finding the thing, and for me, that means something vintage or an affordable antique, but only if my pal has been very, very good.
YOU’RE considering a cool Christmas gift for your children — a themed bedroom inspired by their interests.More
YEARS ago, caught up in rush-hour traffic on a bus, I was thrust up against a warring young couple.
Rose Martin looks at a new book on the life’s work of the self-taught and New Zealand-born creator of the boutique hotel concept.
THE thought of weekend Christmas shopping and the prospect of a rain-sodden experience worsened by the inevitable struggle with an inside-out umbrella, makes me want to take to the sofa with the remote control and a pot of tea — and stay there.
When I was a child, my brother and I regularly came up from the country and stayed with a more ancient relative in Dublin over weekends.More
It’s all change in the colour department with traditional autumn hues jostled out of poll position by muted blues and flat greens this autumn/winter.
This week Esther N McCarthy fills her hand-made basket with some early seasonal treats.More
When it comes to a single jewel, without doubt the most famous diamond on earth is what the Court of Louis XIV dubbed Le Bijou de Roi, or ’The King’s Jewel’, which was more blandly expressed by the British in the 1830s, as the Hope Diamond.
BATTEN down the hatches and put on the kettle: the season of gloomy Sunday afternoons is upon us — when lighting the fire and watching an old film seems like the best way of dealing with dark days.
There’s a certain snug, indoorsy feel to this week’s pick from Esther N McCarthy.More
A bang of the tooth on a pearl, a sharp sniff at the Bakelite with loupe pinched to the eyeball — you can tell a seasoned collector at a fair or antique viewing by the intimate way in which they inspect a potential purchase.More
Don’t you just hate that feeling of being cold in bed and the disrupted night’s sleep that makes you sluggish and jaded next day?More
Fiann Ó Nualláin gives a Halloween countdown of the world’s top poisonous plants which may be growing in a flower bed near you.More
This week ghouls and ghosts haunt the Halloween wishes of Esther N McCarthy.More
EVERY now and then, a Viking turns up, blond wood bared for battle, in the murky depths of a second hand shop.More
Kya deLonchamps goes though the basics for perfect picture-hanging, installation and alignment skills you should know before attempting to hang a picture on a wall.More
Esther N McCarthy goes for bugs, beds and baby stuff for this week’s handful of wishes.More
It’s a curious thing that pieces so highly desired at one stage, can crash so far in just a couple of decades.More
Dare I mention the ‘C’ word in October? I’d prefer if it were banned until a week before December 25, but while I indulge in a little bah-humbug, I admit certain preparations need to take place weeks before we celebrate the high feast of retail.More
Esther N McCarthy is away with the fairies this week — and has picked up a few other bits along her way.More
Sounds as exciting as slurry... “A nacreous, iridescent material deposited on the inside of a shell”.More
The furniture and fittings on display at London Design Festival are so exquisite that it’s best to not bring too much money, unless you plan a specific purchase. Oh, and wear comfortable shoes.More
Manly knee-slaps rock the polite simmer of exchange in the living-room....“I nailed that one coming around a corner!”More
September is time for design lovers to make the annual pilgrimage to the London Design Festival to absorb the latest from creative talent worldwide.More
Fiann Ó Nualláin is on a campaign to reassert the high nutritional value of one of the world’s top five super foods — the humble potato.More
It’s Arabian nights and a bit of Scottish borders too for Esther N McCarthy this week as the first nip appears.More
IT WAS a €40 conference table in white, but something in the elegance of the executive grey trim, said quality.More
Everything must change so that everything can remain the same,” said Giuseppe di Lampedusa in his book The Leopard.More
Kya deLongchamps takes a look at stoneware faces only some brothers and fervent collectors could love.More
IN MY first years of collecting I felt a yawning cultural chasm open wide when confronted with Japanese or Chinese ceramics.More
Two months ago the timer on my kitchen lamp was set to come on at 10.45pm.More
During the clutter-clearing frenzy of the ‘90s, out went the centuries’ old staple of ladies’ boudoir furniture - the dressing table, all because we wanted streamlined, soulless, space efficient storage.More
Kya deLongchamps gives a quick run down on the precursor to the ATM — the family coffer — an item which is now an investment in itself.More
Willow pattern, with its Chinese love story playing out on bowls and plates, brings a hint of granny’s table-top style back in fashion (€82.95 for 20-piece set, from Anvil Home).More
Esther N McCarthy goes hunting for some extra-special products this week, from an over-sized homage to 1950s pop culture to a fun way to keep the children’s toys tidy.More
THERE’S a nip in the air, but can we complain when we’ve had yet another beautiful summer? We do, however, have to start thinking about battening down the hatches and what needs to be done to the house before fire-lighting season begins.More
IRISH women designers are often promoted for their essential qualities of firstly, being Irish and secondly, for being women.More
This week is back-to-school time so Esther N McCarthy has picked up a few bits— big and small —to cheer us all up.More
DECIDED to tackle my spare bedroom, which, with its dreary northern light and an accompanying chill in winter suggests it belongs to a different weather system altogether.More
Mary Reynolds caused a stir when she became Ireland’s first gold medal winner at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2002 in a category which included Britain’s Prince Charles.More
If you’re wondering about that repetitive piercing squeal audible from some distant south Dublin suburb — relax — it’s simply the nails of rain-soaked Arne Jacobsen fans clawing at the front windows of ‘Lost Weekend’ in Dun Laoghaire.More
Carol O’Callaghan talks to the duo behind this year’s Design Week hub.More
Kya deLongchamps is a bit bird-brained this week following a Finnish find.More
Want to hold a snail race in the back garden? No, it’s not an Alice in Wonderland fantasy, but a real possibility. Draw two chalk circles, one within the other.More
You can’t judge a vintage book by its cover, nor a darling old lady by her benign, moist-eyed charm.More
Carol O’Callaghan suggests going independent with colour and pattern in your interior look.More
FOR the inevitable rainy days that speckle our otherwise sunny summer, Cork Craft Month kicks off on Tuesday next and runs through to September 5 at venues throughout the city and county.More
It’s really handy to sell old furniture yourself from home or online, but beware the pitfalls. Selling through a dealer or though auction can put you at a safer remove for a small commission.More
Modern living in Ireland dictates that many of us will live in high-density urban situations, featuring balconies, terraces and communal rooftop open space. Here are some useful ways we can optimise this style of outdoor living.More