Irish Examiner Sustainability Month special: Aileen Lee profiles Laury Poisson of Home Street Home
Occupation: Co-owner of Home Street Home
What’s your background?
My background is in fashion having worked in Paris, Los Angeles and New York for various designers. Most recently in Dublin, I worked for Urban Outfitters and Avoca.
I always had an interest in interior design, always trying to improve my own home by finding vintage pieces, unusual designs and creating something new from salvage pieces found on the streets, flea markets or salvage yards.
My partner, Ed Donnelly, and I set up Home Street Home in September 2016. We wanted to create a business where people could source unique, sustainable handcrafted statement pieces for their home.
What’s a typical workday like for you?
The day is filled with running the shop as well as working on new pieces; working with our suppliers or on the upkeep of our online marketing and website; and managing our deliveries. We put a huge effort into in-store merchandising — we want to keep the store interesting by changing the layout every six weeks, so we have new pieces on the floor every time a customer returns to pay a visit.
Tell us about a recent project you worked on?
The biggest challenge in working with reclaimed wood and recycled materials is finding the right material to work with. We recently found a nice batch of salvaged 16ft length joists. Primarily they were “true and dry” with no signs of rotting which can be hard to find. They also had a lovely blueish painted finish.
We reworked them back into ‘Farmhouse’ style dining table-tops and fitted them on very simple cast iron base. I like to think we got the balance just right, between sanding back but still retaining some of the blue paint finish, and in keeping with the original character of the wood.
What’s your design style?
Our style would be eclectic, if it needs to have a name, but we like to think that we have our own style. We like pieces that stand out. Practicality and longevity are also important considerations.
We like pieces that are multi-functional that can be used in different ways, as our customers’ living needs grow and change in time. We love colours and materials which remind you of nature.
What/who inspires you?
Recycling and reclaiming are our inspiration. We hate waste so much that we get very excited when we go to salvage yards and see these beautiful old doors, panels, and beams, imagining what we could create with these. It’s an inspiration to think that someone had saved these and saw a value and beauty.
Your favourite trend?
I don’t really have a favourite trend, although I do like the fact that people are more aware of sustainability and starting to really question mass production. Our customers often buy because of the story behind a piece.
What’s your most treasured possession?
We are thankful to own our own home, having been lucky enough to be able to buy when the market was lower. We did a complete rebuild and renovation ourselves, so it was a lot of blood sweat, tears and love!
Your favourite designer?
Someone who inspired me back in the late ’80s is Lamine Kouyaté who was a pioneer of recycling. He created a fashion brand called Xuly Bët made entirely out of discarded fabric from the ’60s and ’70s. He is a genius.
I like also David Hertz, an architect who built a house from Boeing 747 parts. I have a huge respect for anyone who creates new useful things from discarded items.
Your dream project?
A dream project would be to fit out an entire B&B/holiday cottage/boutique hotel-type of business where people would come back because they loved the decor.
Have you any design tips?
Don’t be afraid to mix different styles in the home. Different styles can work in harmony. See how pieces work against each other, don’t be rigid — try different arrangements, and see how pieces work together in terms of scale.
Home Street Home will be exhibiting at the Mallow Home & Garden Festival, which runs at the Cork Racecourse, Mallow, this weekend, May 24-26