Spring is just around the corner and Esther N McCarthy is here to show you the way to bright and cheerful buys for the home — at all price points.
* There’s still enough of a chill in the air to be thinking about creature comforts. If you want to put a little hearth in your home, have a look at this beauty. It’s a 1930’s refurbished antique two-tone porcupine stove priced at €1800. They do have other models available if, y’know, porcupine isn’t your thing. Available from The Old Mill Stores, Leap, Co Cork. www.theoldmillstores.ie
* Mark Hand is based in Galway and specialises in bespoke kitchens and occasional furniture like this beautiful kitchen island, it’s hand-painted oak with a quartz surface, if you don’t mind. Mark’s designs are completely bespoke, so if you can dream it, he can make it. They are constructed and finished by hand, entirely in solid wood, using traditional methods. His website is under construction at the moment, so find him on Facebook or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
* Hard at work down West Cork direction, on the shores of Dunmanus Bay, are the master smiths of Cronin’s Forge. They’re turning out a stunning array of hand-made decorative and practical wrought-iron products. The business was started by Kevin Cronin and his wife Carmel, and the forge is now run by Carmel and her son Brian, a fourth generation blacksmith. I love this contemporary fire log holder, €150. www.croninsforge.ie
* Penney’s have really upped their game in the homewares department. Check out these beauties — I’m loving the blue tones for this time of year — and I’m loving the prices, to be fair. The table runner is €6, tea towels, €1.50,and the cup is €3.
* If you’re like me and got into the whole candle vibe at Christmas time, and you’re not ready to give it up, this funky candelabra will see you through to spring. It’s from the Butterfly collection by Matthew Williamson, available at Debenhams, €34.50
* Ulster Weavers are getting all creative for 2/16 with the introduction of Craft Designs — Cut & Sew tea towels. Featuring three adorable animals: Percy Pug, (pictured here), Charlie Cat and Oliver Owl — you get the scissors out and cut the template from the tea towel and stitch together to create a soft toy— sew clever! The complete collection is available from February 1 at www.ulsterweavers.com Prices from €8.78 to €25.
* After reading about the benefits of house plants, I’ve gone all out — spider plants, aloe vera, Christmas cactus, and orchids all over the gaff. Watering them is a gamble — too much, too little, from the top, from the bottom, a light mist is more preferable to some... it’s a learning curve. I do love this pretty pink flamingo watering can, it would add a little pizzazz to proceedings. €8.95, www.dotcomgiftshop.com
* It’s the end of January, lads, we’re allowed buy chocolate again. Those resolutions are old hat by now. Store the contraband in this adorable camera storage tin and feel no guilt. €14 from Harvey Norman.
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