IN THE age of online shopping there’s a certain novelty in walking into a bricks and mortar shop for a browse and getting a personal service from the very people who chose the products for sale.
What about stepping beyond shopping centres and going off road for a forage among specialist shops in the suburbs and country towns?
Owned and staffed by lovers of good design, they’re constantly on the lookout for what’s new and what’s timeless.
Objekt, owned and run by Aoife Hayes.
: Newcastle West, Co Limerick, in the shadow of the medieval Desmond Hall,
Aoife sells European contemporary furniture and accessories, from sofas to bottle stoppers.
Kabuci woven suspension lights by Kartell.
“For autumn and winter, interiors are offering up some quite distinct new trends,” says Aoife. “There is a definite focus on warm metals, and the mixing up of fabrics and material is on the rise. Texture is going to be very important, so think cork tables, woven lighting and check upholstery.
“Escapism is the new vibe that gets away from technology, so think relaxed furniture, deep sofas and rounded finishes. For colour, warm blush pink finishes are super on-trend.
“Terracotta and rust will replace cool white tones, and add character and warmth again.”
April and the Bear, run by Siobhan Lam.
Temple Bar, Dublin.
An eclectic and alternative vibe in home wares, occasional furniture, art prints and even things like drawer handles.
Inky blue plates, bowls and mugs, from €23, and copper cutlery sets which include a knife, a fork, a tea spoon and tablespoon for €25.
“I’m excited about embracing richer colour schemes this autumn and winter,” says Siobhan.
“Midnight blues and sludgy indigos in particular and deep blue adds instant drama to a home, especially when combined with rich metallics like brass or copper.
“We’ve bought into some beautiful blue ceramic lamps, atmospheric navy art and the most intensely gorgeous inky dishes.”
Interiosity, run by Caroline Breen and Nicole McGee.
St Patrick’s Woollen Mills, Douglas, Cork.
A touch of French élan in everything from furniture, table wares and accessories, to cushions, throws and room fragrances.
A pretty pink moulded armchair made with an aluminium frame and solid wood legs, which can be styled with an on-trend lamb’s fur seat pad. It’s available in other colours too if pink isn’t your thing (€240.)
“Blush pink is creeping softly into interiors,” says Caroline, “but green is the colour for winter, and deep teals.
“Rich warm forest green with colder blue and warm yellow in various amounts. Green also works well with tan leather so it’s very versatile. Match it up with brass and gold to enhance the depth of colour.
“Velvet is warm and inviting for winter, yet very luxurious, and works well with natural and reclaimed wood to make it less formal and more homely.
“Metal studding on furniture and brass and gold are making a comeback to warm things up.”
Irish Design Shop.
Drury’s Lane, Dublin, run by Laura Caffrey and Claire Grennan.
Household wares, accessories and textiles, designed and crafted in Ireland by established and emerging makers.
Rosemary Durr’s stackable wares which include coffee cups, espresso cups, cereal bowls, sugar bowls and jugs, ranging in price from €10 to €22.
“We’re not trend driven in the usual sense,” says Laura. “We are part of the trend of being aware of ethical, non-disposable things so we stock products like neutral coloured and natural undyed throws by John Hanly which are woven in traditional herringbone patterns in wool from white and black sheep.
“We have small furniture like James Carroll’s stools made from fallen trees around his home in Co Wicklow, and wooden serving bowls which cost €45, made by The Yard Project, which is a social enterprise using oak, walnut and cherry donated by timber yards.
“We get a lot of tourists here and a very mixed age group, from 20 somethings buying small things, to older people with money buying expensive ceramics and textiles.
“They’re people who are more aware about what they’re buying and they want something genuine, handcrafted, and what’s unique and lasting.”
From Cork, like...
As summer has slowed into autumn, the art scene is going at full pelt with some unusual opportunities and new places in which to pick up a canvas.
The annual Me Daza exhibition, which borrows from the Cork expression, is themed around all things Cork-related, by artists living and working in the city or county, and includes topics connected to some of the city’s most famous landmarks. It’s curated by Sheelah Moloney of the 2020 Gallery in collaboration with Rachel Allen, whose new restaurant Rachel’s on Washington St plays host to a selection of work by local artists. Art from both exhibitions can also be viewed and purchased online at www.2020.gallery.com.
Cork’s Golden Angel from St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, by Eadaoin Harding Kemp, 24cm x 19cm, framed print signed by the artist (€145).