looks at designs and designers, new hues and a fundraiser at DFS, Cork
A trip to Ikea last week confirmed two things: that it’s not easy to drive up and down in one day — roll on its opening in Carrigtwohill — and that you really need to go prepared with a list before you go. Nevertheless, calm traffic northwards and a quiet superstore made for a pleasant enough browse (or slog, depending on X or Y chromosomes), with the new Tom Dixon collection a target, particularly the lighting, as mentioned on these pages previously.
Disappointment waited, however, as the Delaktig floor lamp didn’t live up to expectations. A sleek little piece of design, certainly, but its neck was too wobbly and weak to hold it’s light bravely aloft. Now to be fair, the ‘associate’ in lighting (or the lovely boy in this world), did say it had been mauled by the tens of thousands, hence the flaccid appearance, but its height was too low — grand if you have a very narrow, low-lying couch, but forget it otherwise. Still at €75, it will rock someone’s world.
The Ypperlig floor light by design duo Hay, proved to be a classic at only €49, angular, narrow in black and with a flat head, it’s the same height as the Dixon, but much more practical as the stretch is greater. With both lamps, however, once the bulb goes, that’s it — you throw them out. Not the best start to a purchase despite the associate’s assertion that the led life is over three years. Doesn’t say much for the much-vaunted, sustainable approach by the Swedish giant though, does it?
Anyway, this April there’s another design classic on the way from Ikea and it looks good, so let’s hope a walkaround in real life doesn’t disappoint. It’s part of the Industriell collection from Dutch designer, Piet Hein Eek, whose avowed aim is to make the mass-produced look handmade. So there’s quite a bit of chunky wood (nah), and in the middle is the sublime, Industriell armchair, which, at €145, reflects the high end of Ikea’s price range for chairs. It cries out for one of its coffee-coloured sheekskins, (small but good value at €45 a pop) and it will sit in a kitchen, bedroom, office, and living room with equal elan. The range is launched in April.
And for an utterly delectable, heirloom piece, then Spanish designer, Patricia Urquiola’s rugs for CC-Tapis should top the list. Handmade in Nepal, from wool and silk and with a density of 125,000 knots to the square metre, they are mildly Escher-like in design, creating an optical illusion using colour and geometric form. The styling and photography is superb, so go to cc-tapis.com to see what top-quality material and design can create. You can buy the 190x300 rugs at the Wallpaper store for €6,190 at store.wallpaper.com/living/textile-and-rugs/
This is the season for new launches in the design world and British company Neptune has its fingers firmly on the country, cosy and comfortable pulse with rosey coloured offerings.
This season’s colours are a good indication of where trends are moving with calmer, milky/stone tones in its Suffolk kitchen and on-trend, Olivia loveseat, right. (€1,740).
That rose hue, which is all over the place at the moments, comes in ‘Old Rose’ in Neptune’s matt emulsion at around €40 for 2.5 litres.
The island unit in the Suffolk kitchen is well north of €5,000, but Neptune does that classic, country look, which is resolutely popular, so well.
Speaking of colour, Little Greene’s Portland Stone and French Grey, with its four variations in tone, are the hot pots around town at the moment, along with Dulux’s Salinger and the more definite, designery, French Mustard from Colourtrend.
Back those ochre tones up with blue and navy, if you dare, or go for an oblique shade in soft teal or denim or the incomparable, Stiffkey Blue from Farrow & Ball as an accent in alcoves or occasional furniture. The move away from grey is still slow, but navy looks like the replacement go-to.
The Future Makers’ Award scheme is open for entries, through the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland, DCCoI website. Offering a total prize fund of €23,500, it’s one of Europe’s largest prize-funded programmes for students and emerging makers.
Closing date for applications is Friday, April 13, and entries will be assessed by a judging panel comprising Claudia Casali, director of the International Museum of Ceramics in Faenza, Italy, and Philip Hamilton, creative director of Perch, Dublin. The panel will be chaired by DCCoI’s education manager, Fiona Byrne.
In a new development for the craft sector, the recently restructured RDS Craft Awards (bit.ly/RDSCraftAwards), will be open to winners of DCCoI Future Makers Awards in the preceding year. In other words, Future Makers 2018 winners can apply for the 2019 RDS Craft Awards.
Five bursaries of €10,000 each will be awarded for the development of business and craft skills to those pursuing a professional career in the sector. See rds.ie/craft.
Meanwhile, students and emerging makers are also invited to apply for a commission to design and make an award piece for the NFETL Learning Impact Awards (bit.ly/NFETLAwards) that will be presented in Dublin Castle later this year.
Those interested in applying should note their interest through this year’s Future Makers application process. The selection panel will consist of representatives of the NFETL and DCCoI as well as independent designers/experts.
Full details on the programme are available at futuremakers.ie and applications should be made through futuremakers.ie/apply
Finally, Caroline Foran and Jo Linehan of Gaff Interiors will be hosting an interiors evening and fundraiser this Thursday, March 22, at 7pm in the DFS store, Mahon Point.
Go along for some nibbles, prosecco and a design discussion on how colour can help create happiness in your home.
Numbers are limited so applications should be made pretty pronto for this popular fundraising event.
Caroline and Jo, (left on a DFS sofa), will also be available for one-on-one advice after the design discussion.
Admission is free, but you are asked to donate to the Good Shepherd cause and this will include a chance to win €1,000 towards a DFS sofa of your choice and a Gaff Interiors consultation service worth €700, among other prizes. A 10% discount off purchases on the night is included.
So book a place for you and a friend by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, giving your name, friend’s name and phone number Tickets are limited to two per application and the fundraising includes a DFS-sponsored makeover of the Good Shepherd women’s refuge in Cork city — so it’s for a good cause.