November 22nd, 2012 | No Comments »

I recently took part in a fundraising event, a Girls Night in aid of our local kickboxing club here in Leixlip, Bushido Martial Arts.  I’m putting this Thank You on my blog here as some of those who donated prizes for the raffle and spot prizes are from the craft community and I’d like to acknowledge their support at this time.188170_123204071162492_33158429_n-girls-night1

For the best part the event was organised through Facebook and I have included our Thank You post here.


capture-girls-nightI’d like to give a special thanks to Mary & Greg Whelan from Irish Linen House for the lovely gift of their Christmas Table Runner.  I have mentioned Greg and Mary here before as I first met them a number of years ago when they first launched their range of table ware at Showcase and it’s wonderful to see how they have grown and flourished in the meantime. Their range can be viewed online and are stocked as far a field as Canada and the US, as well as here in Ireland.  For more information check the website Irish Linen House.


If you are buying gifts this holiday season please try to shop local, if you can’t buy local then please buy Irish!







November 1st, 2012 | No Comments »

Check out the IKEA App, there are some nice features included. There are a number of brochures included in the App. When downloading the App you pick your Country so the brochure is specific to what is available in your local store. There are brochures within the app for different departments like Kitchens & Appliances, Wardrobes, Bestå, Bathrooms and even a brochure for Business. Each brochure is downloadable separately.

There is also a full catalogue: it is a page by page of the hardcopy but with the additional feature where you can share a page, add to favourites or even share the entire catalogue. Additional content and video is available on some pages. This really brings the app to life.

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So rather than just seeing the room setting is a still photo each item in the room can give a different perspective as the additional content can be a variety of photos from different angles and even close up pictures of individual items, whether fabrics, cushions or even furniture.

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March 3rd, 2012 | No Comments »

Showcase was held in the RDS Dublin from Sunday last 22nd January ran up to 25th January.  The show was officially opened by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins.  I have in the past met up with some friends from the blogging world and also met old friends but this year they all had other plans and I was there on my own.  I thoroughly enjoyed my day and yes I was there all day, but I could have returned a second day to get to chat with all the craftspeople that were there displaying the craft items which the make and produce.

I caught up with some craftspeople that I had met with in past years and also met some craftspeople for the first time.  Like my visit last year I also met some craftspeople who were exhibiting for the first time, these were representing some the local County Enterprise Boards and were located up on the balcony. 

 

During the day I made my way to the press room/media lounge and told them that I blog, I was welcomed into the media lounge and the staff there had tea, coffee, sandwiches and biscuits on hand as well as a seat and time to catch a few minutes to put together a list of the exhibitors I had spoken to as I made my way around the show.  The staff then took my list and forwarded me some promo photos for use in the blog.  So all in all it was a day well spent.

 

The craftspeople I spoke to on the day included Tara Hammond of Slated, Pat Lawless from Lawless Furniture, Cillìan Johnston of Cillìan Johnston Furniture, Gary Marcham from Goose Island Workshop and Bog Buddies, Imelda and Matt of Matt Jones Woodturner; all of these craftspeople were in the Enterprise Zone on the balcony and supported by their local Enterprise Boards.

 

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I was impressed with the quality of the woodturning which was carried out by Matt Jones, in particular I liked the “Keepsake Rattles”. While chatting to Imelda I asked if I could photograph a stool which was on display, Imelda mentioned that the Nationwide crew had been in earlier and Mary had sat on the stool.  It was featured on Nationwide the following week.  This is a new business and is very much a family business, based in Sligo - with Matt carrying out the creative part of the business and Imelda dealing with the marketing, where her passion is visible is just chatting with her.  This is one to watch and I can see great things happening with this couple in the next year, they might even make it to the Creative Island.

 

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Also on the Balcony was Cillìan Johnston of Cillìan Johnston Furniture who was displaying his range of lamps.  The lamps are Contemporary Irish in design, incorporating Irish Oak and woollen knitted sleeve in Aran Cable stitches just like Aran Jumpers, Aran Beag is the name of this range of lamps.

 

Lawless Furniture are based in Kerry, the styles are contemporary and I was given an insight into how the furniture is crafted by Pat, who mentioned that his company is the most westerly furniture maker in Europe.  Pat also mentioned that the company take part in music festivals around Ireland and the UK where they give demonstrations during the festival on making furniture.

 

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Another Kerry based craftsman is Gary Marcham from Goose Island Workshop, who uses green timber in the manufacture of his Windsor stools and chairs.  The chairs though of a similar design and style all looked as though they had their own personality.  I’d love one of those chairs in my bedroom, I could picture it draped in a lovely woollen blanket or throw.

 

I also caught up with some old friends who were located on Creative Island and met some craftspeople for the first time: Greg and Mary Whelan of Irish Linen House, Garvan De Bruir of De Bruir, Donagh Quigley of The Handmade Soap Company, Liz Fingleton and Kate Cronin of Klickity. Another craftsperson who impressed me was Richard Heffernan at Little Red Woodworks.

 

Greg and Mary of the Irish Linen House have had an amazing last twelve months; I spoke to them last year when they were a newly formed business.  What a difference twelve months can make, they had been on trade missions with their Irish Linen tableware to the United States.  The designs are embroidered onto Irish Linen with patterns drawn from Celtic Folklore though Greg now also has a range of contemporary designs in a range of colours. 

 

Liz Fingleton and Kate Cronin of Klickity were another business that I wanted to catch up with again this year.  Their designs have something for every budget.  Designs range from Light fittings to clocks and even cardboard picture frames which you can customise.

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Richard Heffernan at Little Red Woodworks had the most amazing sculptures on display, with materials used incorporating metals and timber.  He mentioned that his break came about as a result of some of his shelving being in the background of a television programme. 

 

Donagh Quigley of The Handmade Soap Company, was another craftsperson I had spoken with last year.  I just love the branding and packaging that brings the range together.

 

Garvan De Bruir of De Bruir, was very inventive this year with a secret panel in this exhibition space where he could pop in to eat his lunch and store his personal belongings.  I know Garvan for a few years now and he invited me along to visit his workshop in Kildare which is not too far from where I’m based.  So that is something that I’m planning to do before next year’s Showcase.  Garvan was displaying his range of leather work this year.

garvan-de-bruirdebruirde-bruirAlso on Creative Island was a potter, Colm De Rìs Irish Pottery. I was drawn to this stand and met with Colm’s parents who were manning the stand and I returned later to chat with Colm.  The range of work on display was very eye catching. The range was a mix of Green and Blue high gloss pottery.  Though Colm did have another piece on display on the Creative Island – he took me to see and touch this piece.  There was something organic about this piece; called Solstice Flow Bowl, it was a piece of art as well as a functional piece.    

A more experienced and well travelled craftsperson was Cyril Cullen www.cyrilcullen.wordpress.com Cyril joined the conversation with Colm and had a brought along a book to show Colm.  The book was researched by his daughter Margot and traces his life and work as a designer of knitwear the book is called Knot Sure – The life and work of Irish Fashion Designer, Cyril Cullen. A proud father Cyril showed us photos from within the pages of projects he had worked on one of which was based in Africa.  Cyril also has a range of Porcelain.  There was a obvious respect for Cyril by Colm who mentioned that he was a great Irish craftsman.

I could have spend a second day to speak to other inspirational craftspeople by time caught up with me.

   

Contact details of those I spoke to at this year’s Showcase are;

Tara Hammond of Slated, www.slated.ie

Pat Lawless from Lawless Furniture, www.lawlessfurniture.com

Cillìan Johnston of Cillìan Johnston Furniture, www.cillianjohnson.com or www.cjfurniture.ie,

Bog Buddies, www.bogbuddies.com

 

Gary Marcham from Goose Island Workshop, www.gooseislandworkshop.ie

Matt Jones Woodturner, www.mattjoneswoodturner.com

 

 

I was also impressed with Sasha Sykes of Farm21, www.farm21.co.uk,

Cillian O’Suilleabhain, www.cosfurniture.ie,

Petal Pots, www.kilgraneyhouse.com/gallery.htm

  

Those on the Creative Island:

Greg Whelan www.irishlinenhouse.com,  

Garvan De Bruir www.debruir.com plus www.aviationluggage.com,

Colm De Rìs Irish Pottery www.colmderis.com  

Donagh Quigley of The Handmade Soap Company www.thehandmadesoapcompany.ie,  

Liz Fingleton of Klickity www.klickity.ie  

Other craftspeople Richie at Little Red Woodworks, www.littleredwoodworks.com

Cyril Cullen www.cyrilcullen.wordpress.com

 

October 21st, 2011 | No Comments »

IKEA launched a new range of bedroom sets recently and I was invited along to the launch along with members of the press.

The press event which I attended at IKEA was one of those surreal events.  The event was to launch the new bedroom room sets and was go-hosted by the Japanese IKEA designer, Michiko Nakata http://michikonakata.com/work.html

Michiko is based in Sweden and is influenced by the openness and nature. Having been to Sweden back in the 80’s I could see exactly where she was coming from.  Having grown up in the large city of Tokyo and now living in Sweden, Michiko has married the Japanese and Swedish traditions into her designs. Simple shapes and forms with subtle colour and pattern.

IKEA were launching their new bedroom room sets. Following some consumer interaction and surveys/feedback they have updated the room settings from the standard layout of room sets across their new stores to one which suits consumers in the local region.  Room sets suit a range of homeowners whether singles, young couples, families or older couples. 

The sets also show how each person is an individual and rather than have all bedrooms looking symmetrical the way most bedrooms are, IKEA have some rooms with different types of lockers and bookshelves for each occupant.

So whether you have an alcove in the bedroom or a chimney breast or even a large bay window IKEA have thought of how you can make the most of the space you have in your home to have a comfortable bedroom no matter how you use the space. 

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February 17th, 2011 | No Comments »

As you can see from the photos below - cutlery need not be boring, but it can be used as part of the overall look of the table.  Whether in terms of colour of just sculpturally these items can give a lift to any table setting.


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February 5th, 2011 | No Comments »

I visited Showcase recently at the RDS in Dublin and spent the best part of the afternoon chatting to the craftspeople who were exhibiting.  I had arrived earlier in the day and had tea and a good catch up with Lorna from Garrendenny Lane.  Meeting at Showcase is becoming a regular event for both Lorna and myself, last year a group of bloggers met – but this year it was just the two of us,  as events beyond our control meant the Paula from Mabel & Violet and Angela from Livingroom were not able to make the get together.
 There were some newly launched enterprises along with more established craftspeople exhibiting and displaying their crafts.
Some of my favourites from the show are listed below, they are just a small sample of the vast range of crafts available and on display.
A big feature of the show this year was jewellery, with plenty of variety from Button & Co.

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to By Yvonne.

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Slated
Based in Wicklow, this family business offer a range of handcrafted products made from slate.

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Jerpoint Glass
An old favourite of mine, I just love the range of glass and tableware the Jerpoint Glass manufacture.

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Klickity
Klickity Design who are based in Dublin were the winners of the Best New Product 2011 award in the Tabletop and Interiors category.

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Garvan De Bruir
I didn’t get a chance to speak to Garvan, each time I passed by his stand he was busy with a que of clients waiting to speak to him.  Garvan had a range of his leather work on show.

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Karen Morgan Porcelain
Karen works from her own premises in Kilkenny, her pottery has a simplicity and fluidity to it and was displayed in the current trend setting colours of cream/off white along with pastel shades of blue and green.

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Irish Linen House

Greg and Mary Whelan from Irish Linen House, were at the Fingal Enterprise Board catchment area and were displaying a range of individually designed and made table runners.  Greg sources all the materials in Ireland, fine Irish linen is the main material used.  The patterns and designs are both traditional and contemporary in their style.

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The balcony was where the County Enterprise Boards had craftspeople from around the country, some of which were start-ups in innovative areas. 
I really enjoyed the show, the Craft industry is thriving in Ireland.

January 25th, 2011 | No Comments »

I discovered this chair and just had to share it with you all, the twist is in the coffee cup.   The designer and other information about the product can bbe found at this link http://www.hewasborn.com/2010/projects/coffeechair_gallery.html

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I like tha simplicity of the design, taking a familiar item - in a familiar type of shape and adding a twist to both the use and the look of the design and making it a very different item.

January 8th, 2011 | No Comments »

With the Christmas season over and the New Year just started we are getting back to normal.  We would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year.

If you are thinking of doing some spring cleaning or even some spring decorating then get some inspiration from Designers Guild.

Some of the rugs from their new collection are posted below.   They have a lovely range just for the children along with more elaborate designs.

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September 1st, 2010 | No Comments »

Colourful accessories like those pictured can be found at La Chaise Lounge a lovely interior design shop which is located in the Le Passage Pommeraye which is in the city of Nantes.

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For more information about this shopping mall here’s the link http://www.passagepommeraye.fr the site is in French at present but there is an English version due, you can however see the layout and the architecture.



July 24th, 2010 | No Comments »

It’s great when you get a welcome surprise.  I was surprised recently when I was featured in the current edition of Munster Interiors, the article was written by Lorna of Garrendenny Lane Interiors.  Lorna writes a Blog Watch article in the magazine, she is a blogger and shopkeeper at the online shop http://www.gdlaneinteriors.ie/


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The article link is here http://www.gdlaneinteriors.ie/blog/index.php/2010/07/3948/  So if you’ve come by this site as a result of the article in Munster Interiors then “Welcome, do leave a comment and say Hello”


Now I’m off to check out Lorna’s other recommendations!

July 2nd, 2010 | No Comments »

Liven up your summer.  As we look forward to the long summer and spending days in our gardens, this is the time of year when we can treat our outside spaces as rooms and extend our living areas.

No matter what size of outdoor space we have it can be used for a wide variety of occasions and can be decorated in a number of ways to demonstrate our personalities.  Our gardens and patios can be used for entertaining, relaxing, playing and enjoying spending time together. 

Colour can play a very big part in this area of our lives, whether in the form of planting and flowers in bloom or indeed colourful planters, in a variety of colours and finishes.  Our outdoor furniture can also show our personalities and add that all important colour and vitality to our living space.

These areas are not only for use by grownups, but can also be enjoyed by the children, whether having a picnic on the grass, or with the use of toys and play areas.

Using our outside space as a dining and entertaining area can be a great way to spend time.  There is a large variety of colour in the form of picnic sets, salad servers and even glassware available which can add atmosphere and bring your scheme together.

Lighting can be added whether in the form of fairy lights or colourful lanterns, be aware of the safety issues though and make sure that these items are suitable for outdoor use.

Another way to use colour in the outdoor space is with brightly coloured bunting, similar to that pictured, which is normally stocked by Mabel & Violet the online boutique shop.  Also available are many items to create the perfect outdoor space, lovely picnic baskets or garden lanterns.   Whatever style you’re looking to put into your garden this summer you are bound to find something special at Mabel & Violet.  www.mabelandviolet.com

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Enjoy the summer.

Photo supplied by Mabel & Violet, www.mabelandviolet.com


June 3rd, 2010 | No Comments »

We are all very conscientious of the food we eat and whether or not it is organic.  But if we’re thinking about the sustainability of the planet and the ecology and use of land and water, then we must consider the fabrics that we use.

I was carrying out some research in this very area when I remembered meeting a lady who produces organic cotton fabric for use in interior design.  I meet her at the Ideal Homes Show a number of years ago and earlier today I phoned her and also revisited her website.  I gathered a lot of valuable information for my project, but also decided that this topic should also be discussed in general from an ECO point of view.  The lady in question runs the website Eco Creations http://www.ecocreations.ie/ 

So spread the news - organic cotton is available and Fair-Trade organic cotton is available you just have to search it out.

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April 7th, 2010 | No Comments »

I’m pleased to let you all know that I am now a contributor to the Child and Parent focused free magazine which is distributed to schools and businesses in the the Kildare and West Wicklow area.  The magazine is called Optimum and the link to their site is www.optimummagazine.net

The launch issue was released just before the Easter Holidays and the next issue is due out prior to the Summer Holidays.  I’m happy to receive suggestions for the next article or answer any interior design questions in the OptiMum Interiors section.

Its a wonderful magazine packed with useful information and valuable articles that are child focused. 

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February 18th, 2010 | No Comments »

I’ve always been a fan of Designers Guild, I love the fabrics and accessories which they produce.  The colour schemes always appear to be bright and fresh.  So I was delighted to receive in my inbox today their newsletter which announced that they have a new and imporved website.  I couldn’t resist and had to check it out and I’m still very much a Fan!

I just love some of the items in the Childrens range and just have to share them.

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January 30th, 2010 | No Comments »

I had a great day on Monday last at Showcase 2010 at the RDS in Dublin.  It turned into a bloggers meet up, an unexpected one at that, I had been planning to met Lorna from Garrendenny Lane Interiors.  While there Lorna had been planning to catch up with Paula from Mable & Violet and Angela from LivingRoom, so the four of us had a great chat about blogging and business. 

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It’s something that we are planning to do again in the future, to catch up and swap ideas.  I really enjoyed meeting my fellow bloggers.


January 19th, 2010 | No Comments »

I finally finished my January exams and have to catch up on my blog and friends from the networking groups.

January is a great time to put some plans together for spring decorating, chack out the hot trends for the New Year and even the New Decade.  The current edition of House and Home has the low down on all that’s hot for the “interior” you’d dream of.  My good friend Lorna from Garrendenny Lane Interiors is featured in the current edition, as is Zee from Homebug and some other notable bloggers. It’s well worth checking out!

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Farrow and Ball have always been a favourite of mine, I just love the quality and finish that their paint gives.

They have a new ‘Estate® Eggshell’ range, which is a unique high performance paint finish which offers an environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional oil-based eggshell paints.

According to the Farrow and Ball website the product is a pleasure to use as it is easily applied, quick-drying, and has virtually no odour. It offers excellent opacity and is hard wearing and washable.

Suggested uses are

· Update old kitchen or bathroom units to give them a new lease of life.

· Paint children’s bedroom furniture in contrasting colours to create a fun, bold scheme.

· Create a unique feature by painting picture frames, shelves and cupboards either to coordinate or contrast with a room scheme.

· Hide pipework and radiators by painting them in the same colour as the wall paint, or use a bold contrasting colour to make them stand out as features in their own right.

· Recycle some old furniture or finds from your local skip or even from jumbletown.

You can benefit by personalising these items or finds to suit your interior or why not build up a new scheme around a newly revamped piece of furniture.

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Furniture to be revamped can be given a new lease of life, particularly items that are finds from jumbletown. Jumbletown for those of you who are not familiar with it, is a great site for finding old pieces of furniture that people are giving away free, you register on the site and when you spot an item that you’re interested in you post a request and then if you’re lucky you get to collect the piece. There are some great before and after pictures posted on the site so check it out for inspiration.

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November 18th, 2009 | No Comments »

I’ve just relased two new items of stock at the shop, they take the form of Gift Vouchers - Gift Certificates.  The come in two sizes and two price ranges, one of which is a half day, 4 hour consultation and the other is for a full day 8 hour consultation.  The full day can be split over two 4 hour sessions by prior agreement.


The vouchers are valid for an initial twelve month period and can be extended by prior arrangement. Futher details can be found at the shop.  http://www.harmonydesignstudio.ie/index.php/products-page/


These would make an ideal Christmas Gift for that special someone who has everything!  

November 11th, 2009 | No Comments »

I had reason last week to visit a kitchen and bedroom showrooms and was really taken by this kitchen with curved doors.  They’d make a great statement in a large kitchen or as shown in the picture when placed over a similar shaped bottom unit.

The staff at Collier Kitchens were so helpful, I recommend a visit to their showrooms at Airways Industrial Estate.   Or visit their site which has a great variety of the kitchen, bedrooms and accessories that they stock,  http://www.collierkitchens.ie/index.htm

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June 15th, 2009 | No Comments »

The French designer Pierre Paulin, famed for his unusually shaped chairs, 
has passed away, at the age of 81 on Saturday,  June 14th in Montepellier, France.

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June 4th, 2009 | No Comments »

Throws and blankets can reinvent a space and can be done on the cheap.  Add a splash of colour to a bland item of furniture or use to add some sophistication to a space.

My Designers Guild brochure arrived today and there are some lovely throws in there.


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I just love the Designers Guild range of products.


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