Sunday, March 11, 2012

Style stealing

As I said in my last post, I have tons and tons of ideas for my new home, and most of these come from my work and the gorgeous homes of our readers. There's a notebook at my desk that is crammed with pics torn from magazines, and, naturally enough, many of these are from House and Home. So I thought I'd grab a few to share the loveliness that I hope to eventually bring to my own home (that's after the rewiring and the plumbing and the insulating and the endless list of other essentials has been ticked off).  Sad but true: what really sold me the house was the lovely original fireplaces, so the ones in the top two shots are the kind of beauty that I hope to achieve with my own (both from the Jan/Feb issue, the top one is Susan McEvoy's and the second is Ciara Dowling's). The third pic is a most elegant and comfy-looking chair, many of which I hope to have throughout my house whenever I get to that stage. Perfect for making a guest bedroom look homely, I think (from Iseult White's house in the March/April issue). I also need to work on the bathroom, and I love the colour of these tiles, which is making me re-think my fixed ideas about an all-white bathroom (pic also from the home of Ciara Dowling). And finally, I am determined to be extremely organised in my new home, and that involves good storage solutions - so where better to look for inspiration than the home of Olive Donavan of Howard's Storage World? I like these stacking shoe boxes (from the Jan/Feb issue).

Friday, March 9, 2012

Love. Envy. Want.

Sixx Design has crossed my radar before, via various blogs, magazine features, etc. But when I read a piece on the utterly fabulous New York-based Novogratz family in the latest Grazia magazine, that's when I got a full-on blast of envy on so many levels. In fact, I am well and truly sickened. They describe themselves as property developers, but they are a far cry from your average property developer stereotype - I mean, if any Irish property developers were remotely on the same level as these guys there would be at least we would be left with something aesthetically pleasing after the lunacy of the last ten years *mini rant over*. They have taste and style that is bright, modern and desirable, without being inaccessible. They also have eight children and the entire family is signed up to the Ford modelling agency. Somebody, somewhere, please find me a flaw?! The pics above are from a hotel that they designed called the Bungalow Hotel on the Jersey Shore in the US. I can't think of any reason not to get their book Downtown Chic, so I may have to break my Amazon ban. Dammit, I am so weak!!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Eager & impatient

I'm eagerly and impatiently awaiting the arrival of the May/June issue in from the printers, can't wait to see it in the (papery) flesh. 'Twill be on shelves shortly so keep your eyes peeled!

I heart Target

I am a great appreciator of the prosaic and the mundane. Which is why when I visit New York I always anticipate a visit to Target. It is magic, I love it - I saw someone describe it as a huge Dunnes Stores once, but it's soooooo much better than that - they do EVERYthing (food, clothes, stationery, cosmetics...), and their homewares rock. They have the best designer collaborations - I nabbed a load of Orla Kiely for Target gear when I was over there in March. And then when my big bro was home a couple of weeks ago he brought me this great retro clock designed by Dror for Target. It's so cool, those arms fold up like a fan, and it's the perfect style for my house. Per - Fect. I have never heard of this designer before, so I set out to investigate and discovered that he also designed this set of Stack shelves for Target. It's kinda like a nest of tables, only it's a nest of bookcases - genius!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Thoughts on gardens

I am now the official owner of my own little mid-terrace house, and I'm very very excited about getting my hands on all that I can to make it a more beautiful space. It may not seem like the most practical priority, but I can't wait to crack into garden-y stuff. I have my fingers crossed for a sunny summer, and since it's a bit grim on the inside at the mo, escaping outdoors may be the most inviting way to live there until I've made it a tad more beautiful. It's a small enough wee garden, so it won't be a gargantuan endeavour, and also my dad is an amazing gardener so I can't wait to get his advice on what to put where. I am absolutely definitely going to plant tons of herbs. No more paying for those feckity little plastic bag yokes, they drive me mental. So - love the Crown pic on top (fence painted in Crown Satin W0.10.70), I LOVE Tolix chairs, but they are so expensive - I was poking around on ebay, so I think that that 's the best bet for buying those. And then the second pic is a garden makeover that we featured in the July/August issue last year - just looking at it is carrying me off to future sunny evenings spent out the back enjoying the long bright evenings!

Monday, March 5, 2012

No such thing as too much

Frankly, I just can't get enough Marimekko. It's not just the fun and the colour and the cheekiness and the cheeriness of their prints; it's what they do - they cater wonderfully for my two favourite activities, eating and sleeping. My green and white leafy-print Latvassa korkealla Marikmekko bedlinen cheers up my bedroom no end, and it is unusual without being so out there that it won't mix and match nicely with other prints and throws. I still have to nab some of their little kitchen bits. Isn't it so reassuring to know that if you need a little retail therapy pick-me-up you don't need to save for the rest of the year, or wait until your birthday, or put it on your credit card (and battle with the ensuing guilt, not to mention the bill). You can pick up something pretty and functional and actually not bonkers expensive - like a teatowel, or a tin, or even a cloth. I'm all about making the mundane things a little more gorgeous. You can get Marimekko products in Inreda on Camden Street in Dublin. Or, if you just can't wait to give yourself a little treat then see what's on offer online right now at the Finnish Design Shop.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Crown paints readers' evening

We spent an extremely pleasant evening in Fallon and Byrne on Exchequer Street (Dublin 2) on Tuesday night in the company of the lovely Neville Knott and the gang from Crown Paints to launch their Classic Collection. The room was elegant and inviting - very much in keeping with the tone of the new 48 shade colour collection compiled by Neville (Crown's colour consultant)!

Neville did a presentation on the trends for 2009. As ever it was informative and inspiring. Clearly, bling is seriously out when it comes to our homes, and it's all about creating a comforting and individual space to take refuge in as the world outside of our front doors continues to go a bit bonkers. Since we're all either cash-strapped or cash-conscious right now, using paint is a logical and inexpensive way to create a new look without breaking the bank. It also gives us a little something to do on those days that we may have spent in the past trawling around shopping centres!

Anyhow - one of my favourite images from Neville's presentation was this one, it's so soft and homely, but still has a little touch of glamour without being in-your-face. It's such an interesting shot - I like the way that they've painted only a part of the banister white. Colours are D9.10.54 on walls and HN.06.92 on the staircase.