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wrights design house

PRODUCING exCePtIONal kItCheNs & FURNItURe FOR OVeR 5O YeaRs Temple Cross, Lisburn, BT27 6YL

028 9263 9964

Contents i s s u e 2 7 1 j a n u a r y 2 018

Cover Home


Cover stories

30 Seating 46 Window Dressings 110 Cookery 118 Destination Abroad 121 Destination Ireland 124 Gardening

76 88

Readers’ Homes

60 76 88

A Courtly Restoration

Originally used to house the carriages and prize livestock of the Longueville Estate, this elegant period property has been tastefully transformed into a light and bright family home.

Best of all Worlds

Having travelled the globe, financial analysts Seamus and Andre swapped the suburbs for the city to create an eclectic penthouse home with a generous twist of international style.

Coming Home


Interior Designer Cathy and husband Liam wanted to settle in the place that Liam has always called home, the small seaside town of Donabate in north County Dublin.

Reader’s Kitchen 100

The Wow Factor Emma and John wanted a kitchen with simple elegant style in their new build home in Drumahoe. Their brief was a contemporary design that would meet the practical needs of their family life. Poplar Design have delivered this and much more.

Features 5 16 18 24 26 27 28 30 40 46 53 1 05 110 115 116 118 121 124 126 128



Furniture and accessories for the home.

in House news

CoveR UP

Interior news around Ireland.

interior Spaces

Kitchen, bedroom and bathroom focus.

in the Know


Interior advice and suggestions.

deSTinATion ABRoAd: vieTnAm

Creative Profile

The artistic talent of Lee Boyd.


For the Ladies Start the new year in style.


Showroom Profile

Wrights Design House celebrates 50 years.

Sitting Sweet


Create a sanctuary with comfortable seating.

Cover Up


Add pattern and texture with a rug or carpet.

All dressed Up!

Complete your home with stylish window dressings.

Stylish Textures

Transform your space with cushions and throws.

Timeless Range

Choose a range cooker for all your culinary needs.



Rachel Allen’s Home Baking.


SiTTing SWeeT

Food for Thought


Seasonal food and drink.

going vegan

Consider a vegan lifestyle.

destination Abroad

Soak up the culture of Vietnam.

destination ireland

A focus on ‘Wellbeing’ in the new year.


Deirdre shows us how to make an entrance.

irish getaways

Farnham Estate, County Cavan.

Style icon

Wire Side Chair by Harry Bertoia.


CooKing SPACeS

Competition 26 Lee Boyd is offering one lucky reader the chance to win a commission of an original pencil portrait up to A3 size. Worth £500! 114 Harper Collins is offering three readers the chance to win a copy of Home Baking by Rachel Allen worth £20. Total prize value £60.


CooKeRy CooKBooK

publiSHer Mike Keenan Finance director Suzanne Livingstone coMMercial Manager Bobby Keenan adVertiSing Manager vanya Campbell

Ir el a n d ’s

Homes InterIors & living

editor Sara Larkham


editorial Jenny McCleery

No 271

editorial aSSiStant gareth Edwards deSignerS Jenny McCleery, Michael Robinson, walter Steele adMiniStration Heather withers credit control yvonne watson contributorS Barbara Egan, Marie McMillen, Mandi Millar, Deirdre Prince, Derek Robinson, glen waddell

SubScription rateS UK – £40, ROI – €57.90

Europe (Air mail) – £59.04 Outside Europe (Air mail) – £95.64 Surface Mail (any destination) – £58.08 bangor addreSS

PO Box 42, Bangor, Co. Down BT19 7AD Tel: 028 9147 3979 email: dublin addreSS

Ashgrove House, Kill Avenue, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin Tel: (01) 2722616

coMpetition WinnerS

FroM tHe noVeMber 2017 iSSue 1 reader WinS one eMbroiderY Kit FroM roSieS ragS. total €20. gillian McCracken, Larne.


ith the new year comes new opportunities for a clean slate; a good excuse to do the things we have been meaning to do or to try something new altogether. With Christmas behind us, we often look at ways of recovering from the over indulgence and the celebrations that take place over the holidays. The winter is still amongst us, and with that we continue with a cosy theme in our interiors, with softness and warmth throughout. Our seating feature presents lots of comfortable sofa and armchair options, with cushions and throws completing the look to create a cosy haven within your home. Window dressings are a must to help save on energy and to add a nice aesthetic to a room, and we bring you lots of blinds and curtains to choose from within our pages. To round off the cosy theme, we also have a soft flooring feature with rug and carpet inspiration, as well as a look at some of the latest range cookers that are still incredibly popular within modern homes. Our homes this issue take us to Belfast where Seamus and Andre bring some global charm to their stunning apartment that ticks all the boxes for them. In Dublin, Cathy and Liam show us their refurbished sea-side cottage which has been beautifully decorated, and in Cork, William and Aisling’s home is a stunning renovation that has undergone a two storey extension and overlooks lovely views of the garden. Last but not least, Emma and John show us their stunning kitchen by Poplar Design, that perfectly fits in with the rest of their modern new-build. If you are looking for ways to rejuvenate in the new year, our Destination Ireland feature focuses on ways of treating your mind and body to various activities and excursions around Ireland that will have you feeling like a new person. Further abroad we visit Vietnam and all it has to offer. Our gardening expert, Deirdre Prince talks us through making a grand entrance and in our cookery pages we get to sample a few scrumptious recipes from Rachel Allen’s brand new Home Baking cookbook, as well as gaining some advice on ways to turn vegan. Finally, all of us at Ireland’s Homes Interiors & Living would like to wish all of our readers a very Happy New Year, and remember, if you have a home, or know of someone who has a home, that you would like to see featured in the magazine contact editorial on 028 9147 3979 or email

3 readerS eacH Win a copY oF tHe HuMMingbird baKerY cooKbooK FroM octopuS booKS. total £53.97. Susana Best, greenisland; Sarah Lundy, Malahide; Margaret Jackman, Tullow.



Member of Audit Bureau of Circulation

21 YearS oVer 4.5 Million* SaleS abc VeriFied *4,554,634 combined sales to december 2016 ireland’s Homes interiors & living 4,360,164 all ireland Kitchen guide 194,470

homestyle An inspirational selection of the latest traditional and contemporary furniture, fabric and accessories for your home.

Stone, rose and blue candles from Harvey Norman. From ÂŁ4/E4. Phone Belfast 028 9038 9600 or Dublin 01 4916300.


Graphic Tones

Equal Sides Ava gold mirror from Audenza. £175. Phone 0116 2986393.

Casamance Ernest wallpaper from Jane Clayton. £119 per metre. Phone 01761 404505.

Soft Metal Fatboy Metahlowski bean bag from Houseology. £239.95. Phone 0330 363 0330.

Brass Neck

Brass Menu Leonard chandelier from Amara. £399. Phone 0800 587 7645.

Glossy Glaze Textured vase from Harvey Norman. E30. Phone Belfast 028 9038 9600 or Dublin 01 4916300. 6

Juicy Tipple Pineapple cocktail cup from Oliver Bonas. £26. Phone Belfast 028 9066 1038.

Dark Décor Dark Chesterfield sofa from Pib-home. £2,780. Phone 020 3445 5150.



302 Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast, BT4 3EU T: 028 9020 9209 | ROI: +44 (0) 28 9020 9209 | E:


Layer Light The Norm 69 lamp by Normann Copenhagen. From £64.90/E88. Phone Maven, Belfast 028 9066 5176.

Budding Star Brass ring bud vase from Home-lust.

Pale Rider Eccleston Pink No. 248 from Mylands Paints. Phone 020 8670 9161.

Picture Perfect Modena gold multi frame from Oliver Bonas. £80. Phone Belfast 028 9066 1038.

Bug’s Life

GUBI Beetle chair from Chaplins Furniture. £845. Phone 020 8421 1779.

Get Fleeced

Sheepskin rug from Michael Murphy. E89. Phone Kildare 01 533 4859.

So Happy The happy GIL cushion from My Friend Paco. E51.50.



Turning Point

Rust red crossroads throw from The British Blanket Company. £59. 0845 474 2747.

Monkey Business Gorilla dining plate from Red Candy. £11.95. Phone 0121 2247728.

It’s a Yolk

Bernard & Samuel beard egg cup set from Red Candy. £10. Phone 0121 2247728.

Sausage Dog

Candle holder from Audenza. £26. Phone 0116 2986393.

In the Pink

Linen bedding bundle from Tolly McRae. £190.

Eat my Dust

Dusty limestone pendant light from Rume. £212. Phone 01273 777810.

Settle Yourself

Black sofa from Wharfside. £3,850. Phone 020 7253 3206.



High Flyer David Weidman cushions from Magpie. £30. Phone 020 7095 9399.

Up with the Lark

Lark tub chair from DFS. £319/E545. Phone Belfast 028 9068 7472 or Dublin 01 6404232.

Bring Me Sunshine

Blue Metal

Sol in old gold from Blackbird London. £160.

Monsoon Home blue metal tray. £25/E39. Phone 0203 372 3052.

Cushion the Blow Ontwerp cushion from Vintage Cushions. £60.

Store Away Pip Studio Royal white storage jar from Daisy Park. £38. Phone 01769 579077.

Pure Plush Pelham sofa in velvet from Rume. £5,337. Phone 01273 777 810.


homestyle Time Flies Karlsson Dragonfly wall clock from Red Candy. £39. Phone 0121 2247728.

Hot Tub Erin tub chair from Sweetpea & Willow. £1,275. Phone 0345 257 2627.

Mexican Wave

Mexico blue vase from Harvey Norman. E55. Phone Belfast 028 9038 9600 or Dublin 01 4916300.

Bake Off

Mary Berry napkins from Sainsburys. Pack of four, £10. Phone 0800 636 262.

Sweet Thing

Sugar pot from Magpie. £14. Phone 020 7095 9399.

Keep Warm

INGABRITTA throw from Ikea. £25/E30. Phone Belfast 0845 3551113. Dublin 01 5413300.

Shed a Tear

Wave teardrop pattern flooring from atra Floor. £59 per m2. Phone 0151 305 7376.


homestyle In the Frame Round resin frame from Oliver Bonas. £14. Phone Belfast 028 9066 1038.

Green Shoots Orla Kiely Linear Stem enamel tray from Wild & Wolf. £22. Phone 01225 789909.

Sunny Vase

Citrine Asher vase from Magpie. £30. Phone 020 7095 9399.

Sliced Bread

Regent toaster from Red Candy. £190. Phone 0121 2247728.

Park your Feet

Parker yellow stripe wool rug from JD Williams. £29. Phone 0871 231 2000.

Ocean Colour Scene Ocean teal grey and mustard grey double duvet set from Made. £45. Phone 03442 571 888.

Royal Seat

Windsor three seater sofa from DFS. Price on request. Phone Belfast 028 9068 7472 or Dublin 01 6404232.


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I n house n e w s

Hoover helps family on ITV’s Love Your Home & Garden

Leading kitchen appliance manufacturer, Hoover, has donated a number of appliances to ITV in order to help renovate the kitchen of a family in need. ITV’s Love Your Home & Garden saw a Hoover built-in oven, smart WiFi washing machine and WiFi-connected dishwasher donated and installed as part of the property refurbishment. In the programme, hosted by Alan Titchmarsh, the family of a young boy with distonic quadriplegic cerebral palsy saw their home transformed into an openplan, airy living space with wheelchair accessibility, comfort and space for the whole family. Steve Macdonald, Marketing Director of freestanding division Hoover Candy UK, said, ‘The ITV team is well-known for having a positive impact on the lives of so many families up and down the country and we’re so pleased that we were able to contribute to the programme and make a difference. ‘It was incredible to see so many people gathering together to give this muchdeserving family the home they needed and it was great to watch the full episode, just to see what a difference the overall renovation made to the family.’ The appliances donated to the renovation project were Hoover’s HOC79/6BX oven, a multi-function oven with a touch control LED electric programmer, the Hoover HLSI 762GT WiFi-connected 10kg dishwasher, a smart dishwasher with 16-place settings and programme Wizard, as well as the DWT L610AIW3 washing machine, also part of the Hoover Wizard collection, with an intelligent wash system and an energy rating of A+++.


New kids on the bloc Magherafelt manufacturer, Bloc Blinds, has firmly established its footprint in the retail market with the launch of its new flagship Design Studio on the Lisburn Road, Belfast. The direct move into the retail sector has created six new jobs across sales, production, research and development and marketing for the fast-growing company, which currently employs over 100 staff at its state-of-the-art manufacturing headquarters in Magherafelt. Established in 2006, Bloc Blinds has become one of the UK’s leading designers and manufacturers of innovative blinds and skylight systems. It has online customers across the world and, since 2014, its products have been sold in John Lewis stores across the UK. The new two storey Lisburn Road Design Studio is an exciting showcase of Bloc Blinds

wide range of award-winning products, as well as providing customers with a bespoke in-home design consultation and a professional measure and fit service. Cormac Diamond, Managing Director of Bloc Blinds, said, ‘This investment follows tremendous business growth in recent years and follows hot on the heels of our four million pound expansion, which saw us double our workforce and move into state-of-the-art manufacturing premises in Magherafelt.’ ‘This has given us the confidence to expand our operation and make our move onto the high street, first with a trial store in our hometown of Magherafelt and now our flagship store on Belfast’s Lisburn Road.’ Phone Belfast 028 9066 6410.

Introducing the new GROHE Red GROHE is delighted to introduce its new Red, delivering kettle-hot water on tap for instantly served hot beverages, soups and other foods such as delicious poached salmon. Now, GROHE is relaunching its hot water system as a new and even smarter model, responding to the diverse needs of users around the globe. The new GROHE Red instantly provides water o heated up to 99 C – perfect for making tea, speeding up meal preparation or for soaking pots and pans. The new sleek control featuring two self-explanatory icons is simple to use and incorporates a smart child lock device for complete peace of mind. Even the spout is safe to touch, being perfectly insulated and never getting uncomfortably hot. Complying with the European standards for Energy Efficiency Class A, GROHE Red is the only kitchen system of its kind to feature a ‘holiday’ mode. It caps the maximum water o temperature inside the boiler at 60 C, resulting in lower energy costs. This feature once

again demonstrates GROHE’s outstanding commitment to sustainability – one of the brand’s top priorities. Prices start from £1,700.

I n house n e w s

Squeaky-clean dishes & sparkling glassware with Caple’s new, ultra quiet Di651 Multi award-winning, leading appliance specialist Caple’s new, fully integrated Di651 model is so quiet with a sound level of 40dB, it features a programme status light because it can be difficult to hear when this dishwasher is in progress. It also features an A+++ energy class rating, making this the perfect choice if you are looking for an appliance, which will cost less to run. With a choice of seven programmes, o o including Economy at 45 , Express at 65 and o Glass at 40 , the energy consumption per

economy cycle for this dishwasher is a comfortably low 0.84kWh. The Di651 has 15 place settings, which will suit the modern, open-plan kitchen when entertaining or family living is key. Notable features include an internal light, a touch control panel, three spray levels for thorough cleaning, a top cutlery tray and a six-level water softening system. It also has a direct touch control panel, which is so practical and easy to use. Caple’s new dishwasher effortlessly combines form and function. The inner door and interior are sleek stainless steel, while the interior baskets complement this in a titanium grey finish. This high performance model certainly makes cleaning dishes less of a chore with express wash, extra/turbo drying and 1-24hr delayed timer options. Caple’s Product Manager Luke Shipway says, ‘Our new Di651 integrated dishwasher features an array of high-level specifications, which means it is not only versatile, but stylish, quiet and efficient – everything you could possibly want from a modern dishwasher.’

Carron Phoenix retailers join forces to fundraise for Macmillan Cancer Support

Kind-hearted Carron Phoenix retailers around the UK joined the ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’ event in September and welcomed hundreds of visitors to their showrooms to raise vital funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. 24 specialist independent retailers took part in the event with support from Carron Phoenix, and have raised over £1,500. The sink and tap company provided specially commissioned, hand-baked cookies along with a free marketing

resource pack, to help retailers get the most from their local events. Says Larah Kuziw, Brand Executive at Carron Phoenix: ‘We are always looking for ways to help retailers generate awareness, increase footfall and become more involved in their local communities, and what better way to do this than raising money for such a worthwhile charity? As this is the first year we have co-ordinated the charity coffee mornings with our retailers, we were delighted to see such a positive response. The participating retailers have not only generated goodwill by fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support, but have also reached new audiences by welcoming large numbers of visitors to their showrooms for the coffee mornings.’

Schmidt launches in Ireland

Vimla Hunt – uBiFRanCE/BusinEss FRanCE, EilEEn DEnHam – mD sCHmiDt iRElanD & H.E. stépHanE CRouzat – FREnCH amBassaDoR to iRElanD.

France’s Leading Kitchen and Interiors brand, Schmidt launched into the Irish Market with an incredible evening on Thursday 2nd November at their new Flagship Irish Showroom on Dublin’s Longmile Road. Guests on the night included Chef Adrian – Fake Away author/TV3, Darina Coffey – Irish Bake off, H.E. Mr. Stéphane Crouzat the French Ambassador to Ireland, John-Thierry Catrice CEO of the Schmidt Groupe, Blogger Holly White (, Sharon Hearne-Smith – Author of The No-Bake Baking, Interior Stylist Lesiele Juliet of, Laura Erskine of alongside leading interior designers, architects and leading members of the Irish and French business communities. Guests on the evening enjoyed a Crémant d’Alsace and Riesling reception, as the home of Schmidt is Alsace, France. Award winning mixologist Anne Gilhooley prepared bespoke French inspired cocktails and food on the evening was prepared by Chef Adrian and Darina Coffey which included smoked venison with a blackberry reduction. Schmidt is a loved, trusted household name for Kitchens in France, they boast over 450 showrooms worldwide offering a complete bespoke home design solution and made to measure interiors. Their offerings include kitchens, bathrooms, home solutions and wardrobes with French style and produced individually for each customer in Schmidt’s state of the art and environmentally sustainable factories in France and Germany. Phone 01 4296856.


Style Steal Brushed cotton check duvet set from Dunelm. £18.


Spaces Create a luxurious sanctuary within your home for a good night’s sleep.


Feeling Alternative... Unique bedside table options. Merritt round side table from PIB. £290.

Genesis end table from Sweetpea & Willow. £200.

Expert Advice NeW yeaR, NeW BeD? evaluate your bed health in 2018 – a message from the National Bed Federation (NBF). as ‘bed-mania’ hits in January and retailers offer their biggest deals of the year, the NBF says bargain hunters could bag themselves more than just a cut-price bed, but a whole new lease of life. Said Simon Williams of the NBF, ‘New year’s resolutions are generally about ensuring better wellbeing through diets and fitness. But many neglect the health of their bed – a place where we spend a third of our lives! ‘a bed may have deteriorated by as much as 70 per cent from its ‘as new’ state after 10 years. It’s not just the bed’s ability to provide proper support that declines with age – a build-up of moisture (we lose a half pint or more of fluid each night) and skin scales (we lose a pound of skin or more a year) makes beds a favourite breeding ground for the common dust mite. that’s bad news for the nation’s 2-3 million asthma sufferers; and a grim thought for those sleeping on second-hand beds and other peoples’ sweat and skin scales! ‘assessing the health of your bed should be on the cards this New year, so make sure you don’t neglect it.’

Bed buying tips! With many top brands on special offer at great prices in the January sales, here’s some essential bed buying tips from The National Bed Federation: • Spend as much as you can afford. Instead of buying the bed you might have chosen during a non-sale period more cheaply, take the opportunity to trade up to a more luxurious model. • Buy as big a bed as you can: a roomy king-sized bed will ensure less partner disturbance during the night than a standard double. • Seize the sales opportunity to invest in a more comfortable night’s sleep if your bed is seven years old or more. • Only buy a drawer divan if you really need extra storage space: four drawers can account for well over £100 of the purchase price – money better invested in a good quality mattress. the same applies to other features – only go for them if they offer real benefits.

tree trunk side table in antique silver from Homes Direct 365. £140. Kendo marble side table from Urban Avenue. £369.

• Make shopping for a new bed a special trip – you’ll choose more wisely if you are not in a rush, tired or harassed. • Once you’ve narrowed your choice down to two or three beds, spend a good five to 10 minutes or more lying down on each one. • If the bed is for two, you should try it out together.


Style Steal

Laura Ashley adds a chic and sophisticated charcoal finish to its Marlborough range of bathroom furniture.


Spaces a selection of inspirational ideas for the bathroom.

Treat your hands... a selection of liquid soaps and lotions.

Diptyque softening hand wash. ÂŁ27. Aesop resurrection hand wash. ÂŁ27.


Bathroom Trends for 2018 EXPERT ADVICE Sara Harris, Brand Manager at Zucchetti.Kos takes a look at what she expects to be big in bathrooms for the year ahead. Colour will be a key trend in 2018 as customers select dark colours for sanitary ware, furniture or walls to create a dramatic look in their bathroom. adding gold or brass taps and marble or stone effect surfaces will give the room a luxurious feel. Richer colours like deep reds, dark teals and mustard yellow will also add interest. the references we have seen in 2017 to nature and the outdoors will continue to develop with wood effect surfaces and accessories.

Here we look at some of the trends to expect as mentioned by Sara at Zucchetti.

Mellow Yellow

Morphing steel unit. £3,800.

Back to Nature

Morphing freestanding bath in red. £5,000.

As Good as Brass Bamford hand lotion. £24.

Jo loves White Rose & lemon leaves hand cleanser. £35.

Kaos 1 freestanding bath tub. £5,500.

Nude taps by Sybille de Margerie. Price on request.

all above from


Style Steal

Greenhill Kitchens creates this functional and stunning kitchen painted in a soft hue by little Greene called Portland Stone and the island is Down Pipe by Farrow & Ball. Greenhill Kitchens, Ballygawley 028 8556 8631.


Spaces a selection of inspirational ideas for the kitchen.


Butter Me Up Keep your butter fresh.

Sophie Allport pheasant butter dish. ÂŁ26.

Pheasant round butter dish and spreader from At Home in the Country. ÂŁ32.95.

The Kitchen Sink Many activities revolve around the kitchen sink, so if you can keep it nice and clean, the rest of the kitchen will benefit.

Washing up caddy from House of Bath. £9.95.

Newsflash! Franke launches its new Minerva electronic 4-in-1 tap with instant 100°C boiling and cold filtered water at the push of a button. this is the company’s first digitally controlled tap, offering enhanced convenience and user-friendliness with pre-set 30 and 60 second programmes that dispense two litres of water, ideal for filling pans, teapots, cafetières and jugs with instant filtered boiling or filtered cold water. Pressing in the electronic dial wakes the tap from its safety standby mode when the dial glows white. For 100°C boiling water, select the red light and pressing the dial in twice will automatically dispense 60 seconds worth of water, enough to fill a pan. Select blue for cold filtered water and a double press of the dial will dispense water for 30 seconds. available in chrome finish, the tap is suitable for low pressure systems and has a slim five litre water tank that fits neatly behind the plinth saving valuable space. £1,800. For further information phone 0161 436 6280.

Keeping it tidy!

Wash Up tidy in dorset blue, Grace & Glory Home. £16.

Top tips on how to clean your sink BLANCO’s five-step guide will soon have your sink sparkling clean, without the use of harmful chemicals or abrasive cleaners. • all you need is a normal non-abrasive household cleaner and a soft sponge or microfibre cloth. Perfect for all sink types – stainless steel, composite stone and ceramic – regular use will remove daily detritus such as tea stains and grease with ease. • For ground-in stains, invest in some strong cleaning agent. Powerful, non-bleach cleaners are suitable for use on all sink types.

Katie alice vintage indigo large butter dish from Creative Tops. £19.

• to tackle a build-up of limescale, fill the bowl with hot water and add a dishwasher tablet, or washing detergent, and soak for at least 3-4 hours (ideally overnight). Rinse the sink, then clean with a sponge and wipe dry.

Garden Trading Cornbury pressed glass butter dish. £15.50. Butter dish from Marks & Spencer. £25.

• to keep your sink draining freely, every six weeks sprinkle six tablespoons of baking soda down the plug, then add 100ml of white vinegar. allow it to fizz for a few minutes, and then carefully pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain. • While stainless steel and ceramic don’t respond well to scouring, composite stone, which is made from high levels of granite, will benefit from the coarser action of a scouring pad. avoid wire or steel pads though; a plastic mesh scourer is best. For further information on BlaNCO UK, please call 01923 635 200 or visit



in the


On a lazy winters weekend what could be better than relaxing in this rocking chair from The Old Cinema. As well as being super comfy this chair is a real statement piece and adds a splash of colour to any room. Just add a thick blanket, a mug of something warm and a good book, and that’s your day sorted. Danish rocking chair. £675.

Our mix of interesting ideas, tips and events.

Expert Tip: While we may be deep in winters grasp, there is no need for our homes to feel the chill with some simple furnishing tips. Adding knitted blankets to armchairs or sofas instantly creates the illusion of warmth. Using texture wherever you can will take the chill out of exposed brick walls and wooden floors. Think about how rugs and curtains can add weight and warmth to a living space or bedroom. Lighting also plays a big part in the atmosphere of a room, reading lamps can help create a relaxing, cosy corner to a room, while a statement light fixture can illuminate textures and layered cushions from above.

Design Soda Blog Ruthie is a blogger from London who started charting the renovation of her flat in 2013. Over the years as her family has grown, she has moved house and expanded her blog to showcase anything that catches her eye, from flea markets to supermarkets. Having first-hand experience of renovating her own home has allowed Ruthie to share her tips and tricks from painting rooms to landscaping.

3 of the best... Diffusers

Royal Kew Gardens fressia and pear room diffuser. £28.

Skandinavisk Fjord scented diffuser from Printer+Tailor. £35.

What’s On... Sophie Allport Hedgerow Berries reed diffuser. £25.


Wild Lights at Dublin Zoo. November 3rd - January 7th Dublin Zoo comes alive with a spectacular light show featuring an amazing display of intricately crafted silk lanterns depicting a pride of lions, tigers, giraffes and much more. There will also be a 30 metre long Chinese dragon and a 16 metre high porcelain elephant. A host of Chinese performers will be on show throughout the zoo, as well as a Chinese craft market offering up warm drinks and tasty treats.

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designer p creative profile rof i l e

Lee Boyd Lee Boyd is an artist living and working in Northern Ireland. Here we chat to him about what it means to be an artist and where he finds his inspiration.



’m an artist to the core and the pursuit to create a living as an artist is a long road but a pathway I think was inevitable for me to take,’ says Lee. ‘My artworks are sold and exhibited around the world, but those kinds of opportunities come about through developing connections and building a reputation based on the integrity behind the work. It has been a long route, to make a living as an artist, and like any worthwhile choice there have been many challenges and wrong turns along the way. ‘What I’ve realised is that the process of being an artist is never ending and nor should it be. I’m constantly learning, improving and challenging myself and the work I create and I love every moment of it.’ Lee is most widely recognised for his Manimal portraits, which is a surreal body of work that blends aspects of animals with humanity. ‘This avenue of work was inspired by our affinity to use animals to tell a story, think George Orwell’s Animal Farm, or how we often use terms to describe people, such as ‘sly old fox’ or ‘cheeky monkey!’. Sometimes it’s just down to my own perception, using collective notions of how people act or behave; people and their complexities are, to me, a fascinating and never ending source of inspiration,’ he explains. Lee’s journey to becoming a professional artist started when he was made redundant from

teaching some years ago, this allowed him to spend time developing his own career while still teaching and sharing his knowledge, as well as seeking out opportunities to learn and develop as an artist himself. ‘Every sale of work is a proud moment for me,’ says Lee. ‘It means that my art has made a connection with someone, and that they are willing to invest in me as an artist – it’s humbling and fulfilling! Some of my notable achievements have been appearing on BBC’s ‘Show Me The Monet’, being invited as a guest on to radio shows, and exhibiting my work in countries around the world, or here, at home. Having my work talked about and supported by Saatchi Art means that my work is shared on a worldwide platform. My work was even selected by famous singer, Carly Rae Jepson as her favourite works from Saatchi to link with one of her albums.’ As Lee Boyd continues to build on his reputation and career as an artist, we can’t help but wonder what the future holds. ‘I am almost

always working on more works than one, so I grab any opportunity that might pop up at any time. My next body of work is ‘Mamallians’, which will consist of 25 portraits of people, that will be based on the individual conversations I will have with those people. They will be more of a natural, realistic depiction of the person.’ For more information visit

COMPETITION Ireland’s Homes Interiors & Living magazine along with Lee Boyd are offering one lucky reader the chance to win a commission of an original pencil portrait up to A3 size. Worth £500!

How to enter Answer the following question: What BBC show did Lee appear on? Send your answer, name, address, email and phone number marked Lee Boyd Competition to Ireland’s Homes Interiors & Living magazine, PO Box 42, Bangor, County Down, BT19 7AD or Ashgrove House, Kill Avenue, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin or enter online at: Entries must be received no later than 5pm on Friday 5th January 2018. One entry per household. One separate email/postcard for each competition. Judge’s decision is final. No cash alternative. Prizes are non-transferable. If you would like to receive our monthly newsletter please include your email address with your entry.

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Ladies Start the new year in style and treat yourself to a bit of pampering and a good book.

treat yourself...

Wish list... Ring in the New Year in style!

This Month:

Elegant party dress from TK Maxx. Price on request.

the Heritage spa Killenard In Brief The Heritage Killenard offers one of the foremost experiences of spa hotels in Ireland, located in County Laois.

Kiehl’s ultra Facial Cream offers 24 hour hydration for the skin. £24.50.

About The health club and spa are located close to the hotel. This entire space is dedicated to health, fitness and wellbeing. The spa at The Heritage Killenard offers a touch of tranquillity in a contemporary and luxurious setting at Ireland’s premier 5* hotel. Our luxury spa offers 20 treatment rooms set in an oasis of calm, with a wonderful selection of spa treatments and packages that will allow you to indulge in a truly world class spa experience.

Contact details Phone Laois 057 8645500.

East foldover leather clutch. £65.

Bon Prix single strap sandals. £22.99.

Chubby stick intense moisturising lip colour balm in Richer Raisin by Clinique. £18.

MOVIE CLUB Downsizing Downsizing is a satirical comedy that follows a kindly occupational therapist who undergoes a new procedure to be shrunken so that he and his wife can help save the planet and afford a nice lifestyle at the same time. So when scientists discover how to shrink humans to five inches tall as a solution to overpopulation, Paul (Matt Damon) and Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to abandon their stressed lives in order to get small and move to a new downsized community — a choice that triggers life-changing adventures.


S h ow r o o m P r o F I L E

Wrights Design House


Wrights Design House has been in operation for over 50 years, having started out under the name Be-Right Kitchens up until four years ago, when they undertook a major rebrand.

rights Design House has been at its current location for eight years now, and they are constantly redeveloping and extending. They predict future trends and ensure their showroom displays reflect this accordingly, meaning it is always fresh and exciting for their clients to come into. The showroom features a stylish range of kitchens, across a broad price bracket. Having a rapidly increasing share of the top end of the market in Belfast and surrounding areas, they have tailored the refit of their showroom to reflect this. The first thing a potential client will see when entering the showroom is the 50th Anniversary kitchen – a luxury bespoke, handpainted solid wood kitchen. This was created to mark 50 years of success in the kitchen industry, and they have found it to be extremely successful so far. Wrights have a number of unique kitchens, including their recently launched Synergy Collection and the now renowned Jura Collection. Director Glen Wright and the design team went to Switzerland to source unique material specifically for this ground breaking design. It was the first time this material has been used in the creation of a kitchen in Ireland, and they have now completed a number of projects for clients


using this material. The Nocturnal Collection of kitchens is also on offer, again a unique product in Ireland, having created and perfected a process which involves finishing the kitchen in paints from luxury car manufacturers, applied in an international standard car spraying facility. Along with seeing an extensive range of furniture, customers that visit can expect the highest level of professionalism and customer service from everyone at Wrights Design House. They have a highly trained and experienced team, and have recently won Irish Kitchen Designer of the Year. They aim to make their customers feel special, ensuring they leave the showroom happy with the options that they have been given. Within the showroom, they have created a welcoming ambience, having put research into the styles of music that will make customers feel at ease when they visit. They have also created a special coffee station where clients are invited when they arrive, which helps to create a relaxed setting. Previously completed projects and imagery can also be viewed on the various LED televisions in the showroom. For more information phone Wrights Design House, Lisburn 028 9263 9964.

VISIT US ONLINE Offering high-resolution imagery, articles from the magazine and fully connected to social media, you’ll never miss a thing. Want to order a subscription or back issue? Need a list of quality suppliers for kitchens or appliances? offers all of these services and more bonus content, so what are you waiting for?

Visit NOW! Enjoy on your computer, tablet or smart device.


Sitting Sweet! Create a relaxing sanctuary within your home by having comfortable seating options that suit your style and needs.

Combining elegance with comfort, the Charlotte Grand sofa in teal velvet Isla Kingfisher from Neptune. ÂŁ1,980/â‚Ź2,540.

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1 Striped cushion from J by Jasper Conran at Debenhams. From £25.20/€38.50. 2 Saturday two and a half seat sofa in pure cotton matt velvet, from £1,190, with Georgette footstool in sunshine, £440. 3 Heart of House harrison fabric chaise sofa from Argos. £769.99. 4 Eden sofa from DFS. £1,399/€1,819. 5 Clayton chair from Michael Murphy Home Furnishing. €1,499. 3


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ExpErt advicE This season DFS has partnered with renowned design critic Tom Dyckhoff to help make sure that your living room is too good to leave. Tom Dyckhoff explains: ‘Humans have been hardwired over the past millennia that the home equals protection from the harsh world outside, a world raging with foul weather, fierce beasts and bad days at work. You should, in theory at least, come home to be soothed. To this day the home’s primary purpose is to be a haven of comfort and it is our most intimate place, where we let down our guard and truly be ourselves. ‘However, these days, our home is becoming less of a retreat from the outside forces. Thanks to smartphones, Wi-Fi, Instagram and email, our home too often is less a retreat, more an extension of the office, and we must defend its ancient role as a place of sanctuary. Working with DFS, we’ve been able to create a space that takes design, senses and mood into account to create the ultimate, most comfortable, living space to really allow you to be soothed.’ Tom’s top tips to create a living space which all make your home too good to go out • Make your sofa the centre of comfort – Whether you are snuggling down in the evening with a good book and a glass of wine, watching the latest boxset, or having friends over for drinks and catch up, a comfy sofa is at the centre of all these activities. • Make sure your furniture has height – Low furniture can make us feel exposed, compared to wraparound cocoon-like seating or high-backed armchairs, which make us feel secure and tie in with the trend of creating cosy nooks. • Layers upon layers of fabrics – This is the time for blankets, throws, cushions and rugs in tactile materials. Texture is key for comfort so don’t shy away from wool, chunky knits, fur (faux or otherwise), sheepskin, corduroy, flannel and velvets. • Soothing colours and tones – Natural doesn’t have to mean neutral. Use browns and creams and greys as a backdrop but layer on the colour too. Think about using darkness as a base; bright interiors have been fashionable for years, but dark paints can be cosier.


• Create pools of light – Create the feeling of candle light by setting a base note of low-wattage lighting, a mid-note here and there for task-centred lighting, and a focal point of brighter lights. But don’t forget natural light is invigorating, and essential for well-being. • Bring in nature and natural materials – Be it plants, wood, stone or even warm metals such as copper or bronze, having nature and natural elements in our homes is proven to reduce stress. • Objects and ornaments galore – Now is not a time for minimalism. Get out the knickknacks and think tactility through pottery, baskets and sculptural pieces. Anything that invites you to handle them.



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1 Albany handle recliner suite from the La-Z-Boy Originals Collection. Price on request. 2 The stunning Mama chair from Natuzzi is available in various fabric options as well as leather. The Mama is sure to make a style statement with its tall, solid upholstered structure and sumptuous cushions. From £1,070. 3 Michael Murphy Home Furnishing Loom corner sofa. €1,775. 4 Carl Hansen three seater sofa available from £6,133. 5 NORR11 Mammoth chair in camel vintage leather. €2,429. 6 Lyla petite sofa from Next. £550.



ExpErt advicE Dave Darragh, Sales Director, La-Z-Boy UK

Choosing the perfect armchair • Decide whether a static chair or a reclining chair is best for you. Reclining armchairs offer a comfortable and supportive sit which you can adjust to your personal taste. • Choose a chair that will fit well in your living space, remembering to allow room behind and at the sides if you opt for a reclining model. • Pick your upholstery. Would you prefer a fabric or leather chair? Depending on what pattern and colourway would suit your room, make sure to pick a chair that suits your requirements. • Try before you buy. It’s always best to test out a chair in a showroom if possible, so you can feel first-hand how comfortable it is for you.


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1 A luxe cotton velvet fabric by Kirkby Design in the colour Teal adorns this armchair. £80 per metre. 2 From the Alston collection by Romo, the textured linen has a subtle sheen and natural appearance. £70 per metre. 3 A botanical inspired pattern with a modern twist. Aylin by Villa Nova depicts cotton ball tufts that were originally created from a hand drawn sketch, and interpreted as a textural jacquard weave with a subtly distressed look. £40 per metre. 4 Sofa upholstered in Black Edition’s Herbaria fabric in Maroque. Price on request. 5 Sofia armchair in plush indigo velvet, from Made. £599.


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1 Santino swivel chair in grey from Michael Murphy Home Furnishing. €849. 2 Window seat, Neptune’s Madeleine chair upholstered in Jack Sage, £440/€570 and Madeleine chair upholstered in Isla Mallard, £400/€520; Hebe scatter cushion in Lara Sage, £50/€65 and Camilla scatter cushions in Emma Sage and Isla Mallard, £60/€77. 3 Les Jardins Tekura Lounge armchair from Houseology. £1,429. 4 Jaycee three seater sofa from Harvey Norman. £1,499/€1,599.


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STOCKISTS A Argos 01 5621083 (s). B Black Edition Kevin Kelly Interiors, Dublin 01 6688533. Roycroft Interiors, Belfast 028 9066 6088. D Debenhams 0344 800 8877 (s). DFS 0333 999 9803 (s). H Harvey Norman Belfast 028 9038 9600. Dublin 01 8847400. Houseology K Kirkby Design (s). L La-Z-Boy (s). M Made Michael Murphy Home Furnishing Kildare 045 431868. N Natuzzi (s). Neptune (s). Nest Next 0333 777 8000 (s). Norr11 (s). R Romo Kevin Kelly Interiors, Dublin 01 6688533. Roycroft Interiors, Belfast 028 9066 6088. (s). S V Villa Nova Fletcher Design, Templepatrick 028 9335 2835. Casa Home Ltd, Dublin 01 2805805. (s).

READER’S REFERENCE: (s) = Stockist details.


Open Spaces Auckland Concrete crop from Ulster Carpets. ÂŁ40 per m2.

Cover Up A rug or carpet can be a neutral canvas or a focal point with vibrant colours and strong bold patterns and textures. Here are some to whet your appetite.

soft flooring

The benefits of an area rug An area rug helps to define a space, anchors the furniture in the room and is a common addition to a hard surface floor such as hardwood, laminate, or tile. A rug can even be laid over wall to wall carpet. There are numerous reasons why area rugs are so popular, and yet some people may be uncertain as to whether they should cover up their beautiful floors with a rug. Perhaps the most obvious reason to have an area rug is for the look of it, however the benefits extend far beyond style. Noise Reduction: An area rug will significantly decrease the noise in your space. Not only is carpet quieter to walk on than a hard surface floor, it also absorbs sound from the air. Comfort: It’s no secret that carpet is a lot softer than hardwood or tile. Not only does the carpet feel softer underfoot, but its softness gives it flexibility, which allows the carpet to absorb some of the impacts of your footstep. This literally takes some of the pressure off your body. Warmth: In addition to being softer, carpet is warmer than hard surface flooring. It has a greater insulating value, especially if it has a pad under the rug. Grounding Aspect: When properly placed, an area rug can help anchor the furniture in a room, which helps to create a cozy, intimate space. For example, a living room or family room rug should be large enough that the main pieces of furniture (sofa, chair, coffee table) are all sitting on the rug, or at minimum have the front legs on the rug. Without the rug, it can feel as though the furniture is ‘floating’ in the room.


1 From Harvey Norman, the Soho copper rug. €600. Elba four seater sofa. €2,199. 2 From Farrow & Ball and The Rug Company, the Portland pink rug. £1,150. 3 HABITÜS Croft Soya carpet from Ulster Carpets. £40 per m2. 4 Rossolo fushia rug from Designers Guild. £595 to £795.





soft flooring

Kilim rug from Modern Rugs. £109.

Liberty rug from JD Williams. £39.

Bianca rug from Michael Murphy Home Furnishing. €219.

Carpetright Noble Diamonds blue rug. From £48.99.

Salmone rug from Michael Murphy Home Furnishing. €529.

Vaserely circular wool rug, 200cm, from Made. £349.

Helen Moore luxury faux fur rug from Black by Design. Medium, £150.

Normann Copenhagen Pavilion rug from Amara. £300.


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Fringed Boho rug from Audenza. £56.95.


1 Autumn rugs from Feather & Black. From £300. 2 Atelier Poule rug from Modern Rugs. £299. 3 Carpetright Saturn carpet in mint. £27.99 m2. 2

Dutchbone Round Pix rug with tassels from Cuckooland. £349.

Lene Bjerre Karna rug from Sweetpea & Willow. £175. 44

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Diamond rug from Littlewoods Ireland. From â‚Ź84.99.

STOCKISTS C Carpet Right Belfast 028 9210 6261. D Dash & albert Designers Guild 0207 351 5775 (s). F Farrow & Ball 01202 876141 (s). Feather & Black 01243 380 600 (s). H Harvey Norman Belfast 028 9038 9600. Dublin 01 4916300. M Modern Rugs 01306 731331 (s). T The Rug Company 020 3369 3915 (s). U Ulster Carpets Craigavon 028 3833 4433. READER’S REFERENCE: (s) = Stockist details.


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All Dressed Up! Window dressings are an essential part in completing a home. They help with energy loss, light control and also can add a wonderful aesthetic to the rooms in your home.

Manual roller blinds in Mermet M-Screen 8505 in white from Grand Design Blinds. Extra large manual roller blinds can transform an exposed room into a private space. From ÂŁ1,800.

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How to measure for Blinds First of all you will need to see if your window has a recess, and whether you would like your blind to sit within the recess or outside of it. If you have a deep recess, having your blinds within this space is usually best, whereas if you have a shallow recess you are better having your blinds outside. To measure within the recess use a metal tape measure, and measure the width at three different points as you will often find the length is not consistent from top to bottom, then use the smallest measurement you take for your width. Use the same method for the length. If you are installing vertical blinds then you should reduce your length by 1cm so that the fabric will not catch. For blinds to be installed on the outside of the recess, measure across the space and add 10cm so that you will have an additional 5cm at either side, providing full coverage. For the length, choose how far you wish your blind to stop and measure from where the top fitting will be to this point.

How to measure for curtains First you will need a pole or track, and for this you need to measure the width of your window and add approx. 40cm to allow your curtains to fully cover the window. You should fit your pole or track 15cm above your window recess. Once you have your pole or track in place, measure it’s length (not including any decorative end pieces on the pole). Once you have this measurement, multiplying by two is usually a good way of getting enough curtain to form a nice pleat. Now that you have your width, you need to decide at what point you would like your curtain to drop to. Usually people choose between sill length, just below the sill or floor length. Next you measure from your pole or track to the point where your curtain will end. If you intend on having pencil pleat curtains then measure from the eye of the curtain ring to the end point. Now you have your width and length! 3


w i n d ow d r e s s i n g s 1 Designers Guild Versailles garden Deleft. Price on request. 2 Michelle Keegan Jacquard curtains in silver from Very. 66x90. £79. 3 Bloc Blinds blind in smouldering charcoal blackout fabric. Provides unmatched levels of darkness. Price on request. 4 The Herbaria collection from Black Edition offers a dramatic collection of decadent velvets that intertwine layers of past and present artistry. Price on request. 5 Neptune fabrics, Emma Teal, £55/€71 per m2; Elliot Soft Teal, £72/€93; velvet Isla Kingfisher in teal, £48/€62; Angus Teal, £72/€93 per m2. 6 The Tiami Grey Seal from the new Floris collection by Romo has shimmering blossoms cascading across a luxe silk-effect cloth with textural backdrop that gives the design its contemporary edge. £90 per metre.





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1 The Luxaflex® Couture Collection of venetian blinds. From £184. 2 VELUX blackout blinds for optimal darkness at any time. From £72/€85. 3 Collection Artisan Leaves lined curtains from Argos. £49.99/€54.99. 4 Evocative of Kylie Minogue’s glamour, these Grazia curtains will certainly make a statement in your room. These quilted velvet panels are finished with tiny sequins for that added touch of sparkle. Available in Oyster, Praline and Silver, the Grazia eyelet curtains are fully lined and ready to hang. Available from Kylie Minogue at Home. Price on request. 5 Contemporary blinds from the Ashley Wilde Group. Price on request.



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A Argos 01 5621083 (s). Ashley Wilde Group 01707 635 201. B Black Edition Kevin Kelly Interiors, Dublin 01 6688533. Roycroft Interiors, Belfast 028 9066 6088. (s). BlocBlinds Belfast 028 9066 6410. D Designers Guild CDC Interior Design, Cork 021 4391599. Beechgrove Interiors, Ballymena 028 2556 7264. (s). E English Blinds G Grand Design Blinds K Kylie Minogue at Home 01707 635 201 (s). (s). L Luxaflex Alan Espey Interiors, Newtownards 028 9181 5076. John A Shannon, Kilkeel 028 4176 2315. (s). N Neptune R Romo Kevin Kelly Interiors, Dublin 01 6688533. Roycroft Interiors, Belfast 028 9066 6088. (s). V Velux (s). Very 0800 092 3355 (s). Villa Nova Fletcher Design, Templepatrick 028 9335 2835. Casa Home Ltd, Dublin 012805805. (s).

READER’S REFERENCE: (s) = Stockist details.


1 Bring colour and pattern to any room with Orla’s readymade curtains from the Ashley Wilde Group. In Iconic Multi Stem Duck Egg, the bold, graphic scale is both retro and modern at the same time. Price on request. 2 Vasari Russet Teal is a sheer, intricate fil coupé geometric patterned fabric from Villa Nova. A dramatic and stylish addition to any interior. Can be used to make blinds or curtains. £90 per metre. 3 Orla Kiely linear Stem Tomato roman blinds from English Blinds. £68.45.



Stylish Textures Cushions and throws are an affordable way to transform even the simplest seating in an instant.

Cushions from the Earth Form collection by Ashley Wilde. From left to right and then behind with the grey marble affect cushion: £37, £39, £34, £32.

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1 Zaffron green cushion from Michael Murphy Home Furnishing. €29. 2 From Monsoon Home, clockwise from top left: bright cross stitch cushion, £35; tuft peacock cushion, £35; hand tufted geo cushion, £40; linen mix pom pom curtain panel, £45; Aztec pom pom cushion, £40; Aztec neon cushion, £35. 3 From Casamance, Paradisiaca (curtain & cushion), 100 per cent cotton, width 140cm, three colourways. €121.20; Chamade (plain cushions), 75 percent viscose, 15 per cent linen, 10 percent wool, width 134cm, 23 colourways. €121.20. 4 Kantha quilt made from vintage saris from Decorator’s Notebook. £175. 5 Bandeau collection of silk cushions from My Billet Doux. £230. 6 Chartreuse yellow velvet throw from The French Bedroom Company. £198. 7 Penney’s Hygge hibernate cushion, €6; throw, €10; two tone throw, €23; pink throw, €20; faux fur brown cushion, €10.





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top tip Cushions and throws can pull a design scheme together and provide extra warmth to your cosiest living spaces, and bring texture and colour to an interior scheme. As they can be changed with relative ease, they are perfect for updating your space quickly. Think about how you can use your cushions and throws to reflect the changing seasons. Little changes like this help keep your room and design concept fresh and current year after year. Select different fabrics and finishes of your cushions and throws. Add wool to your upholstery and blend it with silk curtains and cashmere throws, or cable knit and faux fur cushions in complementary tones. Introduce pattern and geometric prints to add impact to your sofa or bed. Monochromatic graphics, bright florals, subtle stripes or photographic prints are a popular choice. Consider size and shape. Large oversized cushions are great floor cushions while a cluster of round cushions can create a feeling of softness on beds and armchairs. For a more uniform look, choose one or two shapes of cushion, and create two symmetrical displays on either end of your sofa. For a more relaxed, eclectic feel, use an odd number of cushions in different shapes and sizes. Nothing makes a bedroom look more cosy, warm and inviting than a stylish bed layered with cushions and pillows. Oversized pillows are perfect for resting against if you’re sitting up to read or watch television, while a smaller cushions can be used to rest a book or laptop on for ultimate comfort. Fold a designer throw at the foot of your bed to add more texture to the design scheme; choose something soft and comfortable that feels wonderful wrapped around you on cooler nights.


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Carolina cushion from Harvey Norman. â‚Ź30.


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From Amara, Liberty of London Garden of Beauty navy velvet cushion. £125.

Roksana ochre cushion from Michael Murphy Home Furnishing. €29.

Cirque Sous large cushion in marine from Lime Lace. £180.

From the Ashley Wilde Group two tone throw with detailed pom pom edges. £195.

From B&Q, Cierra Aztec cushion. £13.

Neptune’s pure new wool Cotswold Herringbone throw in shingle. £110/€145.

Tweedmill pure new wool chequered cushion in spearmint from Black by Design. £25.95.

Sissinghurst cushion from Vintage Cushions. £85.

Flamingo cotton cushion from Ovo Home. £29.95.


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1 From Marks & Spencer; from the top: house metallic jacquard cushion, £25; Manhattan cushion, £29.50; diamond quilt cushion, £12; marble effect print cushion, £19.50; stitched geometric print cushion, £25; on the floor, eye jacquard cushion, £19.50. 2 Neptune duck feather filled cushions. From £70/€79. Rupert footstool in Isla Fox. From £335/€445. Fleming round mirror. From £125/€160. 3 Harvey Norman soft brushed throw, €45; Eva mutlicolour throw, €60; knitted taupe throw, €60; Murmur Dew throw, €155; brushed cable throw, €30. 4 Lene Bjerre Emilia square cushion from Houseology. From £59.





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SToCKISTS A Ashley Wilde Group 01707 635 201. C Casamance 0818 200 058 (s). D Decorator’s Notebook 0845 474 1747. H Harvey Norman Belfast 028 90389600. Dublin 01 4916300. Houseology 0330 363 0330. M Marks & Spencer 028 9127 0674. Michael Murphy Home Furnishings 01890 917003 Monsoon Home 0203 372 3052. My Billet Doux 07949 240 470. N Neptune P Primark Belfast 028 9024 2288. Dublin 01 6566666. T The French Bedroom Company 01444 415430.

READER’S REFERENCE: (s) = Stockist details.


A Courtly Restoration Originally used to house the carriages and prize livestock of the Longueville Estate, this elegant period property has been tastefully transformed into a light and bright family home.

PhotograPhy by PhiliP lauterbach. editorial and styling by Penny crawford-collins.


estled in a pretty double courtyard behind Longueville House Hotel, this stylish granite property has been converted over a number of years to provide William and Aisling with the space and accommodation they need for themselves and their family. Longueville House Hotel is architecturally typical late Georgian. Situated outside the town of Mallow, County Cork it is approached by a curving avenue, boasting beautiful views of the undulating countryside and the Blackwater Valley. Now run by William and Aisling, it was opened as a simple bed and breakfast by William’s parents back in 1969 and has now developed a huge reputation both nationally and internationally for its warm hospitality and delicious food. ‘For the first seven years of our married life we lived in a little cottage on the estate, we then moved into this courtyard building, which had been converted from a basic farm building into a small and comfortable home by William’s parents who had already lived in the house for almost twenty years. ‘The house was long and narrow and a bit dark, with small windows that didn’t enjoy the views of the garden. There was not enough storage or accommodation for us and the children, so we really needed to extend it and make it more practical for family life,’ says Aisling.

The couple enlisted the help of a local architect to come up with a design that would maximise the available natural light and space. With his advice the couple decided to completely gut the house, updating it and adding a two storey extension to the back of the property incorporating large windows that allowed the natural light to flow in. The new extension allowed for a large kitchen/dining/living space with utility room and upstairs two extra bedrooms and two bathrooms and a walk in wardrobe. ‘We wanted the extra bedrooms to have ensuites and we also needed a space where the family could gather, relax and socialise that would be light, warm, and functional,’ explains Aisling.


‘We wanted everything to look original so as to be sure that the old and the new blended seamlessly together, so any new additions, including the furniture, were carefully considered,’ says Aisling.


Determined that the new addition would not detract from the character of the old building the couple sourced traditional style fixtures and fittings. ‘We went to great efforts to keep everything as traditional as possible. In the kitchen we fitted a reconditioned Aga, supplied by John Costigan, and a traditional style kitchen that we had bespoke made, we also had the table made with spalted beech from the estate, it was bespoke crafted by artisan Mark Donnelly. To add more character we teamed this with some inherited mis-matched chairs,’ says Aisling. To add the finishing touch in this room the couple fitted some old lights that they salvaged from the basement of the hotel. ‘These lights would have been originally used over the billiard table in the hotel. We had them cleaned up and rewired to use in the kitchen – I love to recycle and am really pleased we have managed to bring a piece that has a story into the room,’ says Aisling. In the living area the couple went to great pains to source an original antique marble fireplace. ‘It came from an old Georgian house in Kilkenny and was a gift from my mother, says Aisling. The room is painted in a dark rich heritage red by Colourtrend, and furnished with country style sofas and chairs. All the fabrics were supplied by Bernie Evans of Designers Mallow, ‘We wanted everything to look original so as to be sure that the old and the new blended seamlessly together, so any new additions, including the furniture, were carefully considered,’ says Aisling.


‘These lights would have been originally used over the billiard table in the hotel. We had them cleaned up and rewired to use in the kitchen.’

Upstairs the new bathrooms and bedrooms are wonderfully light and airy. For comfort and cosiness the bedrooms have been fitted with wool carpets, supplied by Dan Joe Fitzgerald. The master bedroom enjoys wonderful views over the three acre walled garden. A walk in wardrobe and ensuite flows off this room which is fitted with built in wardrobes supplied by CFF Group, so there is plenty of storage for a clutter free existence. When it came to the décor Aisling decided to stick to a neutral palette, ‘We have quite a lot of dark pieces of furniture that have been given to us over the years, so it was important that these would work in the house and not make it look too dark and dated, so all the colours chosen are soft muted tones from Colourtrend and Zoffany apart from, of course, the dramatic red of the new living room,’ explains Aisling.


‘We are both really pleased with how the house has come together. Over the years we have put a huge amount of time and effort into updating, extending and furnishing our home. It’s now really homely and comfortable, we spend alot of our time in the new kitchen/dining/living space, it functions perfectly for the family and it’s now a lovely warm home to relax in,’ concludes Aisling.


Create the look From the Cork home

Longueville Estate, an elegant period property, has been tastefully decorated using neutral tones and is transformed into a light and bright family home.

Lotherton mirror from The Chandelier & Mirror Company. £325.

Romanov floor lamp with table and gothic rail from Besselink & Jones. £1,890.

Dior dining chair from Oficina Inglesa.

Taika dinner plate from Cloudberry Living. £27.

Dalby sofa from Darlings of Chelsea. £1,889.30.

Hiram table lamp in blue and white from Dar Lighting. £132.


Best of all Worlds Having travelled the globe, financial analysts Seamus and Andre swapped the suburbs for the city to create an eclectic penthouse home with a generous twist of international style. Feature Mandi Millar. PhotograPhy derek robinson. stylist Marie McMillen.


aving travelled the world, it was a business opportunity which brought Donegal-born Seamus and New Zealander Andre to Belfast, the city they now call home. ‘Being in the finance business we’ve been lucky enough to see quite a bit of the world through work and it was actually while we were both based in Dublin that we first met,’ says Seamus. ‘Initially we bought a property there and then moved to London for a short time, but when a business opportunity presented itself in Belfast we decided to move back to Ireland and set up home here.’ Establishing a landmark business on Belfast’s burgeoning hospitality scene, initially the couple bought an old property in Holywood, to get away from all the stress of city life but still be convenient to work. ‘We


actually bought, renovated and sold three older houses there and really enjoyed the process,’ says Seamus. But after these projects both he and Andre realised they were actually missing the buzz of city life and decided to start looking for a new home back in the heart of the action in downtown Belfast. ‘I think at heart we’re both city dwellers and it was time to go back to our roots! Around that time there was a lot of apartment development going on in the city centre and we looked at quite a few but most of them were pretty soulless to be honest. Obviously an apartment was going to be very different to the old houses we’d had in Holywood, but we still wanted something with its own definite character, a real statement piece. And this penthouse hit us between the eyes!’ laughs Seamus, who was immediately struck by the quality finish.

‘For a start, the views are stunning over the rooftops and beyond, afforded by a wrap-around balcony which means you can virtually follow the sun the whole day. There was such attention to detail too, state-of-theart tech which Andre and I appreciated – the air con, integrated music system throughout and even a sauna! We didn’t set out to find a home with a sauna and it wouldn’t have been a deal breaker, but it was certainly the icing on the cake! Andre too loved the high spec kitchen, the beautiful cherrywood panelling which puts this apartment in a different league to anything we’d seen and, of course, the walk-in dressing room. We both love clothes so this potentially was the deal breaker!’

Best of all though was the fact the penthouse was in walk-in condition because, with ever-growing business commitments, Seamus and Andre simply didn’t have time for another home renovation project. ‘It was irresistibly appealing so we took the plunge and signed up!’ says Seamus, who then started wondering how all the furniture they had collected over the years for their older homes in Holywood was going to sit in this uber chic, modern penthouse.


‘Style though is one of those things which, if you go for quality, whether it’s a modern, vintage or antique classic, will usually work regardless of the setting and we were fortunate enough with our key pieces – the dining suite, Persian rugs and artwork, for instance,’ says Seamus who especially loves the nod to the Art Deco era in the beautifully crafted cherrywood panelling of the round-walled hallway. ‘The penthouse had me right there, before I’d even

seen anything else! I just loved the sense of style it evoked and I knew our slightly eclectic taste in interiors was going to meld seamlessly in this quality build.’ Able to move straight into their home this time, bypassing their usual renovation projects, Seamus and Andre were able to enjoy putting their own stamp on the place. ‘That was a real luxury. Thankfully our senses of style are fairly

similar – we both like a mix of old and new and because we’ve been fortunate enough to live all over the world, I think we bring a sense of that to the penthouse too,’ says Seamus. As a result he and Andre have beautiful reproduction antique bedroom furniture in one room and next door, an ultra modern kitchen; in another room an Arts and Crafts style mirror and in yet another, contemporary Italian lighting.


‘The views are stunning over the rooftops and beyond, afforded by a wrap-around balcony which means you can virtually follow the sun the whole day.’


‘We’ve been delighted at how the place has come together,’ says Seamus, who is glad too they decided to move back to their city roots. ‘For being so central to everything the penthouse is an amazingly tranquil space – you’re right up out of everything so you feel 86

very removed from the stress of it all on the streets below! It’s been great too, to watch Belfast grow into the cosmopolitan city it is today. Having travelled the globe I think we’ve managed to find the best of all worlds here – as well as a place to call home.’

Create the look From the belFast home

Seamus and Andre swapped the suburbs for the city to create an eclectic penthouse home with a generous twist of Art Deco and international style.

Venetian orchid mirror from The French Bedroom Company. £255.

Lucien coffee table in dark mango wood from Made. £299.

Mandarin red velvet cushion from Idyll Home. £32.

Akume red velvet cushion from Hegron de Carle. £65.

Rume purple cotton and linen cushion. £59.

Red bud vase from Annabel James. £13.95.

Metal bow floor lamp from Cuckooland. £219.

Opera sofa from Natuzzi. £3,900. 87

Coming Home Returning home to Ireland from New Zealand in 2007, interior designer Cathy and husband Liam wanted to settle in the place that Liam has always called home, the small seaside town of Donabate in north County Dublin. Feature & PhotograPhy BarBara egan / rePortage.


athy and Liam were attracted by the location of this small ex-council cottage situated right on the green in the centre of the town, and it had a large garden so they felt confident that they could add a reasonably large extension while still retaining a generous outside space. ‘We had already completed a couple of home builds, so we were confident about tackling a refurbishment,’ says Cathy. ‘The cottages had been planned with gardens suitable for growing enough vegetables to feed a family, so they were unusually big.’ When they bought the house, the study at the front was a small sitting room and the kitchen was tiny, housed in what is now the spare bedroom. There was an older extension with a bathroom, which they knew would have to be demolished, however they lived in the house for a couple of years before tackling the refurbishment. ‘We were happy to make do with the tiny kitchen and sitting room while we decided what to do with the house. I felt that I wanted to get a good feel for the house, the light and the way our family used it before taking the plunge with a major structural project,’ says Cathy. They consulted several architects before settling on Dermot Bannon Architects. ‘We just explained that we wanted to create a strong connection between the living areas and the garden, and to introduce as much light as possible into the house,’ says Cathy. ‘It is my conviction that you should leave an architect to work on a design without too much second-guessing; just wait and see what they come up with if left unhindered!’


The design put forward by Dermot was perfect. The couple loved it and went ahead with very little change. ‘We felt that we had a good return for letting the architect be creative, the warmth and light in the extension never fails to lift the spirits’, says Cathy. Surprisingly, one of the things Cathy enjoyed most about the build was the project management, which she had decided to supervise herself. ‘It’s a case of being very organised, having all the correct materials available on site in sequence for the different trades,’ she says.

‘I am an organised person, probably from working for years in banking, and I did enjoy that part of the project. Mind you, my entire schedule was thrown into disarray by a very slowworking plasterer, to the extent that we actually had to find somewhere to rent as the house wasn’t ready at the appointed time, but in general the experience was stress free.’ The décor scheme started in the master bedroom. Initially, people were surprised at how contemporary the bedroom was, especially as the cottage is quite old, but my plan was to create a very contemporary interior look throughout. My intention was also to design a seamless storage space in the room, using the alcoves at either side of the fireplace, which is now behind the built-in wardrobe.’

Cathy has learned several things over the years about renovations, two primary issues being trusting your own instincts and doing extensive research. ‘In the kitchen area of this house, the builder couldn’t understand the function of the slim window beside the units. He thought it a waste of time and money and told me I should leave it out of the plans, but I stood my ground and it is one of my favourite features of the space now. It breaks the blank wall to the east, lets in the sun and frames a refreshing glimpse of greenery and the garden outside.’

Her research paid off in the choice of the Jøtul solid fuel stove, as she compared all those available on the market and did her sums on kilowatt output and cubic space before making a decision. ‘I’m so glad that I did, because the room is quite big with a high ceiling, but is very cosy now’, she says. ‘I love the light pouring in from the glazed wall, and the warmth of the stove, it’s what makes the space.’ The kitchen is where most of us spend most of our time, and Cathy concentrated on getting it right. ‘We had gone for budget kitchens in previous renovations, but I wanted this one to be special; it’s the engine of the house, and if the kitchen doesn’t work properly, the extension wouldn’t work. The architect had planned it facing the garden, but as we had gone for a bespoke kitchen we had a great kitchen designer who persuaded us to reposition, using the highbacked island to block the view of the messy bits.’ Painting the dining wall in a dark grey then defined the space within the open-plan area. Cathy used the rug and sofa to define the sitting area,


within the living space, and the vertical DVD storage to emphasis the height of the room. ‘With large items of furniture it’s a good idea to size them out with sheets of cardboard or newspaper to see how the space will work around them. I did this with the modular sofa in the living area, which in the showroom, I thought was too big, but it worked perfectly in the space.’ The warm sunny music room is a completely separate room, and is designed as a retreat area to read or play music. The bookcase is painted a cheerful yellow to echo the sunlight and filled with collections of objects. ‘Your home should tell the story of who you are and house the collection of things that you love. Don’t give house space to anything you don’t love, just because it ‘will do’’, says Cathy. ‘We love the house, the extension, the light and the warmth. I love to get up and I love to come home! It’s the first home we have lived in that I feel happy to potter about in all day. I’m usually a restless person and like to be up and out,’ says Cathy. ‘It just has a lovely relaxing atmosphere.’

Create the look From the Dublin home

Interior designer Cathy and husband Liam added a large extension to an old cottage and created a very contemporary interior look throughout.

Vivienne occasional chair in mustard from My Furniture. £169.99.

Rouen five light pendant from Dar Lighting. £348. Normann Copenhagen bar stool from Black By Design. £179.90. Tweedmill textiles throw in Beehive yellow from Cotswold Trading. £54.

Friends cushion cover from And Shine. £19.50. KSL Living sideboard. £1,983.99/€2,238.



The Wow Factor Emma and John wanted a kitchen with simple elegant style. Their brief was a contemporary design that would meet the practical needs of their family life, but would also be very much in-keeping with their beautiful modern new build home in Drumahoe. Poplar Design have delivered this and much more.

O ‘

ur previous kitchen was a beech shaker style with stainless steel corner carousel, shutter and appliances,’ recalls Emma. ‘It had a black granite worktop and cream tiled floor and was very traditional.’ So how did the couple decide on their choice of kitchen company? ‘Of all the kitchen outlets we visited, Poplar Design stood out. The range they stock totally differs from all other suppliers we visited. We wanted a modern kitchen and wanted the wow factor. The main living space in the house is a large open-plan area in which we spend most of our time as a family, therefore it was really important that the kitchen stood out as well as being functional. On meeting our designer Caroline, it was very obvious that we were on the same wavelength with regard to design and we clicked immediately.’ As this was a new build there was only one real structural change


that was implemented during the build. Caroline suggested that the roof should be lowered in the areas above the kitchen units and above the island in order to try and tie the entire kitchen together and improve the flow of the kitchen as a whole. The corner window made the kitchen very disjointed as it created a big disconnect from one side of the kitchen to the other but by dropping the ceiling this problem was erased.’ The layout and design of the kitchen was the next element for the couple as Emma explains, ‘We had an idea of the layout we wanted but we appreciated the finer details added by Caroline. She has a great attention to detail which contributed greatly to the wow factor we feel the kitchen has. Once we gave Caroline the brief her artistic talent did the rest.’ Emma knew that she wanted various elements in her new kitchen

and an island with a sink for food preparation was high on the list. ‘The shape of our previous house did not allow for a kitchen island,’ she explains, ‘And I also really wanted eye level double ovens.’ A variety of colours were discussed for the final design, however, given the style of the couple’s home, Poplar Design chose the combination of high-gloss white and black glass in Pronorm’s Proline range. These high-gloss white doors trimmed with a stainless steel edge, profile and black glass radiate pure elegance. Storage was achieved with two pull-out tall pantries either side of the oven housings and provided ample storage for the kitchen along with plenty of deep drawer storage. A stunning living style cabinet in the dining area augmented the space and tied the two areas together, enhancing the open-plan theme. Black granite was used to frame the high-gloss white island unit,

enveloping the dual zone wine coolers. The Franke Specialist range provided the perfect sink and tap solution, fitting seamlessly into the island whilst also creating a stunning feature. An Evoline Pop-up plug in the island was essential for convenience when baking and cooking, plus it was a valuable addition to the equipment in the kitchen. Hidden features come in the form of the cutlery drawers with spice compartments, red and white wine cooler, pull out larders, a towel rail for drying cloths, a hidden bin system and pull-out corner unit. ‘I was like a kid in a toy shop discovering all of the features that make the kitchen so functional and easy to use,’ adds Emma. Unique design elements come in the form of the black glass handleless wall units. These wall units were designed without handles, using push-catch mechanisms instead to keep within the seamless lines. The bottom of the wall units were designed with 103

a solid glass base and integrated lights. The effect of the lighting was one of the most distinctive design features in the kitchen and a dramatic effect was achieved by this subtle lighting leading to a lovely living environment. The appliances were discussed in great detail. Both John and Emma had previous experience with Neff and were therefore very keen to use the brand again. The Neff extractor with black glass was a must to complete the stunning design. The two single ovens have fold away doors which is a fantastic feature with two warming drawers underneath. The dual wine coolers were also chosen given their availability in black glass, complementing the colour scheme. ‘The glass extractor fan and the glass induction hob work really well with the black glass cupboards,’ says Emma. ‘I also love the

clean lines of the double oven and units surrounding it. This reflects the modern feel of the whole house. ‘Caroline brought a lot of additional little touches and an attention to detail that no other kitchen designer offered us and also provided great advice on other important factors such as floor tiles and accessories. She has a great eye for interior design and a real appreciation for the overall finished look. We were so happy with the company that Poplar Design also completed our utility room and two bathrooms.’ ‘We love our kitchen,’ concludes Emma. ‘We spend a lot of time in here and I enjoy cooking in this kitchen. Not only is it a great entertaining space, it also works well as a family area. It does everything that we wanted it to do.’

Kitchen Contacts KITCHEN DESIGN Poplar Design Derry 028 7141 7303.

ApplIANCES Fridge freezer: Neff Extractor: Neff Hob: Neff Oven: Neff Warming Drawers: Neff Wine Cooler: CDA


Timeless Range With ample space and multi functions, the range cooker offers everything you need to create the entire meal in one appliance.

CDA’s new RVC931 900mm country style range cooker has a fan oven, an eight function multifunction oven, electronic timer, a separate grill, five burner gas hob (includes a wok burner) and a plate warmer. A matching chimney extractor (shown) is also available. From £1,500. Euro price on request.

r a nge cook e r s

The Aga Six-Four Series is the conventional, unconventional Aga that has the look of an Aga, but with a difference. Available with a gas or ceramic hob. From €5,495. Sterling price on request.

Belling Cookcentre 900mm DFT professional range cooker in stainless steel. £989. Euro price on request.

Rangemaster Classic 90 dual fuel has a 73 litre fan oven, 67 litre tall fan oven, dual circuit grill, Handyrack shelf, five burner gas hob with griddle and wok burner. Available in cranberry, black or cream. £1,519. Euro price on request.


Bertazzoni Professional Series 1,000mm five-disc induction top electric double oven. Available in stainless steel, black, white, yellow, orange, red or burgundy colourways. Features include five cooking zones; five Induction zones and 11 oven functions, including bake, defrosting, fast preheat and pizza. £4,729. Euro price on request.

r a nge cook e r s

expert comment Luke Shipway, Product Manager, Caple Easy-clean range cookers are becoming highly popular and on-trend styles tend to be more modern as stainless steel and black glass versions look particularly chic. It’s these sleek aesthetics, which blend well with the traditional elements we all love about range cookers, such as plenty of hob space. The latest range cooker functions include Turbo Defrost, which use fan power at room temperature to cut defrosting time in half; Top plus Fan Heat to finish off a cooked dish or melt a cheese topping without the worry of cooking and Base Heat to re-heat cooked food or keep meals warm. Telescopic shelves allow you to check your food without removing the entire dish from the oven, making life easier and a rotisserie function will create perfect, even roasting. The most popular range cookers tend to have high energy ratings and time-saving features, which will make your life easier in the kitchen. Range cookers with multi-functional ovens are high on the agenda as these appliances are in demand where cooking is a large part of your lifestyle. Range cookers are particularly suitable for those of you who enjoy food and entertaining and are looking for a versatile model, which will allow you to cook with ease. Dual fuel models – electric ovens with gas hobs – are popular as are second ovens, which come with rotisseries.

Caple’s CR9109 dual fuel, single cavity range cooker has an impressive 103 litre capacity, a five-burner gas hob and features five functions – light, grill, turbo grill, fan heat and turbo defrost. From £878. Euro price on request.

Crafted in stainless steel, NordMende’s CSG90IX is a 900mm dual fuel range cooker. Features include a 100 litre single cavity (electric) and five gas burners including wok. €754. Sterling price on request.

Steel Ascot range cooker. Features include one touch ignition, electronic oven timer control, brass burners, gas or induction, cast iron enamelled griddles, push-pull storage drawer and cold triple glazed door. £4,334. Euro price on request.


r a nge cook e r s

Hoover HGD 9395IV 900mm dual fuel twin cavity range cooker. The left multifunction oven has six functions; defrost, fan assisted, conventional, grill, grill and fan, light. £1,200. Euro price on request.

Wolf ICBDF364C dual fuel range cooker with four burners and charbroiler. Features include 10 different cooking modes, including dehydration mode, pizza/bread bakestone mode and dough ‘proving’ mode. £11,970 plus VAT. Euro price on request.

Britannia Fleet 1000mm XG dual fuel range cooker in gloss cream. £4,509. Euro price on request. The Cannon by Hotpoint 1,000mm dual fuel range cooker with an anthracite front panel, has a combined oven space of over 120 litres of cooking capacity anda six-burner gas hob. £1,399. Euro price on request.


r a nge cook e r s


Smeg TR4110 range cooker in new pastel green. ÂŁ2,629. Euro price on request.

A Aga Ian A kernohan, Bangor 028 9127 0233. KAL Dublin 01 413 6400. B Belling Glen Dimplex Ireland, Dublin 01 8424833. Bertazzoni Phone 01244 987366. Britannia Glen Dimplex Ireland, Dublin 01 8424833.

The new Rangemaster Encore Deluxe range cooker is available in 900, 1000 and 1100mm formats and in a choice of dual fuel or induction. Available with five zone induction hobs. Features include automatic heat up, pre-set low temperature for melting butter etc, optimum simmer, power settings from 1-9 and boost on all zones. ÂŁ2,293. Euro price on request.

C Caple Potter Cowan, Belfast 028 9037 0050. CDA Bodel Distributors, Lisburn 028 9267 2412. H Hoover Hotpoint Flanagan Fittings, Dublin 01 8448400. N NordMende kAL, Dublin 01 4136400. AB Distributors, Belfast 028 9023 5088. R Rangemaster Phone 087 0789 5107. S Smeg Bodel Distributors, Lisburn 028 9267 2412. Steel Bradshaw Luxury 01626 886008. W Wolf


Home Baking by Rachel Allen In Rachel Allen’s new cookbook she shares some of her favourite recipes, with something for everyone and recipes to suit every level of baker! Rachel shares with us four delicious bakes from the book for you to try.

Baked Doughnuts These doughnuts work a treat in the oven, which is a great alternative to deep-frying. In this recipe, they are brushed with melted butter as they come out of the oven to give their classic sugar coating a little more sticking power. Makes 10 IngreDIents 115ml (3 3⁄4 fl oz) milk, lukewarm 25g (1oz) caster sugar 10g (¼oz) fresh yeast or 5g ( 1⁄8 oz) active dried yeast 275g (10oz) strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting ½ tsp salt 25g (1oz) butter, melted 1 egg, beaten 1 tsp vanilla extract For the filling and topping 3 tbsp lemon curd, or 3 tbsp raspberry jam, or 3 tbsp Nutella 30g (1¼oz) caster sugar 30g (1¼oz) butter, melted Additional items Baking sheet Skewer Piping bag with a long piping tube

MethoD 1 Pour the milk into a bowl and stir in the sugar, then add the yeast and leave to stand for five minutes until creamy. 2 Sift the flour and salt into the bowl of a food processor. Pour the melted butter into the yeast mixture followed by the egg and the vanilla extract, and stir well. Pour on to the flour and mix together using the paddle. Once combined, switch over to the dough hook and knead for 8–10 minutes until the mixture is coming away from the sides of the bowl. (Alternatively, mix the flour and melted butter mixture above using your hand until well incorporated. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured work surface and knead the dough.) The dough is ready when it is smooth and springy when you gently press it with a floured finger. 3 Cover the bowl with cling film (making sure there are no gaps for the air to get in) and put in a warm part of the kitchen for 1–2 hours or until doubled in size. It should be light and airy, and when you press the top of the dough with a floured finger, the dent from your finger should remain, and the dough should start to collapse.

4 Lightly flour the baking sheet. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead it by hand for 1 minute to knock all the air out. Divide the dough into 10 pieces. Take one piece and cover the rest with an upturned bowl to prevent a skin forming. Form the dough into a ball by rolling it on the work surface under the palm of your hand. Repeat with the other pieces. Don’t flour the work surface too much, if at all, while you are rolling them or they won’t grip and become smooth. 5 Once rolled, put them, smoother side up and well spaced apart, on the prepared baking sheet, then flatten them with your hand until they look like burger buns, about 8cm (3¼in) While the doughnuts are cooking, prepare the filling and topping. Put the lemon curd, jam or Nutella in a small saucepan over a low heat and gently warm through, stirring frequently. Put the sugar in a wide bowl. 6 When the doughnuts are cooked, brush them all over with the melted butter, then toss them in the sugar. Using a skewer, pierce each doughnut from the side into the centre and wiggle it around a little to make the hole larger, then pipe the lemon curd, jam or Nutella into the centre using the piping bag and long tube. Enjoy! 111

salted Caramel Peanut Bars OK, these are not technically a bake, but they’ve earned their place in the book by being just generally incredible! The lovely biscuity peanut base is topped with a thick layer of chocolate studded with peanuts and sprinkled with sea salt, which ties it all together. Makes 18 IngreDIents 100g (3½oz) butter, plus extra for greasing 250g (9oz) digestive biscuits 100g (3½oz) soft light brown sugar 250g (9oz) crunchy or smooth peanut butter 200g (7oz) dark chocolate (55–62% cocoa solids), roughly chopped 150g (5½oz) tinned caramel, or boiled condensed milk (see tip) 30g (1¼oz) salted peanuts A pinch of sea salt flakes Additional items 20cm (8in) square cake tin MethoD 1 Grease the base and sides of the tin and line with baking parchment. Put the butter in a small saucepan over a medium-low heat until melted. Put the digestive biscuits in a food processor and add the sugar. Pulse until the biscuits are reduced to fine crumbs. (Alternatively, put the biscuits in a plastic bag, tie the top and crush them with a rolling pin. Tip into a bowl and add the sugar.) 2 Add the melted butter and the peanut butter to the crushed biscuits and blend with the food processor, or mix with an electric beater, until they come together. Scrape down the sides of the food processor or bowl and mix again for a few seconds. Tip the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth it out using the back of the spoon. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill. 3 Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water, and stirring regularly for a glossy finish. Pour the melted chocolate over the biscuit base in the tin. 4 Use a teaspoon to spoon the caramel over the chocolate topping in blobs, then scatter with the salted peanuts. Using a knife, or the handle of a teaspoon, swirl the mixture well to create a ripple effect, then scatter with a pinch of sea salt flakes. Return the mixture to the fridge for 30 minutes to chill and set, then lift it out of the tin and cut into 18 bars to serve.

tip If you are unable to buy tinned caramel, you can buy condensed milk and boil it in the tin, unopened, in a saucepan of water for 3 hours. Make sure that you leave it to cool in the tin before opening. I often boil a few at a time and keep them for another time, as they will keep for a year, or even more!

cooke r y

Chocolate Pavlova with salted Caramel sauce serves 6–8 IngreDIents 4 egg whites 225g (8oz) caster sugar 1½ tbsp cocoa powder 1 tsp cornflour 1 tsp red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar 75g (2½oz) dark chocolate (55–62% cocoa solids), chopped, or chocolate drops, plus extra for grating 350ml (12fl oz) fresh double cream 3–4 bananas, to taste For the salted caramel sauce 225g (8oz) caster or granulated sugar 100g (3½oz) butter 175ml (6fl oz) fresh double cream Salt Additional items Baking sheet

MethoD 1 Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F) Gas mark 2. Line the baking sheet with baking parchment. Put the egg whites in a clean, grease-free bowl and whisk with an electric beater until they form soft peaks, or use a food processor. Start adding the sugar while still whisking, 1 tablespoon at a time, until all the sugar is added and the mixture is thick, white and glossy. 2 Sift in the cocoa and the cornflour. Drizzle in the vinegar and scatter the chocolate over the top, then fold them all together lightly but thoroughly. 3 Turn out the meringue mixture on to the prepared baking sheet and use the back of a tablespoon to push the mixture into a circle about 20cm (8in) in diameter with a dip in the centre. The mixture will spread out a bit while baking, so make it thicker than you want it to be. Cook in the oven for 50 minutes, then turn off the oven and leave the pavlova to cool inside the oven.

4 To make the caramel sauce, put the sugar, butter and 75ml (2¼fl oz) water in a saucepan over a medium heat and stir while it heats up to dissolve the sugar and melt the butter. 5 Once the sugar has dissolved, turn the heat up to high and cook for 10 minutes until it turns a toffee colour. Do not stir the pan, although you might need to swirl it occasionally if you see it turning golden on one side of the pan before the other. Once the syrup is a rich golden toffee colour, stir in the cream and a good pinch of salt, then put the pan back over the heat for 2 minutes to dissolve the salt. Transfer to a jug. (It will store in the fridge for up to 3 months.) 6 When ready to serve, put the cream in a bowl and whip until soft peaks appear. Put the pavlova on a plate and top with the whipped cream. Slice the bananas at an angle and arrange over the cream. Drizzle with some salted caramel sauce and serve with more sauce and a grating of chocolate, if you wish.

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COMPETITION Ireland’s Homes Interiors & Living together with Harper Collins are offering three readers the chance to win a copy of Home Baking by Rachel Allen worth £20. Total prize value £60.

How to enter Answer the following question: What does Rachel sprinkle over her Orange Kugelhopf cake? Send your answer, name, address, email and phone number marked Rachel Allen Competition to Ireland’s Homes Interiors & Living magazine, PO Box 42, Bangor, County Down, BT19 7AD or Ashgrove House, Kill Avenue, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin or enter online at:

orange Kugelhopf I love my kugelhopf baking tin – it makes such grand, stately-looking cakes with very little effort! But, even if you don’t have one, don’t let that put you off trying this delicious orangey cake, because a 23cm (9in) springform cake tin will make a perfectly lovely cake, too. Drizzled with icing and sprinkled with pistachio nuts, it makes a great celebration cake. serves 10–12 IngreDIents 225ml (8fl oz) sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing 325g (11½oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting 1½ tsp baking powder 1½ tsp salt 400g (14oz) caster sugar 4 eggs 325ml (11½fl oz) milk Zest of 1 orange 25g (1oz) pistachio nuts, lightly toasted and chopped For the icing 125ml (4½fl oz) crème fraîche 100g (3½oz) icing sugar, sifted Zest of 1 orange Additional items 23cm (9in) bundt tin or a 23cm (9in) cake tin with at least 4cm (1½in) sides


MethoD 1 Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas mark 4. Grease the bundt tin and dust with flour. (If using a cake tin, grease the side of the tin and line the base with baking parchment.) Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl, add the sugar and mix together. 2 In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and orange zest until combined. Tip this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix together using a wooden spoon to make a smooth batter. You may need to use a whisk briefly to remove any lumps of flour. 3 Tip into the prepared tin and bake for 50–60 minutes (or 60–70 minutes if using a cake tin) until the cake feels springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. 4 Leave in the tin on a wire rack for 2 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the tin and

Entries must be received no later than 5pm, Friday 5th January 2017. One entry per household. One separate email / postcard for each competition. Judge’s decision is final. No cash alternative. Prizes are non-transferable. If you would like to receive our monthly Newsletter please include your email address with your entry.

carefully remove the cake from the tin. Leave on the rack to cool completely, then remove the paper. 5 Meanwhile, make the icing. Put the crème fraîche in a bowl and sift in the icing sugar, then mix to combine. Add the orange zest and stir to combine. 6 Put the cake on a serving plate or cake stand. Drizzle the icing backwards and forwards from the centre to the outside of the cake in a zigzag pattern. Sprinkle over the pistachio nuts and serve.

e at & d r i n k

food for

Thought Indulge in some culinary delights this January.

Who’s Cooking?

Influencing a new generation of American chefs, Wylie Dufresne’s New York restaurant WD-50 was hailed as the most innovative and cutting edge in the city. His first book is a collection of photographs, recipes and stories from the final days of the restaurant, that closed in 2014. The book offers an insight into Dufresne’s obsession with ‘spatzle’ (a german specialty) and the Universal Theory of Peanut Butter and Jelly developed by one of the restaurants chef’s, Alex Stupak (put simply, any food that is nutty, salty and sweet can be paired with food that is fruity, sweet and acidic). If you’ve ever wondered how to deep fry mayonnaise or how to make even american cheese taste edible, then you will find it here. With collaborations from alumni of the restaurant, the book is a fitting tribute to one of the world’s most renowned establishments.

Winter Whiskey Sour

IngredIents 50ml whiskey or bourbon 30ml sugar syrup 20ml lemon juice to garnish Cinnamon stick

in SeaSon! Kale is a superfood of sorts, and just in time for those January detoxes, it thrives in the hard winter months! Take advantage of the fresh influx of this leafy green this season, as the health benefits pack a punch! It delivers heaps of antioxidants and vitamin C, which help clear the blood and boost our immune systems. It is also rich in iron, fibre, B group vitamins, vitamin A and potassium, which all play vital roles within our body. A great way to introduce it into your diet is by adding it to smoothies, juices, as a side vegetable and young leaves can be added to side salads.

newsflash! Clenaghans restaurant in Aghalee has recently re-opened under the guidance of renowned chef, Danni Barry. Named Chef of the Year 2017, Danni made her name at Deanes Eipic in Belfast where they secured a Michelin star three years in a row before teaming up with Stevie and Christina Higginson to re-open the popular restaurant near Moira that closed in 2015. Bringing a fresh modern menu to the traditional surroundings, the new restaurant has quickly established an impressive reputation.

time to dine... Enjoy traditional Irish fayre.

Gallagher’s Boxty House Dublin Goosers Killaloe An Sugan Clonakilty Electric Cork

Some like it hot Fight the winter chill with these flasks.

Scribble flask from orla Kiely. £21.

Brass insulated bottle from earlstree & Co. £17.

Method 1 Mix ingredients together and simmer in a pan. 2 Pour into a heat-proof glass.

Corkcicle flask from John Lewis. £20.

Vacuum flask from Vinnebago. £29.95.

3 Garnish with a stick of cinnamon. 115

cook e ry

Going Vegan With a new year, we often make resolutions to start anew, and if you have been thinking about turning to a vegan lifestyle for a while, Dominika Piascecka from The Vegan Society has some hints and tips for taking the plunge and veganising your meals, as well as sharing a delicious vegan cake recipe for you to try!


ome people see going vegan as a challenge because they think it involves learning a whole lot of new recipes and using a range of new ingredients they don’t have the time to find. But there is a simple and fun shortcut to going vegan – you can just replace the few non-vegan ingredients in your recipes to still enjoy the good old favourites. You probably don’t realise this, but you actually eat a lot of vegan food already. The toast and cereal you have in the morning, the pasta salad or crunchy wrap you munch on at lunch, or the bean chilli or vegetable stew you serve for dinner may already be vegan – or at least contain a good number of vegan ingredients. Let me tell you this: anything you eat can be made vegan. There are cruelty-free, delicious alternatives to anything you can think of from dairy-free spreads, to plant milk and yogurt, to vegan meat alternatives and cheeses. Becoming a vegan isn’t about limiting or depriving yourself so make sure you start by replacing animal products; after a couple of weeks it will become as natural as anything. On your next trip to the supermarket, why not look out for soya milk instead? You can gradually try all the different brands to find your favourite – it will take a while because are hundreds of options these days but it’s an exciting experiment. If you don’t like soya or want a change, try almond, coconut, oat, hemp, hazelnut or rice next.

Vegan breakfast Your cereal or oats are likely already vegan, so simply replace cow’s milk with any of the plant milks mentioned above and top it with dried fruit, nuts and seeds. Your toast will happily accept dairy-free spread instead of butter, or you can have it with peanut butter, jam or mashed avocado. Think scrambled eggs can’t be replaced? Google ‘scrambled tofu’ and have your mind blown by a nutritious, cholesterol-free breakfast. Full English can be made with vegan sausages and include all the other usuals.

Vegan lunch Here’s a surprise. Not all vegans actually eat salads – I, for one, can’t stand them. But for those of you who do like salads, it’s really easy to pack them with fresh vegetables and serve with fresh fruit on the side. If you’re having a wrap, replace the meat with falafel or beans and add houmous, while you can make curry or soup creamy with coconut milk or vegan cream. Vegan lunch on the go has become easier, with food outlets offering a range of vegan options.

Vegan dinner There are so many ideas for vegan dinner – where do I start? Use the versatile soya mince chilli, bolognese, lasagne or shepherd’s pie. You can use wraps as pizza bases to top with vegetables and vegan cheese. Stir-fries don’t need any meat in them – just add a good mix of vegetables to your noodles or rice and dinner’s ready. For a Sunday roast, why not try a mushroom wellington or a vegan meat alternative, together with vegetable gravy? To make mashed potatoes creamy, use dairy-free spread (such as Flora Dairy-free, Pure or Vitalite) and soya milk.

Vegan snacks It’s so easy to find vegan snacks in every supermarket that you don’t even need me telling you about this! Bourbons, ginger nuts, rich tea, digestives, some Doritos and even Biscoff biscuit spread are already vegan. Just pick up some of your favourites and see if they qualify too. All it takes is a quick scan of the label – look out for whey powder, milk, eggs or gelatine. Take it slow and learn as you go. And don’t forget fresh fruit is also a snack, one that we should be having more of! 116

cook e ry

Celebration Fruit Crown Serves 6-8 IngredIentS For the cake 250g/8 ½ oz self-raising flour* 1 ½ tsp baking powder* 50g/1 ½ oz ground almonds 175g/6 oz golden granulated sugar 300ml/10 fl oz soya milk 125ml/4 fl oz rapeseed oil 1 tbsp vanilla extract *This cake can be made gluten free by using GF self-raising flour and GF baking powder. to decorate Vegan chocolate, approx. 50g/1½ oz For the fruit salad Approx. 250g/8½ oz fresh prepared fruit – try mixed berries, tropical fruits or local, seasonal fruits. Add the juice of half a lemon if you are using apples. Fresh mint leaves make a tasty and colourful addition. For the meringue kisses 120ml aquafaba (liquid from canned chickpeas, strained) ½ tsp white wine vinegar 125g/4 ½ oz caster sugar Method 1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Grease a 24cm/9½ inch ring-shaped cake tin. 2 Put the flour, baking powder, sugar and almonds into a large mixing bowl and stir to mix thoroughly. 3 Put the soya milk into a measuring jug and add the oil and vanilla extract, stir together. 4 Pour the wet ingredients onto the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Spoon into the prepared tin, smooth the top and bake for 30-35 minutes until firm and golden. 5 Allow to cool for a few minutes in the tin before turning onto a rack to cool. 6 When cool, decorate the cake with melted vegan chocolate. Fill the cake with fruit salad and chill until ready to serve. Dot with meringue kisses immediately before serving. to Make the MerIngue kISSeS: 1 Preheat oven to 100°C/210°F/Gas Mark ¼. Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking parchment. 2 Mix the aquafaba and vinegar and place in the fridge for a few minutes. Beat the mixture (a stand-mixer is best!) until it is so thick that you can turn the bowl upside down and it will not fall out. It’s impossible to over-whip aquafaba so take your time. Add the sugar in small amounts, beating each time.

For more information visit:

3 Transfer the mixture to a plastic bag, cut off a corner and squeeze tiny ‘kiss’ meringues onto the lined tray. Bake for 75 minutes, then turn off the oven and leave the meringues inside for another hour so that they are thoroughly dried. They can be stored in an airtight container until needed. (Make lots, for your guests to take home!).


Destination Abroad:

Vietnam The vibrancy of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City contrast with the natural beauty of the paddy fields and mountains to create a truly unmissable destination.

halong bay.



rom ancient Chinese influences to French colonialist history, through civil war and emerging onto the global stage, Vietnam is a country only now realising the potential of its stunning landscape and dynamic youthful population. Flying into either Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City will determine your first impressions of the country, where Ho Chi Minh City echoes the glitz and dynamism of other South East Asian cities such as Bangkok, Hanoi is seeped in its colonial past and is considered more intimate and reserved.

D e s t i n At i o n A b r oA D : V i e t n A m

halong bay at sunset.

Cu Chi tunnels.

The traditional tourist route starts in Ho Chi Minh City and travels north through Dalat and Da Nang before ending up in the capital Hanoi. Ho Chi Minh is a bustling, vibrant city typical of the region and the ideal place to sit and people watch and soak up the culture of Vietnam from one of the many cafés or rooftop terrace bars. The city has something for everyone, from luxury boutiques and hotels, to amazing street food and cheap and cheerful hostels. The Vietnam War obviously casts a long shadow over the country, and in Ho Chi Minh City, the government has preserved many of the tunnels used by the Viet Cong in their campaign against the South Vietnamese. The Cu Chi tunnel system is where the Viet Cong set up weapon caches, supply routes, hospitals and living quarters during the Vietnam War. Today, the tunnels have been preserved and opened to the public to see the scale of the tunnel system and some of the booby traps installed to stop the American soldiers advancing. Da Lat or the ‘city of eternal spring’ is the perfect stopover to enjoy the clear, fresh mountain air.

A popular destination for local weddings and honeymooners, and for international tourists, the city is the ideal spot to explore the countryside, from the Elephant Waterfalls, Truc Lam Pagoda or the famous Crazy House, designed by architect Dang Viet Nga – a surrealist wonder that has to be seen to be believed. Moving north from Da Lat takes you to the cities of Hoi An, Da Nang and Hue in a region that has traditionally marked the border between the north and the south of the country, and was the site of the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) during the war. Hoi An is a popular stop on the tourist trail due to its stunning architecture including the famous 18th century Japanese covered bridge and the Tan Ku House built over two centuries ago. The Japanese merchant houses and Chinese temples in the market area and over on Cam Kim Island are little time capsules from Vietnam’s past. The ancient imperial capital of Hue on the banks of the Perfume River is a must see for its palace buildings and gardens, and the ideal place to take a few days to relax and recharge as you head further north.



D e s t i n At i o n A b r oA D : V i e t n A m Suitably refreshed, heading further north towards Ha Long Bay, the first stop is Dong Hoi where you can take a short trip to the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park to see the spectacular Hang Son Doong cave. At over five kilometres long, 200 metres high and 150 metres wide, the cave is the largest in the world. If you missed out on the Cu Chi tunnels in Ho Chi Minh, don’t miss out on the chance to explore the Vinh Moc tunnels which were used to escape heavy American bombing. Ha Long Bay is one of the most picturesque places in the world, yet many people don’t realise that it is in Vietnam. With an estimated 1969 islands peppering the bay, and thousands more stretching out to sea, this is a boat trip than you won’t want to miss. Either stay on board one of the boats, or stay at one of the many hotels on Cat Ba island and explore the waterfalls, grottoes and spectacular limestone hills. The final destination on our whistle stop tour of Vietnam is the capital Hanoi. Located on the banks of the Red River, Hanoi is one of the oldest capitals in the world and as such, has a rich and diverse culture that is celebrated in the many museums dotted around the city and in the architecture that takes in everything from ancient Chinese pagodas, French colonial mansions, and 21st century skyscrapers. With so much to see it is easy to spend a few days exploring the city and still not see everything. However, some of the sights not to be missed include the Imperial Citadel, the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Perfume Pagoda. The market at Dong Xuan is not to be missed for the sheer range of items on sale and for the smells of the wet market where locals shop for seafood, spices and vegetables. Finally, no visit to Hanoi would be complete without a trip to the Old Quarter, where 2,000 years of history are to be found in the narrow streets. The guidebooks will point you towards Han Gai Street for silks, Hang Quat with its stunning colours and Lan Ong Street for the textures and smells emanating from sacks of herbal medicines. Don’t be afraid to explore further though, just be on the lookout for rogue scooters!

ho Chi Minh City.

Crazy house.


elephant waterfalls.

Getting There Etihad and Emirates offer flights to Ho Chi Minh City from Dublin stopping in either Abu Dhabi or Dubai.


Slieve donard.

Destination Ireland:


For some people the temptation to overindulge during the Christmas period results in the desire to reset and start the new year afresh with a little health kick or rejuvination of the mind.



D e s t I n at I o n I r e l a n D : w e l l b e I n g

Get outside

Ballycotton cliff walk.



The new year is the ideal time to try something new, and what better activity to try in January than an early morning surf on the beaches of Donegal, the surf capital of Ireland. For total beginners there is a number of beginners classes available from qualified and insured instructors. A few days stay on the Atlantic coast combined with a few hours surfing is the ideal way to wash away the cobwebs of 2017 and welcome in 2018. If the need for an adrenaline rush doesn’t stretch to being battered by the Atlantic Ocean, the next best thing may be a spot of mountain biking. While there are trails throughout Ireland, some of the best are the Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trails on the shores of Carlingford Lough. There is a variety of trails catering to all abilities and disciplines and bike hire is available so there is no real excuse not to give it a try. The AXA Raheny five mile race is now in its 33rd year and going from strength to strength. This years race takes place on 28th January. While it would be advantageous to be out training over Christmas for those looking to win the event, the race is equally welcoming to serious runners as it is to joggers and walkers, and every finisher gets a goody bag and medal. If that all seems a bit extreme and unnecessary and you want to enjoy some of Ireland’s stunning countryside while also getting active, there are thousands of walking trails around the country that are well worth exploring on a crisp winters day. Start 2018 as you mean to go on with the Sunrise Walk on January 1st. Starting at 6am, the walk takes you through part of the Wicklow Way, through Brockagh Forest, to the top of Brockagh Mountain to see the first sunrise of 2018. Other great walks to explore include the beaches of Lettergesh in Connemara, the five mile Ballycotton Cliff walk outside Cork, and the short trek up to Slieve Donard in the Mourne Mountains with views across to Scotland and the promise of a stay in the Slieve Donard Hotel and Spa at the end.

D e s t I n at I o n I r e l a n D : w e l l b e I n g Killyhevlin laKeside hotel.

Take a spa break A spa break is a fantastic way to relax and unwind, and even detoxify the mind and body. Ireland has some of the best spas in the world, so why not take advantage of what is on our doorstep! The Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel is a fantastic choice for a New Year break, where guests can enjoy the indoor pool, outdoor hot tub, gym and pamper themselves in the Kalm Elmis Spa, which is a sanctuary of peace and tranquillity unlike any other. The hotel commands stunning views overlooking scenic Lough Erne.

Detox retreat Cloona Health Retreat in Westport is the perfect destination for a post Christmas detox. Offering a number of different plans, from a three day detox to a five day weight loss programme, Cloona is the only dedicated detox retreat in the whole of Ireland and the UK and has been running retreats for over 40 years. Simple, calming accommodation complements the purpose of the retreat and ensures that you come away from your stay refreshed and revived. An hours drive from Galway, Burren Yoga is a truly unique retreat within Ireland combining the wild beauty of the Burren landscape with the finest vegetarian food, yoga instruction and meditation. A focus on the beauty of the local environment extends to guided walks to local attractions such as the Aillwee Caves and the Cliffs of Moher, as well as utilising the freshest local ingredients in the restaurant. cloona health retreat.


Ga r de n i nG 1


How you access your house or garden is very important. The entrance to a garden can create intrigue and mystery. A gateway can be tantalising, luring one through to 3


discover what floral splendour awaits.

all photography By deirdre prince.

Making an Entrance into your Garden

Ga r de n i nG

an opening in a wall is much more worthy of attention when a gate adorns it (Fig.1) and introducing a ‘gateway’ into your garden is easier than you think. even an arch at a doorway signals that transition into something special. i particularly love this archway with benching on either side from grace designs (Fig.2) in rathsallagh in county Wicklow. ( i take lots of photos of gateways around the country as i find them fascinating, good and bad. there are many monstrosities of gates to be found around the country and each to his own but i find the simplest gates are the most effective and i particularly love simple farmyard gates (Fig.3). timber archways and pergolas form gateways within the garden (Fig.4). they can provide a focal point which can be draped in climbing roses or other climbers such as clematis. they make the transition from one space to another and they are a fantastic way of introducing height into the garden but if you are constructing an archway in your garden, make sure that it is substantial enough to carry the weight of a climbing rose and that it is wide enough to allow for someone to pass through with room for the plants to grow on either side, particularly if there are thorns on the plants. there is always something intriguing about garden arches and maybe it’s the lure of ‘whats on the other side’ that makes them compelling to walk through.




if your garden is large enough, you can break it up into ‘rooms’, making the entrances with arches or gateways. Simple willow arches are a great way of marking entrances into separate areas such as vegetable beds (Fig.5). Forming an arch through a hedge, such as this yew hedge (Fig.6), creates a sense of mystery and suspense. it will take a few years to complete but it is definitely worth it. Bending trees or shrubs to form an archway is also a very effective way to create a portal to create a wow-factor (Fig.7). they can even be purchased preformed from many good garden centres. Using planting to define an entrance is a great way to create a formal effect. traditionally, two evergreen plants are used, such as box balls (Fig. 8) or columnar bay standards in matching plant pots can mark a portal or entrance way into a garden. Scented plants around a doorway or surrounding an entrance gate is a wonderful way to create an inviting approach to your house. Many plants, such as Sarcococca (christmas box) or choisya (Mexican orange blossom), are evergreen, can be pruned into a formal shape and provide a fantastic scent to boot, a great way of creating an inviting entrance.



Deirdre Prince MLA Dip Arch Tech MGLDA Landscape Architect. Phone Dublin 01 6350032. Mobile: 087 9916961. Winner of gold medal and Best in Small Garden category in Bloom 2012 in conjunction with Patricia Tyrrell.


Irish Getaways

Farnham Estate This month we are off to Cavan for a short stay at the luxurious Farnham Estate.


arnham Estate is set on a stunning 1,300 acres in the Irish countryside, just on the outskirts of Cavan Town and is one of Ireland’s most popular spa and golf resorts. On approaching Farnham, we were greeted by the impressive building, which is both a mix of contemporary new-build and Georgian classic; it perfectly complements the setting. We checked in and were shown to our room while being given lots of information on the area by very helpful staff. We were staying in one of Farnham’s suites and it was absolutely beautiful. It was furnished with the utmost in quality materials, which fitted perfectly with the overall feel of the hotel and spa. The four poster bed was incredibly comfortable and the room itself was very spacious. The bathroom had a double entry walk-in shower and overall was very opulent. The best word to describe this suite would be ‘luxury’. Having had a long journey down we decided to have tea, coffee and scones before getting into our robes and heading off for a relaxing afternoon in the spa. This is where the luxury continues, with lots of choice for those wanting to relax and soak in the calming atmosphere. The pool in particular was a lovely feature as it extended from inside to outside through a glass door and ended with an infinity edge. We were lucky enough to have a treatment at the spa and enjoyed a full body aromatherapy massage with Espa body oil containing sandalwood, rose, geranium and frankincense. In the wellness area within the spa, there is an assortment of infused waters to enjoy, such as cucumber, mint and lemon and lime. We also enjoyed some relaxation in the ‘quiet’ area, where even mobile phones are not allowed, which is a really refreshing opportunity to switch off from the outside world. On to dinner that evening, we enjoyed three fresh and delicious courses in the Botanic restaurant. To start we had the Tian of crab and avocado with pickled fennel and balsamic dressing, and the boilie Irish goats cheese dish, and for our mains we had the 8oz fillet of beef, crumbed beef cheek, wild mushrooms and burgundy jus, and the 10oz sirloin with vine roasted tomatoes, chunky chips and green peppercorn sauce. We decided to share the warm chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream for dessert. Everything was cooked to perfection, and we couldn’t recommend it highly enough; it was a truly delicious meal. To finish the night off we had a cocktail and a Bushmills. After a great night’s sleep, we orderd a cooked breakfast in-room to make the most of the beautiful suite and the views overlooking the countryside. Before the standard check out of 12pm, we decided to avail of the spa once again to make for a relaxing start to the day. Before heading on our way, we stowed our bags in the car and took off for a walk of the estate. The surroundings are truly beautiful, and we managed a nine kilometre loop, taking us past both Farnham Lough and Derrygid Lough. There are plenty of resting spots along the way to sit and take in the views. Before we set off, a member of staff was able to tell us what particular paths would be like underfoot, which we found really helpful and we knew what to expect. Our last stop was the courtyard for a beverage and light lunch before the drive home. Our stay was fantastic, and we hope to be back in the very near future. Phone 049 4377700.


in the next issue

Ir el a nd’s

Homes InterIors & li v ing

ir el a nd’s l a rgest selling monthly inter ior s a nd lifest y le m aga zine

February 2018

Inspirational readers’ homes and stylish interiors Fireplaces

An Edwardian terrace in


Kitchen Appliances Bedrooms A stunning abode in


A seafront property in


Dining Plus all our regular features including Travel, Cookery & Gardening.

february issue

On sale 5th january

Style Icon Wire Side Chair by Harry Bertoia for Knoll


he five-piece Bertoia Collection was the only contribution that Bertoia made to the furniture industry, but remains just as popular today as it was in the 1950s, and it is easy to see why. Their design indicates a strong understanding of the relationship between form and space, and a nod towards the realm of sculpture, which was Bertoia’s primary interest. The wire side chair is innovative, comfortable and strikingly handsome. Price: £1,115 Stockist:







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Ireland's Homes Interiors and Living - February 2018  

Ireland's Homes Interiors and Living - February 2018

Ireland's Homes Interiors and Living - February 2018  

Ireland's Homes Interiors and Living - February 2018