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14 GAZETTE 20 September 2012

BUSINESS: CUTTING COSTS

STYLE Advice from Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen

EPA’s initiative to help firms go green THE Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched a one-stop shop for businesses in Dublin to help them save money while preventing waste, conserving water and reducing their energy costs. The EPA developed the resources for businesses facing increasing energy costs and waste and water charges which are looking to reduce their overheads by adopting greener ways of doing business. BeGreen provides access to a range of business programmes including Green-

Business and GreenHospitality. GreenBusiness is a free business advisory service that represents an innovative approach to waste prevention and resource efficiency in Ireland. BeGreen’s expert environmental advisors will visit organisations and generate a tailored environmental efficiency action plan free of charge. GreenHospitality has been a hugely successful BeGreen programme for the hospitality industry. For more information, visit BeGreen www.begreen.ie

Interior design guru, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, pictured in Dublin launching his exclusive online collection of furniture and furnishings for Littlewoods Ireland

‘Be subversive, be posh – ditch beige’ I LAURA WEBB

FORGET about living in a beige box – instead, be playful with colours and designs throughout the house. That’s just a little of the advice that interior designer, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, bestknown for his appearances on TV’s Changing Rooms, brought to town on a recent visit to launch his exclusive collection for online department store, Littlewoods Ireland. The Gazette caught up with the designer at a hotel suite that had been transformed into a shrine to his new collection. Sitting on a couch he had designed himself, Laurence looked ever the suave gentleman, and was only too delighted to talk about his new collection.

“It’s the first time ever, that I feel I have created an entire, almost couture attitude collection – something that encompasses furniture as well as bed linen, soft furniture, bedding, lighting and things – it has been tremendously liberating,” he said. “I have been designing for years and years. I launched wallpaper 14 years ago – a really long time – but when you design an element like a roll of wallpaper or china or table-linen, or whatever, you have got to use that one small thing to tell a big story. “But, when you are creating an entire collection, you can be so much more emphatic, so much more punky and subversive – you don’t need to be so bloody tasteful! “The look I wanted to

sell, because it is my look, is all about indulgence, voluptuousness and every-day luxury and theatricality, opera – but it also has to be funny. “There has to be something about it that is witty and grown-up, and so much interior design isn’t. So much is so appallingly straight, and unbelievably serious! Sod that – we are fabulously diverse. “I want to make people’s lives sexier, more playful, more indulgent – to me, those are the things that make you feel as if you are worth it,” said Laurence. Asked about the use of colour on walls, Laurence believes the bolder, the better. “If we all woke up in a beige box, we would all be very dull people! We want to make these

places, places that we can escape to. “It is all about being able to be ourselves and not conform to this rigid, pre-prescribed sense of what is ‘good taste’ and what is ‘bad taste’.” According to Laurence, his collection offers luxury furnishings at affordable prices. “People look at it and say, ‘That’s posh’. But ‘posh’ doesn’t mean anything, posh doesn’t mean class, it doesn’t mean money, it doesn’t mean status – it is just posh – and that is what I want it to be. “Posh for as little money is absolutely perfect, because it is totally subversive,” he said. The Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen collection is available now on www. littlewoodsireland.ie.

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