showcase ireland homewares
It’s been busy, busy here chez the CharleyPats’ Dublin Branch so the report on the interiors section of Showcase got a bit delayed. (It’s about a month since I last looked at the business cards I collected as aides memoires.) But once I started sifting through them I was transported immediately to the exciting products and services I saw there.
The first to thrill my little heart was a company called Mindy Browne Interiors, which sells worldwide from its base in Mullingar, Co Westmeath. It had a pretty big stand that accommodated room sets in which the sophisticated pieces of furniture and home accessories were shown to their best.
Think serenity, luxury, feminine elegance and you’re in the market for their goods. There were lots of muted golds, creams and beiges, which could have been bland but oozed a quiet, understated glamour instead.
There were touches of the French provincial palaces in candlesticks, light sconces and furniture shapes. There were echoes of contemporary NY Loft living in lustrous tablelamps and gigantic mirrors. The mothership is at www.genesisireland.com where you can see the accessories for yourself.
There’s also plenty of smaller equally attractive ornaments and sculptures to attract those of us with mostly the usual-size rooms, save for a double-height hall or kitchen extension, or those of us who can arrange a happy jumble of sizes and styles.
Antrim is not the only county in Ireland with giants you know. Less legendary but more substantial is a giant in country-style home accessories, Co Kilkenny’s Nicholas Mosse had something new to pique interest in the shape of very cute ceramic lampshades. If you’re thinking wedding presents, bottom-drawer presents for an engagement or even if you’re simply refreshing your own love nest, the transluscent porcelain lampshades will provide lasting pleasure.
Shaped like a 1920s cloche hat the sweet shades are perforated at the top to throw a pattern of light above them too and are hand-painted in a range of patterns including its famous patterns for everyday kitchenware.
Whether you’re replacing some of your kitchen casualties or simply building on the collection you already have see www.nicholasmosse.com for local stockists or online orders.
In complete contrast to the work of Nicholas Mosse, the opposite side of the country Co Sligo is home to a smaller workshop that’s more rooted in fine art ceramics. The piece that caught my eye was an enormous decorative vase.
It comes in smaller sizes but to my mind the one at Showcase was calling out for a gleaming white and glazed hallway as its ideal home. (Alternatively, I could find a spot for it myself when I’ve worked my way through the to do list.) The picture here doesn’t really do it justice as there were so many elements to one simple vase between the scale of it, the crackleglaze finish, the wistful and evocative painting and the ultra-modern and friendly little birds perched on top. See www.pottery.ie or www.breeogue.com if you think you mightn’t get to personally explore the Sligo coast this year.
Staying in Sligo, another great pottery stand was a producer of witty and contemporary home accessories: O’Riain Pottery. Some of its pieces had a Beryl Cook flavour, that range is called Big Maggie, which complements its Green and Country Oak ranges of kitchenware at www.oriainpottery.com.
If you’d like your home to reflect your interest in fashion and flirty girls as well as crafted sculptures, have a look at www.artsculpture.eu. Based in Stradbally, Co Laois it could give you a reason to actually stop in the midlands. The Studio One workshop had some arty abstract shapes as well as a great selection of fun, girly statuettes.
Fans of the natural world will also be delighted by the work of artist Anabel Languish, which is on sale in three of Co Cork’s galleries at Bantry, Schull and Kinsale. Her vivid and charming portraits of small wildlife from birds to botanicals are the mainstay of the galleries’ offerings, boosted by other crafts (including jewellery) and occasional exhibitions. See www.herongallery.net for details.
While Anabel’s paintings were magnetic because of the drawing and painting, if you’re looking for something quirky to pull on your walls, have a look at www.arroo.ie for vividly coloured, textured felt wall-hangings. She also does screens, room-dividers, tea cosies (and fashion accessories) but the huge wall-hangings were what did it for me.