There’s something rather special about owning an unusual once-off piece from a local artisan store – not only are you supporting the local economy, the local creative scene and Dublin in general, but you're also assured that the quirky and trendy pieces of kit that make your house a home won't be the same quirky and trendy pieces of kit that make your neighbour's house a home.
So, with summer underway and your home cast in a new light, here are 20 ways to make your home infinitely more stylish in Dublin.
For those whose lunch breaks are spent trawling the web for interiors inspiration, every whitewashed Malibu home can feel like an exercise in deflation. Time to mix things up a bit.
If you’re lucky enough to have exposed white walls that you can customise at will, Rua Boutique on Capel Street sell quirky, easily removable wall decals. This street lamp sticker is especially sweet (€9.95) and the perfect focal point to any stairs.
- Rua Boutique, 55 Capel Street, Dublin 1
April and The Bear
We know: this wall-mounted iPad dock (€98) has a disquieting similarity to the disembodied hand in the Addams Family. Made of resin marble and cast from designer Harry Allen’s own hand, this piece is available online from newbie store, April and The Bear, whose unusual homewares will liven any room.
On the other hand (sorry!), if it’s morbid fascination you’re after (rather than a disembodied claw named “Thing”), this replica cougar skull (€170) should get visitors’ attention.
Michelle Hannan Ceramics
Michelle Hannan’s aquiline vessels explore the relationship between movement, form and colour while drawing on sea and nature as inspiration. So there.
All items are hand-made in the artist’s studio and available through her website.
The Wool Felt Shop
For anyone whose primary school years were spent overlaying wool felt squares and triangles to build Venturi-like fabric homes, felt can seem like a childhood relic. On Benburb Street however (just opposite Wuff), The Wool Felt Shop in Old Butchers Studio sell tactile creatures, all crafted from natural felt and made in-house using just soap and water.
We especially like the visual reference encompassed in this family of felt wool sheep (€25 each), not to mention their faces. BAA.
- Old Butchers Studio, 72-74 Benburb Street, Dublin
Industry is probably the city’s top interiors boutique, and that's thanks to a philosophy rooted in quality, beauty and function. Each item, whether new or vintage, is hand-chosen by Vanessa Mac Innese, the Iron Maiden at Industry’s helm, with the majority of pieces “upcycled” from vintage wares to sleek and once-off styles.
If you've got the budget for it, this three-door storage locker (€1,395) is a striking addition to any kitchen with ample storage for pots and pans, or cookbooks and spices.
And if homewares isn’t your thing (but treating yourself is), this handsome leather satchel (€270) is similar in price to a Cambridge satchel and crucially far more chic.
- Industry, 41 Drury Street, Dublin 2
When things get hectic in work, the first thing to fall by the wayside is your desk: stacked cups, crumb-laden plates; we’ve all been there. While a clean workspace is ambitious, however, it also runs the risk of being visually vanilla.
So, for those whose work stations are in need of a pepping up, Abode in George’s Street Arcade sells a variety of fun accessories like this Grassy Organiser (€10), which may point you towards a cleaner work space and (more) productive week.
- Abode, George’s Street Arcade, Dublin 2
Second-hand merchants Quirki Stuff (Bray) deviate from “upscaled” furniture to reconstructed lighting with their new steampunk range. The collection, inspired by early science fiction set in the industrial revolution, features sleek, reassembled lights whose innards are carefully on view.
On paper, it has an unsettling similarity to the mutated toys in Toy Story but in reality, pieces like this Vintage Headlight Lamp (€144, and made of 200 year old timber, a vintage headlight and medical stand) are polished, original and wholly unusual.
- Appointments available through their website, quirkistuff.com
Swish and whimsical homewares store Article (to your right as you enter the Powerscourt Centre from South William Street) sells a variety of products including Irish crafts, homemade candles and stationery. These quirky wall hangings however, all waterproof in case you plan to use them in the bathroom, are the perfect way to add personality to your walls (€19.95 each).
- Powerscourt Townhouse, South William Street, Dublin 2
Jenny Walsh Design
Combining clean lines with expert craftsmanship, Jenny Walsh Design’s walnut ‘Grandfather Clock’ (€40) subtly aggregates words and form to create stylish visual puns.
Wordplay's never looked better.
- 13 Bayside Walk, Dublin 13
Handmade in Peru and crafted from remarkably soft baby alpaca yarn, this nail-biting Uffie cushion from Mira Mira, Sandymount, is filled with duck and goose feathers for a plump finish (€129.95).
Alternatively, for those whose home is in need of (more) cat paraphernalia, Mira Mira’s eclectic range includes catnap pillows with illustrations by British artist, Jo Clarke. Reasonably priced (€44.95), each cushion is made of soft cotton and machine washable.
- 3 Sandymount Green, Dublin 4
Meadow and Byrne
Whether you’re the type to grow herbs or pick up several pots in Lidl, Meadow and Byrne’s kitchen herb station (€49.95) is an easy way to keep greens in order. It includes a practical integrated pocket to the side (miniature scissors included), ensuring your workstation is clean and your herbs clean-cut.
- 7-9 Braemor Road, Churchtown, Dublin 14
A classic choice for any interior, Avoca’s cashmere-blend blankets (€69.95 – €159.95) incorporate tasseled edges and a soft finish. Made in the company’s 250-year-old mill in Avoca Village, these quad-style throws are ideal for draping over furniture or snuggling in front of the telly.
- 11-13 Suffolk Street, Dublin 2
Handcrafted and available for a tenner, this unbleached, pure cotton tea towel features a view of Pigeon House that will resonate with friends, both at home and abroad. Other items available include trinkets, homewares and accessories as well as this loch ness soup ladle that we just can’t get enough of.
- Designist, 68 South Great Georges Street, Dublin 2
Makers and Brothers
If you’re in the market to decorate a little one’s room, this paper mobile (€26) from Makers and Brothers is the perfect way to fuel their imagination and kindle a sense of wonder.
- The Shed, Abbey Court, Abbey Road, Blackrock, Co. Dublin
High-end publisher The Roads specialises in illustrated works ranging from art to culture, as well as modern classics like Bram Stoker’s Dracula (€12.50). So, if your favourite classic is looking worn, grab one of The Roads’ original covers and add it to the coffee table.
If someone you know or live with has the occasional artistic flourish – and by flourish we mean leaving muddy water and matted paintbrushes everywhere – then this Kiltrea Bride Pottery Mug (€19.95) is an essential gift. Designed to look as though it was dug out from an art supply room, this cup (part of the Kiltreat Bride range) is a colourful way to take your tea and coffee breaks.
- Kilkenny Shop, 15 Nassau Street, Dublin 2
Liven floors with a hand-tufted rug from the newly opened Rug Art premise in Sandyford. Crafted with silk fibres and featuring a fun slogan, this custom-made piece will no doubt add interest to your decor. Prices range from €800 (100-knot, wool only) to € 1,210 (150 knot, 15% silk).
- RugArt, 1c, Birch Avenue , Stillorgan Industrial Park, Sandyford, Dublin 18.