Take a trip to Dublin, Ireland with our home & style director.
Take a trip to Dublin, Ireland with our home & style director.
Our home & style director jets off to Dublin, Ireland.
Style at Home's home & style director, Ann Marie Favot, gets her Irish on in this young-at-heart ancient city filled with inspiration.
Day 1: Check into The Morrison Hotel, ideally situated on the banks of the River Liffey in the city centre. it’s a short walk from here to a ton of Dublin’s main attractions, including shopping and nightlife. Stretch your legs by taking a stroll south of the river to The Library of Trinity College Dublin to have a gander at the Book of Kells, the stunning illuminated medieval manuscript that is one of Ireland’s greatest treasures. Then wander through the maze of ancient streets that make up the vibrant temple bar neighbourhood just west of Trinity College.
If you’re lucky enough to be here on a Saturday, start at the Temple Bar Food Market (above) and indulge in fresh scones, cheeses, breads and other snacks you can take back to the hotel (or eat right there!).
Do some serious browsing in the pretty boutiques along Cow’s Lane and in the surrounding area, particularly on Drury, William and Clarendon streets. Scout, Cow’s Lane Designer Studio, Paula Rowan, The Garden (above), Find and the Irish Design Shop all feature beautifully made goods to take home. stop for a rest at Avoca, a divine family-run design shop/café, and then return to the hotel to put away your purchases before heading to the historic Temple Bar for a must-have dinner of oysters and guinness, accompanied by traditional Irish music from a roster of engaging live bands.
Day 2: Start your day with a walk to the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History, located in Collins Barracks, an old army base dating to 1704. The museum houses a fine collection of artisanal Irish wares, including glass work, silverware and turned wood, as well as traditional furniture pieces that speak to the country’s domestic history. See the exhibition devoted to Irish modernist pioneer Eileen Gray, which includes her groundbreaking adjustable chrome table and non-conformist chair. Leaving the museum, head south across the river. Your destination is Iveagh Gardens, but take a detour by Saint Patrick’s Cathedral to ogle this venerable 800-year-old institution.
Before reaching the gardens, have lunch at nearby Drury Street’s Considered by Helen James, where you’ll dine at communal tables side by side with the locals. Owned by Dunnes stores, the café also features a full range of designer Helen James’s foodstuffs, tableware and accessories. Industry & Co., a lifestyle decor store across the street, also includes a great café. Carry on to Iveagh Gardens, one of Dublin’s best hidden spaces, and lose yourself among the statuary, rockeries, fountains, waterfall and grotto. Small (you can see it all in about an hour) and free, this verdant garden was envisioned by famed landscape architect Ninian Niven in 1865. Soak up the atmosphere at this peaceful oasis as a counterpoint to the hustle and bustle beyond the gates.
Cool, misty Irish days call for practical pieces that work for changeable weather.
Padded Maya Gilet in Brown, Horseware Ireland, $105 US.
Printed Bubble umbrella in Dulse Wave Print, Hunter Original, $75.
Master collection GMT watch, Longines, $2,900.
Discipline travel-sized hair-care products, Kérastase Paris, from $19 each.
Country Galway boots in Walnut with ExtraFit, Dubarry, $549.
Limbo multiwheel suitcase in Creme White, 22", Rimowa, $915.
This huge dock is a dreamy spot for lounging and socializing all day long.
There are 66 steps from the dock up to the cottage, so the owners of this lakeside property built a boathouse to better enjoy their prime piece of real estate.Ontario’s beautifully rugged Muskoka region is known as much for its gracious lakeside boathouses as it is for its sprawling cottages. And with steep rocky shorelines, there’s often quite a trek from the dock to the living quarters. This family retreat on Lake Joseph is no different – while its high perch makes for glorious lake views, it also means “there are 66 steps from the water up to the cottage,” says one of the homeowners.
A small but efficient kitchenette is equipped for making drinks and snacks to serve on the dock.
Its modern charcoal and white palette is a fresh contrast to the aged hemlock flooring.
The white beadboard-clad walls and peaked ceiling create an airy effect in the living room. A pair of striped sofas (one is a pullout) imbues the space with a nautical feel, as does the stunning view of the lake. A glass-lined balcony with a lockable gate serves as a diving platform for daring swimmers.
Nancy eschewed the rusticity one might expect in a more traditional cottage for a design that’s youthful and modern.
The homeowners wanted a fresh and bright interior, so they chose white-painted beadboard for the walls and ceiling. Warmth comes from 100-year-old reclaimed hemlock flooring.
A compact bunk room comfortably sleeps four adults on twin-sized beds. Clean white walls, aged hemlock floors and blue and white bedding reinforce the casual coastal scheme.
The blue and white scheme is carried from the main cottage exterior to the boathouse and the dock furnishings.
The huge dock is a dreamy spot for lounging and socializing all day long.
Peruvian Mirror, West Elm.
Brighten up your blank walls with these eye-catching accessories.
Faced with the prospect of filling blank walls, most of us think of traditional framed artwork. And there’s no doubt that framed art is a beautiful way to decorate your walls. But there are many appealing alternatives, too! From shelves and mirrors to clocks and sconces, there are plenty of ways to bring your walls to life. Here are 10 of our top suggestions!
Don’t just hang art on your walls. Turn your home into your own personal art gallery by printing, framing and hanging your own photography. Artifact Uprising can help you take those beautiful vacation photos off your digital devices and turn them into art gallery-worthy pieces by printing them on premium archival paper and offering a variety of frames and mats to best suit your photo and your home’s decor. Gallery Frames, Artifact Uprising, $99.
Framed art isn’t the only thing to hang on your walls! There are so many ways to dress your walls stylishly and these gorgeous monogrammed hooks are a perfect example. Add colour and interest to a foyer, hallway or even a bedroom with these beautifully crafted hooks, which will add both form and function to your walls. Whimsy Monogram Hooks, Anthropologie, $16.
Mirrors are a great option for decorating a wall but a cluster of mirrors is a statement. We love the ornate decorative flourishes of these mirrors, hand-carved by Peruvian artisans. Made with timber from the Amazon and finished with non-toxic paint, these pretty mirrors will add style to any wall in your home. Peruvian Mirrors, West Elm, $199.
Put that blank space on your wall to work by installing these gorgeous marble shelves. Made from a Carrara lookalike white and grey marble with brass-finished metal brackets, these shelves not only look great in their own right but they’ll provide the perfect spot for you to display artwork, books and other objets that need a home. Marble Wall-Mounted Shelves, CB2, $59.95.
Feature walls are a great way to add visual interest to a room and really make a statement. You can create a feature wall by painting it a different colour from the others, wallpapering it or simply hanging a tapestry, if you prefer something less permanent. This bold cotton tapestry will summon thoughts of tropical vacations as you drift into slumber. Assembly Home Banana Leaf Tapestry, Urban Outfitters, $72.
This generously sized piece will add a sense of drama to the room in which it’s hung. Made from pounded iron, this piece features an intricately etched design and an antiqued brass finish. It’ll be a conversation starter, that’s for sure! Decorative Metal Disc, Pottery Barn, $249
These keys, locked behind the glass of a shadow box, can spark imagination as to their origin. Each key is a reproduction of a vintage original that was found as part of a private collection. Each one is unique and displayed behind glass, and becomes an interesting and intriguing piece of artwork. Key Shadow Boxes, Restoration Hardware, $99.
A clock almost seems quaint and retro these days since many of us rely on our phones to tell the time. But clocks still have a place in our homes, especially when they’re beautifully designed timepieces like this one. Hanging from a leather strap and mimicking the style of a captain’s mirror, this walnut wood veneered wall clock makes a great decorative touch to your home. Umbra Canteen Clock, Indigo, $120.
Perfect for corners in your home that could use a bit of illumination, this wall sconce is just the solution, adding light as well as a beautiful decorative element. Made with a metal frame with a polished nickel finish and fabric shade, its minimal, slim profile is ideal if you’re short on space. Monroe One Light Sconce, Horchow, $145.
This photograph beautifully captures an ordinary moment in front of the most photographed sites in the world: The Louvre. If you, like so many, have a love affair with Paris, this gorgeous rendering is one you’ll love to have hanging on your wall. You’ll smile and think of the City of Light each and every time you pass by it. Men in Red Limited Edition Print, Minted, starting at $20.
Blending pretty and practical style
Vancouver designer Chrissy Cottrell shares her tips to creating a home that's both fabulous and functional.
Follow designer Chrissy Cottrell's 10 tips to creating a home that appeals to both genders.
A whimsical print by Paule Marrot adds a pretty touch to the dining room and balances out the handsome dark accents. “My husband, Corey, and I wanted to honour both the masculine and feminine in our home,” says homeowner and designer Chrissy Cottrell of Chrissy & Co. Design Savvy.
Minimalist furnishings ensure this small dining area doesn’t feel cramped. A sleek oval Saarinen-style dining table, paired with iconic Eames chairs, seats six without taking up too much visual space. Stemware and bottles stay neatly tucked away in the narrow built-in bar but can be put on display when the couple entertains.
The built-in stainless steel peninsula gives guests a great view of what’s cooking in the galley kitchen. Tucked into the cabinetry, the dishwasher drawer – perfect for a household of two – can handle a lot of dishes while taking up minimal space.
The cognac stain of the vintage-look schoolhouse stools contrasts with the contemporary kitchen’s stainless steel peninsula. The stools also complement the warm-toned hardwood floors and rich colours found in the artwork (a wall-mounted glass platter), pulling the whole space together.
The regal bust adds sophistication on the living room window ledge. “There’s so much natural light by the window, and it’s always changing, so I keep it simple with pieces that won’t detract from the view,” says Chrissy. “It’s more about the silhouette and texture.”
A living room corner gets the full decorative treament with a mix of pieces that have a Neo-Victorian vibe. The art wall – a standout feature – includes a vintage mirror, golden buffalo head and playful painted portrait of the couple’s toy poodle, Buttons.
The white Italian leather sofa provides negative space underneath the artwork, allowing it to shine. The large-scale piece by David Burdeny makes the narrow living room seem bigger than it actually is. “I really love art that pulls you into it,” says Chrissy. “It’s like a window into another room.”
When it comes to artwork and interesting accessories, people often neglect the bathroom, says Chrissy, who hung some of her favourite pieces on the charcoal wall. “Let’s face it: you spend several minutes in there, so it’s nice to have something interesting to look at.”
Upholstered in grey linen with brushed-brass nailhead trim, the tufted headboard takes centre stage in the otherwise sedate master bedroom. A sleek black and gold pendant light adds drama and helps draw the eye upward.
The master bedroom gallery wall showcases the couple’s history, with sentimental pieces that reflect their time and travels together. “I’m a big believer in buying what you love and then making it work,” says Chrissy, who splurged on custom framing in a mix of complementary shades and sizes.