Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Oriental Aqua from Debenham's

I love Chinese cooking and what better way to pass an evening than inviting a group of friends over and cooking a tasty Sweet & Sour or Black Bean (or cheating and ordering a take away...). I found these "Oriental Aqua" items in Debenham's that would be great for just such an occasion.

While I'm not planning on splashing out on a new set of tableware just for a girl's night in, I think that these would be gorgeous for anyone with a mostly white Kitchen or Dining Room, especially if you already have tones of blue in the room. I think it's so important to have your tableware in keeping with the colour scheme of your room, especially if it's going to be on display in your Kitchen.

I got these pictures from the Debenham's website, sorry that the prices are in sterling.

Noodle Bowl Set £35.

Sushi Set £35.

Large Square Plate £12.

Long Dish £15.

Teapot £30.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Wallpaper Without the Designer Price Tag

Some time ago I fell in love with this wall paper from the Ralph Lauren Home Range.

However there were no prices on the website which to me translates as "this is out of your price range so don't even bother asking..." (just for the record the same rule applies when you go to a restaurant and there are no prices on the menu!). So instead I took myself down to B&Q (Eastway Business Park, Limerick) and I was very pleasantly surprised with what they had to offer. I always knew they had a large selection of wallpaper but from a distance a lot of it looks like the type of wallpaper you might see in your granny's kitchen. It's well worth taking a closer look though as there are some great finds there.

In the end I decided on this one (antonello trail green). I'm putting it on one wall of a bedroom, the wall that will have the head of the bed against it. I love the simple pattern and fresh green colour. The design isn't as imposing as the Ralph Lauren one, which works well as the room isn't very big. I'm not sure that the colour came out very well on this picture, it's a pale pastel green and not a minty green as it looks here.

Here are a few I found in B&Q in the damask pattern that seems to be very popular at the moment. These would be great in a feature wall of a room, maybe a chimney breast.

These wallpapers are all in or around €20. per roll. The B&Q website has a quick guide to measuring how many rolls you will need. Click here.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Cheap & Cheerful Door Draft Stopper

I found this wonderful idea on Design Sponge earlier. The great thing about this novel door draft stopper is that you can make it in whatever fabric you like, this would be a great way to do something worthwhile with any leftover fabric you might have from your curtains or cushions.

It looks simple enough to make, think I might try this!

Click here to read the full article on and click here to learn how to make your own.

pictures from Design Sponge

Living with Paul Costello

Dublin born fashion designer Paul Costello has recently started designing his "Living" collection for Dunnes Stores. I really like the pieces he has designed for this range. He uses simple designs and muted colours to fit in with many colour schemes so that you don't need to own the entire collection for it to look right in your home.

The prices are pretty reasonable too, I think these items are a great way to add a designer touch to your home without breaking the bank. They would also make very presentable housewarming / engagement gifts.

Here are a few examples of his products and prices from the Dunnes website, to view the full collection click here.

silk cushions €35.

cutlery gift set €80.

Vase €50. / €30.

tea pot €35. / plate €8. / cup & saucer €10.

Double Duvet Cover €55.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Finding the Perfect Lamp... by Maz

Thanks to Maz at Style Treaty for this contribution, Maz if you want my opinion, sell a few of your large collection of gorgeous handbags on ebay and splash out on the Louis Mulcahy lamp!

I am currently on the lookout for the perfect table lamp so I said I’d share my current favourites with the MTeriors readers.

My living room (in a rented apartment) is painted cream, the curtains are cream and unfortunately the couch is a multitude of colours including blue, pink and green!! I don’t necessarily want the lamp to match the sofa as I wont be living here for ever and I’d rather just get something neutral that could be used in another room, in another house, another time.

This is probably my favourite one and is from Louis Mulcahy, the brown is quite neutral and would probably match most modern living rooms. The base is aprx €287 and the shade would be extra. Therefore this one is off the realistic list as I definitely can’t afford that.

Homebase have a nice selection as well. (I’ve just noticed that Homebase and Argos carry very similar stock, the photos are even the same).

This one is £15 and is in
Argos as well. I like the shape and the fabric of this lamp although by all accounts my other half doesn’t like these at all so maybe this is off the list as well. (Notice I said “maybe”)

I love this one but it wouldn’t suit my living room at all. It’s £25 also at Homebase and probably Argos.

They also have a nice range in
Atlantic Homecare and this is my favourite, it’s €89.99.

They also have a great selection in
Instore but they are pretty expensive, unfortunately they only have furniture up on the Instore website at the moment so no pictures.

Dunnes also do some nice lamps, like this one from the Paul Costello range which is €60.

Hopefully, these will give you some idea of what’s available at the moment, the lamps featured vary in price as well so there should be something to suit everyone.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Decluttering, Style Treaty Style!

There's a great article with tips & tricks for decluttering on Style Treaty today. I know it's something that's on everyones to-do list (mine included!) so the article is well worth a read to get you motivated! Click here.

Paint Your House With Your Mouse

If you are trying to decide what colour to paint a particular room in your house but you're unsure of how it will look or what colours will go well together you should check out It's got a great "mouse painter" function that allows you to visualise what your room will look like when finished.

You can choose from a number of images of bathrooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, hallways, exteriors, kitchens or living rooms and you are given a blank canvas to start off with.

You can then drag and drop colours to the walls of the room to see what works well together. You can even colour bedspreads, floors and lamps in some of the rooms just to set the scene! It's a fun tool to help you decide what look you want to achieve and might persuade you to be a bit more adventurous if you can get an idea of what works and what doesn't before you get out your paintbrush and roller at home.

Otherwise why not have some fun with it, create the most garish room you can and scare your other half by showing him/her your plans for the master bedroom...?

pictures from

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

What a load of Rubbish!

When many people are decorating a room they can spend so much time and care (and money...) on dressing the room to perfection and then forget to pay any attention to the finishing touches.

Take a kitchen for example, I've seen some beautiful kitchens with top of the range cupboards, worktops and appliances and then lurking in one unkempt corner of the room there's an oversized, ugly, off-white rubbish bin with the bin liner hanging out at the sides. It's such an eye-sore and it's all I can see in the room once I spot it!

I presume the reason for this is because the rubbish bin is an after-thought, after all, a bin is a necessity that has to be put somewhere, a purely functional item, right? Wrong! With just a little effort and time when choosing your bin it can change from being an eye-sore in your kitchen to actually adding something to the overall style of the room. Or at the very least not taking from it!

Here are a few of my favourites. Similar items to these are available at Argos, with prices starting at around €49.99.

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Canvas Prints

For a really unique gift or for a talking point in your Living Room I recommend getting one of your favourite photos printed onto canvas. If you have done a lot of travelling or if you are into photography this is a great way to show off some of your work and it's so nice to have pictures hanging in your house that actually mean something to you instead of non-descript images that you buy in shops.

Harvey Norman (Eastway Business Park, Limerick) offer this service, you can bring prints or digital images and it usually takes about 24 hours to process. Prices start at €24.99 for an A5 image and obviously increase in price the larger the canvas. Be aware that the wooden backing is not included in the price and costs an extra €15. Spectra in the Crescent Shopping Centre also offer this service although I think its slightly more expensive. I'm sure there are lots of photo shops nationwide that also provide this service.

I've taken lots of Black & White pictures of my newborn nephew so providing at least one of them turns out nice I'm getting this done as a present for his parents for his Christening in March! This would also be a nice gift for Valentines Day if you or your other half are into photography. Maybe a picture of wherever you went on your first date, or your first holiday - the possibilities are endless!

Rome, January 2005

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Tying the Perfect Parcel

For any of you that aspire to being a domestic god or goddess I've discovered the perfect book... Tying the Perfect Parcel - Everything you should know how to do, does exactly what it says on the tin - it tells you how to do hundreds of household chores (e.g. ironing a shirt, sewing on a button, packing a suitcase) that we apparently should be born knowing how to do! The best thing about the book is that it tells what to do in a friendly, witty and jargon-free way.

The inside sleeve tells us that the author, Rosemarie Jarski, having worked her way through Europe as an au-pair, has "a thorough knowledge of how to launder lederhosen, polish a flugelhorn, fricasee frogs' legs, and clean blood stains off a matador's costume, none of which was the slightest use in writing this book".

The book has a great section on Interior Design which gives general advice on how to create a fabulous room but also offers invaluable step-by-step guides on how to wallpaper around a light switch, how to measure for curtains, how to paint pipes and how to keep black flies away from your paint.

The most important thing to remember is that this book is not just for girls. Just because us girls weren't born knowing how to unblock a toilet or use an electric drill doesn't mean that you men were!

I got this book from the bookshop at Shannon airport for about €12.99 but you can get it from amazon for £5.99 before post & packing.

Louis Mulcahy Wine Goblets

I absolutely love these wine goblets. My aim in life (one of my shallower ones...) is to be the proud owner of a full collection of Louis Mulcahy pottery. As a starting point a few months ago I bought one of these wine goblets from his Tenmoku range and I swear red wine tastes better if you drink it from one of these glasses. I got another one of these goblets as a Christmas present so I'm one step closer to my full collection!

The goblets are also available in his blue, green and navy range. I bought mine from his workshop in Ballyferriter Co. Kerry (if you're ever in the area, call in for a visit, the location is beautiful!). I think it was about €19.50 for the goblet. You can also get them from Carraig Donn in the Crescent Shopping Centre, Limerick or indeed any Carraig Donn gift ware shop. While I was on the louis mulcahy website, I went to the online shop and the goblets are around the same price but with shipping it adds up to €41.70 so I definitely wouldn't go down that route. For a list of other stores that stock his collection have a look on his website

Whenever I complete my collection, I'm going to throw a dinner party with the table set from head to toe in Louis Mulcahy pottery, just because!

pictures from

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Astex Design

How unusual that the very first post on my site is advertising someone else's business! That being said, I wanted to share the news that Conor Cleary, a very talented and creative kitchen designer based in Kilmallock, Co. Limerick has just launched his new website for his company Astex Design.

Astex Design can offer excellent practical solutions to storage in your kitchen no matter what space you have to work with. Conor also has great ideas for features that can act as a real talking point in your kitchen! Wardrobes for your bedroom can also be custom made.

To get an idea of the kind of work that Astex Design do, check out the new website at Show rooms are opening early this year so I'll keep you posted!