Walls covered, so to speak in our Sunday Business Post column!

Murals and 3D wall covers leave paint in the shade

Wallpaper is an absolute love of mine and I’m really excited with the ways in which it has revolutionised over the past year. We all need to forget what we thought about wallpaper and explore ‘wall coverings’ in all its magical guises.

Perhaps we all got a little tired of Elephant’s breath and slightly lacklustre paints and decided to demand more from our walls? In any event the fabric houses have reworked the very concept of wallpaper using a whole host of new design technology and thinking and the results today amply demonstrate it is not only an inspired and stage-setting tool but practically-speaking, it is flexible, easy to work with and improves acoustics by absorbing sound.

One of my personal favourite styles of wall covering in the SS17 collections are murals, which create a stunning experience. From vistas to exquisite shelving, you can create the most unique and inspired setting and everything can be played with. Murals are the modern day feature wall because of a their ability to dominate a room, you genuinely only need one wall to illuminate the entire room.

 

One of my personal favourite styles of wall covering in the SS17 collections are murals, which create a stunning experience. From vistas to exquisite shelving, you can create the most unique and inspired setting and everything can be played with. Murals are the modern day feature wall because of a their ability to dominate a room, you genuinely only need one wall to illuminate the entire room.

Murals as with other bold wallpapers are great tools to employ in corridors, stairwells and alcoves too. You can go bold and have fun on a wall without it being a massive investment. We love Zoffany's Holkam Bay panel - it was originally commissioned as an oil painting depicting a landscape of vast sands, a sultry sky and a moody sea on a layer of gold iridescence. 

Another exciting trend is 3 Dimensional wallpaper. Arte, a Belgian family-run wallpaper manufacturer have stepped it up a notch with their unique take on wall-coverings. They call it Thermoforming, which is the process of using heat to press a design into a fabric which results in a luxurious satin sheen that reflects the light back into the room. It is pure luxury and irresistible to touch. They have numerous designs ranging from graphic, leaf and even faux panelling which is intriguing to look at and proving very popular.

A major benefit of the 3D wall-covering is the fact that they are sound-suppressing. Its all about using a the combination of materials that will influence the acoustics in a  room in a positive way and is often used by designers for its absorptive effect.

Good surround sound systems have become the norm in modern homes. We are also opening up our homes to make them open plan so noise has become a real issue. Now let's imagine our living room with stupidly funky wallpaper where we throng around in our J Brand jeans dancing to One Direction and no one outside is the wiser!

Metal Madness

One trend that just keeps evolving is metallic wallpaper...pure luxury through and through this look adds a touch of glamour to any room. Don’t think shiny walls instead think natural wallpaper with threads of bronze and gold running through. Opulence with a natural edge.

The key is not to overdo it. Tone it down and keep the shimmer to one piece - be it wallpaper, carpet or soft furnishings. Too much and your house will end up looking like a sad and empty nightclub.

 

Sale time in KKI

Well it's that time of year again and we have some beautiful fabrics, furnishing and accessories  available at great prices. Here's a small peak at what's on offer: 

 

Colefax and Fowler Cordelia Blue

Was €235 a metre. Now €50 per metre. 6 metres in stock

 

Zoffany Arden Venetian red

Was €240 per metre. Now €50 per metre

 

 

Zoffany Hazelwood Indienne fabric

Was €110 per metre. Now €30 per metre

 

 

Canvas in Designers Guild fabric

Was €350 Now €280

 

Marrakech tray

Was €250 Now €200

Pineapple lamp X 3

Was €225 Now €150

Large selection of Designers cushions - all made in Ireland with feather filling €45

Ayton dining chair 

Was €459 Now €300 - 2 in stock. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valencia - A Trip To Remember

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A  couple of weeks ago I was given the opportunity to travel to Valencia to see what the local Spanish furniture, fabric, lighting and construction companies have to offer. This was an exciting opportunity that could not be refused. There is nothing like a change of environment to freshen up our creative flair.

Sitting alongside a huge variety of fellow designers and buyers from all over the world, early on a Tuesday morning, we got started.  In a meeting room we each sat with our own station in preparation of meeting new Spanish companies. With approximately 25 minutes per meeting, the meetings commenced. 

It quickly became clear to me that Valencia has a huge industry of textiles, furniture, lighting and carpet makers to name just a few. 

Furniture and decoration 

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There is a clear division in design available here, from the highly decorative and ornate classical furniture styles to the almost minimalist, really paired back modern styles. The hand craft lives on in their making processes which is fantastic to see. Metal materials such as brass, iron, bronze and copper are used a lot here, moulded and hand carved details are delicately sculpted for elaborate furniture decoration. Wood is also well treated, with many highly polished traditional styles appearing. Though many of the contemporary furniture pieces are finished in colourful lacquer. 

 

 

Textiles 

A large trend of recycled fabrics are being produced here. Not only is it environmentally friendly to recycle the fabrics, it's clear the new fabrics work well particularly for upholstery use due to their structure and textures, however the softness that we love to sink ourselves into when we cuddle up in front of the television at the end of the day or the weekends isn't quite achieved in the final product just yet.

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Architecture and Sculpture

It must be noted the architecture that Valencia displays is undeniably beautiful, the visits to the historical buildings are rich in decoration and sculpture which you can see influencing some of today's makers in Spain. Many of today's makers continue to create stunning sculptural features for decorative lighting for interiors. 

Small details 

Leather handles on a contemporary chest of drawers and hidden drawers in small side tables are just some of the little details that can give a chic finishing touch to a simple piece of furniture.

Voiles

Voiles are a vital fabric ingredient in almost every home interior scheme in the Mediterranean counties. In Ireland many of us like to invest in our fully interlined warm curtains, but when we see the new mixes of patterned voiles it makes me think we could invest in these exciting new fabrics a little more. 

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From traditional embroidered patterns to modern semi transparent fabrics coming on the market its exciting to see the potential of how we could use them in our window dressing, perhaps just where we want to add a little fabric to a hall window or perhaps on the landing or upstairs bedroom.

Outdoor fabrics 

Some available in washable, even wipeable with bleach, don't have to just be used in the outdoors, why not introduce them in your sunroom or living room. How helpful would that be when you have a couple of your friends coming over for a couple of glasses (…or bottles) knowing that you don't have to watch over your favourite new interior fabrics that you just had your sofa covered in.

One fabric, one colour, one pattern that's all it takes. One fabric collection that really caught my eye was a playful collection of tropical printed outdoor fabrics, with vibrant greens, pinks, oranges which sometimes is just what we need when it feels like the sun is hiding away, bringing a little pop of colour back into your living space can give us the lift we need.

With the sun shining here I feel the need to bring a little bit of it home with me. This may seem impossible, but with a little bit of tropical fabric patterns, I'll feel like I've done my best.

The feeling of potential is in the air here and I look forward to seeing where it leads.

Children Bedroom

Children Bedroom

an you remember your bedroom when you were eight, twelve, or even sixteen? I bet you do, and you probably know every nook and cranny. Children love having their own special space in the house, their own bedroom evolves from an area they learn to keep tidy (eventually), to a personal space reflecting their identity, to a private place no one else is allowed to enter! When designing your home you can also go a little bit crazy in your child’s bedroom, no need to be too serious as you can always blame it on the baby. 

 

Decor That's Set In Stone

Tiles tend to be a permanent fixture in your house, they’re not easy to change so you want to get it right when you choose them. Therefore while trends come and go, with tiles you want something timeless and something that you are confident you’ll still love in ten years time. I got together with Sonya Watsham from Fossil Stone in Ballymount to talk tiles, she explains what’s what in the world of stone as we go through some of our favourites.

 

The great thing about stone is that it can be cut to any size or shape. Certain tiles can also be coloured to customise your space. Despite tiles being around a very long time (think dinosaur fossils) they can have both classic and contemporary feels

Marble is the most popular tile we see at the moment. It’s a very dense, smooth stone with little tonal variations in colours. It's a metamorphic rock, formed by heat or pressure on limestone. However unlike its sister metamorphic rock slate, marble has a very dense crystalline structure, which gives it a special luminous quality when polished and can be cut to the finest detail. Very popular at the moment is book-matched marble. This is when neighbouring slabs of marble are polished on opposite sides. When these slabs are placed side by side they’ll create a near mirror image of each other, veining can then be matched up to create one unbroken pattern. Overall it’s so popular as it’s a timeless material which can be both classically opulent or understated and modern.

Limestone dates from the Jurassic Period approximately 90 million years ago (this is why we see the most amazing fossils in limestone). The nature of the material lends itself to being easily worked so it has a wide variety of applications. Limestone is beautiful, elegant, and smooth; and can again offer both a refined contemporary look or a classic appearance depending on the finish you’re looking for. Colours range from pale creams to cool greys offering an instant feeling of permanence to any setting. It’s very popular at the moment in large format flagstone style, try it in dusty pale greys.

Travertine rock was very popular in the noughties, it’s unique in that it has a honeycomb feel, and can be used both indoor and outdoor use. Left unfilled we’ve seen it used more frequently outside, filled it provides a very smooth feel underfoot that is more popular in interiors.

We have to mention the classic ceramic subway tile. It debuted in New York City’s subway train stations in the early 1900s and from there it captured the public’s imagination and moved quickly into interiors of bathrooms and kitchens for both practical and aesthetic reasons. It’s easy to clean, stain-resistant, light reflective, and most importantly gives a feeling of cleanliness. Now available in larger sizes and a huge range of colours at affordable prices making it versatile and easy to use.

Porcelain tile is ceramic that has been dry pressed into molds under high pressure, hence it is a very dense and strong material. Unglazed it looks raw and earthy, glazed it appears flawless and clean. The tile itself comes in a wide array of colors and sizes, hence it is suitable for walls, floors, the house, and commercially. An important note is that porcelain is not a conductor of heat as it is man made, whereas natural stone (which includes marble and limestone) offers a unique feeling under foot and releases the heat during the day.

Encaustics are hand made cement tiles that can lighten any space, they have a Moroccan or Spanish feel when laid. You can use a classic pattern, or they can be made in any pattern and using any Pantone colour so can be designed for your space exclusively. They are also sealed on installation like stone but very hard wearing and can be used internally or externally.

Be sure to hit Instagram for tile inspiration under the hash tags #ihavethisthingwithfloors and #tileaddiction. Whilst there you’ll see some lovely shoes too.

Top 10 Barstools

Whether you are enjoying breakfast from your kitchen counter or having a quick cup of tea, a stylish bar stools provide a sense of authenticity and comfort to your experience. Whether you want a fully upholstered barstool or a simple metal or wood ones there is lots of choice out there. Which one is your favourite?

No. 1 : Our Very Own Bar Stools with fully upholster back. They are simple so they don't mess up the open space in you kitchen.

No. 1 : Our Very Own Bar Stools with fully upholster back. They are simple so they don't mess up the open space in you kitchen.

No. 2: The Daisy Bar stool is available in a range of fabrics and is a really comfortable bar stool as it is deep bar stool

No. 2: The Daisy Bar stool is available in a range of fabrics and is a really comfortable bar stool as it is deep bar stool

No. 3: This Gala Bar Stool celebrates using shape in a bar stool. Also available in a dark colour way.

No. 3: This Gala Bar Stool celebrates using shape in a bar stool. Also available in a dark colour way.

No. 4: Lane Barstool is a great bar stool because it is very simple with just the addition of buttoning at the back

No. 4: Lane Barstool is a great bar stool because it is very simple with just the addition of buttoning at the back

No. 5: Cap Bar Stool has to be in the top ten with its metal finish and back detail it is perfect for a really modern kitchen.

No. 5: Cap Bar Stool has to be in the top ten with its metal finish and back detail it is perfect for a really modern kitchen.

No. 6: This George Barstool is the traditional full upholstered bar stool and works in ever kitchen space.

No. 6: This George Barstool is the traditional full upholstered bar stool and works in ever kitchen space.

No. 7: This Bentwood Barstool is my favourite for a French Shabby Chic kitchen with its natural wood.

No. 7: This Bentwood Barstool is my favourite for a French Shabby Chic kitchen with its natural wood.

No. 8: This suede and metal bar stool is a contemporary style and is great for small counters as there is no arm rests.

No. 8: This suede and metal bar stool is a contemporary style and is great for small counters as there is no arm rests.

No. 9: This fully lined barstool in fabric is a nice addition to any kitchen.  

No. 9: This fully lined barstool in fabric is a nice addition to any kitchen.

 

No. 10: This very unique modern chrome and white bar stool is definitely one of a kind  

No. 10: This very unique modern chrome and white bar stool is definitely one of a kind

 

Orior Trip

Had a great trip up to Orior Furniture yesterday. All bespoke made furniture, hand crafted and beautifully made. Really great going up to find the form that suits you best

New Jim Thompson Collection

Bands of Colour Trim Collection from No. 9 Collection 

After the overwhelming success of the embroidered tapes introduced by no.9 over last few seasons let to the louche of the new collection. As the name suggest, with colours such as chartreuse, fuchsia, marine piano, coral, the the collection offers a rainbow hued group of braids, tapes, cords and fringes. With endless application, the trims will bring a ray of sunshine to any scheme

We Love This New Pageant Fabrics Collection from No.9 designed by Richard Smith offers a series of embroideries, prints, decorative weaves and textured upholsteries. These fabrics impress with striking, fresh colour, innovative constructions and sophisticated handle. Inspiration was gathered for the collection from all over Asia, creating a cornucopia of exciting motifs and unexpected contracts of scale and form. It is a true reflection of the eclectic nature of interiors today.

Adjoining the Fabric Collection is the second in the series of No. 9 wallpaper collection. Inspired by some well loved classics, reimagined for the wall, others are fresh new opportunities to create decorative scenes in the no9 style. There is a mis of printing techniques and the use of pearlescent and metallic inks add texture and depth to the collection. Giving this Pageant collection a gorgeous and uplifting celebration of colour, pattern and joy!

Designer Guild Week

Our Designer Guilds Window are officially here. Featuring new fabrics and wallpapers and marble accent furniture. With handcrafted origami butterflies and birds. We love this new collection combining the botanical and the bright colours

NEW FABRIC & WALLPAPER

Botanical studies, illustrative art and a myriad of plains

Our new collections take inspiration from the evocative and illustrative art of the famous 17th Century botanists - Jardin des Plantes fabrics and wallpapers feature elegant renderings of flowers and plants, exquisite butterflies and marbled book cloths in a simply beautiful colour palette. Majella Jacquard woven damasks take their cue from the formality of Italian gardens and feature a stunning colour palette for a wide variety of uses. The Forsyth collection celebrates the world of texture with rich heathery tweeds to matt velvets , stripes, geometrics and flowers. Our new Essentials collections are unmissable - luxurious heavy velvets, crisp glazed linens, faux leathers and tweedy wools and incredible plain plaster like textures and striped wallpapers, all in our customary myriad of colours.

NEW RUGS 

From floral motifs and graphic geometrics to stripes and plains in a multitude of shades and finishes - our gorgeous collection of decorative rugs add instant style and easy glamour to your room. Choose from a variety of textures - luxurious, hand tufted pure wool or glossy bamboo- viscose to hard wearing deep -pile wool and wool mixes, our collection offers you a broad range of designs and colours in a supreme quality. Layer them up for contemporary style.