Belvedere House, Mullingar, Co Westmeath

Go on, go on: play ‘Game of Thrones’ at Castle Ward, or have a cup of tea at Father Ted’s House. Some of Ireland’s finest big hous(...)

Remember those TV programmes where people did weird and wonderful things, including plate spinning and everything happened to the restraining refrain “don’t try this at home”?

The top five things hosehold things never to attempt, even in the presence of experts

“She seems to come with an awful lot of scatter cushions” a friend once said, with an air of alarm

Even the ultimate bloke’s pad can be made livable with a little aesthetic compromise

 David O’Donoghue in the kitchen. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

An industrial dishwasher, a vintage car and a “soggy-bottom” chair

Biased: national collections give context only to a certain type of work by a certain group of artists. Photograph: EPA

Ireland’s galleries almost all reflect western European and North American culture, but that’s not what our society looks like any(...)

Comforted by a sense of history: skeumorphs include the icon on your desktop that looks like an old-fashioned paper calendar, the font that emulates handwriting, the telephone bell ringtone and the speaker symbol

We are surrounded by objects modelled on older technologies, connecting the past with the present and making change easier to deal(...)

Say it with a needle and thread: and when all else fails, put a bird on it

Like tea towels with motivational slogans and anything resembling a pig, one piece per room will suffice

Copper cup: One study showed copper killing off salmonella microbes in water in just four hours, while silver took between eight and 12 hours. Photograph: iStock

The metal is able to kill germs quietly, all on its own

Ann Mulrooney in the kitchen of her home in Kilkenny. Photograph: Dylan Vaughan

Ann Mulrooney’s penchant for understatement and natural materials was brought to bear when she renovated a coach house, working wi(...)

Embroidered stories: ‘Bordados’, an exhibition of Rebecca Devaney’s work  based on  her travels through Mexico is at the Mexican Embassy in  Dublin

Textiles are frequently ignored, simply because they are so fundamental. But this is changing

Have hipster trappings invaded your town?

Telltale signs that your town has become hipsterville central

Splash out on a couple of throws and scatter cushions

Your first option is to accessorise. Splash out on a couple of throws, scatter cushions, and possibly a selection of plates and bo(...)

European Capital of Culture  2020: the Galway culture team celebrate their win. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Prefer plain English? Galway will be Ireland’s European Capital of Culture for 2020

Traditional sailboats off Long Walk in the Claddagh Basin in Galway city. The city has been named European City of Culture 2020.  Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

Limerick, Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford were also in the running for title

David Beattie, with his work The Impossibility of an Island (2016). Courtesy of the  Hennessy Art Fund for Imma Collection, 2016

The new Hennessy Art Fund will help the Irish Museum of Modern Art plug the gaps in its collection over the next three years

Get oil off a silk shirt with talcum powder. The web has a wide range of solutions for everyday crises.

Turn minor household disaster into triumph with the help of perky internet advice

Galway’s bid includes Project Baa Baa! a mini-festival to celebrate sheep

As the judges arrive in Ireland, before making a decision on Friday, we look at the best bits from our European Capital of Culture(...)

Poker de Damas (2016) by Teresa Margolles. Photograph: copyright Manifesta 11/Wolfgang Traeger

Compacted excrement, a poker game between transgender prostitutes, and a floating wheelchair all vie for attention at the jam-pack(...)

101 Church Road, East Wall, Dublin 3

Two houses, two styles: A modern three-bed terraced house in the city centre or a refurbished two-bed with a large garden in Monks(...)

What does your cup of coffee tell about you?

Most of us are caught in an odd limbo between wanting to be part of the group, and having stirring feelings of exceptionalism

George Foreman  in Dublin promoting his range of grills.

Younger readers might not realise that George Foreman was once better known as a two-time world heavyweight boxing champion

Oakes twins Trevor and Ryan with an ink drawing on concave paper at their exhibition in the Science Gallery in Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Ryan and Trevor Oakes are undertaking brilliant experiments with observation and perception, changing views on reality along the w(...)

Repackage, reuse: rubber boots used as flower pots on the city streets.

As pay by weight looms, what creative ways can we use to lighten load of reusable refuse?

Seven-bed property in Co Cork with trout fishing and riverside walks

Ask anyone who regularly volunteers, and they’ll tell you how rewarding it is. Turning up at beach cleans, organising a Street Feast (last Sunday), urban guerrilla gardening, charity walks, or simply helping out a friend makes you feel good, and the more people get involved, the greater the good feelings grow.

Being loving and giving makes you feel good until you feel taken advantage of

originalbooks.net, the go-to specialists for faux books goods

What to do do if you (a) don’t read, or (b) have consigned all your literature to Kindle?

In its heyday, Sam Stephenson’s home, No 31, a converted coach house off Leeson Street,   was the party house in Dublin.

Modernist houses have long been favoured backdrops for Hollywood baddies

Bonnington House

Robert and Nicky Wilson’s incredible sculpture park in the grounds of Bonnington House, a restored Scottish manor, has to be seen(...)

Former cottage has been extended into an elegant five-bed pile with tennis court

Light-filled lodge with sun terrace and lake views is close to Ballyjamesduff

Anita Groener in her studio at home in Glasthule, Dublin. “Women artists have a battle to win to be valued equally in exhibitions, collections, and in auctions.” Photograph: Aidan Crawley

This Dutch-born artist loves her studio and says interiors without art and books are lifeless

The Old School House, Avoca

Old School House in Avoca has five bedrooms and large open-space living room

Rock Castle, Knockroe, Innishannon

Rambling four-bed on banks of the Bandon is just half an hour from Cork city

Artist Gottfried Helnwein with his wife Renate and grandchildren Solas, Croí and Éala in the library in Gurteen Castle Kilsheelin, Co Tipperary. Photograph: John D Kelly

The painter’s life and art is a hybrid of trad and neo-Gothic with a touch of Hollywood

All religions have their talismans, items and places of faith: Monday sees the start of a nationwide tour of the relics of St Anthony

St Anthony’s relics will tour Ireland from June 9th

Lifting the lid on ‘deceptively spacious’ and other property myths

Work by Vincent van Gogh has appreciated in value enormously. Above, van Gogh’s Noon, or The Siesta, after Millet. Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France/Bridgeman Images

As the art market becomes increasingly polarised, Art $ummit looks at the changing relationship between art and money

Mimetic House, Leitrim designed by architect Dominic Stevens. Photograph: Ros Kavanagh

The new vernacular: several garlanded architects are among those looking at the possibilities for liveable and meaningful architec(...)

This unique four-bed perched on the slopes of the Dublin mountains is on nearly two acres and, though dated, boasts a clever layou(...)

The Barcelona Day Bed turns up in both Iron Man and Twilight (and that’s just for starters)

The team at seenonset.com has the fun job of watching loads of TV and films, then sourcing some of the furniture, fittings, objec(...)

Four-bedroom south Dublin home has been recently renovated and extended

Burren House: 20 minutes from Kinsale, with views of Old Head

Beautifully restored Burren House is on the market with nearly all of its contents

The 82-storey residential tower on New York’s West 57th Street

Designers of the so-called ‘pencil towers’ should take a leaf out of Da Vinci’s book

Most exhibitions take place in the colleges themselves, though some branch out

From now until the end of June, art and design schools and colleges are setting up their diploma, degree and graduate shows

The drawingroom at Lyons House in Co Kildare

Property obsession, preposterous meals and chamber pots at the table were hallmarks of the era

Spacious six-bed home in Newbridge, Co Kildare, close to schools and golf courses

Carson’s No Surrender Ulster Marmalade: art you can eat, made with the Irish Countrywomen’s Association.

Artist Rita Duffy’s shop in Dublin is selling mementoes of the 1916 Centenary for €5

It costs €1 more to core a pineapple than it does to cut an apple, if the price of two gadgets means anything

Wordsworth: the poet had clearly worked out what it takes some of us years to realise, if we ever do: that loneliness is a precondition for creativity. Photograph: Culture Club/Getty

Solitude is essential to art, whether you make it or just enjoy it. So embrace the loneliness

From Yinka Shonibare’s Recreating the Pastoral exhibition at Visual Carlow. Photograph: Aisling McCoy

The British-Nigerian artist’s work is laden with complex identity conundrums

The Tudor style is most evident in the enormous hall, complete with rich dark wood beams, Tudor roses carved into the fireplace and a minstrels’ gallery above.

This property on 0.3 of an acre is secreted off leafy Herbert Park. Built 20 years ago,its dark wood and Arts and Crafts inspirati(...)

At Liminal, you can see the timeless elegance of Derek Wilson’s ceramics

Year of Design showed good design is glorious mix of traditional and cutting edge

Four-bed timber frame property has Arts and Crafts appeal

Richmond Park House, a fine Victorian five-bed, is both opulent and welcoming

 Julie Danz and Vincent Tynan  at home in Foxrock, Co Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

Colour and texture are everywhere in the home the design duo with a curiosity about the world share with their two young children (...)

Laptops have made working from home a joy. Photograph: Thinkstock

Working from home may not appeal to everyone, but if it does here are some must-haves

Spacious Blackrock six-bed home on one-third of an acre, located close to schools, shops and restaurants

On one of Dublin 4’s finer roads, well-presented number 71 is in excellent order but with lots of felixibility

Waterford Spraoi. Photograph: John Loftus

Galway, Limerick and the trio of Wexford, Waterford and Kilkenny are working on their final bids for 2020. But is it worth the mam(...)

When you see people ‘unexpectedly dressed like their surroundings’ it blurs the edges. Image: via Google

Alternatively, investing in blackout blinds can improve your sleep and aid weight loss

With chapters on wardrobes, corners, nests and ‘the phenomenology of roundness’, ‘The Poetics of Space’ is also a series of unexpected delights. This illustration is on  the cover of the Penguin Classics edition

An influential book by a French philosopher reminds us that small can be beautiful

Muddy wellies and rambling roses at the front door spell  real money. Photograph: Thinkstock

Sash windows and swagged curtains lend an air of money and taste

Shaping attitudes: Nicholas Serota (in front of a Cy Twombly painting). Photograph: Justin Tallis/PA Wire

The influential director of the Tate galleries still believes in what artists can do, and the public have backed his faith in thei(...)

This Co Meath house near Collon has been tastefully rebuilt and offers plenty of period features, while the extensive grounds are (...)

A sensitive renovation and makeover, costing €2 million, makes this Georgian gem, on the banks of the Blackwater in Fermoy, one of(...)

Peace and quiet, paddocks and a pond in west Cork haven for €895,000

The one thing that will make the world of difference when you’re able to sit up is a set of enormous pillows. Photograph: Thinkstock

You know you’re going to get the flu at some stage, so it’s worth having a strategy

Susan McKeown: “With such an ambitious and innovative project, it takes one person to begin it, to commit to making it happen.” Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Susan McKeown has been exporting Irish culture her whole career. So can her festival of Irish arts become part of the fabric of Ne(...)

The fridge is full of leafy greens and the fruit bowl is bursting with things to be extracted. Photograph: iStockphoto

It is easy to get sucked into the lifestyle promises they make but few worktops have space for them

Percy Place home has a traditional facade and a modern interior

Detail of ‘The Kiss’, by Gustav Klimt: it  is one of those pictures that you want to wake up with, but not necessarily have in your livingroom

In the past, even the smallest houses had “the good room”, where you could put all the stuff you didn’t really like, but which you(...)

Paris Syndrome describes the delusions, dizziness, hallucinations and anxiety caused by the intense expectations of tourists, coupled with the fact that the reality of their experiences may not quite come up to their imaginings. Photograph: Thinkstock

The French capital is a little overwhelming in its Frenchness

Heroes and blood sacrifice: Roger Casement as envisioned in Alan Phelan’s Our Kind

The cultural programming in Ireland’s art galleries is focused on what it means to be a citizen in today’s connected world

A pretty holiday home on the Currabinny peninsula looks out over the sea to the yacht club, a view that inspired the owners in (...)

Graphic designer Oonagh Young set up her gallery in Dublin’s Monto district in 2008, mortgaging her home to establish the contempo(...)

This vast estate on 255 acres in Co Laois includes a Victorian house with woodlands, a working farmyard and 1,100 metres of river (...)

Objects become imbued with strong emotional attachments, even if yours  have evaporated. Photograph: Thinkstock

Take a long hard look at each other. And if you’re really sure you’re going to part, you’re going to have to take a hard look at (...)

A five-bedroom detached redbrick home with wraparound garden for €1.4 million

According to the colour forecasters, pale and interesting is the way to go this spring. Photograph: Hillarys

Pale pink and baby blue are in for spring but one artist is going over to the dark side

And this little piggy went to join his family in the charity shop

You mention that you like china pigs: next thing, your windowsill has become a sty. What to do?

Do you really want enter into a routine in which every night you denude your bed of those disappointingly uncomfortable, frequently bead-fringed squares of stuffed silk

Gemma Tipton takes a look at hotel design and what it says about our desires and aspirations

Refurbished Torca Cottage on Dalkey Hill retains stunning vista over a century later

A fine Victorian in Killiney was once home to John Hughes, a founder of the Irish Press and later by Joe “Spud” Murphy, inventor o(...)

‘Hanging Heart’ (Magenta) by Jeff Koons, which sold for $23.7 million in 2007

Artworks are like people: you don’t have to like all of them. The best buying tip is to to trust your gut instincts

Honed down to essentials: ‘Woods’ by Ed Miliano, who says the ideas behind Japanese design are as much about living as they are about making

The influence of Japan on our design culture is deep and pervasive, so what is it that has so enraptured some of our most creative(...)

Home comforts: ‘We feel as though we’re actually sitting in the garden,’ says  Oliver Sears, in  the extension to his home in Ranelagh, Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

This Dublin gallery owner describes his style as contemporary with strong classical influences, but for all his eclectic interests(...)

Want to explore the magic of this vast country in comfort? There is a way ...

4 Thornfield, Stillorgan Road, Donnybrook: on the market for €2 million

Donnybrook and Rathmichael properties are on sale with substantial price cuts

Non-shed house dog: President Obama takes Bo, the first family’s Portuguese water dog, for a run in the  White House. Photograph: Pete Souza/Reuters

How to ensure mucky paws don’t ruin your pad

 Rubberbandits: the pair say they are not comedians or entertainers but artists

The Dole Queue Dadaists’ critique of gallery art is worth hearing – if a little harsh

Angela O’Kelly at  home with some of her favourite black items, and some of her own jewellery. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

The head of design at the National College of Art and Design has a passion for black, from her wedding dress to precious heirlo(...)

Country estate near Skibbereen, Co Cork, on 163 acres with a lake, beach and sky garden

A Victorian four-bed opens up to a special interior with a well appointed kitchen

This five-bedroom, end-of-terrace redbrick in Donnybrook has been sensitively renovated and comes with a separate suite for use as(...)

Kinara, 3 Priory Avenue, Blackrock

Beside the babbling brook: four-bedroom detached 1940s house for €1.75 million

The house where May and Frances live with Auntie Nellie (Niamh Cusack) is a former Garda superintendent’s house on Harcourt Terrace

How do you find authentic places to shoot a period drama such as ‘Rebellion’? You need to be creative, keep an eye to detail, and (...)

Dust Defying Gravity (2004) from the exhibition 3 Different Nights Recurring by Grace Weir. Courtesy of the artist

The wonders and mysteries of the empirical world become jumping-off points for an aesthetic voyage in Grace Weir’s retrospective(...)

An artistic retreat from ‘Cabins’ by Taschen

If your new year’s resolutions include undertaking any creative projects, the first thing you’ll need is a retreat from the world (...)

Five-bedroom property with large garden for €1.375 million

Three-bed detached bungalow with private garden for €695,000

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