Bargain Hunter: our guide to what's trending in retail

Back to school lunchboxes, retro fridges and all the latest in colourful interiors


hOn the fly

The swallow migration to Africa is about to start but you can hang these birds on your wall all year long. They look far more fetching than flying ducks. This ceramic set of three will add retro charm to walls. It comes in three colour options; pastel pink, sky blue or white and will look really good against grey walls. Normally €12.95, Irish Times readers who present today’s column to the good people at Rua Boutique (01-874 8051, 55 Capel Street, Dublin 1, can buy them for €8.95, a reduction of 30 per cent. Offer ends on September 6th.

xItalian style and colour

Bravissimo! Bottom Drawer at Brown Thomas, Dublin (01-6056696, Cork (021-480 5555) and Limerick (061-417222) has reduced its stock of high-end Italian home ranges. This Orelia cushion features a multicoloured flower pattern designed by Rosita Missoni of the Italian print house Missoni. Reduced by 40 per cent, the cushion is reduced from €175 to €105. Reduced by 30 per cent is the super luxurious Frette Hotel Collection. Available in white or charcoal, a king-size duvet cover was €285 and is now €199. The matching bedspread was €395 and is now €275. Offers end on September 16th.

jBring the seaside inside

Extend that summer feeling with Westwood Ho by Prestigious Textiles, a collection of printed cottons that feature classic seaside motifs of boats, seabirds and shells. The fabric costs €25.16 per metre. Present today’s column and you can buy any of the fabrics in the range less 30 per cent (€17.60), at Brian S Nolan, 202 George’s Street Upper, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin (01-2800564 Offer ends September 4th.

fTime to lighten up

Ventura Design (01-820 8480, Block 8, Unit 12, Blanchardstown Corporate Park, Dublin 15, has a collection of glass bead lighting which is hand-crafted exclusively for their designers, Californian-born, Dublin- based Arlene McIntryre, in Egypt. Broderie (above) is a swish, suspended pendant style made of the same material that comes in two sizes. Normally €2,100 and €4,500, Ventura is offering Irish Times readers 20 per cent off the entire collection. Offer ends September 30th.

hTrending . . . Retro drinks fridge

When Italian brand Smeg introduced their retro-style freestanding fridge way back in the 1990s they made us rethink a kitchen basic. Now they want us to rethink the drinks fridge. They’ve teamed up with Italian classic car the Fiat 500 to create the Smeg500, a drinks repository for wine, beer and cans made using original Fiat body parts, and assembled completely by-hand. Available in white, red or blue colourways it is priced from €9,000 to €9,500, which means it isn’t exactly a good value buy. Order it from Dominic Smith Electrical (; Dundrum (01-2965511) or Gorey (05394 84444)

hThree of the best ... back to school lunchboxes

Yumbox is a sturdy and compact easy-to-open lunchbox that can be used for baby weaning, at school or in the work place. The tray has five compartments, so you can pack crackers next to yoghurt without the need for plastic bags, cling film or additional containers. A single lid seals all food. It comes in hot pink or fluro green options and costs €35.95 from Sandymount-based Mira Mira (01 2196668

The Despicable Me franchise is hard to resist and appeals to boys and girls dispensing with the gender-based blue and pink containers favoured by other film and TV merchandising. Mischievous minions including favourite characters, Dave, Stuart and Kevin, cover a zip-around lunch bag. The bag comes with a matching flip-top sipper bottle and costs €20 from Littlewoods Ireland (01-8112222 It may even appeal to some adults.

For fans of fresh salad Black and Blum has a really practical solution. Their Box Appetit Plus salad box is a clever design that comes with a water-tight lid, a sauce dipping area (a boon for sushi lovers), a separate sauce pot for salad dressing or ketchup, and an inner dish that allows you to split different foods so you can microwave one as a hot dish, but keep other foods cold. It costs €22.95 from Stock Design (01-679 4317) on Dublin’s South King Street or at


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