Tom Keane and Claire Graham, owners of The Old Mill Stores in Connonagh Village, Co Cork –  winners of the Best Craft/Gift Shop category. Photograph: Emma Jervis

This year’s judges had a tough job sifting through more than 30,000 entries. Readers were eager to show their appreciation for th(...)

Several ‘for sale’ signs have popped up on Beechwood Avenue but this end of terrace is roomier than most and with clear potential (...)

The three-bedroom apartment in the Wintergarden is on sale for €525,000

Cuan Delph: Renvyle is a five-minute drive away

Dolphins frolic in the waters below this house – and the nearby beaches are gorgeous

The Grass Roof cafe in Rossinver, Co Leitrim is nominated for Best Café/Teashop

Thousands of nominations have been considered and we’ve whittled the competition down to a shortlist of 100 and sent our judges ou(...)

Design Works Studio in Cork city, where you can see the jewellers at work and connect with the merchandise, turning browsers into buyers

The hunt is almost over, with nominations closed and a shortlist being compiled

You have until midnight to nominate your favourite haunts for Best Shops 2016

The Fireplace Barbershop on Dublin’s South William Street.

Service is key to a good shopping experience, and is a big factor for the judges of Best Shops 2016

Olivia O’Regan of Foody’s Pharmacy, Ballina, Co Mayo: ‘She was usually my first point of call whenever I needed advice,’ wrote Teresa Keegan

Breakfast cafes, a craft shop where you can sit and knit and a pharmacist who cares are nominated

Best Shops 2016: over 23,000 nominations

With more than 23,000 nominations so far, how has your county fared?

O’Connell’s Victuallers, Limerick city, opened in 1919 by Paddy O’Connell and taken over by Philip Craughan and run now by his son Paul, “has the friendliest and most genuine staff,” says Grace Sheridan.

Best family-run shops competition draws a big response from readers

The Shack, Marble Hill, Dunfanaghy, Co Donegal: a beautiful spot , says one reader

Best Shops: Take a detour to visit some hidden gems

31 Rathgar Avenue,  Dublin 6

This house in Dublin 6 is in need of ‘total refurbishment’. We ask a builder what that would involve, what sort of extension coul(...)

The Knitting Room: Owners Brendan, pictured, and Carrie Kavanagh of the Donnycarney Dublin 5 shop go the extra mile, say their customers

Llittle kindnesses tend to mean a lot in small communities

The exterior of the coach house after restoration. Photographs: Philip lauterbach 3.plpix.com

The 200-year-old property has contemporary interior and original features

An Siopa Feirme,  Waterville, Co Kerry: “small outlet with a huge heart”

Best Shops: stores of all types that create a sense of community are a favourite with readers

Brothers Barry, Fehan and Kieran Flood, owners of Churchtown Stores, Churchtown, Co Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Incisive, informed comments by readers is what the judges are looking for

Five-bed Edwardian with long garden near Bushy Park

Three-bed terraced property is at the quiet end of Moyne Road

Two-bed semi-detached house on Cranmer Lane has been recently redecorated

Terraced house in a quiet development for €330,000

Bang Bang, North Leinster, Phibsboro, Dublin: community-minded attitude and “the best coffeee I have ever tasted”, writes one reader

Best Shops 2016: the search is on for the best place to get your caffeine fix

‘Going into a great shop is about so much more than what you can buy there, it’s about the experience,’ says judge Sarah Halliwell. photograph: getty

Our expert judges each have their own specific shopping list for this year’s competition

Objekt, Newcastlewest, Co Limerick: clever, unusual accessories, according to one reader

Visual merchandising has captured readers’ imagination in the Best Shops 2016

Three-bed terraced house in Dublin 7 for €449,000

Clancy Quay sees a sympathetic conversion into upscale rentals

Furniture designer Susan Zelouf, in her apartment in Kilmainham, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Susan Zelouf - one half of Zelouf and Bell - looks to her travels and the everyday for inspiration

Businesses such as the Bud Garden Centre in Clare tested the waters as a pop-up before diving in

Is the pop-up shop a smart way to test the retail market? We talk to some success stories

Refurbished terrace house in Glenageary for €625,000

Three-bedroom gate lodge at Newcastle House, Co Longford on market for €350,000

Visual artist Seibheal Mooney with her installation ‘In My Skin’ at  the preview of the NCAD Graduate Show. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

President Michael D Higgins attends preview of exhibition of work by over 500 students

The Starrs have run a business from this premises since 1907 and Joe jnr and his wife Angela Kennedy-Starr now run the place and live over the shop

Tractors, tarts and GAA paraphernalia are just some of the varied offerings

Three- and four-bed homes in Cúil Dúin scheme beside Luas red line in Citywest

Mature development comprises 27 two-bedroom apartments, from €265,000 to €335,000

Listed buildings, independent shops and a vibrant arts and music scene draw in visitors

Shamrock Lodge offers someone with deep pockets the chance to embrace country life

67 Coolnevaun, Stillorgan, Co Dublin

House in Coolnevaun revamped with a focus on light, space and natural materials

Arabella, Claremont Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18

Dublin 18 house in turn-key condition

64 Woodlawn Park, Churchtown, Dublin 14

Light-filled four-bed house in Dublin 14 is the owners’ 10th refurbishment in 30 years

Number 118 Rathgar Road: a fine late-Victorian terraced house which an artist has made a showcase for her work

Splendid late-Victorian terraced home has up to five bedrooms and a wonderful garden

The North’s first city has a glossy, cosmopolitan feel these days

Four-bedroom redbrick designed by Aurora Aleson with a west-facing back yard

Lovingly cared for four-five bedroom property for €1.75 million

Architect Declan O’Donnell in his apartment in Dublin. Photographs: Aidan Crawley

The style and design the ODKM architect admires and surrounds himself with

Fashion designer Mary Grant has been in business since 1993 when she first sold in the Irish Design Centre in Dublin’s Powerscourt Centre

Old-school charm and modern design await you in Newbridge, writes Alanna Gallagher

2 Auburn Avenue, Donnybrook

Two period properties – a family home and a former worker’s cottage – are within a short stroll of leafy Herbert Park

Of the 58 properties in Ravenhall’s development of houses and apartments in Shankill, 13 are already sale agreed, signalling the d(...)

Semi-detached property in Knocklyon backs on to Sancta Maria College

Five-bedroom house in Dublin 6W for €1.2 million

Four-bed houses in the Castleway development are on the market from €729,000

Three to four bed semi-detached house is laid out over six flights of stairs

Elizabeth Francis loves the oval shape of her white Kartell table

The Irish architect, who has worked in Paris, now operates out of her own office in Bologna, Italy

Upper East Side elegance: Interior designer D’Aquino Monaco selected the bold carmine red for the walls of this residence on Central Park West. Books are elegantly positioned overlooking the green space. A flagstone effect rug stops the bold colour becoming claustrophobic and knits the terrace and the room together. Photograph: Ariadna Bufi

Design experts show off their loud and proud decor for a new coffee table tome

Craft capital also has strong culinary credentials

Kildare development of large detached and semi-detached houses from €525,000

New three- and four-bed properties in Hazelbrook Square start from €450,000

Five-bedroom Edwardian semi-detached property for €1.5 million

Cleverly refurbished cottage with roof terrace shows how chic compact spaces can be

Four-bedroom semi-detached property in Blackrock for €655,000

The town won a Purple Flag last year, an award for the quality of its evening and night-time economy.

Vibrant suburb’s offers range from smart children’s toys to exclusive Italian furniture

Number 25 St Helen’s Road looks out to Dublin Bay and has a large, east-facing garden

15 Gulistan Terrace, Rathmines, Dublin 6

This three-bed property in Rathmines, Dublin 6 is for sale at €775,000

Young Irelander Thomas Davis was born in Mallow and there’s a statue of him in front of the town’s Clock House.

The historic Co Cork market town remains true to its fashionable past

Mock-Tudor five-bed on three-quarters of an acre on market

Four-bedroom two-storey detached house built in 1971, with detached garage

Five-bedroom semi-detached house with fine period features and a 30m-long west-facing back garden

Nicholas Roche’s apartment in Paris. Photograph: Vincent Thibert

The son of hipster parents, Nicholas Roche, creative director of furniture maker Roche Bobois, came to the family business late. S(...)

Galway’s Eyre Square is the gateway to great shopping

The clue is in the name: from Shop Street to small lanes, it’s easy to find everything from culture to couture

Fully refurbished semi-detached property with south-facing garden

Bring your architect with you when you go along to view this one

Kelston House is Georgian property at heart of estate which was subdivided into three apartments

2 Grove Avenue,  Blackrock, Co Dublin:  sold to its current owner in 2011 for €1.05m, now on the market for €2m

Four-bedroom villa-style property with off-street parking in Blackrock

A cottage with four bedrooms, south- facing gardens and lots of personality for €1.3m

Ardilea Crescent comprises 26 large four- and five-bedroom houses and 48 apartments, designed by  McCrossan O’Rourke Manning

Development of houses and apartments offers high-design spec and A energy rating

After the hard years of the recession, a new sense of confidence is starting to return

Brooklyn apartment featured on the Houzz site

The international online home-design phenomenon is launching in Ireland

High-ceilinged, light-filled and thoughtfully refurbished Victorian house

Marshfield House in Leixlip is back on the market seeking €1.7 million

Former hotelier Paul Hughes opened the Irish Farm Cheese Store and Cafe with his partner Frances Kinsella in April 2015

The medieval town on the Boyne has evolved into a shopping stronghold

Number 2 Joyce Avenue is a large, extended 1960s bungalow with scope to extend further

Paula Rowan at home by the sea in Sandymount, Co Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

Paula Rowan’s latest collection of gloves was inspired by the colours of the sea, which sparkle through the unadorned windows of (...)

Thanks to the Institute of Technology, the town vibrant student feel and and during the summer hosts the Rose of Tralee festival

Kerry’s ancient county town is notable for its youthfulness these days

Blackrock village has not one but two shopping centres which take shoppers off its main street, a lovely stretch to amble along with shopping aplenty. Photograph: Paul Sherwood

With two shopping centres holding mega retailers, the main street has most of the little charmers

A top team went to work on this house, maximising its many assets with wooden flooring and renovated bathroom installations

Sunny kitchen at front and bright interconnecting reception rooms add to this property’s appeal

Walatta, a house designed by modernist architect John Bulcock, is shielded from view. Access is via 80 wide stone steps from above the roof down to pool level. The central living space is supported by concrete columns, with ‘walls’ of foliage to soften the look. Photograph: James Fennell

Irish photographer James Fennell’s latest book captures the secret interiors on the island paradise of Sri Lanka

Hard times haven’t dampened the entrepreneurial spirit of Mayo’s county town

Double bay-fronted house was gutted and extended to create 263sq m home with bright, interconnecting living areas downstairs and f(...)

Laura Haugh with her two children in the garden of 74 Stillorgan Heath

That is one of Laura Haugh’s titles at Mummypages.ie, the website for mothers whose expansion into the UK has prompted the parenti(...)

Spacious, light-filled apartment on the N11 for €795,000

Hafield is a scheme of two-, three- and four-bedroom townhouses and three-bedroom semis

From scientific inventions to high-level hiring and more than a brush with Hollywood, these women are making business work for the(...)

Home to a slew of musicians including Foster & Allan, Niall Horan and Bressie its best-known resident remains show band legend Joe Dolan

The midlands town that gave us Joe Dolan and Bressie has more than talented singers

Spacious sixth-floor property with three bedrooms for €795,000

Three-bedroom terraced redbrick for €725,000

In the livingroom, the walls are painted Cornforth White by Farrow & Ball and the chimney breast is Storm by Clayworks natural plaster. The green sofa is a tweed-upholsetered Mistral design from Heals. The orange table lamp is by Foscarini and the revolving bookcase is by Limeux. The throw on the sofa in the foreground is by Angie Lewin for Knockando. The footstool is from Melin Tregwynt, a Welsh company. The nest of tables in the foreground are Ercol, and the 1970s armchair has its original striped cover

An ugly duckling cabin on the shores of Lough Ree, surrounded by mature forest, has been transformed into a woodland-inspired swan(...)

The courtyard stocks everything from Max Benjamin scented candles to shabby chic French mirrors and Nicholas Mosse pottery (

Home of Hay Festival Kells, this heritage town has a lot to offer the crafty shopper

Cut-stone three-bed house on Mountpleasant Square

Tullycot was designed in the 1920s by Richard Orpen, brother of William Orpen

Struan Glen, Enniskerry Road, Kilternan, Co Dublin: prices start at €595,000 for three-storey terraced houses

A study of show houses abroad, and a background in upscale fit-outs, have gone into the high-level finish of the three-storey hou(...)

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