A new look for old china, bedroom navies and a time capsule chemist shop sale

Home Front: Tablescapes, bedroom style and a contents sale worth a look

Table talk

Don't ditch the family china or Waterford glass until you've had a look at Tablescapestyle on Instagram, an account that revels in vintage china, glassware, linen and cutlery and manages to make it all look fresh and fun rather than old and stuffy. The account is an elegant side-hustle for Dublin barrister Oilbhe Cahill-Reid, who has has the title Countess Belfast through her marriage to James Chichester, the Earl of Belfast.

Started in May, the account has been gathering followers fast and features photographs of followers’ own tablescapes that mix new and antique with abandon. It’s caught the eye of Tatler and the Daily Telegraph who’ve admired the mix of simple and sophisticated at a time when people are entertaining more at home. “I enjoy hosting dinner parties and entertaining at home so I started sharing tablescapes online during lockdown as a means of escapism.” says Cahill-Reid.

“With the rise of socially distant dining at home, guests are regularly returning to the same setting– I find creating a beautiful tablescape alters the atmosphere and creates a talking point.”

What started as a fun lockdown activity has now become a fledgling business. “I have just set up a website which serves as a curation of décor for the table and home, and I am hoping to expand on this with a range of homeware products this winter.”


The account offers lots of lessson on how to pair plates and glassware dinner parties, brunches and al fresco lunches in lockdown.

Fresh pink roses liven up green cabbage plates and dishes, faded blue and while flowered china gets a lift from sky-blue linen mats underneath and hefty old-fashioned Portmeirion plates, which often show up for a song in charity shops, suddenly look pretty against a backdrop of rattan place mats and jars of wild flowers.
See tablescapestyle on Instagram.

Pillow talk

Crisp white linen is a lovely look but it can look a little sterile in a bedroom if the whole room is similarly neutral. You can bring in pops of colour by dressing the bed with lots of pillows or installing a bedside chairA far fresher way to work in colour, though, is by a plush new-look bed such as this plush polyester velvet Joules design, available to order at branches of DFS. The Patterdale bedframe-cum-headboard comes with squishy big deep-buttoned pillow for additional comfort and the design is available in 12 different colours from the French navy, pictured, to cool coral, forest green, sky blue and blush pink. A double size costs €1,299 with mattresses starting from an additional €369. The king-size costs €1,429. A mattress for it costs from €389. The bed also comes in an ottoman storage-base option, double, €1,689 and king-size, €1,949, a great place to keep changes of bed linen, extra pillows and winter bedding. The bench stool, also pictured, comes in the choice of a dozen colours and costs €449.

Castlepollard vintage sale

Anyone who enjoys a good browse through a house contents sale should head to Castlepollard, Co Westmeath next weekend where Matthews Auctioneers will hold a three-day sale of a former pharmacy and home in the town. The Dr Slattery Townhouse contents will take place on Saturday, Sunday & Monday, August 15th, 16th & 17th and will be conducted by Matthews Auctioneers.

Among over 1,800 lots on offer, are the orginal contents of the chemist shop that once occupied the premises, and of the home overhead, lived in by three generations of the Slattery family, who were avid collectors according to Matthews. Originally opened in 1916, the untouched chemist shop was run successfully until 1984, when business was discontinued and the front shop entrance part of the building blocked up.

Auctioneer Damien Matthews describes his feelings on arrival at the house three months ago to catalogue the contents as akin to Dr Carter in Tutankhamun's tomb. "It's always great to see an untouched interior, and the Slattery family were great collectors," he said. Viewers will find large quantities of furniture, artworks, general household items and vintage kitchenalia.

The illustrated catalogue, and other auction details, can be viewed online on the auctioneer's website, while the house itself will be open for public viewing, with Covid-19 restrictions in place, from 11am on Thursday, August 13th.