Blooming lovely: florals go up the walls and where to find bargain plants in Dublin 6

Home front: Floral designs, new furniture from Helen James at Dunnes and a chance to pick up rare plants bargains in Dublin 6


As minimalism gives way to a more exuberant approach in interiors, furniture-makers are following suit with splashier patterns that can work well againt a calm, neutral background. A good example is this bold floral Penelope sofa from DFS which eliminates any hint of fustiness with its clean, modern shape. Due in stores by the end of May, it's priced from €909.


Barrisol, a French company that specialises in digitally-printed stretch materials, provides dramatic ceiling scapes and back drops that look as if they have been painted in situ. Much of its work is in commercial spaces such as offices, hotels and conference centres where its stretched fabric works with lighting schemes and acoustic panelling to create different ambiences.

But the fabric panels can also be used to gorgeous effect in domestic settings. The range of patterns on offer is mind-boggling thanks to a partnership with the French textile museum, Musée de l'Impression sur Étoffes, which has around six million designs in its archive collected since 1833. Blow-ups of the patterns accentuate the design for more unusual effects. Printed panels can be up to five meters wide which would cover an entire wall of most rooms without having to repeat the pattern. This design of blowsy flowers costs €185 per metre and is available at the company's Dublin base at Hazelhatch in Dublin.


Helen James’s Considered range for Dunnes continues to produce brilliantly simple, compact furniture that can work in virtually every room of the house. One of the star pieces in her new summer collection is this bench, with its handy wire basket base.


Ideal in a hallway, it could also work in bedrooms or set on either side of a fireplace in a livingroom or an unfitted kitchen. Whichever way, it's a hardworking piece that should join James's best-selling side tables as classic good buys. It will be available in Dunnes in the next two weeks. €120.


Hedgeroe Home, the interior and furniture design practice run by mother and daughter Rhona and Rebecca Roe, is holding a weekend sale of its last-season furniture with discounts of up to 40 per cent across its old England-, Scandi- and New England-inspired ranged.

This bobble chair is part of a series of pale turned furniture that would work equally well in a big urban kitchen or a country cottage. It's been reduced from €507 to €405. It would look particularly well on either side of the chunky Willam drop-leaf tables, down from €838 to €670.


Per Ploug – who readers may know through his Danish Kitchen Design company – has a second string to his talented bow. Pemara Design, his furniture firm, has been selected to exhibit at the invitation-only show, Venice Design, which runs concurrently with the Venice Biennale. Situated just 200 metres from the city's famed Rialto bridge, the organisers spotted his work at earlier A' Design Awards, the Italian equivalent of the Red Dot awards, where he previously won a bronze medal in 2014 for his Veizla table, an oiled solid European oak piece, whose name means "fest" in his native Danish.

The Dublin-based designer is showing a side table, a sister piece to the award-winning table, €1,190, that got a special commendation at the same awards last year and the Cauda chair, €910. These pieces are made to order.


The millennial mania for houseplants means that you can pick up the potted plants virtually everwhere, but if you'd like to graduate to more unusual species, make a beeline for Dartry, Dublin 6, next weekend for the Trinity College Bontanic Gardens plant sale.

Trinity has a 300-year-old tradition of cultivating plants, first in the college grounds, then at Lansdowne Road in Ballsbridge, and for nearly 50 years now, in Dartry in its gardens behind Trinity Hall where it has built up a fine collection of rare plants used in conservation and research projects.

The garden also hosts classes in art and gardening . The annual plant sale is hugely popular so aim to get there early. It starts at 10am on May 25th.

Orna Mulcahy

Orna Mulcahy

Orna Mulcahy, a former Irish Times journalist, was Home & Design, Magazine and property editor, among other roles

Alanna Gallagher

Alanna Gallagher

Alanna Gallagher is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in property and interiors