Dolce & Gabbana brings colour to the kitchen
Home front: Flower chandeliers and getting an architect’s advice for Simon charity
Smeg kitchen mixer designed by Dolce & Gabbana which will be available from December
In a world where large appliances are still known as white goods fashion designers Dolce & Gabbana’s 2016 collaboration with Smeg on a limited edition fridge heralded a new era in decorative design.
Inspired by Sicilian folk art, each took more than 240 hours of work to complete and price was “on application” – a polite way to say eyewateringly expensive. At Salone Milan this week the firm launched a second collaboration, this time on a range of counter-top appliances such as a toaster, kettle, blender, coffee maker and stand mixer.
Also limited edition, these will be available in December. Prices for now are still price on application but you can expect them to be at least twice as expensive as Smeg’s standard ranges.
One cool stool, or three
When is a stool not (just) a stool? When it’s one of architect Noreile Breen’s “Nelly” stools, a witty take on the traditional “nest of tables” theme. Made from Douglas fir and designed as a complementary trio, these small, strong, simple pieces just beg to be used as resting places for feet, plants, books, lamps and much more. At just 28cm high, Nelly 01 is the baby of the family; Nelly 02 has a chunky solidity, measuring 45cm x 31cm; Nelly 03 is tall and willowy, reaching a height of 42cm. They cost, respectively, €325, €435 and €360 from makersandbrothers.com.
Hanging floral arrangements, or flower chandeliers if you prefer, are everywhere right now but lovely as they look, there’s that slight worry that big blossom flower harbour all kinds of insects that could end up dropping on to plates below. Neptune is coming to the rescue with its range of extremely realistic paeonias, roses and blossom twigs that can be massed together over an Easter table, or used among cut greenery in more conventional arrangements. The look pictured here involves suspending painted crates from the ceiling. You can pick up wooden crates right now in TK Maxx for about €25, while original fruit crates, from farms in Northern Ireland, can occasionally be picked up on donedeal.ie
Help the homeless by asking an architect
Skyrocketing house prices may be good news for some, but it’s all bad for anyone – such as the 7,500 men, women and children currently in emergency accommodation across the country – who finds themselves at the sharp end of the Irish housing market.
While the homeless are obviously suffering most, a growing number of home-owners also find themselves somewhat stuck: their accommodation needs have changed, but they can’t afford to move house.
Launched by telly architect Dermot Bannon this week, the 13th annual RIAI Simon Open Door campaign aims to shine a little light into the gloom by raising €100,000 for the Simon Communities as well as providing inspiration on building projects large and small.
Whether you’re thinking of renovating, extending or something in between, discussing your plans with an architect is guaranteed to throw up some lively left-field ideas. Log on to simonopendoor.ie to book an hour-long consultation from Saturday May 13th to Friday May 19th for €90.
The price is up on last year when consultations cost €70 but architects give their time and expertise for free, so every penny goes directly to the charity. And as demand is expected to go through the roof, you’re advised to get your booking in pronto.
The stereotypical image of Ireland is characterised by stone walls separating lush green fields. But with the advent of modern technology much of the traditional craftsmanship is in danger of dying out, which is why the Stone Mastery Academy in Roscrea is hosting a series of courses to help retain the unique skill of stone masonry.
“Stone Mastery classes are aimed at encouraging stone masons to pass on their skills, protect our heritage and add to it for the future,” he says. “They are open to everyone from students and general public to architects, engineers and other professionals.
“If we don’t act urgently, our existing stone masons, who are on average around 55 years, will soon be retired and their skills lost for good.”
The first class is being held today and focuses on “How to Use Natural Stone in Hard Landscaping”. While the next class on the 22nd will teach “Stone Carving, Lettering, Punching and Texturing”. The one-day class costs €123 including VAT and lunch.
More information on firstname.lastname@example.org, 087 656 7238 and 050 531 100.
Guard of honour
Walls and Boxes is a new book that covers the work of minimalist architecture practice Guard Tillman Pollock and covers 25 of their signature style projects.
“We are interested in flexible and changeable living spaces that have lots of daylight and sunlight and create more spacious accommodation,” Guard explains.
Two Irish properties make the cut. House 5, pictured, is one of a number of cottages in Ballilogue, Co Kilkenny, that you can rent singly or collectively for larger group get-togethers. Published by Artifice Books on Architecture, it is available to buy on Amazon or via the practice’s website.