From simple designs to glamping in style
Home Front: Toys that will last the test of time and vegetable stew at Avoca
Designer Deirdre Whelan: a fan of simplicity.
Designer Deirdre Whelan is a fan of simplicity. She loves the architecture of California’s desert city, Palm Springs, and, at home, favours abstract artists. She likes the fact that there is an order and calmness to the compositions of artists like Mark Francis, Bridget Riley and Fergus Martin, Pat Scott’s early work, Makiko Nakamura, David Quinn and Michael Warren, yet they use colour and texture. She recently collaborated with Meadows & Byrne on its range and the result appears effortlessly simple but, like everything Whelan does, there is more to it than meets the eye.
She has collaborated with Scott Tallon Walker on the refurbishment of its head office as well as on interiors of the Marker and Gibson hotels and with McCauley Daye O’Connell Architects (MDO) on the Clarion Hotel, Cork.
VEGETABLE STEW AT AVOCA
From earthy, organic tones of beetroot and stony soil grey to playful shades of courgette green, Avoca’s new ceramic clay tableware collections will add lots of atmosphere to even the simplest of meals.
The Dassie artisan courgette collection, pictured here, ranging in price from €11.95 for a mug to €69.95 for a salad bowl, is a deep, restful shade of green that will look great when set on bare wood tables, especially when plenty of candlelight is added for atmosphere and cloth napkins and cutlery with some heft to it. Prices for the beetroot range, which is a soft wash of pink rather than a deep intense shade, are within the same range.
FRUITS OF THE FOREST
Argentinian Guadalupe Cabrera makes characterful toys that children will want to covet for years. A fashion designer who sold bags at Cow’s Lane market before becoming a full-time mum, her beguiling soft toy business was born when she made her daughter an angel for the Christmas tree, using free motion embroidery when Lila was aged three.
The angel was hung on the tree and every year since then she has developed new characters to add to her cuddly cast. The toys each have their own personality and have been captured here by Dublin-based photographer Liz Stowe as they play in the forest.
EL Bouncy POW, €45, is a 28cm high bunny with a bright mask and a hand-made pompom tail inspired by the lucha libre Mexican wrestling tradition that people will recognise from the comedy movie Nacho Libre. Lulu Lamb is a 30cm tall tutu-wearing lamb, €60; Mr Lion is a velvet-clad 25cm design with a hairy mane, €50, who hangs out with Baby Bowie, €45, a homage to Glam’s greatest rocker; while Bunny Girl, 48cm, can be bought with several different wardrobe options – dungarees, a tutu or a winter coat – and costs from €80. You can buy the range online from Kid, Powerscourt Townhouse Centre and Design Lane, Temple Bar as well as at upcoming fairs like the Christmas market at the RDS and the Dublin Flea.
TAKING GLAMPING UP A NOTCH
For the ultimate in glamping luxury you need to climb aboard the new Morelo Palace motorhome. Built in Germany, the 9.2 metre-long motorhome offers thoughtful tech details that include a panoramic front windscreen with “intelligent glass” that darkens the cab windows for privacy when parked up, sparing all sorts of blushes. The occupants enjoy two luxury bedrooms with queen-sized beds and a further electronically controlled fold-out bed in the luxuriously upholstered living area.
The luxe home on wheels also includes an integral garage that will happily accommodate another small vehicle for more versatile zipping around town, as well as an inbuilt rack room for bikes. The Morelo Palace will be parked up at the Motor Home And Caravan Show at Birmingham’s NEC from Tuesday, October 16th to Sunday, October 21st. Prices start from a cool €305,295.