Home Front: Interiors, design, people & events

Design round-up: Irish watches, 1950s style, hot glass and revamped antiques

Time, according to the philosopher Heraclitus, is a game played beautifully by children. But some adults play beautifully with it too. Ian Walton has been making wristwatches as part of his design studio Notion for two years; this month he launches his first complete collection as an independent brand, NTN.

Designed and made in Dublin, Walton’s breathtakingly simple timepieces come in three metal finishes – natural, gold and black – and four shades of hand-stitched leather: dust blue, fog grey, black and almond brown. The watches have Swiss movements and stainless steel cases.

The natural and black models cost €420, while the gold costs €440. Available from ntn.ie, the Irish Design Shop, Drury Street and Indigo & Cloth, Essex Street.

Bringing back the 1950s

Carolyn Donnelly



Dunnes Stores

is taking a trip on the retro side with a new range of 1950s-influenced furniture that will sit well in new homes and apartments. The collection includes key pieces such as a sideboard and coffee table, along with a diningroom table, desk and bedside lockers. All are made with solid wood in a rich natural shade with some elements painted in Carolyn’s Eclectic cream colour.

Original mid-century pieces are hard to find these days, says Donnelly. “They’re way too expensive for a young person who wants a particular style in their home. For this reason we also have sofas and armchairs in a super grey, wool flannel rugs and the biggest selection of colourful Eclectic cushions in the country for anybody putting a cool new home together .”

Glass is hot again

Energy efficiency is the new black. We may be up to speed on solar panels and well-behaved boilers. Glass, however, can be an environmental pane in the neck. For those who live in older houses, in particular, double-glazing hasn’t really been an option . . . until now.

The people at Pilkington Glass have developed Spacia, an ultra-thin, double-glazed unit which can be retrofitted into timber sash windows. It provides the thermal efficiency of modern double-glazing, but is just 6.5mm thick. Also, because it doesn't use conventional organic seals, it comes with a 10-year guarantee and a life expectancy of 20-plus years.

To date nearly 100 homes in Ireland have been fitted with this new glass, as has the National Gallery of Ireland, no less. Homeowners have reported reductions in external noise levels and internal condensation issues, as well as a significant reduction in heat loss. energlaze.ie

Bright new vintage

Antique and vintage furniture gets a bold new lease of life at


Furniture, a company based in


Eustace in Co


, where

Ann Mooney

and her team are busy upcycling, using bright colours such as canary yellow, shocking pink and sky blue.

Mooney sources furniture at auctions, looking for carved mahogany and oak pieces that are handsome and useful but also deeply, unfashionably brown. She then gives them a six-step treatment from cleaning to a final buffing of the colour paint finish.

Next weekend, December 10th and 11th, Mooney will be having a sale of a wide range of painted furniture, from tables and chairs to carved mirrors and sideboards at her premises in Ballymore Eustace which will be signposted from the Ballymore Inn. Antiques, bric-a-brac and books will also be for sale. Tel: 045-401000

Taking care of wanted guests

Most of the time guest bedrooms are left to their own devices, languishing unloved and unvisited or – in my case – crammed with cardboard boxes, decommissioned camping equipment, a couple of garden arches and a four-step ladder. Time for some TLC and perhaps a little help from interiors company



Its tips for ensuring that seasonal visitors get a good night’s sleep start with a well-crafted bed and good quality mattress – or, if you’re in a panic and on a budget, a luxury mattress topper. Egyptian cotton bed linen, a feather-and-down quilt and a sprinkling of scatter cushions supply the right mix of silky, supportive and squishy. A couple of empty drawers allow people to put away their small stuff. If you have a reader coming to stay, make sure the bedside lamp is as effective as it is atmospheric.

Finish with some thoughtful touches in a pretty basket on the bedside table – spare phone charger, pouch of dried lavender, spray bottle of thermal water – and your guests may never want to leave. neptune.com