It’s Open House season for ‘through the keyhole’ revelations

Highlights include a property made from 11 shipping containers, tiny canal boats and a cool concrete creation


Have you ever entertained the idea of living in a home that feels less run of the mill? Open House, in association with the Irish Architecture Foundation, returns in October and this year’s highlights include a property in Ringsend made from 11 shipping containers by LiD Architecture; tiny canal boats on the Grand Canal and a cool concrete creation in Sandymount by GKMP Architects and only completed this summer.

You can also see inside the new Central Bank of Ireland by Henry J Lyons and the Irish Life Centre by modernist Andy Devane who studied under Frank Lloyd Wright and who also did the chapel at Dublin Airport and the old AIB headquarters in Ballsbridge.

“The City as a Stage” is the theme for this year’s buildings and includes a programme of events for younger citizens including family-friendly archi-treks. Running from October 15th to 17th, this is an annual opportunity to nosey around private homes and public spaces.

Most building tours are open on a first-come, first-served basis but a small number of building tours will be available to book on a lottery basis, details in September. For a full programme list and to apply for tickets, see


Ireland’s oldest linen mill, William Clark, situated on the banks of the River Clady in a wee village called Upperlands, about three miles north of Maghera, in Co Derry, has made a name for itself weaving some of the most luxurious linen on the island for high-end fashion houses like Burberry and Savile Row tailors.

Last year, the centuries-old firm has launched Earthed, a printed collection of fabrics for home furnishings using digital technology. Inspired by the fluid movement of nature it has just launched its first selection of ready-made cushions which have just launched on Prices start from about €77.


Heritage Week starts today (August 19th), offering a plethora of opportunities to anyone interested in exploring Ireland’s built environment – especially those buildings which are normally closed to the public.

In Dublin alone, you can visit Walmer Villa in Raheny, a restored 19th-century villa built by the Duff family in 1815 and now used by St Francis Hospice. It’s open today and tomorrow from noon until 3 pm. Marianne Gorman will be giving visitors a rare peek inside one of the city’s most impressive Georgian properties, the home of Youth Work Ireland at 20 Dominick Street, on August 22nd (1.30pm-2pm), August 25th (5.30pm-6pm) and August 26th (11.30am-12pm) while Merrion Mews at 63 Fitzwilliam Lane, restored by the Irish Landmark Trust and used by the Garda Mounted Unit, will be open on August 27th from 10am to 4pm.

Or join Maeve Casserly, historian-in-residence with Dublin City Council, on a walk around the city to explore the legacy of the Wide Streets Commission of 1757 (August 21st, 6pm-7pm). That’s just a tiny sample of what’s on offer: most events are free, but you need to pre-book for some.


Has anybody else noticed that there are an awful lot of leaves floating around the garden, instead of being firmly attached to trees and shrubs? It’s a timely reminder that the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness will be headed our way shortly. Get ahead of the crowd – without going too crazy – by adding some autumn hues to your interiors. Just a touch will do it, but the more shamefully luxurious, the better. A couple of rich orange Please Pillows from Natuzzi Italia (€100 each) will bring a warm glow to any seating area, while the Ultra table lamp from Dar Lighting (€75), with its copper base and orange linen shade, will cheer up even the gloomiest late-summer evening.,

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