Tea towels from Charvet, a summer sofa and fake flowers to fall for

Plus: a Danish solution to the enduring rug problem, and a colourful Monsoon season


Fashion brand Monsoon is venturing into homewares with a collection that is simply called Home but that takes its inspiration firmly from "away", mixing and matching fabrics and textures from an eclectic range of global destinations. Picking up on the current passion for all things exotic and geometric, the collection comprises 80 different pieces, including elegantly carved mango wood trunks, quirky hexagonal shelves, chests of drawers and side tables, rustic bowls, mirrors, Moroccan wedding blankets in traditional designs and jacquard throws in jewel colours. Tassels and neon pompoms add a touch of fun, while woven planters with metallic finishes provide a satisfying backdrop for flickering glass lanterns and votive candles. The range will be available online shortly from monsoon.co.uk


The name Charvet for most Irish people is indelibly associated with Charles Haughey when he was taoiseach and famously bought very expensive shirts from its luxury boutique in the Place Vendôme in Paris. However, Charvet has another less publicised side to its business, having been part of the textile industry in Armentières in northern France (known as La Cité de la Toile – fabric city) for more than a century, producing at first cotton, then linen. They became the principal producers of industrial natural materials used in workers' clothing, awnings, naval jackets and home linens. You can now find their handsome linen teacloths and both plain and striped tablecloths (€18 and €120) in The Old Mill Stores in Connonagh village between Clonakilty and Skibbereen (Best Craft and Gift Shop winner in The Irish Times best shops 2016). West Cork has its own tradition of growing flax, but that's another story. theoldmillstores.ie


This St Ives sofa is inspired by the changing light of the Cornish seaside, and even if you don’t have a waterfront cottage, it will bring a summery feel to any room. The pillow-back design is available in soft, laid-back shades, including shingle-inspired colours of dove, slate and grey and warm neutrals, mink, mocha, duck egg and natural. The two-seater sofa is currently reduced from €1,689 to €1,559 at DFS. This offer ends on September 1st.


A good rug is hard to find. At the top end of the market, they're outlandishly expensive. When you go down in price, quality and individuality tend to take a nosedive. Fall for something more unusual and it will inevitably turn out to be the wrong size – not to mention the wrong colour. What to do? Ranelagh homeware shop CA Design has turned to Danish style icon Fabula Designs, which is famed for creating a range of rugs in various dimensions, weaves and styles but with the consistency of a brand look. They are designed by Lisbet Friis in her forest studio north of Copenhagen and woven by hand using traditional Scandinavian weaving techniques. The latest collection reflects her deep appreciation of nature, utilising serene colours that recall the pale blue and sandy shades of a Nordic beach or the earthy tones of bare fields. To help you decide which rug fits perfectly with your particular space, CA Design stocks large square sample pieces for you to try at home. Pictured is the Poppy runner in yellow and beige, 80x240cm, price €480. CA Design is at 23 Dunville Avenue, Ranelagh. cadesign.ie



Hydrangeas are in full bloom right now but it's a shame to cut the flowerheads in their prime and they tend to droop and shrivel after a few days in a vase. Not so these extremely lifelike silk hydrangeas from Neptune that can be crowded together in a tall jug, or used in a more sculptural arrangement with blossoms or branches. They're not cheap at €25 per stem, but they will give a dim corner a summery look all year round. Do dust them and ruffle them up every so often. For Irish stockist see neptune.com

Arminta Wallace

Arminta Wallace

Arminta Wallace is a former Irish Times journalist