Smart buys

Auction rooms, charity shops and discount stores offer bargains for every aspect of your home improvements

A Tara crystal chandelier at Buckleys, Sandycove, Co Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

A Tara crystal chandelier at Buckleys, Sandycove, Co Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne


Irish Liquidators – Belgard Road, Tallaght, Dublin
A warehouse rather than a shop, this place houses everything from harps to bathroom suites. Upstairs is the real treasure trove. This is a great spot for lamp bases and ceiling lights – a recent find was a set of eight solid wooden lamp bases, sourced from a five-star hotel, at €30-€50 each. Hicken Lighting on Bridge Street in Dublin made bespoke silk lampshades, varying in price from €20 for a table to €40 for floor lamps. Another fine gilt-branched ceiling centre piece, originally bought in Harrods for £2,200 (about €2,670) sold for €220.Mix of reproduction and antique furniture, as well as paintings, antique fire irons and fenders.

House clearance auctions
Auction rooms around the country are great for picking up a bargain.

  • Herman Wilkinson , Rathmines House clearance auctions every Thursday at 10am, with viewing Wednesdays, 2-pm6.30pm;
  • Buckleys, Sandycove Antique and modern furniture auctioned every Thursday at 2.30pm, with viewings Wednesdays (9.30am-5.30pm); tel 01-2805408.
  • Usher Auctions, Kells, Co Meath; Mealys, Kilkenny Both specialise in rare books, furniture, fine art; bargains in brown furniture.;
  • Matthews Auction Rooms Host auctions across Leinster. They also have a great shop on Capel Street for large brown furniture;
  • Sheppard’s, Durrow, Co Laois Specialises in Irish furniture with free valuations;
  • Irish Country Home Regular auctions in Cork, Clare and Galway; sign up for notifications;

Charity shops
Good for paintings or collectible pottery at knockdown prices. Age Action Ireland, on Camden Street – which seems to have the largest selection of charity shops in the country – is great. Add in Rathmines and you can cover 10 charity shops in a 20-minute stroll. See for a list of charity shops in your area.

TK Maxx
The Blanchardstown and Galway branches are best for interiors, with regular deliveries. Galway is particularly good for glassware. Prices of lamps have increased and it can be difficult to find a pair, but a recent visit to Blanchardstown followed by Carrickmines resulted in a matching pair of elegant lamps. Quality bed linen and towels are reasonably priced, and while candles are not cheap, holders and hurricane lamps are good value;

Michael Guineys
Great bargains in curtains and blinds. Selection is vast and takes time to sift through, but you will not leave empty handed. Castlebar shop has fabric at knockdown prices, including heavy-duty upholstery. Also good for tie backs, rods, poles and curtain clips.