What’s new in design: A fresh take on lace and snazzy drinks cabinets

Sculptural lighting illuminates Collins Barracks while a Celtic spa in Naas offers refuge

Cocktail cool

There's a foolproof way to hold your drink in style this Christmas: get yourself a bespoke bar cabinet from William Garvey furniture Makers. These pieces of freestanding modular furniture represent the ultimate in cocktail cool. The company specialises in the use of wood and the cabinet doors come in a range of three finishes: fine-grained black walnut with geometric brass inlay; an inlaid basket-weave parquet-style; or a funky faux-tortoiseshell effect with scalloped detail. The interior layout is designed and built to your specification. Start with easy-access horizontal or vertical slats, or wire frames, for wine bottles and spirits. Add a generous splash of custom storage solutions tailored to your personal beverage preferences – these can incorporate everything from glassware racks to bottle openers, cocktail shakers, straws, stirrers and garnishes. Top with some strategically placed lighting, and voila! You'll be impressing your guests with White Christmas Mojitos and Pink Pepper Negronis in no time at all. Price on application from williamgarvey.co.uk.

Sculpting light

Internationally acclaimed Irish artist Niamh Barry who sculpts with light and bronze is the subject of a new exhibition Light on Earth which opened in Collins Barracks on Friday. It is the first public opportunity to see the work of this gifted Irish woman who has become one of the most sought after figures working in LED light sculptures. Her work is included in many public and private collections throughout the world and most recently she completed a monumental light sculpture Vessel Scape, based on the Iron Age gold Broighter Boat, in the headquarters of the Central Bank of Ireland. She has exhibited in London, Milan, Basel, San Francisco and New York but this is her first show at the National Museum of Ireland. Witness at first hand her powerful pieces specially created for the exhibition as well as working drawings and maquettes. A book by Dr Jennifer Goff, furniture curator, accompanies the exhibition.

Laced with style

The winners of this year's RDS crafts awards will be showing their work at Gifted: the Contemporary Craft and Design Fair, at the RDS this week. Fashion designer Laoise Carey will unveil her new sustainable collection, Ether-Real, which is created entirely from recycled fabrics, antique lace and vintage haberdashery. Carey, who works with Simone Rocha, daughter of John Rocha, at her London studio, takes much of her inspiration from contemporary Irish feminist movements. "This collection responds to the current social climate of 2018 Ireland in which the discourse surrounding women and those who identify as female is evolving rapidly," she says. The Laois-based furniture designer Alan Meredith will exhibit his oak tables, chairs and other pieces, which are made from one piece of wood and shaped by steam – using skills similar to those of ancient boat-builders. Carey and Meredith will be joined at the fair by the other three winners of the €10,000 bursary, jeweller Pierce Healy, ceramicist Chloe Dowds and knitwear designer Pearl Reddington. Gifted is at the RDS Main Hall from Wednesday, December 5th, to Sunday, December 9th, from 10am each day. There will be 10 per cent off everything on the opening day. giftedfair.ie

Oak, wicker and linen – and a sailor’s cure

You could describe it as a Celtic spa aesthetic. That's not what they are calling it, but the new spa at the Osprey Hotel in Naas has a very contemporary Irish feel to it (with a dash of Scandi-style thrown in). So there's oak cladding on the walls that snakes through the heart of the spa, while the wallpaper is reminiscent of Irish linen weaves. Logs line relaxation rooms and light fittings echo traditional wicker baskets. There's seaside inspired shiplap wall panelling in muted duck-egg blues and greens in treatment and changing areas and flooring that calls flagstones to mind. So, inspiration as well as relaxation.


Douglas Wallace Architects designed the €1.4 million, 10,000sq ft spa at the Osprey, aiming for an urban sanctuary using natural materials and textures. Hugh Wallace (RTÉ Home of the Year presenter) loves spas and their calm and serenity, he says, so this project – which includes floatation beds, a Rasul chamber, heated mosaic stone loungers and a salt grotto – sounds right up his street. Wallace has designed several spas, including the Galgorm in Ballymena and others for the PREM Group, which owns the Osprey.

"We wanted the spa to feel like a real retreat and took our inspiration from the textures and colours in the Irish landscape," says Douglas Wallace senior designer Katie Jakkulla. They believe the spa feels Irish, "not in a twee way, but in the truly modern sense". Appropriately, the traditional "sailor's cure" – freestanding seaweed baths, with feature panelled walls in dark greens and low level lighting – uses seaweed hand-harvested on the Atlantic coast at Strandhill, Co Sligo, one of the spa's Voya range of products that ties in with its natural Irish vibe.