Editor of House and Home magazine and interiors columnist with The Sunday Times Ireland, it’s safe to say Dara Flynn knows her Mies from her Miele. Here’s what she’s tipping for your home for the cosy season.
Autumn, I love love lurve you. I’m one of those unusual Irish specimens who never understood the allure of a hot summer that makes other people go totally insane and start stripping off for. Autumn is the season where I feel most like myself – I revert back to naturally paler foundation, I cook for myself more – big hearty, cholesterol-thick dishes – and I go a bit nuts shopping for chunky, cosy clothes and stocky boots.
Either sub-consciously or otherwise, I do the same with the house. I am lucky to have an open fire and I have a tendency to over-smother the sofa with throws and cushions. At this time of year I start craving new stuff for the kitchen too. Through planning ahead for future features in the magazine and the paper, I’ve already (accidentally-on-purpose) compiled a lust list of things I absolutely must have, darnit, in no particular order:
1. Nice Jugs
Northern Irish maker Derek Wilson has produced these ceramic jugs for a while, and I’ve bought a couple as gifts but never held onto one for myself. I collect little bits of ceramics whenever I go away and have a particular affection for jugs. These ones are so delicate and dainty but they have an earthiness to them too that I find reassuring. I wouldn’t be afraid to use one daily. They’re reasonably priced, at €38 from Makersandbrothers.com.
2. Plump Up
I am mad about the online shop Plumo. When you check out, you get to select your title from choices such as ‘Lord’ ‘Lady’ ‘Rev’ ‘Rt Hon’ etc. THAT’S how fancy a shopping experience it is. Anyway, a few years ago Plumo launched this round, folksy-style pouffe and it was a sell-out. And this autumn it’s back in a slightly tweaked form and its cute pumpkin shape makes me drool. I was always more of a mix-and-match, colour-clashy sort of person, so this speaks to me in dulcet tones. To hell with it: I vow to marry the first man to buy me this. €275, Plumo.com.
3. Knife Work
My death row meal includes a medium-rare fillet steak. I already have a beautiful set of Laguiole steak knives – you know the really good ones with the little metal fly on the handle? I have the cheese knives too. But I’d like to add to my little collection this autumn, especially now they’re being made in a really nice translucent finish. €255 for six, Laguiole-attitude.com.
4. Leaba Action
As much as I have a good chuckle at the blog ‘F**k You Anthropologie’ and partially understand the sentiment (gorgeous + expensive = frustrating)… but I still can’t get enough of the place. They excel at bedding: every duvet looks like someone scooped up the contents of a cottage garden and magically transformed it into quilted cotton. My current obsession is the Roseland pattern, €188 for a double quilt. Downside: It’s dry clean only as it’s quite delicate. Boo. It’s a bit ‘boho’ too, maybe even in a Sienna Miller sort of way. Nah, I still love it.
5. Carpet Right
For some reason, lately I’ve been attracted to a yellow and cream colour combination for floor rugs. This one is one of my favourites: the Military Brocade design from The Rug Company, and it’s a pattern originally conceived for a coat in 2001 by the late Alexander McQueen. It’s handmade from cashmere and silk, and of course it’s well beyond my budget at £1,775 per square metre. Per square metre! There’s an equally colour-pleasing rug from Ikea’s Stockholm collection, though, which will do just fine until the inevitable lottery win.