Spring Forward

With winter finally behind us we can now enjoy the extra hour of light in the Spring evenings. April is around the corner and we will get to see even more colourful flowers popping out around us. Inspiring woodlands and beautiful skies this time of year are wonderful sources of energy and peace. Nature is always amazing especially at this time of the year when at first it slowly comes back to life and then bursts out bright and loud!

In the words of Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky:  ”Colour is a power which directly influences the soul”. So if you are thinking of adding colour into your life and your home to lift your spirit, you can wear a bright and bold piece of jewellery or add a colourful cushion to a sofa or an  armchair for an immediate impact!

Colour me Easter


Tulips and daffodils are in full bloom; woods are covered in a soft purple carpet of blue bells; birds are gathering twigs and feathers to built their nests: Spring is well and truly here and there is a great sense of the world coming colourfully back to life. English Yellow and Antibes Green by Annie Sloan are cheerful Spring colours that will, without doubt, bring life back into any tired-looking piece of furniture.

Sweet 16

IMAG1527-1-1-1A new year has begun with some new creative ideas in the bag, a fresh lick of chalk paint™ in the shop and a forthcoming meeting with some emerging designers at Showcase.

As for colours, pastels are de rigueur this year: A blend of Rosequartz and Serenity has been chosen as the Pantone colour of the year. With such a blend of gentle rose and tranquil blue, 2016 could only bring a sense of balance and peace. Enjoy it!


All treats, no tricks!

Halloween is a very Irish feast. As the evenings get shorter, it’s all about getting spookey costumes on and enjoying the autumnal dark nights and the cracking of the burning fire logs. My own favourite thing about Halloween is taking out the recipe books to make barmbrack and other seasonal treats like pumpkin soup and oven-baked apples. A great way to celebrate the end of the summer and face the coming winter season.


Plenty of other treats in Handmade Design Studio this autumn  such as woolies to keep you warm on All Saints’ night: black of course ! Hand-knitted scarves, warm and stylish hats by Mad4hats, fine merino felted wrist warmers and matching snood by Niki Collier Designs. Add a bit of drama and sparkle with some earrings or cuffs by award-winning jewellery designer Bláithín Ennis.

carrot blanketCheck out the new carrot twill handwoven blanket by Studio Donegal : its orange colour will brighten up any room and create a sense of pure comfort, guaranteed ! Gail Kelly’s signature leaf pattern printed on unbleached cotton is a striking yet simple contemporary design. It adorns the dining table as a runner and would be a lovely backdrop to your own home-cooking and edible treats !

And if you are painting the town on All Saints’ night, make sure it is in Annie Sloan chalk paint™ Graphite or Barcelona Orange !