February Random Round Up

Can you believe that in a few days it’ll be March already? I’m still hoovering Christmas tree needles off my floor! A good friend of our family’s used to say that after a certain age you only get six months out of the year. I’m beginning to understand what he was getting at.

Anna Nicole Smith died ten years ago this month and there’s a great article on Buzzfeed looking at her life and legend: ‘The woman rose up, made powerful by beauty, and then found herself falling, her beauty fading, her power eroding, her ugliness as she tried to cope with this loss providing spectators with the reassuring feeling that such power is never really worth having, if losing it looks like this.’

Also on Buzzfeed, some handy diagrams for home decorating, including everything from the best indoor plants to optimal placing for rugs.

Speaking of decorating, I use Pinterest for interiors and home decor. My ‘library’ board grows by the day! Do you have tips for anyone amazing I should be following?

I’m really looking forward to the TV adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood’s classic dystopian novel, starring Elizabeth Moss and Samira Wiley. It debuts in America on April 26th so hopefully it’ll be picked up here soon after.

I’m also very excited about Ryan Murphy’s newest series Feud starring Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon as Hollywood legends Joan Crawford and Bette Davis who famously hated each other. It premiers in the US on Sunday 5th March.

The trailer for Sofia Coppola’s newest film The Beguiled was released this month and it looks creepy and claustrophobic and brilliant. It has an amazing female cast and also stars Colin Farrell who just seems to get better with age. It hits our screens in June.

And lastly my dad’s show NewBliss is on in the John Field Room of the National Concert Hall on Tuesday. If you haven’t picked up a ticket yet, get on it!

Have a great weekend!

Christmas Entertainment

After the nightmare that was 2016 I sincerely hope that Multiverse readers are looking forward to a relaxing and joyful festive season. In case you’re looking for something to while away your time over your holidays, here are some suggestions. I look forward to seeing you again in 2017. Squillions of love to you all.

The above video is a cute interpretation of a classic and one that is a tradition amongst me and my best friend’s family. It always makes me think of her.

A recent and hilarious Vanity Fair article on Trump Grill(e): ‘And like all exclusive bastions of haute cuisine, there is a sandwich board in front advertising two great prix fixe deals.’

I’ve become a huge fan of Taffy Brodesser-Akner‘s writing and this article on sugar dating (published last year in GQ) is just brilliant: ‘A thing you should know is that there are very few people to root for in this story.’

A great Harper’s article on the 80s literary Brat Pack: Jay McInerney, Bret Easton Ellis, Donna Tartt, et al. ‘One member would go on to win a Pulitzer; one would become better known for controversy than fiction; another would exemplify the excessive highs and very public lows of the decade; and another would slowly fade from view.’

I’ve read so many books this year and as always I try to read a mix of recent and classic fiction. Some were terrible, some were superlative and a lot of them aren’t even worth talking about. Here are a few of the books I’ve really liked but not gotten around to reviewing in depth, (if you click on the links they’ll bring you to reviews of the work in question): Beware of Pity by Stefan Zweig, Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sarah Baume, Devoted Ladies by Molly Keane, The Eden Express by Mark Vonnegut, The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim, Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks, The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch.

I’ve been a bit obsessed with this Thundercat song for months, even though it was released in 2015. The Prince influences and the 70s disco vibe combined with the funk bass-line all coalesce into an infectious groove.

Anyone browsing Netflix should put White Girl (Kids for Millenials), Black Mirror (dystopian tech nightmare), The Crown (sumptuous period drama), Love (Freaks and Geeks all grown up), and Daft Punk Unchained (documentary about the electro legends) on their list.

Go Fug Yourself is one of the websites I have visited daily for many years now. This year I particularly loved their AbFabtrospective and their SWINTON retrospective (Tilda being one of my sartorial heroines).

Lose yourself browsing the archives of Hooked on Houses, a website devoted to gorgeous homes, from celebrity abodes to houses featured in movies and random real-estate inspiration.

And now it’s time for my sister’s family’s favourite Christmas song, Nobel prize winner Bob Dylan singing a Pogues-esque polka version of a 60s classic. It’s barking and brilliant! Enjoy!

Timorous Beasties

I was very very late to the Pinterest game, only joining it a few months ago. I joined for a work project I was doing and then got into it in a minor way. I mostly use it for saving inspirational images of interiors stuff, like wallpaper, libraries and writing rooms. If you’re at all interested in following me, you can check out my boards here.

While perusing images of wallpaper I came across a company called Timorous Beasties, a Glasgow based company which has been in existence since 1990. It was founded by Alistair McAuley and Paul Simmons who met as students in the Glasgow School of Art. Their studio is now an award winning endeavour and their long client list includes Famous Grouse, Nike, Fortnum & Mason, Philip Treacy, Christies, Claridges and the V&A.

Timorous Beasties’ aesthetic encompasses humorous and irreverent takes on traditional designs (their Glasgow Toile being a great example) and more straightforward homages to classic motifs. Wallpaper was their starting point but their range now includes fabric, cushions and ceramics. I spent an hour browsing their online shop and imagining the day when I would have an enormous house with a room big enough for one of their eye-catching fabulous designs.

 

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Papillon De Nuit Wallpaper
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Topical Tropical Superwide Wallpaper
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Edinburgh Toile Wallpaper
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Napoleon Bee Wallpaper
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Blotch Stripe Wallpaper
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Superwide Iguana Wallpaper

Niamh Barry

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I first came into contact with Niamh Barry many years ago when we both had jobs in the Crafts Council of Ireland. Working part-time in the shop was my job right the way through school and college (and the longest position I ever held, totalling twelve years!), and Niamh also worked there part-time while simultaneously making her art.

Last year I saw an incredibly beautiful lighting piece on Instagram and when I clicked on the picture, I found out that the artist responsible was Niamh. Niamh now creates custom light sculptures, both for private clients and for businesses (you can see one of her pieces in Optica, on Dawson Street). In addition she has exhibited extensively internationally.

I have a very very high ceiling in my kitchen which I had thought I would fill with an interesting chandelier, but no more! Now I dream of a piece by Niamh and when my budget allows I’ll be contacting her to commission something unique, timeless and beautiful.

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NASA Visions of the Future

I saw these amazing space-travel posters on a friend of mine’s Facebook feed and knew that I had to spread the word a bit further. They can be found on the NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory website and there are fourteen of them. ‘As you look through these images of imaginative travel destinations, remember that you can be an architect of the future.’

There’s a bit more on the design of each poster available here. The NASA design team took inspiration from the iconic WPA posters from the late 30s and 40s. Despite the retro feel, these posters were created and released earlier this year.

And the best part? They are available to download and print FOR FREE! How generous is that? I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely getting a couple of these printed and framed for my walls. View and download them here.

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House of Hackney

I have a couple of small chairs in my house that need to be recovered and I have been searching for upholstery fabrics online. A friend of mine (with impeccable taste) introduced me to House of Hackney, a British company founded in London in 2010 by  Javvy M. Royle and Frieda Gormley. Their aim was ‘to take the beige out of interiors’, and create high quality fabrics with an emphasis on original prints and design. Since their launch they have branched out into fine china, furniture and bathroom accessories.

The design collections range from straightforward stripes, whimsical animal prints featuring storks, monkeys and sloths, through to ferns, bright tropicals, and vintage inspired florals. I have fallen wholesale in love with the House of Hackney aesthetic and am definitely purchasing some of their fabric for my chairs. The fabrics are expensive, as befits the quality, but they make a design statement and are perfect for a small item of furniture or a pair of blinds. (And when I eventually have a very large house, I’ll definitely be using the Tarovine Midnight wallpaper for my dining room.)

PAMPAS wallpaper
PAMPAS wallpaper
HACKNEY EMPIRE wallpaper and sofa fabric
HACKNEY EMPIRE wallpaper and upholstery fabric
PALMERAL upholstery fabric
PALMERAL wallpaper and upholstery fabric
TAROVINE upholstery fabrics and LONDON STRIPE wallpaper
TAROVINE upholstery fabric and LONDON STRIPE wallpaper

The Velveteen Rabbit, Dublin

The Velveteen Rabbit was one of my favourite books as a child and now it’s also the name of a gorgeous furniture store in Dublin. The shop is the brainchild of Zoe Carney, a fashion and design professional from Dublin, and its first incarnation was a pop-up shop on Baggot Street for a few months last year. Spurred on by its success, Zoe has created a warehouse space in Harold’s Cross and an online shop, showcasing the collection of furniture and decoration for sale, and items available for prop hire.

There are stunning pieces sourced from France, Hungary and Sweden, and Zoe has reconditioned some of the antiques, putting her own distinctive signature on the collection. The shades of blue and green and the aged patina give the pieces lots of character. Zoe also offers a reupholstery service so if you fall in love with a fauteuil but don’t like the colour, you can have it changed to suit.

The Velveteen Rabbit is located at Home Studios in Harold’s Cross and open by appointment from Wednesday to Saturday. Click on the pics to be taken to the items on The Velveteen Rabbit site.

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1930s White Patine Louis XVI Fauteuil
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Green Transylvanian Table
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Vintage Siphon Bottles
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Vintage Dutch Trestle Table
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19th Century Hungarian Printer’s Drawers
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Antique Hungarian Sideboard