Sunday, January 3, 2010


Since leaving high school at seventeen, dropping her last name and setting up her own company, Irish-born Clodagh has been a constant force in the design world. A global nomad, she has traveled to 90-plus countries during her professional career, designing everything from makeup packaging to million square foot hotels.
Clodagh’s professional trajectory has remained steadfast: to remain true to herself and to produce quality, inspirational and life-enhancing design. She passionately believes that good design can support well-being, and her pioneering use of Feng Shui, Chromotheraphy, Biophilia, and sustainable materials has enriched her projects with an unmistakable look, structure and flow that appeals to all the human senses. Widely recognized as a a leader in the green design movement, she aligns herself with companies and vendors who also embody this ethic, as well as fostering relationships with companies who strive to contribute philanthropically to their communities.
Her new book, "Your Home, Your Sanctuary" is all about discovering what pleases you and how to create an environment that will celebrate those qualities.  With the “four C’s” she introduced in her first book TOTAL DESIGN – contemplate, cleanse, clarify, create – Clodagh’s design objective is to contemplate space, cleanse it of the unnecessary, clarify the use to which it will be put, and thus create a space that is unique and timeless, whether it be a hotel, a spa, or a home. Tapping into the Feng Shui of each project, Clodagh favors environmentally friendly materials and art finishes, integrating with care the natural elements of earth, fire, water, wood, and metal into each. The resulting environments, geared towards feeding the spirit and soul, are truly timeless, luxurious, sensual and low maintenance. Her goal in this her second book, YOUR HOME YOUR SANCTUARY, published by Rizzoli New York, is to inspire the reader to create this kind of sanctuary in every room of the home.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


And you thought the streets of Ireland were dotted with pebbledash bungalows and Balamory-coloured terraces. Well, pack up your preconceptions and take a trip to the Emerald Isle for a pilgrimage in honour of the latter day saint of domestic architecture, Le Corbusier. As a design for living, I can find no fault with this stunning residence in Wicklow, complete with its cluster of slim red piloti, impossibly holding up the sugar-cube structure, overlooking an escarpment in the Wicklow hills. Young architects, ODOS, won ‘best house’ at the Irish Architecture Awards this year. Could there have been any competition?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Peg Woffington

You can always come by an eclectic offering of fine art at Whyte's. I recently stumbled across this at an auction and thought it to be quite memorable.
WOFFINGTON (c.1714-1760)
Irish School (18th century)
oil on canvas
76 by 63cm., 30 by 24.7 5in.
Peg Woffington was an outstanding Irish actress whose professional career was launched with her acclaimed performance as Ophelia in Shakespeare's Hamlet in 1737, at Covent Garden (1754-57) where she allegedly outshone her contemporaries. She was romantically linked with many luminaries of the time including Edward Burke. By 1757 Woffington was suffering from an illness which culminated in her collapse on stage during a performance of As You Like It by Shakespeare. Her exit from stage was marked by Rosalind's line, "...I would kiss as many..." Peg Woffington is the subject of nine portraits in various mediums including oil and mezzotint in the collection of the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin. Of the nine, this painting bears closest resemblance to an oil by John Lewis (fl.1740-69) entitled, Margaret (Peg) Woffington, Actress, (1718-60), signed Jn. Lewis, April 1753. This work is currently on view in the National Gallery, Dublin and listed in The National Gallery of Ireland, Illustrated Summary Catalogue of Paintings, p.263, catalogue no. 579.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Romantic Irish Homes

This book of stunning photographs is definitely on my gift-giving list this year. Romantic Irish Homes is the title of a Collection of Photographs by Simon Brown as part of an ongoing collaboration between Simon and writer Robert O’Byrne. Based in London, Simon Brown has been a regular visitor to Ireland for more than twenty-five years and has a particular interest in documenting Irish architecture and interiors to which he brings his unique sensibility and appreciation. In particular, Simon’s handling of light within images and his mastery of the still life form has consistently excited admiration and critical approval.

In this series of photographs, Simon has captured the distinctive character of the Irish house, large and small, urban and rural. All the pictures were taken over the past two years, during different seasons and at a wide variety of locations across
the country. Yet despite their diversity, they share the same quixotic character and an allure born out from Simon’s empathy with his theme.

Published Sep 2009 $25.00

Available at Easons, Barnes&Noble, Amazon and many other booksellers worldwide.