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Stylish Homes With Ciaran Sweeney - Rustic Gothic

Monday, 27 April 2009

Today is the third installment in a new strand on The Afternoon Show called "Stylish Homes". Our first week saw us look at the stunning "Art Deco" themed home of Laura Barnes and family, last Wednesday we looked at Ireland's most Eco friendly apartment. This week we ventured west to check out the stunning church conversion of architect Andrew Lohan with a rustic Gothic interior just outside of Westport, Co Mayo.

Ciaran Sweeney:
Ciarán Sweeney trained at The National College of Art and Design, Dublin where he majored in printed textiles.
Within a year of graduation in 1994, the former waiter, staged his first one man show 'The Drowning of Ophelia 'in a Dublin gallery. The show received rave reviews, a packed audience and his story began to unfold.
At the age of 26 British Vogue described Sweeney as a leading light of Irish fashion, he works in a highly labour intensive almost ancient manner. All Ciaran's pieces start with a drawing he then dyes, prints, paints and embellishes his garments and accessories with his drawings.

Sweeney works from his studio in The Liberties area of Dublin city, he works on a 7 metre table on some of the most precious fabrics and fibres from around the world. He is most known for his use of 19th century silk screen textile print methods.
Over the last 12 years Sweeney has gone on to show his work in The United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, France, The USA, The United Arab Emirates and 2006 marked Sweeney's first show in Moscow, Russia.

In February of 2006, Sweeney exhibited in Madrid, representing Ireland in a unique show of international designers entitled 'Men in skirts' which ran in Retiro Park, Madrid and included John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier,and Vivienne Westwood.
In the same month was awarded a medal at The American Design Awards, California, USA.
The list of owners of Ciarán Sweeney creations includes The President of Ireland, Madonna, Elton John, Kylie Minogue, The Corrs, Moya Brennan, Altan, Dinah Carrol, Brenda Belthyn. His corporate clients include Guinness, Smirnoff, PGA, Irish Distillers, Nokia, The Ulster Museum, Vodafone.

He has designed ranges in fashion and home for international outlets including Harrods, Liberty and Brown Thomas. Ciaran Sweeney also acts as Producer of the National College of Art and Design Graduate Show annually since 2000.
Ciaran is currently working on a interior collection for Gallery 13, Los Angeles and continues to show his work both in fashion and interiors in Ireland and abroad. Sweeney is a regular contributor on design and lifestyle issues in print and tv media and also lectures in the department of visual culture in The National College of Art Dublin.

How we recreate the look in studio is with the following pieces:-

1. On the walls:-

Suggestion for stone feature walls:-
Mid Emulsion paints, Crown 'colours for 2009' collection
Red:- "Toffee Apple" Green:- "Tuscan Olive"
Gothic Mirror, €89.95, The Kilkenny Shop
"Strength in Unity", €75, The Kilkenny Shop
Wavy slate mirror, €154, The Kilkenny Shop
Marco Curtains in Taupe, €90, Dunnes Stores

2. Lighting:-
Black Candlestick lamp, €25, Heatons
Paul Costello table lamp, €80, Dunnes Stores
Chandelier, €75, Arnotts Bargain Basement

3. On the floor:-
"Alpine" rug, €78, Des Kelly Interiors

4. Furniture:-
"Chester" tub chair, €335, Meadows & Byrne
Cream 2 seater couch, €399, Des kelly Interiors
"Bali" end table, €205, Des Kelly Interiors
'Cube' nest of tables , €379, Des Kelly Interiors

5. Throws & soft furnishings:-
Selection of Cushions, from €3- €10, Heatons
Damask Cushion, €7, Dunnes Stores
Throws, from €TBC, Heatons
Rust Throw, €20, Dunnes Stores
Tan Throw, €5, Penneys
Purple, Black, and Rust Flocked Cushion, €6, Penneys

6. Bits N' Bobs:-
Belle Trees Forge Candleholder, €59.95, The Kilkenny Shop
"Sanur" Duvet Cover Set, €10, Penneys
"Nevada" Duvet Cover set, €25, Dunnes Stores
Church Candles, from €3, M & S
Selection of flowers, from €2.50- €8, Penneys
Black rustic candleholders, €tbc, Heatons
Black Iron Magazine Rack, €tbc, Dunnes Stores
Ivory Candles, €8.75, The Kilkenny Shop
Dolce Verre wine glasses in black x 6, €49.95, The Kilkenny Shop
Catherine Scott Bowl in Brown, €109, The Kilkenny Shop
Cronins Forge Cork Candleholders, from €39.95 , The Kilkenny Shop
Leather Handled Water Jug, €69.97, The Kilkenny Shop

General notes on Gothic Interiors

Gothic Style
Style had a religious symbolic base- think of old, ornate churches and you will be on the right track. Pointed arches and stained glass in complex trefoil or rose designs were predominant, exposed, wooden beams, large, imposing fireplaces, and emulated candle lighting completed the ecclesiastical style. There was a strong vertical influence, supported by the high arches and peaks of the architecture. Light was also important, as windows grew more and more expansive and light and air flooded into the once gloomy churches of the Romanesque period.

Gothic Furniture
Furniture was massive and oak, adorned with Gothic motifs. Chairs, bed frames, cabinets were sturdy and featured arches, spiral-turned legs and rich upholstery in dark colors. Old church furniture such as pews, benches and trestle tables finish the look. Victorian gothic reproduction and Arts and Crafts era furniture can be used as an acceptable alternative, as many of the same motifs crossed over.

History of Gothic Design
Although Gothic architecture has its roots in the grand religious structures of Europe, it can also be seen in universities, castles, civic buildings, and private residences. The dramatic designs of buildings such as the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, have distinctive elements that still endure today. These include the pointed arch used on windows and doorways, tracery, clustered columns, ribbed vaulting, and flying buttresses.
Architects of the medieval age used innovative building techniques which resulted in slender masonry walls able to support expansive, decorative glass windows along with intricate stone tracery. These new cathedral designs created bright and open structures with ever soaring spires on the outside. Colorful stained glass windows were prominent in the churches along with remarkable sculptures of gargoyles and religious icons.
In subsequent centuries, residential architecture was given more attention, and Western tastes returned to the romantic nature of medieval design resulting in the Gothic Revival movement of the 18th and 19th centuries. This coincides with the ornate Victorian period when new machinery resulted in easy access to detailed trim designs and carvings. The movement was called Carpenter Gothic in the United States due to economical lumber supplies which allowed for wooden gingerbread trim with complex medieval Gothic designs.

The Victorian Gothic and Gothic Revival styles are still used in building modern homes and for decorating interior spaces. The most important elements to include are architectural features like pointed arches, fireplaces, stained glass, and wooden ceiling beams. Floors in a Gothic home are typically a hard surface like stone, tile, or dark stained hardwood. Add some cushy rugs in deep tones for a cozier feel in your castle-like retreat.
Echo these rich hues with dramatic wall colors like ochre, violet, red, black, gold, and hunter green. The medieval vibe can be further enhanced with wood paneling or decorative paint treatments such as murals, stenciled heraldic designs, or trompe-l'oeil illusions of stone walls. The addition of sumptuous wall tapestries and velvet window treatments will help create the magical atmosphere found in Gothic interior design.
Furniture pieces should be heavy and solid wood for the best effect, but their design can be elaborately carved or more simplistic in nature. Modern reproductions of Gothic Revival oak furniture will make an impressive statement. Look for furniture pieces with turned legs, arched designs, carved details, and plush upholstery. Accessories in Gothic interior design can include some essentials characteristic of the style like candles, wrought iron pieces, statuary, gargoyles, and crosses.

Andrew Lohan is a practising Architect with BRAZIL|LOHAN, a Practice based in Dublin with an established reputation for high quality Architectural work and Client service. The practice has worked on a broad range of projects all over the country from commercial to high-quality residential work.

The practice design philosophy stresses the importance of good design and effective execution.

Andrew and his wife Jackie bought their church as a ruin in 1999 and completed the restoration in 2004. Due to restrictions on the use of "Church" in the name they have called it Kilgallan.

B R A Z I L | L O H A N
C H A R T E R E D A R C H I T E C T S & D E S I G N E R S

The Studio, Maple Avenue, Stillorgan, Co Dublin
P 01 217 6111 F 01 293 9050 E




Stockist Information:-

1. Kilkenny have stores in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Killarney and Cashel
2. - Contact:-
Peter Ennis
Mobile: 087-2515111
Fax: 053-9140099

1. Meadows & Byrne:-
. Academy Street, Cork
021-427 2324
. Lower Abbeygate St., Galway
091-567 776
. Bunratty, County Clare
061-364 321
. Blarney Woollen Mills Complex, Blarney,
021-451 6100
. Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin
01-280 4554
. Carrick on Suir, Co. Tipperary
051-645 013
. Malahide Road, Dublin
01-652 0000
. CHQ BUILDING, Dublin Docklands