The RTÉ Guide's Jess O'Sullivan shares her top interior design tips for the year ahead.

Do you bamboo? 
Unlike in Asian homes, bamboo is something that we don’t use as frequently in Ireland even though it is very eco-friendly. It produces 35% more oxygen than hardwood trees as it’s growing. Even more than being a great greener option, bamboo’s tensile strength makes it stronger than steel. This means that it has amazing resistance to breaking under pressure, making it one of the most versatile natural materials around, and ideal for making furniture like chairs, stools, baskets and tables. 

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Bamboo has natural antibacterial properties too which means it’s perfect for bathroom storage or for keeping clothing fresh, or particularly if it’s used as a used linen basket. Bamboo basins are beautiful if you want to create a natural look and feel to your bathroom. Think of it as creating a home spa experience.

dew drop bee
Work towards creating a spa-like feel in your home

Gardeners might consider putting a bee home into their garden, no planning permission required! This dewdrop-shaped bee home, (€23) is from madebyhandonline.com and will attract a wide variety of safe and friendly solitary bees which in turn for your accommodation will help to pollinate the plants in your garden. This house will provide enough nooks and crannies for species like mason and leafcutter bees to come and lay their eggs, providing a safe haven for the next generation of bees. Hang against a post or wall. 

Create a superhero-inspired space
With the release of Avengers: Endgame, superhero season has reached fever pitch. It’s the perfect time to get creative with your decor ideas as a way to pay homage to your favourite characters. Rebecca Snowden, interior style advisor at Furniture Choice says going bold with bright pops of colour and neutral shades is how it should be done.

"Mimimalist furniture such as a black leather sofa, balances out the colours and striking patterns of a feature wall. This sets the scene to slip in decorative elements, such as themed cushions for some visual interest." 

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For those who prefer a lighter palette for the living room, white walls create a solid yet versatile foundation to build upon. "An accent wall of superhero-inspired art is a great way to introduce a dose of personality with plenty of punchy references to your favourite superheroes."

Show it off as a cool accent wall or apply it to a functional workspace that’s big on creative and stylish sensibilities.For a more vibrant touch, consider colour blocking with superhero colours to spotlight specific areas around the home. 

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Blue is a powerful yet tranquil statement colour that’s ideal for establishing a frame against darker furniture and other colourful elements. A modern black table works well here, balancing out the stronger tones while also serving as a chic backdrop for yellow and red accessories."

Take a leaf from the Marvel book and slip in fun Easter eggs: accessories and décor that refer to the movies and comics, and reward fans in the know. "These elements work as conversation-starters while also striking a chord with comic book fans of all ages."