As someone who renovated her house 10 years?ago,?I can really see?how the homewares market in Ireland has dramatically changed.??Back then, your only option was full head-to-toe IKEA. And what's not to love about the Scandi Warehouse in?Dublin??You can even get a hotdog on your way out!

But in time, like all good?things,?I only needed it in moderation. I love seeing new?independent?Irish shops opening their doors and, as a result of these challenging times, putting their full shop catalogues online. These shops’ carefully curated stock?means?you run far less of a risk of having the exact same?house as your?neighbour.??

Here are just a handful?of the Irish?homeware shops that we think you should check out...

The Wilds

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Husband and wife team, Paula and Simon, returned to Ireland from London for a slower pace of life and to be closer to their families. In 2015 they opened The Wilds in a former convent with beautiful period features, in the picturesque town of Enniscorthy.

The building is the perfect backdrop for Paula to showcase her beautiful products both instore and on her gorgeously curated Instagram page. Sustainability, quality and craftmanship are at the heart of the business, and The Wilds mixes simple Scandi design with vintage furniture, textiles and art. Irish brands include McNutt blankets, Mad About Flowers, Jo Browne, Oxmantown Skincare, The Good Garden, Bean & Goose, and Millbee Studios to name but a few.

Lockdown has seen an increase in sales of sheepskin slippers (I can vouch for these) and dried flowers – beautiful in an unused fireplace.

April and the Bear

Former fashion buyer Siobhan Lam and her?partner Jamie?got the idea for April and the Bear eight years ago?while they were doing up their own house. They noticed a need for a different kind of homewares store and saw a gap in the market they could fill.

April and the Bear put great effort into working with socially conscious suppliers that create products that are not just beautiful but also sustainable and eco-friendly.?They are also great supporters of?Irish brands?such as?Somas candles, Braw Bakes, CME candles, and gorgeous prints by Fintan Wall and Jess Tobin. Furniture favourites include HK Living, 366 Concept,?Zuiver?and Society of Lifestyle.

Siobhan told us: "As a business we seek out unusual and beautiful homewares and made-to-order furniture. We collaborate with Irish artists and makers to create completely unique and exclusive pieces that cannot be found in any other stores."

Personally, I love the diversity of their products. Over the years I have bought?everything from?a bronze?lightshade and a children's?bookshelf?to hanging candelabras. From recent internet stalking, I am dreaming of their mid-century mustard sofa.?

Maven

Sisters Catherine and Patricia's?hobby?for homewares and interiors soon turned into?full-times?jobs?in 2013 when they opened their Belfast shop. As luck would have it, the beautiful red brick Reid Memorial Hall was up for?rent?and they?knew?straight away this was?to be the location for their shop.

Patricia says: "A little community has grown around the shop since we’ve opened, and we try to welcome everyone with a big smile."

Their ethos was simple?when it came to products;?if they wouldn’t have it in their homes then they wouldn’t sell it in their store.?Maven is known for stocking cool?Scandinavian?labels such as HAY?and?Ferm?Living?while?also supporting local Irish labels?Mourne Textiles, Studio Donegal?and?Derek Wilson Ceramics.?They’ve even let their friends get in on the act by opening Coffee and Cactus at the back of the shop so now you can grab a coffee, a cactus and a bite to eat.?

Covid?also gave them the push they needed to put their full range online.?With summer fast approaching and Irish people?holidaying?at home again this year, they have seen an increase in people buying garden furniture, fire pits and their famous?rechargeable?Carrie lamp.

Pieces.ie

Grainne and Arthur Cassidy set up Pieces.ie in 2018 on South Great George's Street in Dublin. Leaving behind a career in web project management,?Grainne decided to turn her?creative?eye to beautiful but affordable furniture.

I’ve been into the shop many times and have loved their range of throws, prints and?cushions. I also bought an extendable dining table and was so happy when Grainne herself arrived and put the table together for us. No step-by-step instructions needed.

With everyone working from home, Grainne has seen a huge increase in people wanting?their home office to blend into their interiors rather than look like a corporate office?corner.?The Rayburn Study desk does just that.?Now with the sun coming out their garden furniture range, Komodo, is currently flying out the back door, and their famous Emily chair is back in stock. I also love their limited edition prints by Irish artists from Alice Fitzgerald to Robyn Carey.?

Mimi + Martha

Mother and daughter duo?Mimi?and?Martha set up their business during lockdown in August 2020. Martha had been a professional opera singer and is also a Trinity Business School graduate, while Mimi's background was corporate as well as interior design. Their individual different styles shine?bright,?and their store is a celebration of the?unique and eclectic mix of designers and styles they each love.?

A huge part of Mimi + Martha’s focus is on slowing down and thinking about what you purchase. They pride themselves on curating collections which are kinder to the environment in the materials they are made from, the process of making and the distance they travel from start to finish.

Proud supporters of Irish goods, they stock over 50 independent Irish designers including Ollanmor, Coolree Design and Sam?agus?Nessa.?I also love how they have a diverse variety of products from homewares, including children’s art, to jewelry and?sustainable items.??

Ones not to miss are?their Irish Weather Art ceramic tiles,?Coolree?wall hooks?and?the Kotanical?Black Stone Diffuser.

Finders Keepers

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After four years living it up down under,?Lisa Connolly knew she wanted to come home and use?the valuable experience she gained?in Australia?as?a retail?manager.?Motivated to bring something new and exciting to Waterford, she signed a lease and began building Finders Keepers - a?home and gift store with a strong emphasis on sustainability.

Partnering with over?fifty fellow small businesses from Ireland, France, Spain, The Netherlands, UK and Australia, their shop adds vibrancy to Waterford.?Products range from bath bombs,?beeswax wraps, framed tiles, Somas candles to higher end purchases such as the popular brand Mustard Made, who make furniture that looks a little like your school locker - but?are?actually?nice?and?colourful. You won't be hiding any crusty sandwiches in there.??

Lisa has?recently?noticed an increase in sales of the stackable crates as people are doing another spring clean before the nation is let loose again.?

Oriana B

I came across Katharine on her Instagram page, Oriana B Interiors, when I was looking for a vintage table?a few years back. What I loved about Katharine was the fact that she didn't force a sale on us. The table wasn’t right for our?space?but we have kept in?touch?and she is now a firm?favourite?who I send friends to.?She recently moved her showroom to Fairview, and?her ethos is about giving a new lease of life to vintage furniture.

From quirky candlestick holders, plant boxes to midcentury chairs, these are pieces that you won’t find in anyone else's home. Katharine says: "We work hard at curating a collection that inspires, excites and makes you smile." I love that the stock is constantly?changing,?and you never know what she might put up next. I am currently lusting over the Antique Brass Stool rack (€72) and the turquoise parrot lamp (€159).?

Irish Design Shop

The Irish Design Shop was set up in 2008 by two?jewellers?Clare?Grennan?and Laura Caffrey.?As the name would suggest, they place a large emphasis on original Irish design and craftmanship.?Every time?I go down Drury?Street in Dublin,?I can't stop myself from going in.

With a beautiful range of throws from the likes of John?Hanly?to Eddie Doherty to the simplicity of?their?Bird Boxes,?the shop has such a fantastic range of the best of Irish craftmanship. When The Late?Late?Show featured the?Willow?bird feeders?on their?enterprise?show?in November,?they sold out within minutes?and had many requests for future orders.??

Some of my?favourites?include the?wooden picture?frames made by Rocker Lane Workshop who use reclaimed?floorboards, taken from old gyms and dance halls.?I’m also a fan of their?Sally?Caulwell?prints, Mary Lincoln Ardmore Egg dishes (€23) and their?beautiful jewelry?range?Names.?

Scout

Wendy Crawford always dreamed of opening her own shop when she was in college. Starting off in Powerscourt Centre in Dublin with a 6-month lease under her belt she made her dream become a reality. Now settled in the beautiful?historic quarter of Temple?Bar,?Scout's façade literally makes you stop in your tracks?and want to peek inside.??

Scout’s ethos is to provide a range of timeless products that steer clear from trends, instead offering functionality, good design and longevity.?Scout stocks many Irish great brands including?Molloy & Sons Blankets and throws, Clean Slate candles and Arran Street East?pottery, while also curating items from leading international names such as IB Laursen and Fog Linen Homewares.?With people cooking more at home, Wendy has noticed Falcon’s Enamelware?popularity increase massively.?

But Scout is much more than just homewares, they also have a carefully compiled selection of clothes, stationary, footwear?and?accessories.?Many of my daily staple pieces - including my?Le Bas backpack and navy Stutterheim raincoat?- have come from Scout.

Industry & Co

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Vanessa Mac Innes and her brother Marcus moved their store Industry & Co. to Drury Street in 2013. As the name suggests, the shop is a beautiful mix of industrial-vibe items mixed with Scandinavian clean lines. Sustainability is at the forefront of Industry's ethos. Buy once and buy well.

You can go into this store and buy a necklace from one of three wonderful Irish makers - Isle, Scribble & Stone and Evelyn - and pick up a high stool and champagne saucers while you’re at it.

I love their clamp lamps, their range of lightbulbs and their beautiful leather handbags by O My Bag. And the recent addition of the coffee shop to the side of the store means you can have a coffee while you consider your purchase.

Vanessa can’t wait to have her doors open again as she misses giving her customers a retail experience. Also worth checking out is their sister shop Barn on nearby Exchequer Street, which is a picture-perfect children's store.