Dublin’s traditional craft culture has deep roots that make it a powerhouse on the European design scene. Outside of the old bastions like Avoca and Kilkenny, there is a new breed of design and craft shops that engage not only with Irish heritage, but also with hyper-modern, international trends, creating curated collections that keep Dublin’s trendiest houses decorated. Culture Trip surveys some of the best design shops in Ireland’s capital.
The brainchild of interior designer and buyer Vanessa MacInnes, Industry collects furniture, accessories and lighting fixtures from across Europe, repurposes and upcycles them with a loving touch, and nestles them with new designs in its Temple Bar digs. There’s nothing ephemeral or gimmicky about Industry’s collection: these are sturdy, well-designed and characterful one-offs that offer a minimal, individual alternative to mass-produced interior staples. The clue to this shop’s aesthetic is in the name: stripped-back, hard-wearing, metallic and modern. And if you’re not buying big, worry not – there’s an array of stationery, cards and and other trinkets that you won’t need a delivery van to take away.
When MacInnes isn’t travelling across the world picking up awesome new stock at salvage markets, she’s the go-to for interior consultation for those in the know. She is currently building an ambitious second home on Drury Street, which promises to be the foremost emporium for striking decor in the city. Keep your eyes peeled.
Address: 5 Essex St. West, Cow’s Lane, Temple Bar, Dublin 8.
These monocle-featured brothers have been making a name for themselves ever since starring at New York Design Week in 2012. Their story is almost too perfect: Jonathan and Mark Legge work from a shed in the idyllic Dublin suburb of Blackrock, hand-crafting beautiful objects from locally-sourced materials that sell out in the bat of an eyelid. Rather than spending time on the day-to-day business of running a shop away from their studio, they invite shoppers to come visit their workshop for a glance at their craft in action – although occasionally undergo a change of scenery setting up pop-up shops in places as close as the city centre’s Brown Thomas, or as far as London. They are at the forefront of an international movement that’s reconnecting consumers with makers and designers
On top of the Legges’ small-batch production, they sell items from friends around the world in their indispensable web-shop. Their blog is also a banquet of new ideas, with the boys sometimes taking breaks from craft chat to share their cocktail recipes and creative processes.
Address: Abbey Court, Blackrock, Dublin (but remember to book time for a visit first)
The baby of jewellers Clare Grennan and Laura Caffrey, Irish Design Shop’s curation of the best of contemporary homegrown craft sits prettily in two homes across the city. The traditional and the futuristic are enmeshed in their stock, with wallpaper, ceramics, stationery, woodwork and jewellery all weaved together in a fabric that best represents the idiosyncrasies of Irish design.
Grennan and Caffrey aren’t doing all the hard work themselves: each autumn, their RHA Gallery space is taken over by a series of the most forward-thinking retailers and avant-garde fashion designers in unique pop-ups who make the space their own. Their tireless work to stay at the forefront of new craft means there’s often a new find to be had. You can even stop by and learn how to make your own silver jewellery at their occasional workshops.
Address: 41 Drury Street, Dublin 2 or the Royal Hibernian Academy, 15 Ely Place, Dublin 2
John Adams’ independent enterprise Article was borne out of Habitat’s closure after the economic crash. His collection of homewares, books and gifts have a distinctly personal touch, with an emphasis on clever, not too-cutesy design. Adams’ ethos goes, if I wouldn’t want it in my house, then I wouldn’t want it in my shop.
While the trove of shiny, new treasures make it a feng shui El Dorado, it’s Article’s vintage finds that set it apart. Classy ’60s furniture and Victorian sofas occasionally find their way up the Powerscourt Townhouse’s staircases and into the front section of this hearty little store.
Address: 22 Powerscourt Townhouse, South William Street, Dublin 2