Whether you’re staying close to home or planning a staycation, add one of these independent design stores to your itinerary.
WORDS: Nathalie Marquez Courtney
April & The Bear
If ever there was a store we wanted to basically move into, this Dublin 6 spot would be it. Stocking trend-led pieces, cool collabs and a mix of Irish and international brands, including cult locker company Mustard.
213 Rathmines Road, Rathmines, Dublin 6; aprilandthebear.com
What better reward for a windswept wander along the Ardmore cliffs than purchasing your next Very Favourite Mug? This warm, welcoming and well stocked craft store is home to not only the Lincoln family collection, but a wide range of local and national ceramicists.
Cliff Road, Dysert, Ardmore, Co Waterford; ardmorepottery.com
Always filled with the freshest finds, store owner John Adam’s impeccable taste shines from every shelf of this Dublin stalwart. Our go-to spot for finding the perfect gift (for yourself or others), whether you’re looking for classic French ceramics, fun print or pretty picture frame.
Powerscourt Townhouse, South William Street, Dublin 2; article.ie
Part coffee shop, part chic boutique and art gallery, Coffeewerk is a beautiful space to get your caffeine fix or browse through a gorgeous designy tome. While you’re there, pick up some specialist coffee accoutrements, slick stationery or a beautiful fine art postcard.
4 Quay Street, Galway; coffeewerkandpress.com
Foxford Wollen Mills
Come for the softest, cosiest throws, stay for the charming, country cottage accessories. The visitor centre store is a great place to pick up cheery ceramic tableware, gift-ready candles and comfy furniture.
Providence Road, Foxford, Co. Mayo; foxfordwoollenmills.com
Home Street Home
Lovers of all things vintage and industrial will be very happy indeed in this Harold’s Cross showroom. Whether you’re looking for a statement pendant light, retro tray or that perfect distressed side table, their upcycled designs will add warmth and personality to any space.
294 Harold's Cross Road, Harold's Cross, Terenure, Dublin 6; homestreethome.ie
Located in a former woollen mill and founded by interior designers Nicole McGee and Caroline Breen, this Cork store has become a firm favourite with locals and a must-visit pit stop for any visiting interiors lovers. Stocking custom-made furniture designed by the duo, alongside cool lighting, home accessories, textiles and local artwork, all beautifully styled, making it a joy to explore.
Unit 19, St. Patrick's Woollen Mills, Douglas, Cork; interiosity.ie
Irish Design Shop
A faithful champion of Irish design since it opened its door 12 years ago, the Irish Design Shop stock some of the best and brightest. They now also collaborate with talented makers to create divine homewares for their own Áras range. Look out for new pieces this autumn, including a desk light, candlestick holders and linen tableware.
41 Drury Street, Dublin 2; irishdesignshop.com
Laura Vaughan Design Studio
The eponymous store stocks the Ennis designer’s own bright and vibrant collection of textiles and lampshades, all printed and made in Ireland, alongside a selection of Irish craft and design.
89 O'Connell Street, Clonroad Beg, Ennis, Co Clare; lauravaughan.ie
Lovers of Scandi style will have plenty to lust over in Maven. Inside the chic redbrick store you’ll find top picks from Hay, Muuto, Ferm Living and Normann Copengahen lining the walls. They’ve recently expanded their collection, adding lots of stylish work-from-home furniture and accessories and outdoor living pieces.
Reid Memorial Hall, 4a Maryville Avenue Belfast; wearemaven.co.uk
Looking for a gift for a cool kid or new parents? This south Dublin gem is packed to the gills with winning finds and exclusive brands, including Ecobirdy, pictured, who create unique children’s furniture made entirely of recycled plastic.
3 Sandymount Green, Sandymount, Co Dublin; miramira.ie
A one-stop shop for all things lighting, anything the team at Mullan don’t know about lighting a space isn’t worth knowing.
Figanny, Mullan Village, Co Monaghan; mullanlighting.com
Industrial design pieces, vintage furniture, colourful ceramics and a great coffee kiosk to boot make this Navan design store a must-visit spot.
15 Market Square, Dillonsland, Navan, Co Meath; facebook.com/odedesignshop
The Old Mill Stores
On the hunt for that oh-so-quirky piece to up your shelfie game? You’re sure to find it at The Old Mill Stores. We love how passionately they embrace the weird and the wonderful – it’s little wonder the lovingly curated store has won a host of awards.
Connonagh Village, Gortroe, Leap, Skibbereen, Co Cork; theoldmillstores.ie
Few places are better at showcasing how cool and contemporary traditional craftsmanship can be than Scout. Within the sleek, dark walls of her Temple Bar store, Wendy Crawford’s flawless edit of textiles and accessories – and her deep knowledge of the stories and craftsmanship behind every product – makes it near impossible to leave empty-handed.
5 Essex Street West, Temple Bar, Dublin 8; scoutdublin.com
Shells Little Shop
Come for the brunch, stay for the gift shop. Sweet pastel shades pop against a blue sky in this dotey addition to the bustling cafe, which surely has the nicest view of any interiors store in Ireland, looking out over the Sligo shore. Peruse their collection of prints, art, ceramics, hardy enamel tableware or, of course one of the Shells cookbooks.
Seafront, Strandhill, Co Sligo; shellscafe.com
Based in North County Dublin Source interiors is tucked away behind a motorcycle shop – but don’t be fooled, the showroom is a treasure trove filled with statement lighting and quirky finds. Owner Lynn has travelled across continent sourcing unique home accessories, alongside a tight edit of Irish brands, including luxe candle range Somas, pictured.
Swords Enterprise Park H2, Feltrim Road, Swords, Co Dublin; sourceinteriors.ie
The Store Yard
Having been open for over 10 years, The Storeyard has firmly established its reputation as one of the best places in the country for architectural salvage, antiques and retro pieces. Its vast collection can be a bit intimidating at first, but the in-store team can help you source just what you’re looking for.
Kea-Lew Business Park, Portlaoise, Co Laois; thestoreyard.ie
Be inspired by their swoon-worthy dried floral installations, pretty tablescapes, lush collection of cushions and throws, top Irish design picks and cute childrenswear. The cafe, which does a brilliant brunch, is also well worth a visit.
23 Weafer Street, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford; thewilds.ie
The Wooden Heart
Stepping into the Wooden Heart is like stepping back in time. The store stocks a colourful range of hand-crafted toys from some of Europe’s longest standing brands, including Grimm’s, Holiztiger and Haba, all designed with longevity and open-ended play in mind. They’ve recently added a great range of children’s picture books too.
3 Quay Street, Galway; woodenheart.ie
How to shop now
5 foolproof tips to help you stay safe while supporting your local independent design store.
- Wear a mask
While they started out as optional, face coverings are now mandatory in shops and shopping centres across the country. Lucky for you, most independent design stores stock a great collection of quality face coverings, many made by local designers.
- Check opening hours
Many stores have had to adjust their opening hours for a myriad of reasons – from allowing time for additional cleaning to allocating dedicated slots to eldery customers – so be sure to check before you visit.
- Look out for signs
Most stores have posted signs near their entrance outlining the new procedures they have put in place to help customers and staff stay safe. The most common ones include one-way systems and capping the number of people that can be inside at any given time, so keep an eye out.
- Shop local
Even if you’re shopping online, try to support local and Irish stores when you do. Many shops have seriously boosted their online shopping experience and offer fast, affordable (or free) shipping, so consider hitting them up before heading to the big international online retailers.
- Be kind
This is new territory for everyone. Stores and staff are grappling with new layouts, procedures and ways of working, so the odd hiccup is par for the course.