I recently took a trip across to my local shopping centre in the suburbs of Belfast, where one of the flagship brands, Dunnes Stores (a fabulous Irish department store which also delivers to the UK and further afield), has been undergoing a major makeover, including a huge expansion of its beautiful home department.
I was expecting it to be a slight improvement on layout and use of space, but I was so wrong – it is a massive improvement!! The tiny homewares corner that once was, has been moved to a new, open plan upstairs floor and totally rejuvenated, updated and modernised with a wide range of home accessories, giftware and furnishings to suit all tastes and budgets. Dunnes’ homeware range is split into different sub-brands, each designed by a well-known Irish name and appealing to a particular taste, be it elegant and modern ‘hotel chic’, as seen in the Paul Costelloe Living range; colourful and eclectic, as seen in its Carolyn Donnelly Eclectic range; or earthy and organic, the general feel of its Considered by Helen James collection, as well as some own brand Dunnes pieces across its cooking, dining, bed and bath departments. As for me, I’m loving a bit of every style on offer!
So, here is a peek around the new store – please excuse the photo quality, as I was rushing around with two of my children begging me to pleeeease go home – as well as further links to some of the products I loved in particular… I guarantee you will be itching to reach for that credit card!
Loved these oversized baskets and wooden dining chairs from the Considered by Helen James collection. The denim blue and butter yellow colours will see you smoothly from Summer into Autumn and the baskets could be nicely filled with cosy blankets when the weather becomes a little crisper! Shop the cushions here, the chair can be seen here and the baskets here.
I also liked the fiery autumnal hues seen in the Considered by Helen James linen range below (see the napkins here). You can (just about) see some of the ceramic mugs and bowls from her collection, too – I really like the simplicity of the cereal bowl seen below and I’m dying to try the brown seeded bread mix, even if just to have that gorgeous packaging sitting inside my larder!
Some more Considered by Helen James products that I’m coveting…
‘Stay…Curious’ Mug // £4
Marble Top Table // £50 to £85
Onto the Carolyn Donnelly Eclectic collection next and there is definitely a more arty, ‘Anthropologie’ feel to the products – and at a fraction of the price!
Firstly, how cute is this grey Stockholm Sofa? Perfect for a sunny spot to enjoy a well earned cuppa or in a large hallway it would also be ideal. Love the retro Scandi vibe of the design – this is actually a Dunnes’ own brand piece, however it’s been teamed with a vintage style coffee table from the Carolyn Donnelly collection, as well as her pretty velvet cushion in light blue and the Paisley rug.
Many of the products in this range, like the others, make for perfect gifts, in particular the little faux leather-bound notebooks, candles and dotty photo frames. The sort of thing you maybe wouldn’t buy for yourself, but would be delighted to receive. Or maybe, like me, you cannot resist the temptation to pop a candle or two into your shopping basket…
These rose string lights would look very pretty strung up in a girl’s bedroom… I also love the simple aqua posy vase, it has a charming vintage feel to it. The retro bedside table could equally be set within a living room with a table lamp on top.
And here are a few more Carolyn Donnelly Eclectic pieces that I’m loving…
Marble Print Cushion // £25
Metal Storage Basket // £10
Stencil Teacup in Aqua // £2
Eclectic Design Bath Mat // £12
The Paul Costelloe Living collection taps into the higher end design aesthetic, with hotel standard bed and bath linens and elegant dinnerware pieces.
Grey, white and navy are the order of the day throughout this collection, so if minimalism is your thing, you’ll love this look. The grey quilted boudoir cushions on this bed add a lovely texture to the crisp white Sephina sheets and I do really want that stunning zigzag throw!!
I also spotted this wooden pane mirror which would be fabulous in a formal living room hung landscape style. It would really bounce lots of light around the room and add a very elegant, yet understated feel.
Some other finds from the Paul Costelloe Living range, including…
Cashmere Throw // £110
Pia Digital Print Cushion // £45
Lady Napkins 4 pack // £12
Finally, I’ll round it off with a couple of snaps of other accessories I spotted for around the home, such as the house drawer unit below (ideal in a child’s bedroom or in a hallway for storing keys etc) and yet more baskets!
And this retro style clock which I can’t find online but it’s in-store at present. Find similar styles here and here. The tripod table lamps are also only in-store and the armchair in the background is the Tara Chenille Chair in grey (also available in Natural).
If slogans are your thing, you’ll like this quirky canvas shopper – for those who know me, this is pretty much spot on! Find a similar mug here.
So, any favourites?
Do take a look online if you don’t live near a Dunnes Stores – prices are available in £ Sterling or € Euro and they ship nationwide.
I think that in light of the recent demise of BHS, it seems to me the team at Dunnes Stores are doing something right – their homewares department has certainly gone from strength to strength in recent years and I look forward to seeing it evolve further in the seasons to come.
Old faithful M&S, watch your back!!!
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