HOME THOUGHTS FROM DOWN SOUTH
DEBORAH CULHANE
FOLLOWED AN INSPIRING CORK FURNISHINGS TRAIL

So you've just bought your new house. What are you going to put in it? For those with a trendy taste in furniture Mimo is a must. Owned by erman couple Michael Haberbosch and Monika arry (hence the name) Mimo sells everything for the modern Home, with 2 premises, the first on McCurtain Street and its second recently opened located close by on Patrick's Quay.

MiMo currently supplies German, Danish, Italian and French designs in stainless steel, maple, birch, beech and cherry and plastic. Contempory designs such as Philippe Stark chairs, mono garlic crushers, projection image locks and Italian sofa beds are available.

A good investment is the Bauhaus lamp according to Michael. First produced in the 1930's the lamp was first rejected because of its modern futuristic appearance. Visible wiring in the glass cylindrical stand and the 3/4's spherical shape of the glass lampshade shocked people. A classic, the Bauhaus lamp is still regarded as modern in Bauhaus Lamp design 70 years on. "It's a collector's item," says Michael. Production is limited and a production number and the Bauhaus seal is inscribed underneath. The cost? 395, " but you will always get your money back if you sell," says Michael.

"Every rug tells a story," says Brendan Holland co-director of Wood Floors And Rugs. "Cats eye, hooks or diamond symbols all have a particular meaning to them, " he says.

Partner Dominique Tregaro recommends two rugs. The first is the hihi Tabriz. Located in the Caucasus Mountains, the city of Tabriz is famous for its wide range of rug designs. The Mahi Tabriz design is woven in muted shades of wool and has a central medallion surrounded by a larger medallion extending to the four sides of the carpet. Fine detail is picked out in silk. Tabriz pieces are of very high quality and strong construction.

The second, the Yalameh rug is made in Western Persia. Flamboyant in style the rug is in bright colours with light reds, medium blues and leafy greens. A diamond medallion adorned with latch-hooks is usually present though some can be in other geometric designs. Woven by the Yalameh tribe, the pieces are of all wool construction but have a superb "silky" yarn for the pile.

"Floors are installed to correct timber widths to suit the period of the house," says Brendan.

"Some floors are bleached for a more modern effect others treated for colour distortions to give a more aged effect," he explains.

In Cork's City centre Caseys offers a wide range of quality furniture and services. Recently extended, their selection encompasses American, French, Italian and Swedish styles to mention but a few. Quality Irish lines are also available. "The first piece of advice we give people is to furnish room by room," says David Casey, grandson to Mr. John Casey who first opened the premises in 1921. "A cheap bed is an expensive bed," says David Casey. "Customers know if they buy better quality they get better value," he says. "Consumers are more aware of what's out there now and are more fashion orientated," says Mr. Casey.

For upholstered furniture Mr. Casey recommends Heritage House, established in Ireland 15 years ago. Solid beech wood frames are screwed, glued and doweled giving quality durability for everyday wear. Materials selected are hard wearing; the filling used retains its shape and the fabric washable. Designs can be dressy or simple and sofas can be put on castors or gliders. "Dramatic colour schemes in a plain base colour and scatter cushions are a popular option," says Mr. Casey.

Tucked upstairs on the third floor is the one of my favourites, the Maly bed. Designed by Ligne Roset, the design dates back to 1983. "It's a Europeanised Asian design," says David, "it seems like a futon but is actually a mattress on a beech slat system," he explains. The surrounding latt, a feature from the Middle East, provides space for reading material or seating.

For those seeking to invest, antiques are always an option. Lynes and Lynes on 48 A McCurtain Street deal in quality antiques. Woods vary from the darker mahogany to the lighter shade of walnut. Names of the pieces are intriguing particularly the victorian "whatnot" table, while the "rotating dumbwaiter" is a three-tiered table, which allows people to serve themselves. Mr Lyne is particularly proud of the mahogany Victorian table, the centrepiece of his show room. "There are three things you look for in antiques," he says. "Originality, colouring and construction," he says. "Good antiques are becoming scarcer worldwide, it is frightening," he says. "With property so expensive interiors are now regarded as an investment," says Mr. Lyne. Yet unlike shares antiques give you pleasure and increase in value," he says.

For a timeless piece Stokes Fine Clocks And Watches is worth a visit. Located on the classic furniture strip - Mc Curtain Street shop is filled with clocks and barometers in green to red marble, hard woods and metals. "The Vienna wail clock is popular with new homeowners," says Philip Stokes, 3rd generation owner of the business. The Austrian clock has two characteristic brass weights and dates to the 1870's. Its strike is gentle, hourly and one on the half-hour, he says. An Austrian clock, it dates to the 1870's with two weights as a characteristic feature. Carved motifs on the top of its mahogany case vary from eagles to simple turnings. The mahogany mantel clock is another favourite.

Like the Vienna wall clock it has a porcelain face and gentle strike that doesn't take over the house. Originating from France and Germany the clock dates back to mid 1800's. "It must be wound up once a week," he says. "Houses are getting smaller now so it's important clocks are not too bulky", he says. "it's a popular wedding present," Phillip says.

Two doors down is Town and country which supply garden and interior furniture. The English delftware is particularly striking. With gentle colouring the ware is antique in appearance, almost a fusion of Chinese-European styles. Vases, platters, ginger jars and candle stands are each hand-painted in wistful effect and twice kiln fired. Pieces are numbered and bear the signature of the painter and ini- tial monogram of the designer Deborah Sears.

Owners Phillip and Jane Russell also supply some of the best garden furniture in the country. Shipped in from England, one can immediately see craftmanship and attention to detail in the furniture. Ridges are carved into the wood so that it will not hold water and fittings are made from solid brass. Features on a trolley include a chopping board extension or a glass or wine bottle holder. The furniture is markedly different and refined in appear- ance. Made with a lifetime guarantee, people can build up their sets gradually.

MiMo 26 McCurtain Street and Patricks Quay Cork 021 4504246

Wood Floors and Rugs limited (021) 4551311 Email: holland@ireland.com

Caseys 65 Oliver Piunkett Street Grafton Mall Cork 021 27039314 Email: info@caseys.ie

Lynes and lynes Antiques 48A McCurtain Street Cork 021 4500982

Stokes Fine Ciocks 48 McCurtain Street Cork 021 4551195

Town and Country 47B McCurtain Street Cork 021 4501468