Entries by Mary Murphy

Bedroom: So ugly it’s beautiful

Every Saturday for the last five weeks, I’ve visited this antique shop near Szabadszag hid on Vámház korút. It’s one of those curious shops with two fronts. The first door opens into what looks like a rather small jewelry shop. Well, truth be told, it’s more like a pawnbrokers. But then you follow the carpets and […]

Living room: Have a seat

A few years ago, I came across a diary I had written when I was 16. The certainty of my writing left no room for discussion. I had obviously given a lot of thought to what I wanted from life and, in that innocence peculiar to 16-year-olds who have never been given reason to question […]

Living room: China cabinet

My mother has a china cabinet at home. I still wonder why she refers to it as the  ‘china cabinet’ when there’s no china in it. It’s full of Waterford glass and various trophies us kids won at school. I’ve never been a great lover of fine china; it’s always been a tad too delicate […]

Living room: Chobi carpets

When I was in India early last year, I found myself effectively kidnapped on a number of occasions by rickshaw drivers who were working on commission for carpet sellers and gift-shop owners. It didn’t matter how many times I asked  to be taken directly somewhere, there was always the inevitable detour. And, being a firm […]

Hallway in black and white

I think it was when I was going through my ‘country mansion’ stage that I first hit on the idea of a black-and-white hallway. Not the most original idea in the world perhaps, but one that has been a long time in the making.  I am particularly blessed that this long hallway (nearly 7 metres) […]

Living room

Back in 2001, just before I left Alaska and the USA to return to Ireland, I took a last-minute whirlwind tour of the south. Along with my good friend RosaB, I flew into New Orleans and hired a car. From there we headed to Biloxi, Mississippi, over to Birmingham, Alabama, across Northern Florida and into Savannah, […]

Living room: Dinner parties

The first time I brought an American boyfriend home to Ireland, in 1996, we went to dinner at my friends’ house in Dublin. The N-Ms  have a great big dining table and eight of us sat around until the small hours of the morning, talking, laughing, eating, drinking and having a ball. It was the first time […]

Bedroom: The piece that made my heart stop

I never thought it possible that I could get excited about a piece of furniture. I would have laughed in your face if you’d told me that I’d be spending more time in flea markets and antique shops than in boutiques and salons. But it’s true. This renovation has created a monster. Recent visitors to […]

And my heart missed a beat…

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to own my own place.  Over the years, the ‘place’ in question has moved from a stone cottage in the West of Ireland, to a crofter’s cottage by a loch in the highlands of Scotland. I’ve had visions of a log cabin in Alaska and a house […]