People often ask me when I have purchased something whether from a shop, at an auction or an exhibition “how do you know about these things?” I have been known to buy a wide range of interiors (and exteriors) items on line but I also source a lot of products locally in shops and in auctions. So how do I know about auctions? Well I read the papers, I attend auctions and exhibitions and I put my name down on mailing lists so I am informed about the next upcoming event. I’m always on the lookout for a bargain as well as keeping a sharp eye on new lines coming into stores. Sometimes it’s possible to spot a wonderful design item obscured in a sea of mundanity.
One of the things I have learned over the years is (to make an analogy) it’s the old case of kissing a lot of frogs before you find your prince, before you find a real gem or deal in an auction you need to be a regular. This works in two ways both to familiarise yourself with values so that you know a bargain if you see it (sometimes an item at auction can go way in excess of what it might cost brand new, purely because of two people who don’t know any better!) Secondly so that when something good presents itself to you, you have the courage to go for it and not dither about whether you should or you shouldn’t. If it’s that good and you do, someone else will get it while you think about it.
On the question of auctions there are lots of locations to watch for. There are weekly auctions in several locations, including Buckleys in Sandycove and Herman Wilkinson in Rathmines. There are monthly auctions in Adams in Blackrock and regular house content auctions by Matthews of Oldcastle and Sheppards of Laois as well as many others. De Veres and Adams in Dublin also have annual or bi-annual auctions of interiors items and artwork. Charity shops like Oxfam on Francis Street which deals with furniture and household paraphernalia can be great (especially if looking for something to upcycle, see next post) as can charity shops in general. The Third policeman in Rathmines is fab if looking for something quirky and a bit unusual. Some of the larger retailers have in-house events that offer discounts with free design advice in some instances.
Anyway this is long winded way of telling you that from now on I will be keeping an “upcoming events” section running in a sidebar of this blog to tell you of events that I think may be interesting. It will not be exhaustive and it will be selective, so if you are at all interested, keep coming back to check out what events I have marked in my diary!