About Nicki Cloonan

This is my design blog, exploring trends in interiors, decor, food and entertaining and highlighting things I like. I hope it will inspire you to become more creative and to have fun in the process. My wonderful Dad is called Paddy and his grandchildren call him Pad for short and so it is with much love that I decided to call the blog Pad, both after him and as short for passionate about design. https://passionateaboutdesign.com/

Hot or Not?

Pantone_Color_of_the_Year_Marsala_Color_StandardsI think it’s fair to say that as marketing ploys go, the introduction in the year 2000 of a “Colour of the Year” by Pantone hasn’t really infiltrated our mindset in the way that might have been imagined. Don’t get me wrong, we all LOVE Pantone. What’s not to love about those fabulous colour swatches, bound into a fan deck which allows us to specify an exact pigment, tint or hue in a standardised colour reproduction system. Pantone began as a commercial printing company in the 1950s and their primary products still include the Pantone Guides, consisting of a large number of small thin cardboard sheets, printed on one side with a series of related colour swatches. The idea is that designers can “colour match” specific colours when a design enters production stage, regardless of the equipment used to produce the colour. Continue reading

Trimming the tree…

For Christmas last year I set myself the task of creating a table centrepiece using brussels sprouts.

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Blog Post December 2013

There were both Pros and Cons to this endeavor.

The Pros: the sprouts box was ticked for Christmas dinner and (the best bit in my opinion) they did not have to be eaten.

The Cons: it took a fair bit of time to do it and (sadly) it deteriorated pretty quickly over the following few days, ending up in the compost! Continue reading

Turn off the taps!

running waterAre you guilty? I know I am. Is your house in danger of becoming like ours? It doesn’t take one to be a fortune teller to be able to predict the rows that are about to descend in our house. We’ve known about it forever, but this month the water charges finally commence. Continue reading

The Gloss Interiors feature article…

It’s been hectic recently, hence the scarcity of posts. However I am delighted to say that we featured recently in an article in The Gloss magazine Interiors Special Edition with the Irish Times newspaper.

front page

My thanks to Jane McDonnell and the team in the Gloss, photographer James Fennell and Maoliosa Murray. Continue reading

It’s never too late to learn.

101 2This time last year I wrote a blog about preparing the kids to go back to school. The new pencils, the paper, rubbers, school bag etc. Over the years I have myself been a serial re-attendee. Not just at full time education but also at night classes. There is always more I would like to learn. So over the years I have engaged in a variety of courses: some full time, some part time, some evening classes. It’s been my experience that attending a new course no matter what its duration, can be rewarding, enjoyable, even liberating. Continue reading

Our Heritage: yours for the taking.

logoWhether you are a local or a tourist visiting our country over the next couple of weeks, you will be spoilt for choice for things to do. You see, we are really and truly into what I call “Culture Season”. This week we have National Heritage Week, co-ordinated by The Heritage Council. This will be followed by Culture Night in September and Open House which runs for 3 days in October organised by the Irish Architecture Foundation. Continue reading

Tied for something to do?

IMG_3374At the moment there are two situations in my house: kids summer holidays and lovely weather. A great opportunity to get creative outside. A couple of years ago I spent a day tie dying with my children and a bunch of their friends. It’s a  wet and messy business but a lot of fun and the anticipation of what masterpiece you may or may not have created lasts till the very end! Now that they are older they just need me to provide the materials which are not too tricky to source. So that is what I did and these are the results. Continue reading

Al fresco table style

This year I am blessed to have great growth in my garden. The planting that we put in over the last couple of years has begun to show some colour. The result is that when we had some fine weather recently I was able to use some of the garden flowers to decorate the table for al fresco dining. I tend to use mostly table runners but when I use a parasol with a table I use table mats. Here are some of the outcomes.

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Continue reading

What’s that “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” saying?

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Recently I have been feeling stressed, bloated and sluggish. I drink WAY too much coffee and in an attempt to reduce my coffee intake have been dropping in occasionally to a new juicery near where I live. This isn’t the kind of juice depot that my kids love, no piles of ice cream and sugar disguised as healthy options. No this is the real deal: cold pressed nutritious pulp-free juices and super food smoothies that contain only raw organic fruit and veg. Continue reading