July 2015

Just do what you love…

Hope this blogpost finds you all well & happy. We have just had a week’s Staycation which was like a little precious gift. As my hubbie didn’t think he’d get any time off this summer, we couldn’t book any holiday this year but a few weeks ago, he came running in the door, rushing straight to the  calendar, with the words “I think I can take a week off”. As we’ve just come through a super busy period, we thought we’d simply stay at home & do day trips…etc. Perfection. I shared quite a few pics of our week on social media but basically it became a tale of two cities: Dublin and Belfast.

I snapped some cool,Dublin street Art by Solas in Temple Bar last Monday


and we spent the day in Belfast on Wednesday with the kids, visiting W5 in the Titanic Quarter but I really want to go back and visit the Titanic Museum that I could see across the water


…guarded by the Iconic Harland and Wolff Shipyard. This area has changed so much since I was in Belfast last & I was delighted to see such vibrancy & innovation.

I feel relaxed today. Ready to get back to my Studies and already feel I have a fresher approach. I recently purchased a print at the April & the Bear pop-up in Dublin and although I don’t know where I’ll put it yet, it simply had to come home with me. It is the perfect reminder that I am extremely lucky to have found my passion in life. I know that there are so many who haven’t yet. I know this as a lot of you tell me you haven’t.
I don’t believe that there is one of you reading this that doesn’t have something in their life that fires you up & makes you feel alive. For me, it’s clearly Design. For others it’s Film, Sports, Writing…whatever you choose.

Anyone who knows me, or has been following my journey can tell you: it’s not easy to follow this dream. I’ve wanted to take the easy way out & quit more times than I can remember.
But I haven’t.
And I’m so glad I’m still here.
Taking my Design Knowledge to the next level.
As it’s so important to…


Thanks for reading. Here’s to the next Chapter!


If I had 24 hours in Paris…Part Une..

Lots of Debate & Deliberation about this post nearly meant that it never got written & I certainly didn’t want that to happen. It was just so hard! I mean, when people ask me “So, Hilda, what should we do/where should we eat in Paris?” – how do I reply? There is quite simply so much to do & eat {!} in my old home, it’s difficult to know where to start, but, you have to start somewhere so that’s what I did.

This post is my dream post about what I would do if I went to Paris for 24 hours, on my own. Hey, please don’t get me wrong – the next time we go, it will be en famille and that will be simply wonderful but this is a fantasy post. This is what Hilda by Design would do if I had 24 hours in the city of lights.

1. Get the most direct flight to Roissy: Charles De Gaulle Airport

And why do I say that? Because, I live in Dublin & the most common flight to get to Paris is actually to Beauvais, Picardy where you must then take a coach to the city which takes about an hour and a half. That’s an hour and a half I wouldn’t want to loose if I was only in Paris for 24 hours. So, by taking the more direct flight, I would then take a taxi or the bus to the city centre and arrive at Opéra Garnier {75009}  in the centre of the city and which is a stones throw from where I worked and ended up living for the last 2 years I was there – which leads me nicely to…

2. Coffee and THE best éclair in the world at FAUCHON, place de la Madeleine


Image Via

This was my ‘treat place’ and was at the end of my road {Rue Vignon}. Even just take time to look at their spectacular windows. I would look forward to their Christmas windows every year, in particular. A little known fact though, is that the café in the basement has quite reasonably priced coffee especially for this part of town, which is super chi-chi.  You could always get a take away {à emporter in French} éclair and go and sit at the nearby steps of the Église {church} de la Madeleine – this is a pretty spectacular view. You will be facing Place de la Concorde with the Assemblé Nationale at the end of this amazing vista. Just be aware of pick pockets and general weirdo’s whenever you sit in a major public place! Coffee and Éclair drunk + eaten, my next stop would be…

3. A visit to what is probably the most interesting Interiors store for me in Paris: Merci

Now, this is where my 24 hours in the city would be sorely tested as, I have never been to this store but it’s been on my #wishlist for years quite some time! So, basically, what I’m saying is I could most happily stay the whole afternoon in this store but remember! The whole of Paris is out there waiting for me so I would have to put a limit of a few hours to this visit! I would most likely have lunch here also. Well, why wouldn’t you…?


Images Via


Which leads me nicely to…

4. L’heure de l’apéro

This could be loosely translated as ‘Cocktail Hour’ and I’ve also used the more familiar term of L’heure de l’apéritif’ – this is engrained in Parisian life! It can be a sneaky glass of wine in a café before heading home after work or a glass of something more special before the night starts. In my case, on my fantasy 24 hours: it would be the latter!

Again, there are SO many spots where you could do this, but for me, as I still have some friends in Paris, it would be a chance to catch up with a few over a glass of something sparkly. My choice would have to be Au Caveau Montpensier which is owned by an old friend, Jeb Bruner. When I first came to Paris, this was an Irish Bar, so, er, of course I had to test out it’s authenticity…but then Jeb took it over and completely re-vamped it.


Image via

And that’s Bleu, the dalmatian, who is nearly as famous as the bar itself!

And then on to dinner! Where to go? There’s quite a choice, as you can imagine but in Part Deux I’ll share where I would dine, stay & how I would spend the rest of my time in the city which still holds my heart.

I really hope you’ve enjoyed my Parisian Tips. Do you have any you’d like to share? Have you visited any of the spots I’ve mentioned? And especially if you do, in the future, I’d love to hear from you.

A Bientôt xxxx

From the heart, with Thanks…

I’ve been dying to share a little bit of news with you!

Last Friday, I received an email letting me know that I had been nominated for an Amara Interior Blog Award. To say I was elated, surprised + humbled is a major understatement. Someone took the time out of their busy lives to nominate me?
So, yes, this is not my usual blogpost,  but I wanted to Thank You publicly & in the best way I know.
I nominated one of my favourite bloggers for one of the awards last year and watched with interest as she recieved a well deserved place at the awards in London. I WILL be asking you to vote for me when voting opens but, honestly, the nomination itself has given me such a boost.
So, for the moment, I am simply enjoying the fact that I feel like I am doing something right even though I’m still figuring it all out. One day I hope to find my place in this wonderful world of Design.

Thank you again. For reading. For being here. For your support.


Share It Friday #4…

Hey there, hope you are all really well this Friday Morning? I’m revisiting a little Idea I started back on my old blog {It’s still there } and that’s…Share It Friday. It came about when I noticed that I was coming across some great stuff as I researched Interior Design. Thinking it may be a fun way to let you guys know my ‘Finds’ and what I’m up to, I thought I’d start up a new series. It didn’t work out for me because I put pressure on myself to try and write the same type of Blog every friday. Well, once I realised that I could write one whenever I got the chance/when I had something interesting to share – that’s when I thought I would revisit the format! So, here it is: my latest Share It Friday!

First up is an event that’s been going on for a few weeks now + will be finishing soon. April and the Bear is a online store that I have loved for a long time. Believe it or not, I haven’t purchased anything there yet but wow, have I drooled over their different + super cool products. Siobhan Lam runs the company and very sweetly invited me to the Launch party of their pop up recently. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend but I hope to visit this weekend before they close the doors on the 11th of July. A+TB can be found at the Fumbally Exchange, 5 Dame Lane




All photo’s:

Another online Homewares store that came under my radar a little while ago is UK based + run by a Designer/Stylist/Photographer that I thought was really super on the Great Interior Design Challenge on BBC. His name is Luke Arthur Wells and his range is Simple, Stunning & Beautiful. Take a look at these few examples + see for yourself




His pieces aren’t all botanically themed! I’m just nuts about anything plant-related at the moment!!
All photo’s: and Luke ships outside of the UK.

…and that leads me nicely to my own little ‘Share’. We are all spending more time outdoors at the moment so, I’ve been looking to improve our outdoor space. A while back I gave you a ‘Sneak Peek’ at the idea I had when I found some Cushions that I had bought for staging our apartment to sell & the Companion Bench I had chosen from Homebase


Well, a Candle was bought too. One I’d been dying to try out, from Helen James’ Considered Range for Dunnes Stores


The scent of Basil & Fennel Leaf is Sweet but ‘Herby’ which is an interesting combination and works. I think it’s supposed to be a Kitchen Candle but it works equally well outdoors. So, I had a little Styling Fun the other day + came up with this


I wasn’t happy with the fact that you could see the drain cover underneath the bench so I ‘borrowed’ the rug from my kids play area {very inexpensive; bought in Aldi a while back} and was pretty happy with the result. As I like to walk around in my feet a lot at home, and especially when it’s hot, it’s really nice to have something underfoot and plus, it looks pretty!!
Overall, the Bench has become a lovely addition to our garden & I’m hoping to share lots of Coffee + Chats here over the Summer – there’s a few people who have their name on it already…
So, here’s to a great weekend! I’m grabbing a few hours to myself tomorrow hopefully + hoping to catch up with a few friends over the weekend too.
Whatever you do, make it special xxxx

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