Take inspiration from the most interesting interiors around. From 18th-century masterpieces to venerable wordsmiths’ hangouts, this selection is sure to have any interior design fan champing at the bit for Culture Night this Friday…
Archbishop Marsh’s Library
A real hidden gem, this incredible building is a former haunt of such literary luminaries as Bram Stoker and Jonathan Swift, and was built during the Enlightenment in order to give Catholic men access to the latest and greatest publications (as Trinity College housed the only library of note at the time in Ireland). The main room has an impressive barrel-vaulted ceiling and 300-year-old dark oak bookcases filled with books you could only dream of coming into close contact with. Keep an eye out for the cabinets filled with moody accessories such as skulls and quills, and the Queen Anne’s staircase as you enter. A treasure trove and time warp all in one!
Visitor information Open to the public free of charge Friday September 18, 5.30pm–8.30pm, St Patrick’s Close, Dublin 8, 01 454 3511.
Fit for a king, queen and the odd president, this beautiful formal residence has been used to host King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway, Queen Elizabeth II, and many more dignitaries since it was bought by the Government in 1999. The 78-acre estate, situated in the Phoenix Park, was originally owned by the Guinness family and built in the late 18th century. Top features include the Connemara marble columns of the entrance hall, the embroidery panels formerly owned by Queen María Cristina of Spain that dominate the dining room, and the artful window over the fireplace in The Nobel Room, which captures the magnificent gardens and creates a living landscape painting.
Visitor information Open to the public free of charge Friday September 18, 5pm–9pm, Castleknock, Dublin 15, 01 815 5914.
Casino at Marino
This pocket-sized pleasure house was designed in 1759 for James Caulfeild, 1st Earl of Charlemont, by Sir William Chambers, the architect of Somerset House, and is widely considered one of the finest examples of neoclassical buildings of its time in Europe. The exterior takes the shape of a Greek cross and gives the impression that it houses a single room; it does however cleverly contain 16 rooms over three floors, with the main windows serving multiple rooms at once. Worth a visit for the panoramic views, marquetry floors and plasterwork alone.
Visitor information Open to the public free of charge Friday September 18, 5pm–8pm, Cherrymount Crescent, off Malahide Road, Dublin 3, 01 833 1618.