Interview: Home And Lifestyle Designer, Sinead McDonagh


Welcoming autumn into your home is easy with textile touches and home accessories. We caught up with Sinead McDonagh of Penneys to find out about the inspirations behind the brand’s key seasonal look, Hazy Havana.

How did you get into design?
I studied womenswear at the London College of Fashion and worked in it for years before being asked to try my hand at home and lifestyle for Penneys.

Are there many similarities between the two disciplines?
Fashion and homewares are really similar. I approach Penneys’ home and lifestyle collections like I would a fashion collection. I look at what’s on the catwalks in colour and print, and apply it to the collection. There are continuing interior trends, like marble and copper, but the majority of my inspiration comes from trends in womenswear.

What inspired the Hazy Havana trend?
Cuba’s been a great source of inspiration for both womenswear and lifestyle. We looked to Havana for the colour palette for this story; seafoam greens, dusty pinks and mauve are the key colours this season. These tones are beautiful in our velvet cushions and throws. I also looked back at 1920s Hollywood, so you’ll see lots of antique gold, Art Deco influences and metallic prints on cushions and accessories.

Cuba Streetscape

The colour palette of Cuba has inspired the collection.

What are the key pieces from the collection? Gold pineapples are a must-have home accessory. My favourite piece is the antique gold flamingo, which is really fun on a mantelpiece or bedside table.

How do you recommend introducing this trend to your home?
Hazy Havana is a really easy story to layer onto your existing homewares and furniture. A neutral or grey backdrop will work well with the lilacs and mauves. Start by layering solid cushions in the correct palette, then add a statement cushion from the range. Antique gold sits well in almost
any interior.

How has Penneys’ homewares changed in recent years? We aren’t afraid to push the fashion boundaries in our homewares range. For each season, we’ve six different collections landing instore, so there are lots of looks to choose from – something for everyone, really! You can get an entire update for your room under one roof, or mix and match with cushions, throws and candles.

Primark’s Hazy Havana collection is in stores from September-November. See our edit below. 

Kimball Cushion, €10

Cushion, €8

Tea light holder, €2

Tea Light Holder, €2

Candle, €3

Candle, €3

Fake Fur Cushion, €10

Fake Fur Cushion, €10

Art Deco Mirror, €10

Art Deco Mirror, €12

Velvet Cushion, €10

Velvet Cushion, €10


For your chance to win a €250 voucher for Penneys, click here.

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