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Step inside the aromatic abode of the Clean Slate founder Nicola Connolly


by Nathalie Marquez Courtney
06th Aug 2020

Nicole Connolly couldn’t find a scented candle that she loved, so she started making her own. The Clean Slate founder takes us through her calm and collected Dublin 15 home…


Like most people who aren’t starting from scratch but adding to what they already have, my home style is a mix – Nordic influences sitting alongside modern country and industrial touches. I am drawn to palettes that are neutral, high contrast and very textural.

Sharing a space with a family, I think it’s only fair that they’re allowed a say in how their home looks and feels. It’s essential that everything has a place so that things aren’t left lying around baskets are my best friend.

I painted a couple of areas with chalkboard paint, which makes a great spot for them to doodle I still have my eldest daughter’s baby handprint on the wall, which I can’t paint over! Also, rather than trying to do lots of different schemes in different rooms, I find that sticking with a couple of colours throughout the house creates continuity and serenity.

Candle products already on the market here just didn’t tick all of the boxes for me, so I began experimenting at home in my kitchen. I decided to focus on turning a passionate hobby into a business, Clean Slate.

Using soy wax and high-quality ingredients were of utmost importance, and I wanted the packaging to have a luxe feel and yet be reusable – the jars can be reused to hold an assortment of things, from cosmetics to pencils to succulents.

For me, scents are created not necessarily intentionally but have come about through experiences, memories or inspirations. There is always something in everyday life to spark an idea. For example, the lavender and eucalyptus range was inspired by my children, who have always loved both oils on their pillows at night to aid sleep and clear their little noses.

My mum inspired the cardamom and spice candle, as it evokes homely memories of her baking in the kitchen. We also start each morning with a strong black coffee with a spoon of coconut oil. The smell is amazing, and I thought it would make a great candle too, so that’s where the espresso and coconut candle came from.

More than just creating an inviting ambience, candles have the power to transport you to a place, a time, a memory. Think about the time of year; do you want something warm and autumnal or fresh and summery? Is the candle for daytime or night-time use? If you’re still not sure, it’s always a good idea to buy a selection and stock up so you always have something to hand for every eventuality!

Photography by Nathalie Marquez Courtney


Read more: 6 of the best Irish public gardens as rated by Ireland’s top gardeners

Read more: Inside a tiny Limerick cottage transformed by its architect owner

Read more: Inside a colourful and unique Dublin home full of genius DIY ideas

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