Egon Walesch is an interior designer who divides his time between London and Ireland, where his lakeside cabin in Co. Westmeath won RTE One’s Home of the Year in 2016. Known for his love of colour and mid-century design, Egon is passionate about the way good design can help improve people’s lives.
Here, he shares his list of places to go and names to know for the month of September.
We’re lucky to have quite a foodie enclave around Glasson in Westmeath and just a little further afield, Viewmount House in Longford offers something really special. It combines two of my top obsessions: great architecture and food. It’s a beautiful manor house that dates back to 1620, with the restaurant located in the atmospheric old stables. Head chef Gary O’Hanlon puts a magical twist on classic cooking, using only the best Irish produce, and his presentation is perfection.
My dream stay would be the Hotel Parco dei Principe in Sorrento, one of the world’s first boutique hotels designed by my design hero Gio Ponti in the early 1960s. This fantasy in blue and white offers an amazing insight into his creativity. While there, I’d have to spend at least a week leisurely touring the Amalfi coast of course, and visit the back streets of Naples for a bit of gritty Italian culture.
September is the most important month in the design world. It’s the beginning of the new term, all the new collections are launched and it’s your chance to see what is new and exciting. I always tell my clients to follow their hearts rather than trends when designing their homes, but it is always useful to see what is out there. And it’s a lot of fun too! I love the London Design Festival (September 17-24) which is an umbrella for a number of different design-focused events around the city. As well as trade shows such as Decorex and Design Junction, which show off the latest interiors trends, there are one-off installations and events each year, such as Reflection Room by the Australian artist, Flynn Talbot (above) – an immersive light experience in the Prince Consort Gallery of the Victoria & Albert museum. I can’t wait!
I love the work of the late Irish-Italian ceramicist John Ffrench whose work owed more to Matisse, Miro and Picasso than the ‘little brown pots’ being made by his contemporaries. His love of colour and modernist sensibility strikes a chord with me and I’d love to add to my collection of his work.
Instagram is such a visual medium and I find the best people to follow are those with an eye for the unusual. Barbara Chandler is a journalist who writes on design matters for the London Evening Standard. I love her eye for capturing the craziness and essence of life in London.
Joseph Walsh produces beautiful, elegant one-off pieces that form a bridge between furniture and art from his studio outside Kinsale. It’s amazing to think that this internationally renowned artist is entirely self-taught. Magnus Mode, his seven-metre-tall, free-form sculpture made of laminated olive ash wood was recently unveiled in the new courtyard of the refurbished National Gallery of Ireland [www.nationalgallery.ie]. Joseph has said that the piece is “perfectly imperfect, as in nature where the supposed imperfections are the thing that create the unique character”. I love that. Too many of us spend our time trying to achieve an illusory perfection when we really ought to celebrate the beauty of nature’s imperfections.
Featured image by Doreen Kilfeather