At Home With Emily Maher from Lost Weekend

The creative muscle behind renowned Dublin interior design practice and store Lost Weekend, Emily Maher lives and breathes design. A graduate of textiles at NCAD, she spent seven years designing rugs with Denis Kenny's acclaimed team at Ceadog?n before embarking on her own enterprise in Dun Laoghaire, with Emily as its principal designer and curatorial compass. Want to steal her style ideas? Click through the gallery?in fullscreen mode?to check out both her chic shop?and magnificent Monkstown home, then scroll down for her top tips on good design...

The best way to quickly update a room is by using the correct paint colour, which can be transformative. Also, good lighting will enhance any space; sometimes it's as simple as introducing a few lamps.

The fabric I love to touch is linen. There are some amazing new technical fabrics, but you can't beat natural fibres.

A recent splurge I made was a velvet Womb chair from Knoll Studio; it's my new baby. So stylish and comfortable.

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My design pet peeve is feature walls. And fake copies of classic furniture.

Emily relaxing at home; a swathe of chic swatches in her workshop Emily relaxing at home; a swathe of chic swatches in her workshop

I own a ridiculous number of chairs, some people would say, but actually they all serve a purpose - and look beautiful, of course.

As a kid, I was always making and designing things, gifts for family. It's been a central theme in my life.

My textile training has been invaluable in my career. After college, I worked in woven textiles and got invaluable experience in Kevin Kelly Interiors. All aspects of our work involves textiles, from furniture to wall and window coverings and rugs.

When travelling, I've been most inspired by the design shows in Paris, Milan, London and Cologne every year. It sounds glamorous, although it's actually exhausting, but so inspirational because you see all the new product launches and future trends.

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To me, good design means form, function, beauty and practicality - as well as endurance.

The Irish designer I admire most is Joseph Walsh, for his fabulous furniture creations. We've worked with furniture designer Tricia Harris?too - I love her Swirl cabinet.

Finnsdottir Honkabell, €88, and Honkadonka vase, €147, Nordic Elements at Lost Weekend Finnsdottir Honkabell, €88, and Honkadonka vase, €147, Nordic Elements at Lost Weekend

The best piece of design advice I've ever received was never buy a piece of furniture or textiles as a stopgap until you can get what you really want. You'll be stuck with it forever. Isolde Corkery from Slaney Interiors said this to me 20 years ago, and she was right.

The best piece of design advice I've given happened a few weeks ago. A couple with a young family (three kids under six) came looking for a sofa, but were concerned it wasn't the time to invest in a good piece. My answer was: now is exactly the time to have a good sofa. Our sofas are guaranteed for 15 years, and now is the time for you to snuggle up as a family; in 10-15 years, the kids won't be sitting with you on the sofa.

In my home, I'd love to have a walk-in wardrobe - with a lock to keep out my three daughters!

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Photography Doreen Kilfeather

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