The Image Interiors & Living 2019 Design Awards winners were finally revealed last Thursday at Fire Restaurant, where 120 guests gathered to celebrate an innovative and exciting year in Irish design.
With bubbles on arrival, nominees and their guests gathered in the downstairs bar, where a roped off area was transformed into an exhibition of nominated work, including a Ceádogan rug, the unusual vases of Alan Meredith, Jennifer Slattery's new blankets and the beautiful glassware of Criostal na Rinne and J Hill's Standard. On plinths painted in Dulux Signature Paint's "Truce" and "Cherished Gold" were the delicate ceramic work of Jennifer Hickey and a taster of Sasha Sykes' large-scale nature and resin work, along with one of Joe Hogan's incredible woven sculptures.
Related: Meet the judges of the 20-19 Design Awards
Elsewhere in the bar, a Shane O'Driscoll artwork entitled "And the Beat Goes On" attracted plenty of attention as people snapped selfies in front of it. Soon, it was time to head upstairs to the domed ceiling of the main restaurant, where guests were greeted with an Irish table curated by stylist Ciara O'Donovan. Smoked glass Jerpoint vases held seasonal Irish flowers by The Irish Flowerfield, salt and pepper pinch pots from Arran Street East, beautiful linens from Stable of Ireland, candles from Rathbornes 1488, flower ties by Kathryn Davey and Historic Interiors bentwood chairs.
After the starter of Ardsallagh goat's cheese on pistachio and pecan crust focaccia crouton quickly disappeared, and three lucky diners won trips to Cork's River Lee Hotel, The Shelbourne Hotel and The Cliff Townhouse Dublin, the first six awards were announced by host Deirdre Whelan.
Related: Meet the nominees of the 2019 Design Awards
Jennifer Slattery Textiles
WINNER: Jennifer Slattery Textiles for experimenting with form and creating timeless products with depth and richness.
Stable of Ireland x Molloy & Sons Pub Wall blanket
We Make Good
J Hill's Standard x Nigel Peake
WINNER: We Make Good for facilitating Irish designers and training craftspeople to overcome adversity.
Criostal na Rinne
WINNER: Criostal na Rinne for exceptional craftsmanship, and working with some Ireland’s best creatives to tell their brand story.
Home Product of the Year
Cupán Cré's handcrafted reusable coffee cups
Obeo Living's food waste bag
The Easca mattress
Cloon Keen's Transatlantic candle
WINNER: The Easca mattress for making an essential item in Dublin that competes for quality on the world stage.
Independent Retailer of the Year
supported by Kilkenny
Granny's Bottom Drawer
29 Bride Street
Carlingford Design House
WINNER: Maven for their constant support of makers in Northern Ireland and for their work in fostering a design community in Belfast.
The tension was broken as main courses of slow-cooked feather blade beef and Irish roasted hake arrived at tables.
The awards themselves were hand-made by Dave Darcy of One Strong Arm and beautifully-framed by Hang Tough framing in Portobello.
Next up were the final five awards before the very special Irish Design Hero was announced.
Instagrammer of the Year
supported by Lacey's
WINNER: Stephanie O'Sullivan of @theinformedcreative for sharing not only their own projects and international inspiration but for an engaging narrative through the trials and tribulations of their own innovative new build.
Best Collectors' Pieces
WINNER: Joe Hogan for taking artistic and functional baskets to the next level.
Emerging Design Talent
supported by Messe frankfurt of Ambiente
WINNER: Hugo Byrne for challenging what we think of as Irish materials, using anything from bog oak to plastic washed up on Irish beaches.
Furniture Designer of the Year
Elements of Action
WINNER: Tricia Harris for collaborating openly with clients and cabinetmakers, and making striking yet functional contemporary pieces.
Interior Designer of the Year
supported by Komandor
Oscar & Oscar
Suzie Mc Adam
WINNER: Suzie Mc Adam
Architect of the Year
presented by Dulux Signature Paints
T O B Architect
WINNER: Andrew Clancy and Colm Moore of Clancy Moore Architects for their work repurposing city spaces for contemporary living.