18th Aug 2020
Cross the threshold of Geoff Kirk’s Sandymount house and step back in time. Here, mid-century modernist design reigns supreme, Mad Men-style…
WHO LIVES HERE Geoff Kirk, a collector and retailer of mid-century modernist design through his company Kirkmodern, with his wife, Ursula, and cat, Binkie.
THE HOUSE A three-bed end-of-terrace house in Sandymount with a minimum of remodelling. Instead, Geoff has put his stamp on it with his collection.
WHY WE LOVE IT Geoff has applied his vast knowledge and keen eye to create a series of bright, warm and truly modern spaces. He also proves that vintage is to be loved and lived with, not merely put on display.
Geoff Kirk is living the mid-century dream – along with his wife, Ursula, and cat, Binkie. His bright and beautiful home, filled with vintage furniture and objects, mixes warm 1950s Scandinavian style with a glamorous Mad Men feel. A former ad man himself, Geoff’s training in design and photography has given him a real love of modernism, as well as a keen eye for what works in a home.
It helps that he grew up in a house where mid-century design took pride of place, too. “You wonder where you get your taste from and then you see an old episode of Bewitched and it hits you right between the eyes: the styling, the Papa Bear chair in the living room, the glamour of advertising!” he laughs.
Geoff’s work in advertising required him to travel a lot, and he discovered many mid-century gems while browsing in markets in London and elsewhere. What started off as a personal collection has become Geoff’s business: you can now browse his marvellous finds at kirkmodern.com. “I’m a collector at heart,” he says. “When I started, I never thought I’d ever sell anything. But then we ran out of space.”
It’s not just furniture and objects that you’ll find in Geoff’s collection, though. Perhaps telling of his background in advertising, he also has a number of vintage posters on display around the house. “It felt like a natural fit to collect posters, and particularly vintage travel posters it’s the style, layout and graphics that are important to me, rather than the designer. They pinpoint a moment in time.”
Is it hard to live in a house so full of beautiful, old, rare things? Are spillages, breakages and plain old wear and tear something of a catastrophe for him? “No, there is nothing precious about this collection. The rule of the house is form and function. All the chairs get sat on; We use vintage ceramics and glasses every day. Well, maybe not all the teapot? Even we don’t drink that much tea.”
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