The word “developer” in Ireland, rarely conjures up associations with design, careful planning and sustainable attractive living environments. Hopefully things have turned a corner here, but if ever there was an example of just how differently the Scandinavians approach design, it’s in this beautiful show house styled to display the work of Swedish developers JM. It certainly doesn’t look anything like the developers showhomes I’ve seen before…Irish readers, what do you think?! Will our attitude to building and design change eventually, or culturally is the belief ingrained that good design is a frivolous luxury rather than something that should be attainable to all?
It would be an interest study to see why an appreciation for architecture, design and aesthetics is generally accepted in Scandinavia and places like the Netherlands, while it’s almost approached with an air of suspicion here. Our musical heritage and legacy of prolific writers is renowned the world over, but the same can’t be said for an Irish style of design. Don’t get me wrong, there are many many talented artists, architects and designers working here, but the general attitude on the street to living space is purely functional. Anything beyond that tends to cost an absolute fortune. Perhaps it’s our small population and island location, which as a result means there is a lack of demand for resources which in turn causes less availability. While we Irish are known for being laid back and easy going, that attitude can also go the other way and we all get a bit conscious of getting “notions” about ourselves. It can be hard to shake off such an ingrained cultural identity but I’d like to think that good design which is attainable and accessible is somewhere out there in our future.
Image credits: Styling: Pella Hedeby | Photography: Kristoffer Johnsson via