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Olioboard Inspiration: A Festive Irish Home: St. Patrick’s Dining Room

Entry #2108, March 15, 2013


Today we continue Stagetecture’s feature. ‘Olioboard Inspiration‘. Last week you enjoyed Tee Jay’s   – ‘Bringing Springtime to your Front Porch‘ and this week I bring you Mary Levin a member of the Facebook Olioboard Fan Room. I asked her to inspire us with a creative St. Patrick’s Day theme and she brought us her Irish rooted and inspiring dining room! See how her Irish heritage speaks volumes in her Emerald Isle inspired dining space

If you’re interested in being featured see details here: How to be featured on Stagetecture’s Olioboard Inspiration‘ series.

Olioboard Inspiration #9

‘A Festive Irish Home: St. Patrick’s Dining Room” –  Mary Levin

Everyone is Irish on St Patrick’s Day.  Leprechauns and green beer abound.  But for those of us with an Irish heritage, the Emerald Isle is so much more.  We see the land of our forefathers in all its rustic, romantic splendor.  We bring Ireland’s folklore and history into our homes every day.

We Irish are a social bunch and love to gather with friends, family and neighbors to talk about just about anything!  So what better place to share your Irish spirit than in an informal dining space. So Failte (Welcome) to my Irish home.

Stagetcture Olioboard -St Patricks Day_Irish Dining

Welcoming Ireland’s amenities

Ireland’s landscape is dotted with moss covered castles and cottages so this gray and green color scheme sets the tone.  A map of ancient Ireland is framed with a picture window frame adding a rustic touch to my contemporary furnishings.

Framing the map are two plaques inspired by the illustrations in the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript of the Gospel created by Irish Monks in ca. 800 and done in the insular style.  The dense intricate, geometric patterns and lack of perspective have a contemporary feel.

Celtic symbols are a blend of ancient pagan and Christian images and some date back to the Dark Ages.  The Love Knot (symbolic of the Trilogy), the Eternity Knot (with no beginning and no end), and the Celtic Spiral (dating back to 2500 BC) are just a few.  Interlace and Eternity Knots border the pillows.  One of the most recognized and beautiful symbols is the Celtic cross, which sits on my sideboard.

Animals are also seen in Irish décor and, like with everything else Irish, each has a meaning.  Birds represent a bridge between two worlds and bearers of messages.  Other animals you will see are the bull, butterfly, dog, dolphin, dragon, goose, griffin, salmon and, of course, snake.

Irish Traditions

We Irish are quite superstitious.  Blessings and curses are part of our heritage.  Often the most treasured family heirloom is an embroidered, framed blessing.  Irish blessing always focus on welcome, warmth and a positive outlook.  An Irish lace table runner reminds us of the days of the potato famine when housewives would crochet lace to supplement the family income.

If you are invited to a St. Patrick’s Day gathering, bring your hostess an arrangement containing Bells of Ireland. While not a native plant, it is said to give good luck to those who receive them.

Erin Go Bragh and Happy Saint Patrick’s Day.  Time to serve up the Lamb Stew to my guests.

Mary Levin’s bio:

Mary is an Interior Decorator, Home Stylist, and Renovation Consultant under the name Pillows & Paint Interiors.  She lives in Virginia Beach, VA.  When not helping others create homes they love to live in, she is renovating the home she shares with her boyfriend, his teenage son, two dogs, and one cat.  She is the mother of three grown children and when not working, she enjoys cooking and motorcycle vacations and DIY projects.   You can learn more about Mary and Pillows & Paint at her blog or her website.

For more Olioboard ideas on Stagetecture, click here.
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  1. Sam Holloway

    Another wonderful and informative article, I love the work of Mary Levin and with her Irish roots was the ideal candidate for this piece. Written in such a homely and personal way and the design created from traditional Irish customs is so beautiful

  2. Victoria L Bass

    Absolutely stunning board, and so well thought out too!!! The article covers lots of traditions and is informative and interesting to read. Very, very well done!!!

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