Required Reading: Essentially Irish by Josephine Ryan
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In Essentially Irish, antiques dealer and stylist Josephine Ryan takes a look at a cross-section of Irish homes, from grand structures to more humble stone dwellings. While styles may differ, the colors tend to be rich and deep (green is a common refrain), not too dissimilar to the surrounding hues of the countryside. While many rooms get play, the kitchens, with their open hearth fires and Agas, prove very much to be the heart of the Irish home. Photography by James Fennell . Above: The kitchen of a Palladian-style mansion features its original flagstone flooring and fireplace. Hooks in the far corner were used for hanging meat. The Irish dresser, unlike its English counterpart, is a single piece of furniture. Above: The kitchen stove is an Aga (for more, see Design Sleuth: Aga Cookers ). A fruitwood dining table is surrounded by an assortment of Irish country chairs. Above: A porcelain farmhouse sink. Above: The kitchen at Ballyvolane (see A Baronial Country House in County Cork ) is painted in Farrow & Ball's Claydon Blue. Above: Homemade marmalade in Weck jars. Above: Essentially Irish by Josephine Ryan ( Ryland Peters & Small ) is $20.95 at Amazon.