1 year ago

My World at Home: A Cool and Considered Belfast Home


Owner of Maven Interiors PATRICIA MCGINNIS shows us around her three-bedroom apartment in south Belfast …

Patricia McGinnis

I loved art at school but my parents discouraged me from pursuing it; I think they thought I’d get obsessed to the detriment of other subjects. It’s funny the way you end up coming back to what you love anyway, and I don’t regret for a moment the circuitous route that I’ve taken. Every experience I’ve had informs where I’m at now. My sister Catherine and I set up Maven in November 2013. What I love most about the job is the people I meet; we have the loveliest customers, many of whom have become friends. I also enjoy the chance to travel to source pieces, and the challenge of keeping everything fresh and interesting in the shop.

We moved into our home in Windsor Park in August 2017. It’s a relatively new-build apartment, in a location that’s leafy and peaceful but still close to lots of things. It’s got huge windows and high ceilings and is the perfect layout for us. I wanted somewhere that was convenient for Lalit’s school and to Maven. It’s also really near Catherine and my cousin Caitlin, and walking distance to the Lyric and Queen’s Film theatres and lots of coffee shops. I also have a little terrace that I love. We don’t have lots of great weather but it’s important that when we do, we have somewhere to enjoy it. I love having a wee potter about, planting herbs or reading the paper with a little glass of wine.

My favourite piece is my dining table. My parents bought it secondhand in Manchester in the 1970s and this was our family dining table as we grew up. It’s an AH McIntosh piece and in many ways the perfect table: it fits six but extends to accommodate ten.

I love art and find hanging it an instinctive thing. Sometimes I just prop stuff against the wall and move it around as my mood changes. On my wishlist? A Gubi Multi Lite pendant, a stunning piece designed by Louis Weisdort in 1972.

I only let something into my home if I genuinely love it and can see it feeling right for years to come. I would rather wait for the right thing than compromise and settle for something I don’t love. That goes for everything, right down to the cup that I drink my coffee from.

Several pieces are from Maven, like this black sideboard and sofa. The tall brass light is the ICF1 from Flos; the round one is the Pion by Hay. The large photo on the sideboard is by Berlin-based Australian photographer, Skye Sobejko. McGinnis bought the orange Ligne Roset chair about 15 years ago, and often pulls it outside onto the terrace.

The black kitchen was made in Portadown by Terry Design, and McGinnis approached it as if it was a piece of furniture. She treats black as “the perfect neutral”.

Prints by Steve Byram stand out against the white walls. “In a past life I worked as a tour manager for a jazz and world music label. Steve Byram did the artwork for one of our artists, Tim Berne, and came on tour with us. I bought these editions from him and still can’t get enough of them.”

Many pieces have been gathered by McGinnis over the years, including this mid-century chest of drawers.

McGinnis painted walls throughout in Ash White by Crown throughout. “I spend my days putting colours together for clients but at home I figured I’d paint it white and then decide later. But I completely adore the white walls now.”


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