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Source: © Maven
Don’t you just love these last days of summer, sunny days and balmy evenings? Although fall is by far my favourite time of year, just before it really kicks in, before the leaves turn and the winds arrive, is a special time of year.
So just last week on one of these glorious sunny days my friend and I were strolling along the Lisburn Road, and came across an amazing new store (well, it was new to me) called Maven – how did I miss this? It felt a bit like walking into the Conran Shop, only cosier, all sorts of contemporary lighting furniture and gifts were on display.
This little gem of a store (or is it a studio?) is tucked away on Maryville Avenue, quirkily housed in the Reid Memorial Hall (perfect building for the brand). On entering the store you can tell someone with a passion owns it, there is so much attention to detail (a nod to the Scandinavian style), meticulously lead out for easy browsing, it just makes you want to buy things (or was that just me?).
As we mooched around ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’ at the gorgeous handmade blankets and the cool homewares on show, there was a wonderful aroma that hung in the air that was a bit (dare I say it) - Christmassy! Displayed under glass domes that you lift to smell, was a selection of interesting candles (stockist of True Grace) but the one that caught my attention was their own branded stock, called ‘cosy’ - if ever there was a single word to describe a feeling, it’s this. In fact, it’s not really Christmassy, it just smells ‘cosy’ and autumnal. Close your eyes, breath in, and what do you smell? You can imagine yourself somewhere beautiful, wrapped up warm in a big woolly blanket – lovely, autumnal and made here in Northern Ireland. Seriously, if you only do one thing his week, go buy one of these beautifully scented candles (in fact, buy two as they’ll make a great gift).
I know I’ve gone a bit about the candle, but that’s just one of the things I purchased (I could have chosen 50 things). I also bought some seriously luxurious Abigail Warner gold and white leopard print wrapping paper and tags. Should I wish to part with a candle (chances are fairly slim mind), I’m sorted with this gorgeous on trend finishing touch for my present.
The store is run by sisters Catherine and Patricia (both girls where in the store the day we visited, really chatty and welcoming) who’ve curated a collection of both emerging and established brands – many of them coming to Northern Ireland for the first time. This is a homewares and interiors store like nothing else in Belfast, some of these cool pieces you would only find in places such as Selfridges or Heals, so it’s fantastic to have somewhere selling modern designer and contemporary furniture, in such a pleasant setting. So go on, pay a little visit, this unique little design emporium is somewhere I’ll return to time and time again.
Maven is just across from The Chelsea – nice excuse.
Reid Memorial Hall, 4a Maryville Avenue
Belfast BT9 7HE
T: 028 9066 5176