How discarded present became lifeline for designer
A discarded anniversary present became a lifeline out of the recession for furniture maker Brendan Lawless.
Mr Lawless, who lives and works in Kilmacanogue, Co Wicklow, spotted an old boat builder's chair under a pile of blankets at an antiques fair during the boom.
He bought it to give to his wife as an anniversary present, but instead it sat at the back of his workshop for several years.
W hen the recession hit, he found himself with no work for the first time in his 28-year career.
"I suddenly had all this free time on my hands," he said, "so I tried to make one just like it and it took off from there. People really like the simplicity of the design."
The chair design has been popular with celebrities, including U2's Adam Clayton.
"A lot of people buy them as wedding presents," Mr Lawless said.
He has also created two boat builders' "marriage chairs" that can be linked together and fitted with a Moses basket to make a crib.
He is one of the 150 designers who will be setting up shop at House in the RDS this weekend. House, in association with Independent News and Media, will feature talks from well-known industry leaders and innovators including Jo Hamilton, one of the UK's leading interior designers, and 'Room to Improve' star Dermot Bannon.
A range of interior designers, furniture makers and suppliers, kitchen fit-out specialists, bathroom specialists and lighting experts will appear at the exhibition which runs from Friday to Sunday.