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Quixotic, often whimsical and definitely quirky, they provide a sanctuary from the Irish climate, which is frequently grey, cold and damp. No wonder, therefore, that over the centuries Ireland's domestic architecture and interior design have developed a distinctive personality in which colour and vivacity are highly prized. Romantic Irish Homes presents 15 of the finest examples of these traits, each one of them distinctive and yet sharing the same native spirit. From vast ancient castles through sturdy Georgian mars to small farmhouses, the majority of them never previously photographed, the homes featured here offer a unique insight into the Irish temperament and an exploration of a style of decoration that, while adapted to meet 21st-century demands, still retains an historic integrity. Photographed by Simon Brown, Romantic Irish Homes is every bit as charming and memorable as the Irish people themselves.
Robert O'Byrne is one of Ireland's best-known writers on architecture, fine art and design. A former journalist with the Irish Times, he has written extensively on the country's historic houses and their decoration. Among his previous books are Romantic English Homes, Luggala Days and The Perfectly Dressed Gentleman (also published by CICO Books). The author is based in County Meath, Ireland.