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Dee Brophy and her ‘helper’, Worzel Gummidge.

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“I had studied traditional upholstery and interior design but decided I loved the rocky road of wheeling and dealing in the trade, ” she said.

“When the Irish economy shrank a few years ago so did I, and I closed my shop. But I soon found space, in an antiques store which had just opened up – The Store Yard in Portlaoise, Co Laois, an hour’s drive from Dublin [also see the Domhnall Ó Gairbhí story below].

“Last year was pretty hectic as I took a big leap and opened my own shop on my home turf, near Naas, Co Kildare. I have 1200sq ft of space which is just wonderful as there are no restrictions as to what I can stock, ” added Brophy.

“I sell a selection of classical and quirky mirrors, lighting, decorative accessories or salvaged items and gardenalia, unusual bird cages, garden urns and decorative grills.

“My customers are interior designers, garden designers and homeowners looking for something a little different. In general people are buying less and happy to wait for the right piece to come along. I buy to order much of the time which means I am on the road a lot in order to find the unusual.”

Brophy is always accompanied on these travels across Ireland, England and France by her handsome companion, a lurcher called Worzel Gummidge.

So, how is trade in Ireland, I asked? “Business is steady as there are always customers who appreciate authenticity, quality and craftsmanship in old pieces, ” she said.

“Recently I had a lovely young couple purchase a quality Georgian chest of drawers after going through two that fell apart which they had purchased from a chain store.

“People are now looking for something a bit different and it’s nice to see them moving away from the bland interiors that have dominated in Ireland over the past few years.”

Brophy added: “The younger generation is embracing a ‘less is more’ attitude here and are more confident and adventurous now at using salvaged items in their homes.”

Dee Brophy Decorative Antiques is at W4B1 Tougher Business Park, Newhall, Naas, Co Kildare.

deebrophy.com