15 May 2023

At Home: Patricia + Lalit

I (Sarah) have FINALLY snared tastemaker & interiors aficionado, Patricia McGinnis, for her very own ‘At Home’ feature.  A true feast for the eyes, Patricia’s home is full of stunning design pieces ( as you would expect), gorgeous pops of colour and is a truly warm and inviting space (which is handy as Patricia loves to entertain and cook for family and friends). Such a treat to take a sneak peek and get an insight into her creative mind and superb taste and see how she has made her house a home in her own unique way.

P.S  She will be absolutely mortified at everything I have said! Enjoy ☺

Photography by Simon Hutchinson

Can you tell us about your home and who lives there?

I live in a 3 bedroom, ground-floor apartment in South Belfast with my 15 year old son, Lalit.  It’s relaxed and cosy and definitely not a show home.  More often than not, the hallway will be filled with teenager’s bikes and school bags and the walls are all scuffed. It’s close to Maven, close to Lalit’s school and as I bore anyone who will listen, I love living there – it’s so convenient to everything.  I have lovely neighbours and all in all, it is just a great little spot.  I feel safe and happy here, and for that I am very grateful.

As personal shopper at Maven, your role is to help people find pieces that are right for their space. How do you decide what is right for your own home?

I suppose one of the joys/ perils of my job is seeing beautiful furniture all the time, so I’m constantly coveting gorgeous things and wondering where I could magic up the space to put them.  Luckily, I get to live through customers and their homes and through helping them to create beautiful spaces, can manage to find homes for all of the lovely things.

I decide what is right for my home in an entirely unscientific and very visceral way.  I don’t focus or fret too much on if something will work with what I already have, I sort of feel instinctively what is right.  I’ll always try and encourage customers to let their instincts lead them too.  I find when you listen to your gut and go with something you love, it will work in your space.

Your 9-5 is helping people with home interiors and design, but where do you find inspiration from for your home?
Truthfully, my job and home life blend into one.  My inspiration for home and the shop come from the same places.  I always have my eyes open. When I travel, I’m drinking in details and searching for inspiration everywhere.  I travelled to West Africa earlier this year and was really inspired by colourful terrazzo floors and vivid textiles. 

Do you have your eye on anything that you’d love to add to your space?

Always. I’d like to upholster a headboard for the spare bedroom in some Annie Albers Hanging 1925 fabric.  That feels like it could be almost a work of art.  I also have my eye on a love seat from L. Ercolani for my hallway.  I’d love a massive rice paper shade for above the dining table.

You have a great collection of cookbooks on your shelves – do you have a favourite dish that you enjoy making for friends?

I always seem to find myself picking up an Ottolenghi book when I’m cooking for friends or family.  What did I ever cook before he came along? I cooked for people twice last weekend and both times it was from Simple.

Describe your perfect weekend.

After waking completely refreshed & rested from an uninterrupted night’s sleep (!!), I would go for a swim, then get the newspapers and head to Strandfield for brunch.  If I could have some combination of a pootle through used book shops on Botanic Avenue, a trip to QFT or the Lyric Theatre, a walk along Portstewart Strand and a cheese toastie in Mini Maegden in Bushmills, I’d feel like I’d had a pretty perfect weekend.

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