Talk about the taste of Ireland! Or - more accurately - lack thereof. Until he threw open the doors of his lurid Cheshire mansion to a celebrity magazine, Cork-born footballer Stephen Ireland was most famous for once flashing his superman underpants on the pitch.
Oh! There was also another difficult incident when he lied about his grandmother being ill to escape playing in an Irish international match; a misdemeanour for which he has never been forgiven in his homeland. Nor has he played for his national team again.
Now the Aston Villa millionaire can add another crime to his charge sheet. That's right, my fellow décor watchers. Together with his partner, Jessica Lawlor, who is also the mother of his three children, Ireland is guilty of some of the most serious crimes against good taste since the Beckhams parked their bottoms on matching velvet-look, VD-monogrammed thrones during their wedding ceremony.
For this week, in the pages of Ireland's VIP magazine, Stephen and Jessica show exactly what happens when an unlimited decorating budget collides with only a very limited understandingof the concepts of elegance and style, not to mention understatement. And obviously no one did.
Instead, their blingtastic home looks like a cross between the foyer of a Dubai hotel and the downstairs lounge of a flash northern nightclub. And that is just the way they like it.
Really, Stephen and Jessica are the kind of couple who shouldn't be allowed out to buy a cushion without adult supervision, but who can stop them? Amid the high-wattage glare of their conspicuous consumption, they commit grievous bodily harm against soft furnishings and assault the good name of fixtures and fittings over and over again.