Hailing from Ireland and currently residing in Liverpool, Shaun Donnelly maintains his minimalist design-led lifestyle blog MANimalist alongside his day job as a digital content creator for Liverpool-based design retailer UTILITY.
Working with premium designer furniture has given him an appreciation for the value of a thoughtful and considered language of design, whether translated across contemporary interiors, utilitarian style menswear or arresting urban photography. His personal style is heavily influenced by a mix of Scandinavian & Mid-Century Modern design, and he often leans towards soft minimal, warm and liveable designs.
On his social feeds, Shaun combines this natural inclination towards minimalism with a healthy dose of caffeine, making him the ideal person to point you in the right direction for a perfectly brewed cuppa in the North…
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Most read blog? That’d be Buckets&Spades. It’s one of the earliest blogs I remember reading when first entering the world of menswear blogging. Run by Mat Spade in Blackpool, who has since become a good friend, it covers the topics I’m interested in (menswear, travel and design mainly), in a down-to-earth and unpretentious manner.
Favourite illustrator? Malik Thomas is a Liverpool based illustrator who creates amazing cutaway graphics. He has some work from his 2019 exhibition ‘‘I Don’t Love Soccer’ on his Instagram and it’s just mind-blowing.
Pollen and Trove also get high marks. Go for the coffee and stay for the baked goods!
Favourite shop? I may be biased because I work for them but as independent retailers punching above their weight and stocking the best in contemporary designer furniture, I can’t look past UTILITY. All of my gifts, homeware and furniture (where possible) comes from UTILITY.
Best fashion brand? You know what, I don’t think I know too many. One that springs to mind though is Community Clothing in Blackburn. Led by Patrick Grant do great work in maintaining a sustainable and ethical business model. They work with local factories which helps keep jobs in the North too.
Favourite local coffee spot? Now this one is just too impossible to answer, so I’ll narrow it down to four of my favourites. Mother Espresso in Liverpool serves up some excellent coffee and food just as good, in a great open space. Bold Street coffee are the OGs of the coffee scene in Liverpool and continue to do great stuff. Foundation Coffee in Manchester is a great space serving great coffee. Takk have a few coffee shops throughout Manchester. I usually pop into their store at Hatch on Oxford Rd when in the area. And Pollen and Trove also get high marks. Go for the coffee and stay for the baked goods!
Best restaurant for a celebration? Maray (Middle Eastern inspired small pates) in Liverpool is worth a visit to anyone spending any amount of time in the city. Special occasion or not, book yourself in and make sure to try their signature cauliflower dish. For something a bit more formal, Wreckfish is another great choice in Liverpool city centre.
All photography © Shaun Donnelly, used with permission.