Five minute’s with Longford spoken word artist Felispeaks
Five minute’s with Longford spoken word artist Felispeaks

Lauren Heskin

Freshen up your bedroom with our pick of sheets, from earthy and rustic to crisp and clean
Freshen up your bedroom with our pick of sheets, from earthy and rustic to crisp...

Megan Burns

What to do if you feel like you’re on the verge of burnout
What to do if you feel like you’re on the verge of burnout

IMAGE

Does anyone actually enjoy office Zoom drinks? The experts weigh in on alternatives
Does anyone actually enjoy office Zoom drinks? The experts weigh in on alternatives

Filomena Kaguako

Wild Mountain Thyme: ‘Begorra begosh Americans! Good luck and goodbye’
Wild Mountain Thyme: ‘Begorra begosh Americans! Good luck and goodbye’

Edaein OConnell

The unexpected benefit lockdown is having on our children
The unexpected benefit lockdown is having on our children

Amanda Cassidy

Small furniture ideas to make a teeny tiny space feel big
Small furniture ideas to make a teeny tiny space feel big

Lauren Heskin

Image / Editorial

5 minutes with interior designer Róisín Lafferty on the biggest year of her career


by Lauren Heskin
31st Aug 2019
blank

We catch up with Róisín Lafferty a year on from her Interior Designer of the Year win at the 2018 Design Awards. She talks inspiration, design and business advice and what’s up next for her design firm KLD following their busiest year yet.


I always was hugely interested in art. When I was in school I was the person who always did the artistic things for my presentations and projects. I also knew I needed to do a job that I loved. I had part-time jobs of since the age of 15 and I learned quickly that if I was going to work my whole life I needed to like it.

I love installations and art, and the fun that you can have by not doing things in a traditional way. That’s quite powerful to be able to change and improve the spaces that people live in.

blankA KLD project in Donnybrook. Photo: Barbara Corsico

Verner Panton is always an inspiration to me, he’s such a classic example of how good design remains relevant. His work so far in the past, it almost has an otherworldly and mythical tone to it. Yet that’s very playful.

Creativity is definitely valued more now. Even from a commercial perspective, big corporations have realised the productivity value of having a creative environment. Especially in retail, where people want and expect more now from the overall experience now.

At KLD, our design process begins with a strong concept that we can adhere to all the way through. Then we have to convince our team of skilled tradespeople that it is possible! When you’re working on a hotel or a restaurant, it’s easy to get bogged down in what existing restaurants looks like. We want to do different things and use materials in unusual ways rather than just looking at what’s available or already out there.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

KLD HQ gallery and team wall. #kingstonlaffertydesign #KLD #wearecreatives

A post shared by Kingston Lafferty Design (@roisinlaffertykld) on


A week at KLD starts with a breakfast meeting on Monday. There are fifteen of us in total, all working on 25 different projects of varying scales, which mean at least five people are out on sites or projects on any given day. This meeting gives us some order. It’s a bit of a roller coaster but that’s part of the fun.

Nothing beats the movement and freedom of sketching and figuring your design out freehand. We use all the rendering programmes but I find them quite restrictive. It’s not really encouraged amongst young graduates now but I think there is too much focus put on 3D skills and often it can actually disguise clever design thinking. So we go back to basics and clients tend to respond positively to it as well.

It was absolutely fantastic to win Interiors Design of the Year last year. I really didn’t expect it and I was so delighted to be seen with the other companies in my category who I admire. You expose yourself a lot when you’re in a creative field, you’re really putting yourself out there for judgement and a little part of me goes into every job. It’s great to have it recognised.

Since winning, we’ve been busy! We have just completed a student accommodation and budget hotel called Hatch in Cork and a seven-storey office block in Belfast. We also set up our sister company CREATE by KLD, which is a design consultation service. I’ve just become president of the IDI [Institute of Designers Ireland] in July so I’m pulling together a strategy for that, focusing on promoting all the amazing creative talent that Ireland has to offer.

blank
Hatch in Cork, designed by KLD. Photo: Ruth Maria Murphy

My design advice to anyone is to know your vision. I’ve been very uncompromising on my work and I think that’s important if you want to build lasting design integrity. In terms of business, I would say ask all of the questions – everyone started somewhere. I’m still learning all the time and making a lot of mistakes, but that’s life.

My last bit of advice, which crosses both business and design but especially design, is build strong relationships. You’re entirely reliant on those who implement your work, and interpret your work and price your work and build it. You are as dependant on them as they are on you and it’s important to have a good creative and construction team around you to execute it.

Featured image: Photographed by Al Higgins


blank

Read more: Need a wedding gift? These Irish-made tableware brands make for the perfect present

Read more: Celebrate Irish design and craft with us at the Image Interiors & Living Design Awards 2019

Read more: On the hunt for an innovative architect? Here are 4 of the best in Ireland

Also Read

blank
EDITORIAL
‘Social media’s obsession with filtering faces is a form of self-gaslighting’

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
HEALTH & WELLNESS
The trickle of information from the Government on restrictions has made a grim situation so much worse

By Amanda Cassidy

Women with MS who take medication, especially immunosuppressants, cannot become pregnant unless they come off medication.
premium HEALTH & WELLNESS, REAL-LIFE STORIES
I had to weigh up the possibility of losing my mind against losing my future children

Holograms of the children she may never have dance across Dearbhla Crosses' mind as an MS diagnosis and Covid-19 are unwelcome reminders of her biological clock ticking.

By Dearbhla Crosse

Rosanna Davidson and her twin boys
premium REAL-LIFE STORIES, PARENTHOOD
Rosanna Davidson: ‘I had sort of accepted that I was a girl who couldn’t have a baby herself’

For Mother's Day Lia Hynes sits down with Rosanna Davidson, whose exceptional journey into motherhood has given many hope.

By Lia Hynes

Has society become more tolerant of the idea of dating interracially?
premium IMAGE WRITES, REAL-LIFE STORIES, RELATIONSHIPS
Interracial dating: “People kept asking ‘where is she from?'”

With diversity on the rise, what struggles do interracial couples continue to face today? Filomena Kaguako speaks to three couples about their experiences.

By Filomena Kaguako

Monica Lewinsky
RELATIONSHIPS
Monica Lewinsky will soon get to talk of scandal on her terms

It was on this day, January 17th, 1998, when news...

By Jennifer McShane

blank
EDITORIAL
Eclipsed: The powerful, all-female play exposing a Magdalene Laundry you need to see

‘Eclipsed’ director Kate Canning told Jennifer McShane of the challenges...

By Jennifer McShane