07th Oct 2016
Voting is now closed for the inaugural Image Interiors & Living Design Awards. Need to know more? All the nominees are here, and over the next few days, we’ll be posting interviews with our shortlist. In the third instalment of the series, here are the Interior Designer of the Year nominees.
Interior designer Eoin Lyons and architect John Kelly set up their practice in 2013 offering a full service combined architecture and interior design service. LyonsKelly’s varied portfolio includes new build houses, period renovations and commercial fit outs. Although projects vary, they all have sophistication and quality in common. “Clients are looking for very complete homes where everything is considered and has that kind of polished look,” Eoin explains. “We are not afraid to use colour in our projects, good quality high-end materials always and the level of finish.”
For LyonsKelly, the starting point for any design is light. The quality of light, where the light comes from and making sure your arrangement of rooms, spaces and views work with the movement of the sun during the day, says John. After that it is very much about the quality of life for the client, that they have space which functions for the people who use it.
Approaching each project with an equal emphasis on architecture and design offers many practical benefits from the offset. “It means we know where the lighting, the electrics and the plumbing needs to go.”
From an interior design perspective, this practicality is key to creating a clean aesthetic, Eoin points out, “That everything is in the right place, for a glass, that there is a table, where you need to have storage, that there is storage. A lot of it comes from the practicality of considering how people want to live and how they will live in a house.”
Andrew Brady and Gearóid Carvill, founders of abgc, met at the UCD school of architecture and joined forces in 2009. Gearóid explains, “We set up the practice with this idea of devoting a number of our days of week to our commercial work and the rest to a personal project that you want to investigate that may be related to your work.”
Nowhere by abgc
A workshop on the ground floor of their studio allows them to explore creative avenues, from building furniture to art pieces, and the duo are not afraid to experiment within the design sphere. “Ultimately those projects became little business cards. We would show someone a chair we made and that led to work and exhibitions. We took on commissions and the aesthetic design of exhibition as well as working with artists on installations. That ultimately fed into us doing more and more interiors work. We got a sense and different perspective on design.”
Nowhere, by abgc
Gearóid says that “the great thing about working in Dublin, in Ireland, is your access to people. No-one is more than two hours drive away. So everyone is at the end of a telephone line and, in general, people are very willing to talk to you. We are great talkers, we are great communicators, we answer phones and have chats to people that we barely know or have met before. There is a great access to knowledge and a great sharing of knowledge and there’s a great community in terms of the design community is very connected and very networked together.”
Bunsen by abgc
Meet Gillian Sherrard
Gillian Sherrard is working in design in Dublin for 25 years. Gillian’s love of design stems from her early childhood growing in a Victorian farmhouse with a mother who avidly collects antiques. It was a natural progression for her to study interior architecture.”I am very interested in getting the measuring tapes out and going up to these classical buildings, measuring their proportions, getting my plasticine out and sticking it into the mouldings and checking out how everything is made, because these architects are the absolute experts in proportion and there is so much to learn from them.”
Drumcondra, Sherrard Design
Gillian is inspired by the architecture in one country in particular: “French architecture is wonderful, all of the different proportions, especially the classical stuff. Doors and windows are very important to me, getting the right proportions for them and detailing them properly. I stay in apartments in Bordeaux to Paris to Toulouse and have a really good look and analyse paneling and measure it and do lots of sketches and do accurate mirrored images of it.”
Sandycove, Sherrard Design
Gillian thinks that a lot more can be done to promote Irish design internationally. “I think Ireland is perceived internationally as a country that is famous for our writers, poets and art, but we haven’t got a strong international design presence and, I think the government could be doing a lot more. Design produces millions of euro of revenue for the government every year and I think we need more government intervention to push it further.”
Homans Kitchen Cafe, Sherrard Design
Meet Roisin Lafferty
Roisin Lafferty founder of Kingston Lafferty Design, studied Product and Spatial Design in London, exhibited her final thesis product as part of Tent London and from there her career was launched. For Roisin, good design, “is collaboration. It is the sum of many parts. Good design considers the space, the user, the functionality, the behaviours, the concept and the details that amount to fully meeting the brief.”
Ranelagh home by KLD
Roisin has a love of timber and all projects feature bespoke joinery. “Joinery brings a great deal of functionality to a space but it also allows for intricate and beautiful design details. It is a true craft and paramount to good design. So much of design starts with timber – from the furniture pieces we design and create to the kitchen units, integrated storage, panelling details and so on. Having studied product design as well as Interior Architecture it is important to me that my spaces combine not only spaces we design but furnishings too.”
Tootoomoo by KLD
Roisin gives an insight into Ireland as a creative force “Although Ireland is a small nation, creativity in all forms has always been something we have had in abundance. From our musicians, to esteemed writers, poets and craftspeople, creativity has existed in abundance for a long time in Ireland. These early creators laid the foundations of design today and instilled the value of creativity and thinking conceptually within Irish society. These ancestors, (many of whom still practice and pass on such skills) were the driving force of today’s scene of young innovative designers, crafters, thinkers and creatives in Ireland.”
Ballsbridge residence by KLD
To vote for your favourite nominee in each category, click here.
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