Look inside: A gutted five-storey office on Merrion Square gets a new lease of eclectic life
CA Design was tasked with the interior design of a five-storey Merrion Square office, in conjunction with Neil Burke Kennedy Architects. The client wanted the offices to feel like a luxurious home with an eclectic Mid-Century sensibility.
What was the brief from the client?
We were asked to collaborate with the architect, Neil Burke Kennedy on these stunning offices over five floors in Merrion Square. The brief was to create a working space with a design-led feel and a luxury but eclectic Mid-Century sensibility, in keeping with the incredible and carefully restored Dublin Georgian architecture. The deep, moody colour scheme of the offices needed furniture that would be sympathetic to the surroundings while adding colour and warmth where needed. The grand, vast ceiling heights and stunning Georgian architecture and detailing meant every piece of furniture and textiles were poured over meticulously. The result is a cohesive style and colour palette throughout the project and across fives floors and numerous rooms.
What condition was the building in when you started? At what point did you join the project?
The building had to be completely gutted; we joined the project once the builders had finished and the interior design was about to commence. The architect was clear about the type of furniture that was required, so it was exciting to work with him on his vision of the completed look. One of our in-house interior designers worked very closely with Neil and his team on creating this look to enhance the building’s newly-revived aesthetic.
What brands have you worked with on the lighting and the furniture for this space?
Alongside the Mid-Century furniture, we worked with lots of our brands. The boardroom table is by Ethnicraft – it’s a stunning, solid wood extendable table, made with authentic, renewable wood, sourced from carefully managed forests, impeccably crafted by this Belgian brand. A plush grey and gold-design rug takes centre stage in the main office, this is from our exclusive Danish brand, Bolia and hand-knotted rugs from Fabula Living were used throughout the five floors. Victoria vintage-style chandeliers from Eichholtz, a Kristalia desk, and some Aromas del Campo lighting.
Where did you start with the design process? Where did you take inspiration from?
Mid-Century design classics were the focus for every room, so we carefully choose key pieces we knew would work beautifully, stand out but also not take over in these beautiful big spaces. A Le Corbusier-style LC2 three-seater leather sofa in the entrance hall with some Tibetan sheepskin throws working effortlessly with the blue tone on the walls. Hans Wegner-style wishbone chairs around the boardroom table elevate the room and show instant design kudos. An Eero Saarinen-style Womb chair and ottoman in vibrant lime green cashmere upholstery perches on the top of an upstairs landing. Add to this, three beautiful lounge chairs – two Hans Wegner-style shell chairs in beautiful black wood with leather seating and a Hans Wegner Wingback chair in grey, a Carrera marble-topped Saarinen-style table works as a small informal meeting table, and numerous Eames-style iconic office chairs were used throughout the offices and meeting rooms. Mies Van Der Rose-style Barcelona benches look sleek used throughout as additional seating, a Greta Grossman-style grasshopper light, and a Platner-style dining table and coffee table
What changes are you seeing in contemporary workspaces? Offices becoming living spaces etc. And how did that impact your approach to this design?
The client wanted to make an office feel like a home – and why shouldn’t it? After all, we spend so much time in our places of work; it makes sense for it to feel comfortable and cool at the same time. Gone are the days people want to work in stark, homogenised spaces, these days, office-design is about creating rooms and areas where people feel at ease and content – happy staff means a happy business.
How is all at CA?
Things are great at CA Design, with two in-house interior designers, our commercial work is thriving, we’ve added 15 brands to our already successful Mid-Century-style furniture offering, and our e-commerce business has really taken off – we have people ordering furniture and accessories now from all over the world and our delivery service is super-speedy. We’ve also got the exclusivity on numerous premium brands from Denmark and Europe now, so we’re building a loyal customer base.
What are your current and new brands on offer at CA Design?
The brands have been carefully chosen with curated selections to sit seamlessly beside our 20th Century-classic furniture replicas. At Christmas, we had over 25 brands with loads of cool gifting products. Most of our brands are Scandinavian – Bolia, Woud, Umage, but we also have an amazing Spanish lighting brand, Aromas del Campo and a couple of cool Belgian brands too – we like to think of all our brands reflecting a new mood in interiors – the new modern – it’s not too modern, not too stark, but each item we choose from each brand has a unique design-forward look and feel – an unexpected design quirk, standout pieces that make a room.
Featured image: Carol-Anne Leyden, Director, CA Design
Read more: An interior design chat Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and his design life lessons
Read more: An expert’s tips on creating child-friendly interiors
Read more: This dream Georgian apartment in Ballsbridge is on the market for €650,000