Interior designer Roisin Lafferty: create a home that makes you feel something
15th Mar 2018
Róisín Lafferty is the Founder and Managing Director of Kingston Lafferty Design. She has built a team of talented Designers, Contractors, and Craftsmen around her and believes firmly in the power of creative collaboration. With the help of this powerful creative force, Róisin has received a string of prestigious accolades, as well as being recognised as one of Ireland’s leading creative personalities with a monthly column in the Sunday Business Post and a regular slot on Newstalk.
Ahead of our Young Businesswomen’s Forum taking place on Tuesday evening, March 27th at the beautiful five star Westbury Hotel, we asked Roisin Lafferty about her inspirations, favourite trends, upcoming projects, and her the best advice for anyone who wanted to set up their own business.
When did you set up Kingston Lafferty designs, and did you always want to pursue a career in interiors?
I set up Kingston Lafferty Design after graduating top of my class in my degree and masters in the worst of the recession in 2010. There were limited career prospects. I had always been ambitious but did not think that setting up on my own straight from college would be an option. We had always been taught to make mistakes on someone else’s time… but I did not heed this advice! Initially, I wanted to work in London, but needed a lot of experience to even get an internship, aside from qualifications. Kingston Lafferty Design was somewhat of an accidental start, initially just to gain experience in the real world of design. This was started as a partnership with my college friend Susanna Kingston.
Three months turned quickly into three years, learning more on sites than any education could have taught me. At the three year mark, Susanna decided to walk away from KLD and get a job in a great London firm. We had given so much of ourselves at that time, blood, sweat, and tears that I couldn’t walk away or work for someone else. So I decided to stay, to grow and develop the KLD creative team and push the business forward. Interiors and design is all I wanted to do. From a small child, art and creativity was my passion.
Apart from Kingston Lafferty designs, what other projects or work are you involved in?
KLD is the umbrella for all projects I do. I am the sole owner of a growing team of nine. My goal from the start was to work holistically across all different areas, to push creative boundaries and be constantly challenged, ensuring that we continue to deliver exciting and unique work. There is never a dull day in KLD, we try not to repeat our designs. Now we are working across retail, beauty, hospitality, office design, residential, exhibition and residential developments. Some clients include; Therapie, Optilase, Urbana, Mink, Pot Bellied Pig, Iconic Offices, Ballymore, Cairn Homes as well as private clients. The mix is the most exciting part. The crossover informs the different types of projects.
Where does your inspiration for your interior architecture and design derive from?
Everywhere! Travel is my great love. I try to get away as often as possible to new places and to as many design fairs as possible. I find getting the chance to be fully immersed in new places, cultures, and environments is the best way to gain new inspiration and ideas. Design is very much a way of life for me… you could say a little obsessive! But it is how I decide where to eat, drink, sleep, and travel to! Marrakech, Miami, Lisbon, and Amsterdam are some of my favorites.
What is your favourite trend in interiors at the moment?
Self-expression, personality, and fun. I am finding it is less about prescriptive trends now and about people getting to fully be themselves in their homes. I encourage people to create homes that make them feel something, that makes them happy and excited. Bold and brave colours, materials and texture add personality. Be as playful and creative as you would be with fashion and have fun.
What would your best advice be to someone who wanted to set up their own business?
- Step into discomfort:
Starting a business and running a business is full of unknowns. It can be daunting, scary, unsafe and the journey is not easy, but equally, it can be thrilling, exciting and extremely fulfilling. The sooner you get used to living out of your comfort zone and embrace this feeling, the better it will be.
- Think Creatively
There are many ways to get to the end result. Think outside the box, challenge standard processes and don’t be afraid to approach challenges in a more creative way.
Collaborative creating thinking also really helps to gain new perspectives on subjects you might be stuck on.
- Embrace the unexpected
Planning is one thing. Clear goals and dreams are crucial to stay on track. But always stay open to unexpected opportunities, for they tend to be the most exciting part of the adventure!
- Ask all the questions
Every day will continue to be a learning day…. its constant! Don’t be afraid to ask all the questions to help you progress. Everyone started somewhere and most people are happy to be able to help. Support in business was one of my most challenging things. I found Going for Growth to be one of the most helpful things I ever got to do, working with so many talented business women.
What has been the most fulfilling moment of your career?
Opening our beautiful new office on Baggot Street at the end of 2017 with a fantastical, creative celebration of jazz, Dublin Gospel Choir, art deco Jameson whiskey bars and feasts, after an incredibly tough year. This was a big step for KLD and the support that we got from the suppliers and collaborators was overwhelming. It is a space that showcases who we are, unrestricted, for the first time. It is a place to play and express creativity, an environment full of fun and whimsy, the opposite of most corporate environments. It genuinely makes me happy every day.
Join IMAGE contributing editor, Melanie Morris for our second Young Businesswomen’s Forum of the year. We will be joined by Stefanie Preissner, the renowned screenwriter, author, and actor, Nikki Lannen, founder and CEO of Warbucks and Roisin Lafferty, founder and managing director of Kingston Lafferty Design. Enjoy an evening of insight, inspiration and lots of luxury as we hear from three incredible women on their success journeys to working in three fascinating fields.
When Tuesday, March 27, 6 pm
Where The Westbury Hotel, Dublin
*Includes Luxury Seat Gift
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