This stylish Dublin Georgian townhouse apartment is a multifunctional home, office and showroom space
An elegant apartment within a renovated Georgian townhouse in Dublin accommodates a home, an office and a showroom.
Eight hundred square feet may not seem like much, but when there’s high ceilings, pools of natural light and a recently renovated interior, you’re willing to overlook the less generous footprint.
Creative director Maoliosa Murray, owner of luxury lifestyle retail consultancy MAOLIOSA, first discovered her apartment in 2019. She was asked to supply rugs from The Rug Company for the show apartment of a new development within a renovated Georgian townhouse on Pembroke Road, Ballsbridge, and immediately fell in love with the space.
Paul Brazil of Brazil Associates and his interior design team oversaw the renovation of the Dublin townhouse into four luxury apartments, and designed a sympathetic adjoining development of a further 12 apartments. The units were originally destined for sale a few months later, so Maoliosa was delighted when she discovered that they were available for rent.
“There is a great sense of space thanks to its Georgian scale and features and it also has a lovely vibe and an amazing location just minutes from Herbert Park,” says the mum-of-one. “As it’s only Max and I, we didn’t need a huge space for now but somewhere that could also double as my showroom. Somewhere that told my story, where people could come and experience the brands in a real ‘home’ environment but that represented me, my style and my work: a living showroom as such.”
Luckily her style errs on the side of classic and tidy since her home is dual-purpose, but it can be a challenging task with a 27-month-old, who likes to ride his bike and scooter through the airy space. “He does like to help me and he loves to play with my samples. He has a particular fondness for the teddy mohair velvet ones by Pierre Frey,” laughs Maoliosa, who meets with brands and clients when Max is at Montessori school.
The bones of the space are enviable – impossibly high ceilings, beautiful stained oak flooring and natural light in abundance thanks to its huge sash windows. Maoliosa has cleverly elevated the space with simple cosmetic renovations, which include thoughtful new panelling and joinery by master craftsman John Hussey, who worked on the original design detail throughout all the apartments with Brazil Associates. Chic lighting from CTO and expertly curated products and furniture, mostly her exclusive brands, completes the look.
Much of what was there was in keeping with her own taste, such as a bronze eglomise backsplash in the integrated kitchen and a mix of brass, lacquer, walnut and marble finishes. “I lean towards luxurious finishes and textures. I’m not a ‘design for design sake’ kind of person but appreciate good, timeless pieces, often with an edge.”
As well as being her home, the raised, ground-floor apartment space is a great asset for her business. The open-plan kitchen layout adjoining the living area facilitates a social space for client breakfasts or events; when privacy is desired, sliding walnut doors conceal it. Layering textures and tones is also key to creating warmth and comfort, something she has done expertly.
The apartment may lack a few items on her wish list but the key personal pieces shine: the Channels Copper rug by Kelly Wearstler and Rose Quartz mohair rug by The Rug Company “spark joy”, as does the Pierre Augustin Rose Duo cream lacquer coffee tables and 190 sofa. The untitled Patrick Scott print over the fireplace is a much-loved piece she had been coveting for some time. She designed the bead panel work on the chimney and surrounding alcove walls to house the polished brass and alabaster wall sconces, and to complement the gold-leaf detail and terracotta of the print. Stoney Road Press, a fine art print studio, matched the Doves Wing
paint on the custom frame to the walls.
Aside from some personal objets, many of the furnishings are from interior brands Maoliosa exclusively represents for Ireland. As official Irish partner for The Rug Company, her home is never short of a beautiful rug. She has also secured an exclusive partnership with the Invisible Collection, which represents some of the world’s most renowned designers and architects: Pierre Augustin Rose, Charlotte Biltgen, Reda Amalou, Thierry Lemaire, pieces from whom are dotted throughout the apartment.
The custom solid brass and black gloss lacquer shelves she designed with John Hussey are an elegant backdrop to her rug samples, which also serve as her design library – it’s a dual-purpose space that’s constantly evolving.
“Creating a happy work-life space that we both love being in has been the most rewarding part. I love starting the day sitting with Max having breakfast at the large sash window overlooking the garden and then seeing it become a hub of inspiration and creativity during the day, before finally relaxing in front of the fire in the evening. I look forward to the times when clients and friends will gather around the table.”
Photography: Ruth Maria Murphy
Words: Orla Neligan
This feature originally appeared in the Spring/Summer 2021 issue of IMAGE interiors.