Maoliosa Murray, the creative director of her eponymous luxury consultancy business, offers a curated shopping experience for trade and consumers alike …
Having worked in Monaco and in London, where she called Belgravia home, Maoliosa Murray brings a level of service and international perspective honed by travel, fortuitous connections and expertise. Her USP as a design consultant is not only the impressive brand relationships she has nurtured, but her knowledge and considered opinions. Murray specialised in construction at the RIBA and is a member of the globally recognised APM (Association of Project Managers). To keep abreast of trends and new designers, she regularly visits design fairs, particularly Salone del Mobile and Deco Off in Paris.
“I often say that my approach is not sales for sales sake – I like to offer my considered opinion and deliver the best experience I can,” she explains. That means clients are invited to visit her showroom – a recently renovated Georgian apartment by Brazil Associates in Ballsbridge. It’s an elegant space with high ceilings decorated with discreet pieces showing Murray’s eye for detail. An Eileen armchair by Charlotte Biltgen, a Nizwa side cabinet by Bethan Gray and alabaster and polished brass lights are some of the statement pieces. The eye is also drawn to the fireplace over which hangs an untitled Patrick Scott print framed by Stoney Road Press. “They matched the paint [Dove Wing by Benjamin Moore] on the custom frame to the walls,” says Murray, who wholeheartedly endorses their services.
As the official Irish partner for The Rug Company (Murray has collaborated with the brand for over a decade) underfoot visitors can see, and more importantly feel, the distinctive “Channels Copper” rug by American designer Kelly Wearstler. The Diane Von Furstenberg “Climbing Leopard” is one of many samples in Murray’s wall library, which is a replica of the ones found in their global stores. Murray shares that Furstenberg will be launching another collection with The Rug Company in September – the first in 15 years. “The Tim Gosling Art Deco-inspired rugs and Kelly Wearstler collections have been bestsellers,” Murray adds. “Clients often don’t realise the Farrow & Ball collection is an exclusive collaboration with The Rug Company and together they have created a new range of colours for the rug collection only. These rugs are at a different price point, [from €1,500], and are a great entry level for acquiring bespoke rugs in pure wool or wool and silk.” Lead time is slightly quicker as these are hand-loomed rather than hand-knotted [for which The Rug Company is renowned], so there is an eight to ten week turnaround for commissions.
Murray has also secured an exclusive partnership with The Invisible Collection which represents over 100 of the world’s most renowned designers and architects including Reda Amalou, Thierry Lemaire and Pierre Augustin Rose. In Murray’s showroom, Pierre Augustin Rose’s Sofa 190, upholstered in Pierre Frey Sable Teddy mohair velvet from the The Invisible Collection, takes pride of place.
The Invisible Collection, by the way, is a reference to the short story by Stefan Zweig and was born of the aim of offering these impressive pieces to design amateurs and collectors. Murray defines The Invisible Collection as a place where design meets art; the pieces are handpicked for their relevance and uniqueness (with prices starting from €500). They are not mass produced and many are created using recycled materials, certified woods and no plastic.
Murray enjoys welcoming interior designers and architects to view and discuss new brands and samples. Indeed, the space lends itself to socialising – the open plan kitchen layout facilitates client events and chic walnut sliding doors allow the area to be opened for entertaining or closed to conceal the kitchen.
“We’re non-competitors and my showroom is often a way to connect with clients and brands.” For example, a recent collaboration is with Baxter – the Italian furniture company known for its luxury leather sofas and armchairs primarily (the Budapest, Chester and Milano sofas are contemporary icons), as well as beds, carpets, lamps and consoles. Murray’s showroom has the Marilyn revolving armchair from Baxter, upholstered in Kashmir leather, which does indeed feel silky.
Not confined to working solely in Ireland, Murray also has many Anglo-Irish clients (and a base in Mayfair) and has found that referrals will often come via word of mouth. Recent projects include couples who are downsizing, or those returning home post pandemic. “I understand how difficult and overwhelming it can be, especially given the seemingly limitless choice currently on offer, when searching for the perfect piece of furniture or a rug. It’s knowing where to start.”
A consultation with Murray undoubtedly brings more clarity and will include an audit of design needs, prior to viewing the retail edit and extensive library of samples. On location appointments follow, with Murray often taking over the project management if required. The team is growing and includes Murray’s mother, Anne, whose background in art and design is a valuable asset. She founded the renowned ceramics gallery Cre in Kensington when Murray was eight-years-old and it was here the seeds were sown for her own future in design and retail.
Clients have found The Interiors Concierge service Murray offers is invaluable. It arose organically from requests to share her enviable Little Black Book of recommended interiors architects, craftsmen and tradespeople. Murray can also introduce clients to a range of brands, not solely those she represents. On recent residential projects, for example, Murray has collaborated with De Gournay, the hand-painted wallpaper and fabric brand, and Argile, a French eco paint collection founded by Jean Frederic Nothomb. The high quality of Argile paints results from a rigorous manufacturing process mainly using pigments and resins which are mixed by hand.
“I’m known for my classic contemporary style which does not date. If clients are investing for the long term is it is important for me that they have pieces that withstand trends. Providing a seamless, luxurious experience along the way is key.” www.maoliosa.com