Designing an interior from scratch is incredibly time-consuming, unless of course you have a good designer and the wherewithal to invest
Photography by Mark Scott.
They say your home is your sanctuary, and rightfully so – it’s the only place where we can be unapologetically secluded, recharge our social batteries, and reveal who we really are. Most of us take years to evolve how our homes look, making tweaks – and mistakes – as we go. But for people who are extremely busy with demanding schedules and little time to undertake a big project, they often want the opposite when it comes to their personal space. After the concept is agreed and their contribution taken on board, they don’t feel the necessity to be part of every decision. Their success at work means they are well-researched and accustomed to weighing up insights from experts.
The drawing room with a 1950s glass lamp from Carlton Davidson, sofa by Knoll from Minima and the 1970s gold leaf on paper work is from Michael Mortell Gallery.
The warm colour palette of the tiles in the entrance hall is echoed in the wall colour (Caddy by Paint and Paper Library); the pendant is from Rose Uniacke; the curved console by Paolo Moschino.
And while they are willing to pay for more unique and high-end services, they also tend to have higher performance expectations. This doesn’t just relate to the end result or the final product – they expect the entire experience to be incredibly efficient, personal and streamlined. Nowadays, people travel more, see more online. When it comes to their home, they expect to bring lots of elements together in interesting ways. But this takes time and people are impatient to get on with their lives. With more access to the homes of the rich and famous and to seeing hundreds of thousands of Instagram images, the idea that one’s space can evolve over time (perhaps many years) is just not feasible. The alternative isn’t quite instant gratification but if you can afford it, it comes close.
“One of the greatest luxuries is time, and being able to use your time as you see fit – focusing your attention where you want to – is a real privilege,” says interior designer Eoin Lyons of LyonsKelly. “As designers, we can deliver more time to our clients by taking design off their plate.” For most people, being able to engage an interior designer is a luxury, but if you engage the right designer or architect, it can save you both time and money. They will discover who will use the spaces and how they’ll be used, and judge the best aesthetic and practical solutions. They will manage the construction team and brief on electrics and plumbing. They will ascertain the budget and work to it. And, aside from the nuts and bolts, there are other benefits.
“When we deliver a project, it is as part of a journey, one where clients get to experience as much of the craftsmanship and creativity of design along that path as they want. It takes it to a whole new level. If you’re going to have a custom table or sofa made, that could mean an opportunity to meet the craftsperson, or to get a video of the craftsman making the piece. That’s that extra level of ‘This is the story of this piece, the journey of making the sofa, and now I can tell you all about it’.”
In the drawing room, light window treatments using unlined linen by Elitis were made by Mary Wrynne.
For this project, that very prospect of commissioning key pieces and bringing the clients on a journey actually happened. Lyons and his team worked closely with Dublin-based designer Knut Klimmek on the fabulous burr oak dining table and the beautiful cocktail cabinet, which were fun to work on in terms of the collaboration but also a rewarding and eye-opening experience for the clients. The two-year period of conservation works (new roof, windows, damp proofing, repointing and rewiring and replumbing) provided a welcome window for the team at Lyons Kelly to choose everything for the interior and install it all – furniture, fittings, curtains, artworks – at the same time. It’s not like a prescription to be filled, he says, there has to be room for “the magic to happen”.
The burr oak dining table is by Knut Klimmek, with leather and bronze dining chairs by Henge from Minima. The cocktail cabinet is also by Knut Klimmek; the rug is by Luke Irwin; the foliage pendant by Cox London and the mirror by Fiona MacDonald.
The kitchen with cabinetry by Abington and quartzite countertops from Miller Bros. A gas fire with marble surround was installed to create a less kitchen-y feel.
Leather and brass stools by Verpan from Minima surround the kitchen island. A pendant by Pinch hangs in the bay window where there is custom banquette seating and an oak table (not seen). While a wood floor is used throughout this level, the designers chose terrazzo tile for the cooking area.
Glass and bronze doors by Glas Italia from Minima divide the kitchen from the family room. The sofa is by Camerich. The flatweave rug is by Nourison from TC Matthews.
The master suite is entered via the dressing room, with the hand-painted panels on the wardrobes providing inspiration for the colour scheme throughout. The carpet in the dressing room echoes the shade of the bedroom curtains. The oculus is a new addition to bring light into the space.
In the master bedroom, rich Dedar silk fabric curtains and a Stark rug from TC Matthews add to the cocooning effect. The vintage floor lamp is from Nick Jones.
The master en suite has a custom-designed curved vanity and mirror, mosaic floor and nickel hardware.