I studied art, craft and design, while I worked as a painter and decorator — it was during this time I realised I could combine my creativity with my passion for interiors and so started my journey into interior design. Over my college holidays, I worked as a builder’s labourer in order to learn different aspects of the industry.
I also once had a market stall in Mother Redcap’s, handcrafting slate mirrors, and sold them around Ireland.
I have been running my own interior design company since 2005. Nine Yards Design was set up in 2016. I wanted to change the name to reflect the type of service we provide, as in the whole nine yards.
We start at 10am and will often work late into the evening. My office is in my dad’s old butcher shop — he retired about six years ago and my husband and I were given the opportunity to renovate it. It’s special working where my dad had for so many years.
Every day is very different, we could have clients coming in for a studio consultation, as we stock a lot of samples in our office and find it’s more efficient to spend the time here together working through every detail of the design brief.
We also take clients out on personalised shopping days, where we will bring them to several of our suppliers and help choose whatever may be required for their builds.
Some days we are out and about doing home consultations, meeting architects and builders at site meetings or sourcing products from suppliers.
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We are nearing the completion of a renovation project of an Edwardian home in Dublin. The house was subdivided into studio bedsits with many of the home’s original character either missing or damaged. We worked alongside an amazing team of builders, Brendan and Michael from Mossdale Construction, and a very talented architect, Bernard Gilna.
The whole house feels amazing with stunning oak floors and freshly plastered walls, and all the coving details and ceiling roses were reinstated as well as the original doors and architraves. We fitted bespoke cabinetry throughout, implementing classic design for the main house and a more contemporary feel for the extended kitchen and dining area. It’s so rewarding to see a beautiful house restored and updated to fit modern family life.
I have worked on so many different projects, from contemporary apartments to regency style villas, that it’s almost impossible to say what my own personal design style is. I love colour and will endeavour to use it in all schemes but, again, it’s up to the client if we do.
Our client and the space they present us with will always inspire us the most.
When an exciting project comes my way, it can take up every thought and I can often find myself doodling and sketching up layouts — that’s when I feel the real inspiration can seep into the scheme.
Maximalism — the idea of more is more – and the layering of textures, fabrics, patterns and an eclectic mix of finishing pieces.
I tend not to focus on possessions and rather treasure experiences. Things are not that important to me, and I love the fact that nearly everything we own in our home has been rehomed, repurposed or recycled.
I love following the work of Denise O’Connor from Optimise Design and Roisín Lafferty from Kingston Lafferty. Incredible women creating jaw-dropping interiors.
I want to build our own house; we bought a derelict cottage in Co Roscommon and plan on renovating it over the next few years, hopefully by applying the ethos we have in our current home of reusing and repurposing where possible.
Irish interior magazines are, in my opinion, the best sources for inspiration, featuring real Irish homes which are more likely to be similar to your own home. They are also full of affordable pieces available to buy in Ireland.
Take the time to flick through magazines, mark or tear out the page of room styles that interest you, keep them in a folder or create a mood board, and slowly you’ll see a theme appearing.