Top tips for simple, spacious and timeless decor from an interior architect

Aileen Lee sits down to chat with Gillian Sherrard, interior architect, to pick her brain for ways to create the simple and spacious home you’ve always wanted.

What’s your background?

I am from Coleraine in Co Derry. I went to Edinburgh College of Art and studied interior architecture for five years.

I left college and worked in Cape Town with Metropolis architects, which worked alongside the International fashion designer, Jenny Button, designing her boutiques.

I then returned to Dublin and worked with Cahill O’Brien associates before setting up on my own.

What’s a typical work day like?

I often have site meetings in the mornings with clients and builders, followed by a return to the office to carry out sketch designs and proposals.

Tell us about a recent or favourite design or project that you have worked on?

I have just finished a two-storey-over-basement 1843 house on Highfield Road in Rathgar, Dublin. It was a dreamy project, with the client allowing me to put all my design ideas into practice.

What’s your design style?

Before style comes into design, good planning layouts are essential. Spaces should flow effortlessly into one other.

I love the juxtaposition of period styles with contemporary features, or lots of panelling executed with period accuracy and bleached timber floors.

Flooding interiors with natural light is also essential.

What or who inspires your work?

Eileen Gray is an inspiration and I was privileged to visit her home this year in France, E-1O27.

I am also a great fan of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and I love the Haussmann-style, Parisian apartments with their parquet flooring and timber panelling.

What’s your favourite trend at the moment?

I am not a fan of trends, I like to create timeless classic interiors.

What’s your most treasured possession?

I love my pre-WW2 Piquet teapot deigned in the north of England. Its design is on display in the Design Museum, London. It’s spun in aluminium and has a solid sycamore handle.

What would be a dream project/design for you to work on?

A small boutique hotel in a classical building in Dublin/ Cork/ Belfast/ Galway city centre, or a country house retreat in a small stately home.; Facebook: @sherrarddesign; Twitter:@GillianSherrard; Pinterest: Gillian Sherrard


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