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The Design Doctors

Denise O'Connor & Catherine Crowe

We have been blown away with the response to the show, we are still filming the last few episodes so can promise wonderful things to come. Catherine and myself would like to thank everyone who has help us to get this far. And a massive thanks to Dara Flynn for an amazing feature in yesterdays Sunday Times.

The Sunday Times 8th September 2013

Tune in again on Thursday at 8.30 on RTE 1 to see how we transform a home for a young family in Raheny. My self and Catherine will also be at the Beacon Design Fair which takes place this Saturday in Beacon South Quarter from 1-5pm.

The Design Doctors Episode 1

The Design Doctors

Its been an extremely busy summer but an incredibly exciting one too. The launch of our brand new TV show ‘The Design Doctors’ is now only days away we are so looking forward to everyone finally getting to see what we have all been toiling away on foe the last 5 months. The show has something for everyone and hopefully will get people as excited about great design as we are.

There has been so much interest already with the show being Critics Choice in The Sunday Times and Pick of the Week in the RTE Guide.

RTE guide

Sundat Times Culture 1st Sept 2013

So make sure you tune in at 8.30pm this Thursday 5th September on RTE 1- Hope you enjoy it. Denise & Catherine

Denise O'Connor & Catherine Crowe

The Design Doctors

Well, filming for our new TV show ‘The Design Doctors’ is well an truly under way’ We’re 6 weeks into the making of the show and loving every minute of it.

Our first project is well underway and 2 more starting this month. Its an extremely busy summer. We’re doing a lot of traveling, meeting some wonderful people and visiting some fantastic places. Make sure you tune in in September so you can see what we’ve been up to. In the mean time I will keep you posted with updates on our progress.

Denise O'Connor & Catherine Crowe

Optimise Design – Denise O’Connor is an Architect and MD of Architecture and Interior design company Optimise Design, founded in 2007 with fellow architect Catherine Crowe. Optimise Design 65 Merrion Square, Dublin 2. (01) 6619020 www.optimise-design.com

In case you missed it

For those of you who missed the April issue of Irelands Homes Interiors and Living – here is my article ‘Dream Home’ Hope you enjoy it.

We recently completed a project where our clients wished to turn their very comfortable two- bedroom terraced house into a luxurious one-bedroom home.

 Blackrock - kitchen

Gone are the days of doing up your house with perspective buyers in mind. Nowadays people are refurbishing and redecorating for themselves and their family.  This is actually a wonderful shift as design has taken on whole new individuality. The personality of the client is shining through and as a result each and every scheme is different and totally unique.

 Blackrock - kitchen

To be honest I would say that during the boom time design was on the brink of becoming static and formulaic, with everybody wanting what everyone else had. Now, however, each job brings its own unique brief, meaning that there is huge scope for evolution, diversification and change.

Our clients in the terraced house were unable to move and decided instead to renovate their home. They had a very clear idea of what they wanted to achieve. The brief was to create a home that used the existing space to the maximum. They enjoyed their garden which was very small and as we would be extending into the garden the outside space was just as important as the interior.

 Blackrock sitting room

With any extension project it is extremely important to try to maximise the amount of light that gets into the centre of the house. What you want to avoid is your lovely new extension blocking light getting into the original house. With this in mind we created a void on the landing above to let light into the sitting room from the existing Velux roof light above. This worked really well and provided a lovely feature both on the ground and first floors.

 Blackrock - extension

We built a small extension to the rear of the house to accommodate the kitchen. The extension ran along onside of the house leaving space in the garden for bench seating. We ran the same floor tiles out from the kitchen into the garden which helped to give the illusion of additional space both inside and out by blurring the lines between both areas.

 Blackrock - dining

The choice of colours was also very important, as the house was not particularly large. We chose a palate of stony greys which was accented with orange, it just so happened that our clients had a very important collection of Le Cressutte pots that looked fantastic in their new home.

 Blackrock - bathroom

On the first floor the second bedroom was converted into a large bathroom which accommodated the hotpress as well as providing for a bath and a shower. The existing master bedroom was originally split into 2 rooms, which we opened up into one generous space. The original wardrobes were relocated and added to, to fit their new home.

On this project we had a very fixed budget to work with. We set about prioritising key areas and looking for cost-effective solutions where possible. We achieved a layout that offered them a home that they could enjoy. And most importantly that could be delivered within budget.

 Blackrock - kitchen

Be upfront about your budget. There is a misconception that telling an architect or builder how much you have to spend is a bad idea. This is absolutely not the case. Without knowing how much you have to spend it is impossible to advise you appropriately. Understanding what funds are available is vital as it will allow your architect to prioritise and steer you in the right direction in terms of where your money would be best spent and what, if any, compromises need to be made.

Denise O'Connor

Optimise Design – Denise O’Connor is an Architect and MD of Architecture and Interior design company Optimise Design, founded in 2007 with fellow architect Catherine Crowe. Optimise Design 65 Merrion Square, Dublin 2. (01) 6619020 www.optimise-design.com

Trends – Part 1 ‘BOLD’

I’m just back from a flying trip to London to hear the very inspirational trend forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort give her presentation titled ‘BOLD’ or ‘plan B’. Li talked us through the colour, fashion and lifestyle predictions for autumn/winter 2014-15.

It was an amazing experience and so inspiring. There was so much to take in that my head is still spinning. The overall theme was broken down into 14 different sub categories. So what I thought might be a nice idea would be to dedicate a post to each of these.

Li opened her seminar by talking about how fed up the design industry is with playing it safe and being good. She talked about the reaction to this with the younger generation showing signs of turning things on its head and showing true creativity.  The first category covered was titled like the lecture its self  ‘Bold’. This trend is super creative and expressive it celebrates the joy of doing. It is young creation at its best . Bold round forms using lots of colour and generally having lots of fun.

Furniture will be quite sculptural like this wonderful sofa from Edra . It is both tactile textural and its almost insipid colours are typical of this trend.

Cipria sofa for Edra

The work of Anish Kapoor is also representative of this trend with its round voluminous forms such as this fun piece exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts summer exhibition 2011.

anish-kapoor

Things that were previously ignored or covered up will become features and will be expressed such as radiators. This innovative design for a radiator by Krzysztof Urbanski from Poland is a perfect example.

Designed by Krzysztof Urbanski

Tune in tomorrow for the second installment……..

Denise O'Connor

Denise O’Connor is an Architect and MD of Architecture and Interior design company Optimise Design, founded in 2007 with fellow architect Catherine Crowe.

Optimise Design, 65 Merrion Square, Dublin 2. Tel: (01) 6619020

www.optimise-design.com

BOLD

Trend Union

I’m very excited about my trip to London next week to hear the very inspirational trend forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort give her presentation titled ‘BOLD’ Which will be covering the colour, fashion and lifestyle predictions for autumn/winter 2014-15. I will be writing about the upcoming trends and what this means for design and architecture and interiors, so stay tuned to find out what’s in store.

Denise O'Connor

Denise O’Connor is an Architect and MD of Architecture and Interior design company Optimise Design, founded in 2007 with fellow architect Catherine Crowe.

Optimise Design, 65 Merrion Square, Dublin 2. Tel: (01) 6619020

www.optimise-design.com