5 Minutes With Interior Designer, Philippa Buckley

We caught up with one of Ireland's leading Interior Designers to discover how she approaches each design project, how she transforms a space, and for a sneak peek at some of the incredible rooms she has created. Come and see...

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Q: How would you describe your design aesthetic?
I like this quote from Miuccia Prada,"I always loved aesthetics; not particularly fashion but an idea of beauty." For me, it’s the idea that beauty is central to developing a client-centered solution or the expression of their sense of beauty. In a home environment, this represents the client's accumulative aesthetic or style. By gaining an understanding of a client's needs and wants through a process of discovery, my role is to express their style and realise their expectations for the space. By working collaboratively with the client, we aim to create a blend of harmonious functional spaces that exceed their expectations.

Q: What is the first thing you do when you sit down to sketch?

PB: I like to capture the narrative of the client’s brief. I look at the space or spaces and either immediately re-configure the layout and then sketch the floor/furniture layouts before drawing up details plans.

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(Above top & left: CA Design Hans Wegner-style Elbow chairs with leather seating, SHOP THEM HERE).

Q: What are your favourite parts of the design process?

PB: Translating the client’s brief and bringing the project together via detailed plans, which form the basis of the project. I love creating mood boards that represent our vision and the client's vision of the completed project. If you can harness the enthusiasm and energy of the client from the beginning, this supports the design process as it navigates the challenges inherent in any transformation process. I also love being part of a team where there is an architect, engineer and main contractor, each with their own expertise and input.

Q: Do you have a favourite project?
PB: My favourite projects are the ones where the client reassess their way of living, how they interact with the rooms in their home. Then, bringing something new and fresh to their living space, as opposed to a simple re-configuration of what’s already there. As I specialise in residential renovation projects, it’s a dream to be there from the start, designing layouts and lighting plans that are the foundation of a good design outcome. And knowing our input has made a difference.

(Internal house photography by Simon Watson for The Gloss).

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Q: Where do you find Inspiration?
PB: From so many places: trade and professional design magazines, fashion, travel, architecture in Dublin and London as I work in both places, and visiting interior shops. I also find trade shows and Design Weeks also help to concentrate my attention and focus on current trends and innovations.

Q: Do you have a favourite building in the world?
PB: One of my favourites is Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris; one of the finest examples of French Gothic Architecture. The stained glass rose windows are one of the greatest masterpieces of Christendom, dating back to 1258.

Q: What are the key principles you consider on every project?
Utilising and optimising the space available to give clients the widest range of design options. I adhere to the philosophy ‘form follows function’ and getting this key element right is the best service a designer can offer a client. 


Q: Can you tell us about recent and upcoming projects?

I’ve just completed two residential projects for private clients; one in Dublin(above, recently completed renovation project including lighting layout/design Co Dublin) one in London (below). Both were vastly different in terms of architecture and demanded entirely different interior design styles. The challenge was and always is to exceed clients’ expectations.

I’m about to start two large renovation projects in Dublin and a loft conversion in London.

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Q: Do you get involved in the entire aesthetic process of each project, right down to the furniture?

Yes. Studio44 offer a complete design service. The signature touches are often best expressed via the furniture and soft furnishings. Often clients have existing pieces and the challenge is to marry the old with the new.

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Philippa has chosen furniture from CA Design for past projects, like this yellow Swan chair, SHOP IT HERE

Studio 44 is a comprehensive design studio synonymous with the creation of unique interiors, tailored to individual private clients for the high-end residential market with practices in both Dublin and London. 

The practice offers a bespoke architecture, interior design and project management service. Philippa and her team create a seamless journey from concept through to completion, tailored to suit each clients’ needs, recommending trades and specialist craftspersons as the project requires or working with clients own contractors. Get in touch with them about an upcoming project HERE

Are you following our weekly design blogs? Last week, we were all over RTÉ's Room To Improve with Dermot Bannon. Shop the looks featured in the programme HERE