The loves of my life: Denise O'Connor
The architect and managing director of Optimise Design chats to Elle Gordon about her favourite people, places and things.
That's a really hard one to answer. I couldn't possibly pick one person - there are so many special people in my life. My family are really important to me, so I'd have to say my husband, my two sons, my parents, my brother and sister.
The first really heavy snowfall. I can remember everyone was off school, but because I could walk to school, I had to go! My dad collected me that day and we walked to the Swiss Chalet in Stillorgan, my favourite restaurant at the time, and had chicken and chips, an ice-cream float and a great chat.
The moment of the day
Early morning. I'm a really early riser.
I love the peace and tranquility of the early morning, before anyone else in the house is awake. I like to take my time to get organised and get myself ready for the day.
Anything by The Rolling Stones does it for me.
Star Wars. I must have watched it hundreds of times as a child, and I still love it. I know passages of text off by heart.
My parents. They are such wonderful role models and have always encouraged me to follow my dreams.
The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald. We had to read it in school and I loved everything about it, from the era, to the wonderfully descriptive passages of text. It's such a beautiful book.
I love getting dressed up, but I don't often have the occasion to do it. My brother got married last summer and I wore a gorgeous black-and-white dress with a full skirt, and a pair of bright coral shoes.
My iPad. I love it. I invested in a keypad recently and I use it for everything now.
I need to wear glasses, but I really don't like wearing them, so I invested in a really nice pair by Ray-Ban last year which I'm delighted with.
The pet hate
Mess - it drives me crazy! I can't think straight in a messy environment.
My very best friend from college, Brid Carr. She now lives in Chichester, so I don't see her nearly as much as I'd like to.
The piece of advice
When someone offers to help, accept. I am quite independent and tend to try to do everything myself, but I have learned over the years that it's just not possible.
The beauty product
Carmex. I've been using it since I was 14, and haven't been without it since.
Martinhal in Portugal. It's a wonderful family resort, with so much for the kids to do, and a gorgeous setting. They really think of everything and you come back feeling like you've had a real break.
I'm not much of a drinker, but I do love the occasional cosmopolitan. They do great cocktails in Pichet in Dublin.
Brendan Gleeson. I did some work for him a couple of years ago. He was a gentleman and lovely to work with.
Rival in Stockholm. My husband took me there, as a surprise, for my birthday a few years ago, and we've been back three times since. It's really lovely and laid-back, but has all of the little comforts that make it special, such as a pillow menu.
I don't have a huge amount of time to visit bars these days, but I do enjoy the surroundings of the bar in The Westbury Hotel. It's opulent, uncompromising art deco - like stepping back into The Great Gatsby.
Yoga. I try to go three times a week and really miss it when I don't go. It's fantastic for managing stress, and it's a great workout, too.
The part of my body
My hands! I love everything creative, from making things and colouring with the kids to cooking and gardening. Needless to say, my hands come in handy when I'm designing buildings and sketching features - in many ways, they are the tools of my trade.
Integrity. As an architect, integrity is so important. I need to be able to stand over my work for my clients, and I
only work with service providers in the industry who have a high level of integrity too.
Coffee. I know I should drink more water, but I need at least three cups of coffee a day to keep going at full throttle!
For me, it's citrus - it just makes everything smell fresher and cleaner.
Mint. Especially a home-made mint sauce around Easter, with spring lamb. It's so easy to grow your own herbs. There are so many beautiful window sill greenboxes you can get nowadays, and they bring a little piece of the outdoors inside.
Sunday Indo Life Magazine
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