Monday 19 February 2018

Snug art

Joanne in her living room
Joanne in her living room

Blanaid Hennessy

If you're going to sell a quirky and individual interior-design service, then you should really practise what you preach. Joanne Kelly (28), co-owner of Dublin-based interior design consultancy Think Contemporary, does just that.

Her three-bedroom, end-of-terrace home is wonderfully quirky, thanks to her unique taste and the addition of as much colour as possible.

Joanne and her partner bought the house in Celbridge two-and-a-half years ago so that they would be close to the city, but also the road home to Galway. Joanne was working in a furniture showroom at the time, so she bought much of her furniture there, but she has added other pieces along the way, mostly from stores in Dublin.

Her best bargain has to be a gorgeous Missoni throw, which she found in TK Maxx for €30.

So what is her absolute favourite object? "I would probably say my 'Happy Chair' -- the green occasional chair in the living room. It is a Swedish chair that I admired for well over a year before I got it. This was definitely not an impulse purchase."

A new home can often present the much-vaunted 'blank canvas', which can make things difficult when it comes to design; it's the old problem of too much choice. So, how did Joanne decide to go for retro and colour over stark and white?

"Every now and again, I will see a minimal house that I absolutely love, but I don't think I could ever live in one. I love lots of colour and interesting things. It is important to see personality in an interior and I just don't think you can see that in minimal homes."

Joanne also believes that comfort and aesthetic are of equal importance -- that the design and furniture have to work well in the space, but, equally, they have to be comfortable. "You have to live in your home, and there is no point having a stunning sofa if you can't curl up in it and watch a good movie. That just doesn't work."

Comfort also helps to get her creative juices flowing and, as she works from home occasionally, it's really important that she is at ease in her home.

Her dream home has been the subject of much thought. She wouldn't want anything too large with unnecessary spaces, and it would have to be sustainable. She also loves split-level homes, so that style would certainly be considered.

Interiors-wise, she'll continue to choose interesting pieces, mixing mid-20th-century furniture with contemporary artwork -- and, of course, colour.

The dream product? "It would have to be a Victor desk designed by Roberto Lazzeroni, which is a gorgeous walnut desk with an orange lacquered top."

Joanne draws inspiration from travel, particularly London. "It's such a fantastic city full of inspiration and interesting places."

She is a fan of art and photography. She also loves street art and says she is fascinated by "the journey it has made from exterior to interior. Some of my favourite artists would be Jasper Goodall, Greg Gossel and Mr Brainwash".

In her own field, she loves the work of designers Ray and Charles Eames: "It is both effortless and timeless and will work in almost any interior. Their designs were certainly well before their time."

Think Contemporary, 1 Martins Row, Chapelizod, Dublin 20. Tel: 087 968 3101;,

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