Tuesday 23 January 2018

Mallow's Maura to share her flair for design on TV show

WATCH out for Killavullen, Mallow interior designer Maura Hunter on your telly over Christmas.

WATCH out for Killavullen, Mallow interior designer Maura Hunter on your telly over Christmas.

Maura was approached to redesign Casa Respite Centre in Malahide, which will be featured on RTE's 'At Your Service' Christmas Special.

The show, hosted by hotel experts John and Francis Brennan, will air at 8pm on St. Stephen's night on RTÉ One.

The Christmas Special follows the restoration of a respite breakhouse for CASA (Caring and Sharing Association) in Malahide, Dublin. The Brennan brothers came to the rescue of Conor Dillon, a CASA service user and big fan of the show.

CASA has been running its respite breaks services for people with disabilities since 1989. The recession has forced the organisation to redirect all funds to keeping the service running and the breakhouse needed a revamp. Maura, owner of MH designs, was chosen to lead the team in bringing life, colour and fun into the house.

With a time scale of four days and no budget available Maura redesigned the kitchen, hall and sitting room. Donations came from an appeal made by Francis Brennan on the John Murray radio show from businesses and people alike.

"This was a voluntary offering from everybody. A huge amount of people offered their services and local people donated whatever they could. The big challenge, however, was the time frame; we were on a very tight schedule," said Maura.

Maura focused on creating bright, open spaces with an ergonomic design to allow for better wheelchair movement. Meanwhile, donations helped retile the kitchen and fit new lights in the hall. People in the local community donated sofas, presses, shelving, decorations and even a stove.

"It was an extremely rewarding experience, but it was also challenging," said Maura. "There was so much we wanted to do but timescale or budget didn't permit. We had to prioritise the resources available and focus on what was really important, which was functionality. "

Maura said she had huge respect for the commitment shown by all the volunteers who were involved in the project. "Mark, in charge of construction did all the physical work and Peter, who was in charge of the garden, lost his mother that week and he was still 100% devoted to the renovation, truly inspiring," she said.

Maura owns MH Designs Ltd, an interior design firm with experience in both residential and commercial sectors. Her commercial work concentrates on healthcare design and the hospitality industry.

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