Designer in Profile: Marcella Dunne, Managing Director/Owner of Wowhaus Design

Name: Marcella Dunne wowhaus design
Company: Wowhaus Design Ltd
Position within company: Managing Director/Owner

Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)
I set up Wowhaus Design in 2007 concentrating on luxury residential projects for both private clients and developers. Working with a diverse range of clients of many different nationalities we have created many beautiful award winning properties over the years. I began my career working in commercial architecture and design in the leisure sector concentrating mainly on restaurants and hotels and from there moved onto interiors focusing on luxury residential properties both in the UK and overseas. My route into interior design is from an architectural basis as I studied Architectural Technology at CIT, Cork so my approach tends to encompass all aspects of a project.

How would you describe your personal interior design style?
When it comes to my own design style it’s overall contemporary with space for drama. I love spaces that are considered and tailored yet have a relaxed elegant feel. As a practice we pride ourselves on not only having a particular style, but to also listen and interpret the wishes of our clients. As a result my own personal style can be a little bit of mix of all that’s good.

Where does your design inspiration come from?
Travel, luxury hotels, as well as high fashion are amongst my design inspirations. Nature is another huge source but given that I love detail I find inspiration in the most mundane things. My family are often frustrated while on holiday when I’m lagging behind taking photos of metal grills in the road.

In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
Anyone who has followed design for a considerable time will see that it goes in cycles. We go from contemporary clean interiors to more detailed ones; from greys and whites to bursts of colour. I feel that regardless of the style there is and will continue to be an increase in the value of good craftsmanship.

Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2017 and beyond.
Consider the client, the brief, the environment, new and innovative materials.

If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to interior design schemes, what would it be?
Zoom out. Look at the building and its surroundings before concentrating on the interior design scheme. It can result in a much more considered design.

How important are The International Design and Architecture Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
I feel there are hugely important. It gives a platform to showcase the hard work of many people and allows that to be judged by their peers. It’s a great honour to be part of it.

What projects are you currently working on?
We are working on a number of private client projects at the moment. Our clients are international so they bring many interesting suggestions to the table.

What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
To continue creating wonderful work and growing our team and its expertise.

Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your most treasured possession?
My Louis Le Broque paintings that I bought when I was younger and broke. They’ve moved around with me.

Your favourite holiday destination?
There are too many to choose from. At a push it’s between summers in the Hamptons or the west coast of Ireland.

Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
At the moment it’s a local bar which makes wonderful Bison Punch.

Your favourite book / film / song?
Book – too many, I read too much to choose
Film – The Aristocats, rediscovered this when my daughter was little
Song – Steve Wonder, ‘For Once In My Life’, my first dance with my wonderful husband.

Your favourite food and drink?
Peas, I love them and champagne.

Your favourite way to spend an afternoon? 
Relaxing with my family on a Sunday afternoon having had a wonderful lunch.

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
I would have loved to be either a Mathematician or a Soprano. Given that I have a talent for neither I’d better stick to design.

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