Susan Quirke Is Stepping Into The Light

After their sleek, shiny bathroom design was shortlisted for The Design and Architecture Awards, Quirke McNamara Consultancy’s MD Susan Quirke gave us her thoughts on space, lighting and dividing your day…..

 What direction do you feel design is moving towards in general terms?

Lighting is a key factor in design now and is starting to be considered along with the overall materials and space planning. Also clients want items that stand the test of time and a lot more bespoke elements where clients want something unique to them and again for us they want us to design elements that have lighting integrated within the pieces.

What are the key influencing elements at present?

1.Environmentally friendly elements

2.Nature bringing a sense of the external into the interior

3.Unique one off pieces that cant be bought by anyone

4.Lighting as an integrated part of our environment

5.Smart systems allowing you to run your home smoothly


What sort of projects are you working on at the moment?

We are working on a number of commercial projects such as an organic food shop as well as a private members club and restaurant and bar projects

demanding dramatic lighting and boutique hotel projects. On the residential front we are completing a number of penthouse projects and luxury houses with home spas as well as external spaces such as roof terraces and garden and swimming pool areas.


A designer’s work is so diverse – how do you manage to hold down a career and a life?

Its very hard as the work can be so personal to the client especially in high end residential that they want you there all the time. You have to have the discipline to divide your day and know when to finish and start fresh again. It’s always a battle as you want to be personally involved in every element of a design and make sure the finishing is perfect.


If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?

Be sympathetic to the space each building is different and what works in one space may not in another and be open minded to allowing your designer to develop ideas you may not have thought of as obvious.


How important do you feel Design Awards are as recognition of designers talents and achievements?

I think the Design Awards are a fantastic form of recognition for designers. There aren’t enough awards and to be recognised in such prestigious awards is a great achievement for a designer’s hard work and expertise


What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?

To develop the business into new areas such as more foreign work, develop our lighting to more one off bespoke pieces which we have started to develop and also our bespoke cinema room and furniture pieces. Travel more and have more joint ventures with other talented companies. Push our boundaries and develop our external garden designing and lighting also.


The car you drive?

Audi A5

Your favourite place to travel to in the world?


Your favourite hotel/ restaurant/ bar?

Soho House

The place that gives you the most energy?

Ireland – any beach

And the place that enables you to totally relax?

Ireland – any beach

Your favourite food and drink?

Pomegranate martini/any vegetarian food