My goal is to help people

By Mairéad Collier, Mairéad Collier Interiors

I think everyone deserves to be happy in their homes and to have access to good design.

My purpose as an interior designer is to enhance other people’s lives so they may experience the joy of living with the finer things of life through interior design and lifestyle consultancy.

I grew up in Cork in the 1970/80s. Ireland is often viewed as being drab back then, but I had a happy childhood. I used my imagination, fostered by my love of reading and film, as a creative escape. I imagined the spaces I read about in books and absorbed the interior sets of movies.

My mam was a true homemaker in every sense of the word. She had taste and despite lacking the funds, she managed to create a sense of contentment at home. I was fascinated by my father’s family home.

It was my grandfather’s pub attached to my grandparents’ home. I would make excuses to use the bathroom just so I could peer into the upstairs living room, where there was lovely old furniture, fine china dinnerware, silverware etc.

My dad was vice principal at a private boarding school for boys and I loved visiting the school - usually in the summer when the students had gone home for their holidays. The images that stand out to me are the staff room with its leather chaise longue, the enormous mahogany dining table, floor tiles, wide staircases, heavy doors as well as the wooden workbenches in the labs where my dad taught. It obviously had a lasting effect as I now have a chaise longue of my own in my bedroom!

After university, travel opened up a whole new source of inspiration and influence, helping to broaden and educate my eye. After graduating from university, I moved to England for work and where I really unleashed my obsession with the world of design, especially interior design. After leaving England, I moved to America, Scotland, England again and finally Ireland in 2003. Travel remains a great inspiration and I have been lucky to have experienced and visited a vast number of countries.

Despite my passion for interiors and transforming spaces, it still hadn’t clicked for me that this could be a career option for me. I just thought it was something I was naturally good at and had a flair for.

About ten years or so ago I set up a practice with a colleague but the partnership dissolved naturally after a couple of years. Following that I suffered a bit of a loss in confidence. I did a number of courses at KLC School of Design in London and now that my kids are college going, I was ready to set up my own business. I formally registered the business in late 2019. I now provide a mix of online and in person services ranging from a one hour consultation to a bespoke interior and lifestyle service.

My goal is to help people fall in love with their homes and design a space that fully reflects the essence, style and story of each of my clients.