It’s been a very exciting few months for me with trips to Dubai and Dublin for two amazing interior design shows that I’m really thrilled to be working with.
Index Dubai has been running for some time now and I started talking with them last year about speaking at the event, so it was great to finally meet the team, see the venue and speak to the crowds.
It took place at the World Trade Centre on 22nd - 25th May but I had to jet off to Dublin after just a couple of days for House Ireland.
Again, I had been in talks with them since last year and after meeting the team on a trip to Dublin just before Christmas I knew I had to be involved in their amazing show. It was held - in just its second year - at the stunning RDS, from 26th - 28th May.
I love speaking about design and so these events were perfect - the audiences were so enthusiastic and keen to learn more about design.
In Dubai I was interviewed about my career as an interior designer - how I got started, where I find inspiration, etc - and later shared the stage with the lovely Letitia Taylor, from Harrods, to talk about trends.
There was also the Index Architecture and Design Awards on the second night at the Palazzo Versace Hotel, where it was great to meet fellow key speakers and designers Henry Holland and Bethan Gray.
It was an exhausting few days in the Dubai heat that was made a lot more comfortable by the lovely staff at my amazing Four Seasons Hotel, in the Dubai International Financial Centre. I was interested to see how universal design trends have become with the hotel design incorporating many of the top current trends we're using in the UK at the moment, including polished brass and muted bronze set against Carrara and Nero marbles, one of my favourite looks at the moment.
I was sorry to leave but it was time to whip out my Irish passport for another few days away - this time I was headed for Dublin’s beautiful Marker Hotel (whose Tomahawk steak I still can’t get out of my head!) as a key speaker and ambassador for the luxury home show, House Ireland.
The Marker took a completely different approach to its interior. The design concept was all about shape and form. A fabulous sculptural ceiling provided a dramatic focal point for the restaurant, which worked really well.
The Irish Independent had run some articles about me in the run-up and featured several interiors pieces I had written, so it felt like I had already been part of the show for some time!
The first day at House was for trade and I spoke about luxury interior design, while on the remaining public days I gave an interactive sample board presentation and also spoke about the key principles of interior design with a host of my own personal tips and tricks thrown in for good measure.
I was also interviewed for Ireland’s Saturday morning TV3 show by the very lovely Laura Woods and spoke about my standout pieces from the show. I picked out a painting by Irish artist Gerard McGourty, falling for him as much as his painting! He was a delightful soul with a wonderful gentle way about him. The interview is on my Facebook page - along with lots of pictures and links from the two events.
As always with these things, I get lots of people coming up to me afterwards to ask for advice - passing on design ideas is one of the real pleasures of what I do. I met some fabulous people in both Dubai and Dublin and I can’t wait to do it all over again next year!