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The House Of Peroni Designer Reveals All About The Exhibition Which Opened This Week

The young designer is one of three Irish creatives bringing The House of Peroni to life this summer at the Royal Hibernian Academy.

Róisín Lafferty's design journey came about with a rocky start. 

Despite completing a degree in interior architecture and furniture design in DIT, the young creative succumbed to pastures new in order to gain experience and, eventually, find work. 

"Unfortunately it was smack bang in the middle of the recession [when I graduated] so job prospects in Ireland in any creative agency were limited," she said. 

"A lot of the bigger interiors departments had closed. Development was at a standstill. At this time, I got offered an MA in London at Kingston University to study product and spatial design.

"I jumped at the chance and relocated almost straight away. It was this year that definitely led to where I am now."

Artistic from an early age, Lafferty's passion had always been design-based.

Back in her school days, she spent her time decorating stages, visiting art galleries and making friends do art classes in my house.

"I went on to graduate top of my class with first-class honours and was selected to exhibit my MA project at London Design Week as part of Tent London, which was an honour."

She then grappled with a now-familiar experience all graduates face; the catch 22 of attempting to gain experience with an internship, but needing experience to gain it. 

"I went home to Ireland with Susanna Kingston, who I studied with, with the intention of getting some small jobs together to build an initial portfolio. 

"We started out doing some freelance work for a couple of months, which ended up with me having a part-time job on the IMAGE Interiors & Living editorial team and setting up a partnership design practice called Kingston Lafferty Design."

It was after three years of "blood, sweat and tears", that Susanna decided to step away from the business, choosing to relocate to London. Instead of packing it in, Róisín opted to work harder than ever before.

Now, with a team of 15 talented creatives on her books, Kingston Lafferty Design has become one of the most sought after creative design teams in the country. 

Earlier this year, Róisín was chosen as one of three Irish creatives set to bring The House of Peroni residency to life in Dublin this summer. Her role is to design the whole interior and aesthetic of the residency, which is inspired by the Puglia region of southern Italy.

For this, she travelled to Italy in the spring to source inspiration for her designs.

"It is all about Puglia this year and we want to appeal to all the senses through the three A’s – Atmosphere, Appetite and Aesthetics," she said.

"I am a big fan of Italy in general. I feel they really know how to appreciate the important things in life. The relaxed way of life is infectious when you are there and the indulgence of socialising and spending quality time with people is huge. 

"Overall there is a bravery in the simplicity of the places. The rigid architectural elements are complemented by the water and the large cacti. It’s a place I could happily hide away in."

Her detailed approach and honed creativity have seen her win multiple design awards and she was recently elected President of the Institute of Designers in Ireland, something she describes as "a huge honour".

Her company KLD has worked on both commercial and residential projects with Iconic Offices, Ballymore, Cairn Homes, Homeland Developments and Hollybrook Developments as well as brands in the beauty and health space such as Urbana, Therapie and Optilase.

She also works on more well-known spots such as the Pot Bellied Pig café in Rathmines and Hatch student accommodation in Cork.

And to top it all off, this year, two homes that Roisin designed appeared in Australian Vogue Living, Architectural Digest Italy, Elle Decoration in the Netherlands and the US Interior Design magazine.

For young designers, her advice is to gain as much experience as you can and keep your wits about you when it comes to social media. 

"Try and immerse themselves as much as possible in the industry, getting experience and placements as much as possible. Ideally, gaining education on the technical aspects is hugely important; understanding the architectural aspects, the buildability and so on. 

"The problem with Instagram and Pinterest sometimes is that people are only seeing a styled pretty picture. Interior design and interior architecture rework spaces and layouts to maximize functionality whilst complying with many regulations and constraints.

"Being qualified helps ensure that you have a more realistic and in-depth knowledge of the industry which will ultimately stand to you a lot more.

"I love to take my clients on the creative journey with me and see them enjoy the results. It is all about creative collaboration."

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