5 Tips For Better Work-Life Balance

By Aisling Leonard 

Serene Thai scene

At the age of 12 my dream was to be the next Irish pop star. Fast forward to the age of 26, I’ve rapidly excelled in my career earning $75,000 Australian dollars, with 10 years’ experience in marketing and events, and a much sought after Melbourne city centre apartment. What did this cost me you must be asking yourself? Sever anxiety and an incredibly unhealthy work-life balance.

At the age of 27 I’m now an established yoga teacher living with my parents, earning a fraction, little less to nothing compared to what I was, but I have my health and happiness, and life has never tasted as sweet.

Aviva Workplace Health Index, released in 2013, stated Irish employees are under more pressure at work. 74% of employees agreed that the workplace had become increasingly stressful, while 72% felt a pressurised environment had become the norm.

Despite the recent enthusiasm for wellness initiatives such as mindfulness and meditation at the office, Irish employees are still struggling to find the right work-life balance.

Work-life balance means something different to every individual, here I offer some starting tips to help find the balance that’s right for you. It’s time to take responsibility for your own health and happiness, take control, be bold and don’t settle for anything less than you deserve.

The importance of meditation and work-life balance

1. Step by step

What is making you unhappy? Figure out what you need to change and make a plan. Dr. Glenn Carter states “Having clear goals makes life so much easier because you know where you are going, how to get there and you have more control.” Start small, and build from there. Roman wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your change. It’s important to set yourself realistic goals, and not to be too hard on yourself. If you do slip up, re-evaluate, and start again. Organisation and scheduling will be your keys to success.


2. Your health is your wealth

Do you find yourself admiring other people, wishing you were a healthier version of yourself? Do you consider yourself to be healthy? Do you have a healthy diet? If you’re an unhealthy person you will not be able to enjoy the changes you’re implementing. You may not even have the energy to make these changes. Take the time to invest in your health and allow yourself to be conscious and happy in each moment.

Your health is your wealth

3. Unplug

Most Irish employers have created expectations of constant accessibility. The moment you leave work it’s time to shut down the phone, and leave your laptop in the office. Robert Brooks, a professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and co-author of The Power of Resilience: Achieving Balance, Confidence and Personal Strength in Your Life. Brooks says that phone notifications interrupt your off time and inject an undercurrent of stress in your system. “Resilient people feel a greater sense of control over their lives,” says Brooks, while reactive people have less control and are more prone to stress.


4. Exercise and meditate

“The benefits of mindfulness meditation in the workplace are both proven and profound: reduced stress, heightened awareness and increased emotional intelligence to name but a few.” Explains Katie Byrne. Even when we’re busy, we make time for the crucial things in life. We eat. We go to the bathroom. We sleep. And yet one of our most crucial needs – exercise – is often the first thing to go when our calendars fill up. Exercise is an effective stress reducer. It pumps feel-good endorphins through your body. It helps lift your mood and can even serve a one-two punch by also putting you in a meditative state, according to the Mayo Clinic. I found my health and happiness through yoga, discover your passion and incorporate it in your life.


5. Cut the crap

No one can make this change for you. It’s time you stopped making excuses for yourself and take control of your life. Surround yourself with positive people, be inspired and empowered by the company you keep. Start treating yourself as you treat others, and don’t be too hard on yourself. Don’t say you will start tomorrow, start now. Begin by writing down one thing that you want in life. Stick it somewhere you can see it and start your day off by reminding yourself what your goal is.


For more inspiration from Aisling, check out her Linked in, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts.

We certainly will be!

Luxury Office Design

Many things have been changing over the past few months at KLD and many projects have been going on behind the scenes. One in particular is a large, luxury office design that is currently being developed. High end design is something we feel very passionate about. It transfers across residential and commercial interiors with a key emphasis on quality, detailing and overall experience.

Inspiration board for luxury office design
Inspiration board for luxury office design

Fusing a concept of sophisticated industrialism with luxury and raw materials, our luxury office design encompasses luxury, style and industrialism…. with playful and exciting elements throughout.

The office accommodates full time staff, visiting international staff and also important clients and guests, so the environment needs to appeal to all of these. Spatially the environment should create positive and unexpected experiences for all who enter, offering a sense of open plan, whilst also providing privacy.


Line drawing of reception and meeting room corridor
Line drawing of reception and meeting room corridor
Line drawing of reception and waiting area
Line drawing of reception and waiting area
Line drawing of breakout and main office space
Line drawing of breakout and main office space
Open plan office space
Open plan office space

Private meeting space

Selection of materials and luxurious textures
Selection of materials and luxurious textures

The fusion of Irish made materials, with timeless stone and leather creates a balances and timeless interior. More progress to come…


J’adore Paris…Paris inspiration

Is there anywhere more beautiful than Paris?! Every street corner is bursting with character, around every corner there are design and artistic delights to uncover. And where else can you enjoy delightfully designed patiserrie’s, whilst sipping on champagne and appreciating art?! Overall I am completely won over by Paris inspiration and love every chance visit I get to make.

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting for work and pleasure. Starting at the wonderful Place Des Vosges, I was inspired by the stunning art galleries lining the square.

Places des Vosges, Paris. Photo credit – Wikipedia

The Modus Art Gallery especially appealed with a striking exhibition from talented artist Zhuang Hong Yi. His art work is very influenced by Chinese culture and his recent collection is made using rice paper to build up very textured paintings.

Textured rice paper paintings
Textured rice paper paintings

These really appealed to me. They are hugely textured and the abstract quality means they would work in many different surroundings.




As well as being experimental with texture, they are also experimental with colour and appear to change colour as you view them from different perspectives.  They come in a range of sizes and colours and the edges are exposed so that you can see how the composition was made.



My personal favourite was the blue toned, large piece which evoked images of seascapes and holidays for me!


Another exhibition that really struck me was by artist Marco Grassi and was in the Galerie Artmundi. Abstract portraits govern the walls with neon accents and sensual faces. I was drawn in… and have serious art envy! I just need to sort out the small issue of payment…. but otherwise it is mine!
























As well as some art sourcing, I found the time to indulge in some pretty places and taste some delicious tapas.

One place was a secret spanish gem brimming with style and character, not to mention the delicious charcuterie and red wine!



The second was another gem in a very cool part of the city. Partly designed by my talented friend Susanna Kingston as part of Alexander Waterworth Interiors, Ober Mamma is one of their latest designs and is a gorgeous restaurant. Every detail was considered resulting in a striking restaurant showcasing the scrumptious food. Definitely one to check out… make sure to allow enough time to sample their range of cocktails!

Geometric tile inspiration at Ober Mamma
Geometric tile inspiration at Ober Mamma


Chevron table design and delicious cocktail menus!
Chevron table design and delicious cocktail menus!




Although a quick visit, it was well worth stopping by. Until we meet again Paris!

Roisin x

KLD Dublin Design – Inspiration weekend

What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than to have a “KLD Dublin Design, Inspration Weekend”. It was a great way to relax and unwind before the start of a new week!

This weekend I got to explore some of the design delights going on in Dublin at the moment with the lovely Becky. We ventured down Dame Lane to check out the stunning April and the Bear pop up shop. It delivered everything we hoped for, bursting with character and charm. It was great to get to meet the lovely Siobhan Lam, owner and creator of the shop.



It was also great to get to see the products in the flesh, we are particularly in love with the jewellery and the illustrations and prints… couldn’t quite resist buying a few!




We particularly like that there is so much Irish talent showcased from jewellery designers, artists and furniture makers.

A major bonus was getting to see the talented furniture and product designer, Jenny Walsh, in action.




Jenny was in store creating some of her striking cardboard, organic light fittings and chatting with customers. It was really interesting to see how the pieces are made. We were particularly interested to hear that all the waste material from the manufacture is re-used to make the packaging itself (which is also very cool.)

After the retail therapy, we ventured into Industry to check out the new deli and try some tasty sweet potatoe wedges. It was packed to the rafters, and bursting with interior treats from tiling, to panelling, not to mention the beautifully styled accessories and vintage finds. Industry is always a shop worth visiting and now with the tasty food options, we will most certainly be visiting again!

To top off the day, I picked up a copy of the new issue of Image Interiors & Living and was delighted to see the ‘Ask the Expert’ section back again featuring me as the Interiors Expert, The Interior DIYeradvising on your DIY adventures, John Kelly talking Architecture and Paeder Doyle talking construction facts.  This month I am giving advice on how to future proof your home for a growing family. Make sure to pick up a copy!

Ranelagh Residence Interior Design in N.M House Magazine

We are always delighted, here at Kingston Lafferty Design, to have our interior design work featured in the press.

We are particularly chuffed when featured in press in different countries. Our project Ranelagh Residence is currently featured in Ukrainian interiors magazine N.M House.

Check out piece below to see images and spread!

To see more of our Interior Design press coverage check out our Press & Awards page.

Interiors Magazine NM House
Ranelagh Residence featured in Ukrainian interiors magazine N.M House
Ranelagh Residence in Ukranian interiors magazine N.M House
Ranelagh Residence featured in Ukrainian interior design magazine N.M House

Ranelagh Residence featured in NM House Magazine.

Ukranian interiors magazine N.M House
Ukrainian interiors magazine N.M House
Ukranian interiors magazine N.M House
Ukrainian interiors magazine N.M House




Ukranian interiors magazine N.M House
Ukrainian interiors magazine N.M House