48 Hours in Paris

In September, two of our KLD designers, Amira Al Shater and Fiona Stone jetted off to Paris for Paris Design Week.  What better city could they have possibly visited for fashion, art, design and food? Here is a little insight into their 48 hours in Paris.

Trés Chic


With less than 48 hours to spend in Paris, we had to be vigilant with our time, squeezing in as much as possible while getting a respectable amount of sleep. We were so organised that while on the flight, we were setting out a pins on the map to ensure nothing was missed on our adventure through the streets of Paris.


Getting ready for Paris with croissants & coffees



After settling into our boutique hotel in the heart of the design district we struck out and began exploring,  wandering through the streets of Paris in search of inspiration, which came in the form of  beautifully designed interiors, architecture, chic cafés, independent furniture shops and bookshops. Of course we also did some shopping and foraging through many of Paris’s fabulous vintage stores.


We stopped at Season for a quick brunch



Delicious Parisian food.



Amira too excited for rugs



Parisian Fiona


We were also lucky to talk our way into the sold-out Klimt exhibition-Atelier des Lumieres; a visual representation of his artwork. Truly mesmerizing with projected images running across the floors, walls and ceilings with mystical harmonious sounds evoking a feeling of dreaminess.

Fiona blending in at Klimt


Amira at Klimt


The evening was spent dining in an exquisitely designed restaurant DaRoco with industrial exposed brick, steel wall panels and mirrored ceilings contrasting against the delicate richly toned blue banquette seating and soft rattan chairs; a great design with great pizza too! We then hit some bars, chosen carefully for their design promise and cocktail menu. It was a lovely end to a busy Parisian day.


DaRoco – our amazing dinner location


With such a brief time in Paris, we weren’t letting  sleep keep us from experiencing as many of the delights of Paris we could. Fuelled by coffee and cake from the Hoxton hotel’s garden terrace, we set off for day two of our Parisian adventure.

Hoxton Hotel Garden Terrace


As it was Amira’s first time in Paris, we had to squeeze in the essential touristy sights such as the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame. One couldn’t see Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower in all its glory.  We’re not ashamed to say we were squealing with excitement at the sight of the stunning landmark and iconic representation of Paris. It was thrilling to be at the Eiffel Tower in the city of lights, the city of love dreaming up our own Utopian landscapes. Paris really does cast a spell.

Notre Dame


Maison et Objet

We then set out at the Maison et Objet. Maison et Objet is a major French trade fair for interior design. Held twice a year, it is one of the most important European events for interior design.

As we entered we were met with a panoply of design, interiors, furniture and lighting stands.  Asian product designers caught our eyes with unusual quirky product designs, while French jewellery designers stole our hearts with their beautiful hand made pieces.

Starting our adventure at Maison et Objet


In Maison, the Future exhibition combined new and conceptual materials in the forms of concrete panels, cladding, tiles, and fabrics to inspire us.


One of the highlights of our visit to Maison et Objet was experiencing some of our favourite designer pieces in an amazing setup such as Imperfetto Lab & Dooq.


Imperfetto Lab


Dooq stand


It was great too to see Irish companies such as Mullan lighting representing at Objet. We always feel a sense of pride when Irish artistry and craftsmanship are represented on the world stage along with the best of the best from other countries as well


Furniture Design

Often, working locally, we spec pieces but don’t get to see them in real life, so it was a real treat to see and touch all the beautiful pieces that were on display. We had a great time meeting and interacting with furniture suppliers, new and old and really experiencing their wares up close. In particular Munna Design, the furniture design brand renowned for creating handmade upholstery with unmatched craftsmanship.

Fun elements brought us to this furniture designer with dreamy velvet fabrics in a muted pastels tones accompanied with brass/ timber elegant legs and finishes. Neon lighting signs created a beautiful subdued atmosphere against the rough plastered walls with an abundance of delicate greenery to enrich the stunning exhibition space, creating the impression one was in a fantasy home. An oversize fringe chair made quite the dramatic feature, inviting people to perch themselves and curl up. Supplying us with prosecco filled ice pops it was no wonder we did not want to leave this space!


The most Instagramable Bed at Maison


Our time in Paris flew and we doubt we could have squeezed more in. 48 hours was just the right amount of time for a short, snappy, busy visit to one of the global centres of fashion and art. Design is all around us, but when in a city like Paris, you really do feel a little closer and connected to the magic. Thank you KLD for a wonderful trip!

Winner Best Café Design: Pot Bellied Pig

Announcing the winner of best café design at the 2018 Restaurant and Bar Design Awards: The Pot Bellied Pig.


Restaurant and Bar Design Awards Winners Logo

What a week that was. After a few intense and long days organising and executing a photoshoot at a recently completed London residence, we headed to the Restaurant and Bar Design Awards 2018 on Thursday evening. Our design for the Pot Bellied Pig was up for best café design in the UK/International category. We had been looking forward to the for many months having received news of the shortlist all the way back in June.

Pot Bellied Pig
Front of Pot Bellied Pig


Pot Bellied Pig

Front door entrance

Needless to say the Pot Bellied Pig has always been close to our hearts. Lema Murphy is one of those dream clients that we love to collaborate with at KLD. Lema was invested, creatively driven and open-minded to the possibilities. She had lived and worked in Melbourne after college and was really taken by how social their cafés were for groups and individuals alike. They catered for groups but also for the individual who would come and read the paper or gaze at their phone.

KLD Creative Director, Róisín Lafferty with Pot Bellied Pig owner Lema Murphy


The two ‘before’ photos below give you an idea of the transformation that took place with the design. The space is long and narrow with limited light and had previously been an off-licence, so turning it into a restaurant where people would sit and spend time was indeed a challenge.

Front of building, view out on to the street


View from front of building towards the back


A large part of the brief was that the business would be focused on catering to the young, professional, brunch market so the design required a cool aesthetic with maximum capacity for covers, providing both takeaway and eat in options, as well as an outdoor area.

Outdoor area at rear of building


It was with this in mind that we set about the design for the Pot Bellied Pig. The main challenge was the small space and how to create multiple experiences within this space. The solution was clever zoning, identified by stark changes in materials and an innovative design installation of tubed lighting was designed by KLD for the front, initial entrance part of the café.

PBP Main pink booth angled
Luxurious pink booth


From the photographs, taken by best in the business Barbara Corsico, you will see we used a mix of tiles, brass, velvets, leather and lush planting which deliver interest and excitement throughout. Nature and greenery were drawn in to enhance the palette of pink and green. The building’s limited natural light and a long orientation demanded we add a lot of mirror in order to bounce light and reflect the space, giving the illusion of a wider frame to the café.

Tile and lighting detail


At the time of its opening we were thrilled to have such fantastic write ups in the Irish Times and countless blogs, with one describing it as “a swoonworthy addition to our Instagram feeds.” More recently, The Pot Bellied Pig also featured in the October 2018 edition of Architectural Digest Mexico.

Pot Bellied Pig, featured in the October 2018 edition of Architectural Design Mexico


And so to the awards in London at Kings Cross on Thursday 4 October 2015. Quite a surreal experience. Dedicated to the design of food and beverage spaces, they are now in their tenth year and globally recognised. This covers every imaginable hospitality space, from ships to airports, museums to burger vans, and from revered Michelin-starred establishments to the fleeting dynamism of pop-ups. I could hardly believe it when the Pot Bellied Pig was named the winner of best café design. It was such a strong category and our fellow nominees were design houses whose work spans the globe and who I truly admire.  It was a huge deal to be even at the awards and be in such company and winning was a wonderful bonus.

Róisín Lafferty and Becky Russell at the Restaurant and Bar Design Awards


It is a huge honour to win this award, I am also delighted for Lema, as the Pot Bellied Pig is her baby and it is wonderful that it has received this recognition. We are so very proud of this collaboration and look forward to many more daring, inventive, bold and brave restaurant designs.

Thank you to everyone involved in the design and build and thanks to the Restaurant and Bar Design Awards for the recognition.

A Day in the Life: Fiona Stone, Designer

Today is the day we ‘hand back the keys’ so to speak on one of our most special projects of 2018. A beautiful renovation on a charming house in Dublin 4. This has been a huge project which started on site in April this year after months of planning and designing.

This is my first complete project since joining KLD last November, and what a journey and joy it has been to help oversee the renovation and rejuvenation of this stunning three-storey house.

At KLD we like to create something totally unique and personal for our clients. We collaborate with all our clients throughout the design process, particularly on residential, to create that extra personal touch.

Our client for this project is well travelled and carried a passion for bold colours and prints inspired by the vast amount of countries visited. This is reflected throughout the house. It is always exciting to work with such a spirited client who trusts us to push boundaries and create something beautifully unique, which is what I believe design to be all about.

The design is exquisitely curated with many customised pieces including carefully designed joinery, floors, furniture and a richly toned colour palette. My favourite must be the dreamy, luxurious master ensuite with pigmented plaster walls accompanied by a customised concrete vanity, hand painted tiles and of course a giant chandelier floating above the free-standing bath, encapsulating the beauty of a Moroccan haven. The attention to detail is second to none. Nothing is as exciting as seeing the entire project coming together especially when different pieces of carefully sourced furniture arrive or a custom marble floor is pieced together.

Bathroom of Dreams

This particular afternoon it was all hands-on deck for final styling, hanging, sweeping, mopping, and polishing, preparing the house for the owner to move in. We all chip in on the glamourous and not so glamorous jobs. One of the last things we do as designers on a project is walk around the space, pen and paper in hand, and look at everything with the most critical eye. This is one of the most important aspects of the job. The dreaded (for some) but essential snag list.

It is a hallmark of KLD that when we hand over any project to the client it has been through the most stringent quality control. Sometimes this can be a painful process, but it is vitally important that the product is delivered as promised and at KLD we do not compromise on anything.

With just 24 hours to go this hyperlapse video gives you an idea of what was going on in the last push to get everything ready.


Like many jobs a great deal of design and subsequent project management is problem solving. There will always be issues, and it is about how to deal with them, how to solve them and how to keep something moving forward. If something can go wrong, it usually will. Also, things you never thought about will crop up. It is so important to deal with problems quickly and effectively. It’s important to not let stress ever get in the way. Most problems can be solved with a bit of thought, ingenuity, creativity and imagination. So today is particularly sweet considering the amount of time,  effort, hours and creative thinking that have gone into the project.

Having just completed the interior we are now creating an exterior on par with the interior. Full of character it will be an extension of the interior. A secret, wild garden with as many surprising, hidden gems in each corner as one will find in the interior.

What is most important is for the client to have trust in the designer. Sometimes we as designers can see the visual, but it may be hard for a client to visualise. Luckily, with this project we had the privilege of working with a client who is as bold and open minded as we are at KLD. There is nothing more satisfying than the client loving the project as much as you do. It is incredibly rewarding helping people to create their dream home! Your home is the most important place in the world.

Yes, my work here is done…


Fiona Stone joined KLD last November having spent the last 7 years on the road with Lord of the Dance. Bursting with creativity and energy, we are so delighted Fiona has decided to return to design with us as at KLD. And we are also delighted Fiona still dances from time to time.

Colour of the Week: Sapphire

This week’s colour is that of trust, clarity, and statistically the favourite colour of the most people in the world. Today, we are focusing on the colour blue, and specifically, for the month that is upon us, the September birthstone of Sapphire.

Iconic Offices: The Brickhouse

Sapphire & The Blue Family

Blue is psychologically a colour that can mean many different things. As the opposite of red and not commonly seen within foods, this hue lends itself to be unappetizing. However, it is also commonly associated with trust and it is the colour of a magnitude of different corporations and many country’s flags. Emotions and mental implications aside, blue can be a colour perfectly executed within interior design, whether it be in paint or furniture.

DFS Colour Happiness Installation at Chocolate Factory in Dublin, May 2018


Blue can be calm, or bold, or sophisticated. It is all about how it is played off within a space. Here are some tips on how to incorporate sapphire and blue into your own design endeavors!

  • for a more sophisticated look within a space, pair navy blues with woodsy, rich brown shades. This creates a similar royalty vibe to more purple tones, without becoming overpowering and retaining the peacefulness of its cooler nature.
  • Blues pair amazingly with other cool tones, specifically cool grays. Try balancing the two together for a modern take on blue.
  • Blues tend to work best when balanced with other colours of a similar brightness. If using bright blues, try using bright yellow and white to give the room a fun colourful look. Pair deeper blues with more aged tones, such as burnt ambers and mustards. Pair grey-blues with other muted hues, such as muted red.
Iconic Offices: The Brickhouse


Huguenot House, St Stephen’s Green penthouse design

Paint Options

At KLD we use Fleetwood Paints for a majority of our work. Here is a selection of our favourite sapphire-blue inspired shades!

Being a Woman in the Property Industry

When I heard my name called out as joint winner of the emerging talent at the KPMG Irish Independent Property Industry Excellence Awards 2017, it felt really, really good. There was a certain validation, a validation of our creative approach and execution and the value and importance of our contribution in a highly competitive and thriving industry. In a year where one of KLD’s goals was genuine collaboration, sharing the award for emerging talent with Joe McGinley, founder and CEO of Iconic offices, after recently collaborating on a series of projects together, was further cause for celebration. It was also wonderful to see other brands and businesses that we continue to collaborate with including Cairn Homes Plc as winners on the night. Creative collaboration is a hallmark of how KLD work.

Irish rugby legend Paul O’Connell presents the emerging talent award jointly to Róisín Lafferty and Joe McGinley at the KPMG Irish Independent Property Industry Excellence Awards in 2017

What is it like to be a woman in what is a male dominated industry?

There is no doubt 2017 and 2018 were extraordinary years for women. The #MeToo movement was a global phenomenon, a wake-up call that demanded both women and men to look at themselves and question their whole belief systems and what was acceptable and not. There has never been a better time to be a woman in this industry, women now have more agency than ever before – witness the stunning work done by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley Mc Namara of Grafton Architects who are trailblazers and very inspirational to women like me. Of course there is a way to go, but we are moving in the right direction.

Property and construction is a male dominated industry and sometimes interior design and interior architecture can be seen by some as fluffy and secondary. However, it is the interior of a building that everyone experiences most. Irrespective of how our home or workplace looks like on the outside, how it is inside that is what is most impactful. The spaces you surround yourself with impact on you hugely, and what is important for KLD is to make these spaces beautiful, unique and exciting and this has been at the core of our success.

Whiskey Library
Iconic SouthPoint Library and Whiskey Bar


Interior architecture and design is a carefully researched and crafted discipline placing human behaviour at its core to provide improved ergonomic environments. It is important for us to create exciting spaces for all our clients. What we look at in KLD is how these spaces are inhabited and experienced, be it work spaces, hospitality, retail or residential. For example, in the workplace we look at the human form and its actions in the space and endeavour to design a holistic embodied sensory experience, creating connection between the human body and the architectural body. All aspects, from the initial layout to the integrated lighting, furniture and buildup of materials and finishes are considered. The KLD approach ensures the best result for our clients; adding value to people’s lives and to businesses and brands.

Office space
Co-working space at Iconic Offices: The Brickhouse


Upcoming projects

Times are extremely exciting for KLD with a cluster of thrilling creatively led projects ongoing across hospitality, student living, office and retail sectors to name a few. We are privileged to be working with some very creatively minded clients and getting to experiment and push concepts and design boundaries. One such project has just completed. The Vaults, a new tourist attraction based in central Dublin in a stunning Victorian schoolhouse, is the first of its kind in the city. Fusing Irish history, drama and experiential design, The Vaults takes visitors on an exciting and unexpected journey culminating in a stunning parlour, which we designed. The parlour is a combined café and retail space with whimsical and playful references, delicious food and drinks. Look out for it.

The Vaults: A view through the original arches with a central marble high table to the new extension.
The Vaults: A view through the original arches with a central marble high table to the new extension.


The Vaults: Checkered floor and neon curved lighting connecting old and new sections.
The Vaults: Checkered floor and neon curved lighting connecting old and new sections.


I love my job, I love the industry and the amazing creative and talented people it attracts. I feel very lucky I get recreate my dreams and imagination for a living. I have worked hard to get where I am, I have had to build my business acumen up from zero, exercising that muscle to come somewhat closer to my creative ones. I am so proud of KLD and what it has achieved. We currently employ people from all over the world, which adds further diversity and design perspectives.

I could not have done this without all the amazing designers, artists, collaborators and mentors I have worked with over the years. At KLD we are uncompromising about the relationships we build and the stories we tell. We come with a creative passion matched with and deep understanding of the industry we are in.

Team KLD


This blog post is based on an article originally featured in the Irish Independent on 26 July 2018. This article can be viewed here.

Róisín Lafferty is the Founder and Creative Director of Kingston Lafferty Design. She believes firmly in the power of creative collaboration and has received a string of prestigious accolades, including Young Designer of the Year at the 2015 Fit Out Awards, a number of IDI Awards for both residential and commercial projects and the Emerging Talent Award at the 2017 Excellence in Property Awards.  She is a Brand Ambassador for INM’s House Event and for the past three years has worked closely as Brand Ambassador for DFS and Fleetwood Paint. KLD continues to grow and gain international recognition and their work has been featured in many Irish and International publications such as Living ETC, Italian Vogue, Architectural Digest and The Wall Street Journal.

20 Questions with Design Intern Aisling FitzGibbon

Aisling Fitzgibbon joined us as a design intern in August 2018. Aisling has just completed her 2nd year in Interior Architecture Griffith College and is looking forward to heading back into 3rd year in September. Hungry for knowledge, Aisling is also doing a part time course in garden design. Aisling has been an incredible addition to the team while she’s been at KLD and has quite literally been doing a bit of everything, from creating moodboards, to developing initial plans for projects and of course lots of driving to sites. Watch this space.

1. What could you not live without?

Most definitely my puppies!

Lovely puppies

2. Where would be your ideal weekend break?

I’d love a city break maybe Paris for a weekend.

3. Who is your favourite interior designer in the world?

There’s many but if I had to choose one it’s the design firm Studio Modijefsky in Amsterdam, their interiors are really different, and they play with colour a lot which I love.

Design by Studio Modijefsky in Amsterdam

4. What would your ideal day out in Dublin be?

Probably a visit to the zoo and feeding the deer in the park. Big animal lover over here.

5. What do you love about interior design?

I love that there are no boundaries when designing and the freedom you have when creating something beautiful. Being able to transform a space for people to live and work in which impacts people’s everyday lives is really special!

6. Your favourite gadget or app?

Definitely Instagram but JustEat is probably used more…

7. What’s on your bucket list?

Lots of travel adventures are on it but the main one up there is to live in New Zealand one day.

New Zealand

8. How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Ambitious, Optimistic, Creative

9. What is your favourite saying?

“It always seems impossible until its done” – Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

10. What’s your stress reliever?

Coming home to my puppies! And of course, love a good bath.

11. Who would you happily be stranded on a desert island with?

Wilson of course. (Get the tissues ready…)

12. How would you describe your family?

Crazy but always there for one another ?

13. Where do you want to be in 5 years time?

Working somewhere I love and to be happy!

14. What’s your favourite meal?

Thai food is my weakness.

15. Where is your favourite holiday destination?

I really want to visit Iceland it looks amazing.


16. Favourite hotel?

I’ve always wanted to visit Giraffe Manor in Kenya for the experience and give my breakfast away to them all!

Giraffe Manor

17. How would you describe your home town?

Greystones in County Wicklow — Typically Irish

18. What’s in your handbag?

Phone, purse, earphones, keys, pens and pencils, chewing gum and lip balm.

19. What’s your favourite movie?

Tough one there is so many. I couldn’t choose just one, but Man on Fire is one of the favs.

Man On Fire

20. What’s on your to-do list for 2018-2019?

Travel more, start some new exciting projects and gain all the experience I can from my time at KLD!