House Of Peroni 2019 is just around the corner and we are absolutely buzzing for it.
In the lead-up, we’re going to be chatting to the three main collaborators of this year’s event: Kev Freeney of Algorithm, chef Killian Crowley of Aniar and interior designer Roisín Lafferty.
Tucked away down an unsuspecting road just off Baggot Street is an eye-catching, black and white printed wall of cheese plants and illustrations; this was certainly not the only thing that caught my attention about the Kingston-Lafferty Design studio.
The entire office is like walking into a Pinterest feed with bold prints, bright colours, quirky furniture and intriguing textures. I feel as though my neck had a full workout from the number of times I moved it to look at the next picture on the wall or light hanging from the ceiling.
Up, up and up again we went before finally making it to Roisín's office that she shares with her director.
If I wasn't already super excited about House Of Peroni 2019 - this visit has added a whole new dimension to that jittery feeling.
How did you build your career?
"I studied interior architecture and furniture design in DIT and graduated top of my class with first-class honours in 2008. At that time, the recession was at its worst; all of the big interior design companies closed, and all of the architecture practices had closed their interior section. Luckily, at our graduate show, a couple of us got offered a master's in Kingston Uni in London and with no plans on the horizon I took it.
I went over to London just a couple of months after and studied product and spacial design, which I think is kind of what really kicked everything off.
I hoped to get work in London but at that time, even for an internship, you needed three years experience. I came back to Ireland with my classmate and colleague, Susanna Kingston, for what was meant to be a three month period to get some hands-on experience.
I didn't think of the possibility to set up on my own at all then.
So, we got a few jobs. We were completely clueless. We ended up getting a great opportunity to do a really big job, which was absolutely out of our comfort zone, it'd still be out of my comfort zone now, but I think blind naivety and positive thinking got us through it. We had to hire a fully professional team. It took three years instead of three months.
It was at that three-year mark that Susan decided to leave and I decided to stay. I was on-site on about four jobs on my own, working until 3:00 AM. That's when my current director Becky, who also studied with us joined.
There's a team of 15 of us now. It's a diverse team from all over the world, which actually has great benefits and brings fresh perspective all the time."
What challenges have you faced as a female entrepreneur?
"I was 24 when I set up my own business and was quite inexperienced. I definitely had a lot of barriers to push through.
Unfortunately, it's quite a male-dominated industry. I think people look at you and assume you're young and you don't know what you're doing. And yes, of course, there's a lot of learning, but at the same time you do know the creativity, you know the design, so it's almost as if you have to persuade people, it's taken a long time to get past that.
You're trying to prove yourself all the time."
What advice do you have for someone redecorating their room?
"Redesign the room systems specifically to you and identify how you plan to use the room. You know, some rooms are mainly used in evenings. They can be designed differently for that reason. Also, think about how you want to feel in the room. I think that's the thing that sometimes is overlooked, especially with Pinterest and Instagram as they can be quite flat. They look nice in a camera, but how do you feel when you go in there?"
What makes your business unique?
"First and foremost, we're creative. We're one of the only design companies in Ireland who don't restrict the area we work in.
We work across all areas. We're doing offices, retail, hotels, we're also doing private homes. I feel like that gives us a unique insight because people often want, especially with offices, for it to feel like home. It all overlaps.
We design everything in this space, including all the furniture and sometimes lighting. So that kind of means that you can have more creative control and emotion."
What inspired you in the design of this year's House Of Peroni?
"It was definitely my trip to Puglia. I love Italy in general, but it stood out to me because it was very different from everywhere else. It's very serene and the feeling you get when you go there is immediately relaxed and calm.
It's all very crisp and chalky. Whites are just kind of framing your view everywhere. And I guess then, so you've got the kind of rigidity of the architecture, but then you've got like gorgeous, oversized cacti everywhere as well.
When we were designing we selected different strong elements and blew them up to make it kind of playful so that people want to have fun there and engage in this space."
What's your favourite piece of design at House Of Peroni?
"You can climb on things and walk around things, sit on things, get Instagrams on them. It's a very fun and playful design."
What feelings do you hope to evoke from House Of Peroni?
"Curiosity, discovery and fun."
House Of Peroni will be back to take up residence in the Royal Hibernian Academy at Ely Place, Dublin 2 as part of a global House Of Peroni Series, which also sees events taking place in Barcelona, Paris, Stockholm, Santiago and Johannesburg.
This year, House Of Peroni will be in Dublin from Thursday, August 22 until Sunday, September 1 and will see the Royal Hibernian Academy be transformed into a super stylish Peroni-inspired venue.
House Of Peroni requires no booking and there’s no admission fee. Although, it is strictly over 18s.