How Roisin Lafferty became one of Ireland’s leading designers

The doyenne of Irish interior design Roisin Lafferty loves to create exciting and unexpected places.

For our new series of designer interviews with established and up-and-coming stars – the Last Word – I chat with the Irish interior designer Roisin Lafferty. I met Roisin in Dublin, when I was editing Image Interiors & Living magazine and she was briefly my intern.

 portrait of Roisin Lafferty
The Dublin-based interior designer Roisin Lafferty set up her interior design company Kingston Lafferty in 2010.

Dynamic, determined and with a confidence way beyond her years, she blew me away. It was no surprise when she left soon after to set up her interior design company. And she was only 24.

Today the award-winning designer juggles projects across continents and she’s only just getting started…

How Kingston Lafferty Design started

When Roisin and her friend Suzanna Kingston started their company, Kingston Lafferty Design, the Irish economy was in the doldrums. The building industry was in tatters and design jobs were scarce. But it was a risk that paid off handsomely. “Ireland’s recession forced my hand a bit,” admits Roisin. “Even getting work experience was difficult, so I started the business to help build my portfolio.”

Staircase designed by Roisin Lafferty
The Farm, a huge residential project in Ireland, where Roisin enjoyed full freedom with all the interior architecture including the design of this sweeping three storey staircase.

Roisin and Suzanna, who both completed master’s degrees in product design at, coincidentally, Kingston University, London, needn’t have worried.

Work flooded in and the business grew incredibly fast. Too quickly, perhaps, and Suzanne left after three years as she found it incredibly stressful. “I was too stubborn to walk away,” smiles Roisin, who today employs 16 people and enjoys all design challenges – from private homes and residential developments to commercial spaces and revamps of picturesque Irish bars and hotels.

neutral bedroom with luxury accessories
Understated drama in this residential bedroom design in a conservation home in Kenilworth, which features Fulcrum lighting by Lee Broom.

Passion projects

Creatively led and uncompromising, the design company has taken on a couple of large projects in the UK, including a manor house outside of London. And they’ve also been asked to design a series of branches for The Malin in the US – a co-working brand for creatives. “It’s a real design challenge as each one has to be different and concept specific,” says Roisin.

dark blue kitchen design with marble worktops
We love how the light floods this dark blue kitchen in a residential home in Kenilworth.

Roisin is a fan of Ilse Crawford and Australian interior designer Fiona Lynch – “she’s my current crush, her work is so restrained and bold at the same time.” But her company doesn’t have a house style. And this means the work never gets boring. “I love dreaming up the ideas,” she says. “Collaborating with a large group of specialists and seeing a project come to life is a real high.

moody bathroom design with freestanding bath
Moody blues add contrast and just the right touch of decadence to this seemingly simple bathroom scheme in Kenilworth.

“I’m genuinely passionate and excited about each job. I’ve really enjoyed working on The Farm, a huge residential design in Ireland, where we’ve had full freedom with all the interior architecture including the design of a sweeping three storey staircase. It’s been scary but so exciting at the same time.”

modern living room scheme with calming, neutral shades
The main living space in the Farm oozes with style and confidence.

Today, Roisin is creating her own design magic at Murray’s, a traditional hotel on the beautiful windswept island of Inis Bofin, off the west coast of Ireland. “It’s a real passion project for me as it belongs to my godmother’s family,” she says with a smile. “It’s where I’ve been going on holiday since I was a child.” And she’s also bought a tumbledown cottage in Roundwood, a very pretty village in Wicklow, that she’s slowly renovating in between projects.

stylish bedroom design with 70s colour palette
Living in this 1970s family home in Cork, on the west coast of Ireland, with framed views, intricate details and contrasting materials is “like a wonderland” say the owners.

What the future holds…

Next up for Kingston Lafferty Design is an online shop selling their furniture and lighting designs, but it’s a work in progress for now. We’ve no doubt it’s going to be a huge success. Roisin’s certainly got the determination and portfolio to prove it!

Dark bathroom with green and marble tiles
The bathroom in this family home in Cork, off Ireland’s West Coast, features a riot of colour and different materials.

Photography: Ruth Maria

Enjoyed this post? Click here for dark blue kitchen designs

About Post Author

You Might Also Like


Want to get involved?

[email protected]

Sign up to our newsletter

Want the latest in your inbox?