Don’t be afraid to fol­low your gut

Irish Examiner - Property & Interiors - - Interiors -

What’s your back­ground?

>> I have a di­ploma in in­te­rior de­sign and an hon­ours de­gree in fine art from Water­ford In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy (WIT). I used to teach night classes in in­te­rior de­sign at WIT as well.

I don’t think I would be as good an in­te­rior de­signer or colour con­sul­tant with­out my art. I painted and was draw­ing for seven years in col­lege al­to­gether, so I re­ally un­der­stand what is in a colour.

What’s a typ­i­cal work day like for you?

>> I travel to peo­ple’s houses, on be­half of Colourtrend. I could go to five or six dif­fer­ent houses in a day when I am do­ing colour schemes — Google Maps is like my best friend! Colourtrend and my­self go back a long way. I have al­ways used their paint. The colour you pick is the colour you get. It’s great qual­ity paint.

At the weekend, I would travel around the coun­try for them as well. I would go to their re­tail stock­ists and do in-store colour con­sul­ta­tions.

The rest of the time would be my own pri­vate work — full in­te­rior de­sign service and colour con­sul­ta­tion as well. It’s a full-on schedule but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Tell us about a re­cent project or de­sign/ favourite project or de­sign you have worked on?

■ >> I have just fin­ished a project on a Vic­to­rian House in Dublin 4. We went with a real tra­di­tional look.

The clients have told me that when they come down­stairs in the morn­ing, it’s like the house has come back to life again. I loved it. It was a real plea­sure to work on.

What’s your de­sign style?

>> I would hope I don’t have a de­sign style, that you wouldn’t look at a room and say that that’s Cul­bert In­te­ri­ors. You should see the in­di­vid­u­al­ity of the per­son, not me.

What in­spires your work?

>> Pos­i­tiv­ity in­spires my work. I did psy­chol­ogy as my elec­tive in col­lege and I think it is huge for in­te­rior de­sign. My most im­por­tant con­ver­sa­tion with clients is the first one.

When I go for a colour con­sul­ta­tion, I do a walk­a­bout, ask­ing ques­tions, look­ing around, tak­ing it all in – that’s the long­est part. By the time we have done that, I have a very good idea as to what this per­son is look­ing for.

Psy­chol­ogy is in ev­ery as­pect of life. Some­times you have to ap­proach these con­ver­sa­tions very del­i­cately, for ex­am­ple, if you feel that the per­son is go­ing the wrong way with a colour scheme, so that you are not up­set­ting them or of­fend­ing them.

What’s your favourite trend at the mo­ment (if you have any)?

>> I re­ally don’t go with the trend. I find that I am usu­ally ahead of it, and by that, I mean that I might de­cide to go with pea­cock blue for an is­land (which I have done) or sub­way tiles (I have been us­ing them for years), and the next thing it comes along a year or two later as a trend.

What’s your most trea­sured pos­ses­sion?

>> I think in life you can’t re­ally af­ford to have a ma­te­rial pre­cious thing. I have learned through my years that things can al­ways be re­placed.

Who would be your favourite de­signer, or style in­spi­ra­tion?

>> There isn’t one de­signer. It’s ev­ery­thing around me. No mat­ter where I am, I am look­ing all the time. I am con­stantly re­search­ing.

What would be a dream project for you to work on?

>> Five-star ho­tels – I love that plush­ness. And the “sky’s the limit” budget, which I have never had.

Have you any de­sign tips for us?

>> This is my favourite say­ing: the whole is worth more than the sum of the parts. When you walk into a room, you shouldn’t re­ally re­mem­ber that one thing, like a fea­ture wall, but should leave the room think­ing ‘I loved that space’.

Also, don’t for­get about your floor, fix­tures or work­tops. You have to take their colours and tones into con­sid­er­a­tion when it comes to the colour on the walls.

Fi­nally, be your­self — don’t be afraid to go with your choice. The mis­take you make, let it be your mis­take. Peo­ple love dif­fer­ent styles for a rea­son. It’s not about being safe, go with your gut. Don’t fol­low the trend.

■ www.mau­rac­ul­bert­in­te­ri­

Kitchen: Maura Colourtrend on this kitchen Main Kitchen Breath; Vein. All doors, skirt­ing were Teeth.

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