Don’t be afraid to follow your gut
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.
Colourtrend on this kitchen
Main Kitchen Breath;
Vein. All doors, skirting