Sunday Business Post, August 2009

Contemporary design company thinks ahead

Sunday, August 02, 2009 By Cheryl Rickard

Six months after they launched their interior design firm, Joanne Kelly and Anthony Buggy are enjoying the freedom of being their own bosses.

After working together at Dublin design company Duff Tisdall, the pair saw an opportunity to strike out on their own. They set up Think Contemporary to design residential interiors that ‘‘bring something unique to the market’’, according to Kelly.

Kelly and Buggy are both graduates of Dublin Institute of Technology. Kelly holds a degree in interior architecture and furniture design, while Buggy graduated in interior architecture.

While Kelly initially wanted to study graphic design, a work experience placement with an interior architect changed her mind. After graduating, she worked with a design firm in south Co Dublin, where she gained experience before moving to Duff Tisdall.

Buggy went further afield, moving to Australia after university and working for a kitchen design company in Sydney. ‘‘I began to develop a good knowledge and understanding of spatial planningand ergonomics of a well-designed living space,” he said.

With an established portfolio, he returned to Dublin and joined Duff Tisdall. However, he always hoped to own his own firm. ‘‘During my career, I have learned a lot of business skills. I hope I can draw on them to develop an interior architecture company that will give me satisfaction and control of my own career path,” he said.

Buggy said he enjoyed the challenge that each new project presented, from taking a brief, working on a concept and then achieving the final result. ‘‘It is amazing to see the ‘before’ and ‘after’ of a project and to see what is achievable with good planning and design,” he said.

Kelly’s biggest satisfaction comes from the fact that every job they do is different and that she is always being challenged in different ways.

She said that the duo had ‘‘different styles’’ that work well together, drawing from traditional, retro and contemporary designs The biggest challenge the pair faced was establishing the Think Contemporary name and brand.

Recognising that the majority of customers research products and services online, their marketing campaign has focused on the internet with a website that showcases their work.

As well as promoting Think Contemporary, Kelly and Buggy are in the process of designing their own range of furniture, which they would like to launch in the near future.

Looking ahead, they hope to branch out into commercial design in the longer term.

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