Holly Donoghue is undoubtedly one to watch! The newly established interior designer speaks to us about her new Westbury doors and windows, adapting to the changes that 2020 brought and the meaning of 'home'.
After years of ‘dabbling’ in interiors, Holly decided to study at the Inchbald School of Design and set up her own interior design company, Holly Donoghue Interiors, in 2019.
We first got to know Holly when she approached us to design bespoke windows, doors and a roof lantern for her property. We couldn’t help but take notice of her bright and superbly stylish interiors and had to find out more.
How was 2020 for you and your business?
Obviously, 2020 was a crazy year for all. I’ve been able to carry on working virtually, so I’ve certainly honed my Zoom skills this year! I’m excited to be working on transforming two family homes at the moment, and I’m looking forward to what 2021 brings.
How was 2020 for the world of interiors?
Crazy! Everyone in the industry has tweaked the way they worked and rose to the challenges presented. I think everyone’s seen a lot of online enquiries for virtual services in particular. People have had to spend a lot more time at home, and it seems like they all took advantage of the opportunity by getting around to all those outstanding tasks they’d been putting off for a while.
Why do you think it’s so vital for us to take care of our homes and keep them looking good?
Your home should be a place that you can return to each day, and act as a retreat where you can switch off and unwind. Having a space that you can enjoy with family and friends, feel relaxed and be proud of is so essential. I think that feeling comes with a good layout and proper organisation – if it’s beautiful to look at, then all the better! Our homes are the most significant investment we will make, so it stands to reason that we should keep them at their best and money well spent should always pay off. Anyone can get a lot of pleasure out of having great looking interiors and with the wealth of resources out there now… it doesn’t have to come at a high price.
What’s your favourite thing about your house?
The kitchen! It’s where we spend most of our time as a family. The kitchen went from looking dark and dingy to beautifully light and airy with the addition of the roof lantern from Westbury.
What products did you order from Westbury and why?
Westbury supplied us with bespoke windows, doors and a beautiful glazed roof lantern. We were doing a whole house renovation and getting the doors and windows replaced was high on my list, as they were poorly made and badly fitted. We needed doors and windows for the newly extended areas as well, and it was essential to create a cohesive look throughout.
What sort of thing were you looking for when you first researched joinery companies?
Above all, I wanted to find someone who could deliver quality, with a good range of products to choose from. Flexibility was necessary, so I looked for a company that could offer outstanding customer service and would fit in with our hectic renovation and decoration schedule. I also took into account the existing portfolio and the ability to customise as much as possible, especially with our front door and hardware as it’s those details I wanted to focus on.
What was it that made you pick Westbury?
We did look at several companies before settling on Westbury. They came highly recommended from another company we use regularly and trust. We were impressed with the quality of Westbury products, and being able to look around the bespoke joinery workshop helped us to understand what goes into the production process. We appreciated the personal approach, from the initial point of contact through to the installation and aftercare.
Nothing was too much of a problem, from my requests for dual coloured windows, arched windows and a false window to the ridiculous number of tweaks I asked for to get my front door ‘just right.’
What have you noticed about the products now they’ve been part of your home for a while?
They look and perform as great as they did when Westbury first installed them!
What’s the one thing you couldn’t do without when you’re creating new interior schemes for your clients?
Designing interiors means that I must have an understanding of what my client’s want to achieve, and that comes from clear communication and transparency. Therefore, the one thing I couldn’t do without is having a good relationship with them!
What’s the number one thing you always try to keep in mind when you’re working with a new client?
That my client feels comfortable through all stages of the process and that we’re on the same page. I think that interior design can be quite intimidating for a lot of people, especially when there’s a set budget in place.
What comes first – form or function?
Function! Your home needs to function well. Otherwise, everything ends up being plain annoying! It’s a designer’s job to make sure your home is operating to its full potential. That’s one of the first questions I ask a new client: ‘what annoys you about this space?’
If someone’s thinking about making changes at home, where would you suggest that they start?
Start by creating a wish list and gathering ideas on Pinterest. It’s also essential to decide how much you can spend and what you’d like to prioritise. Instagram is the most fantastic resource, and I’ve found that the interiors and home improvement community on there is a lovely, incredibly supportive one. I’ve enjoyed building my profile @holly.d.interiors, and I’ve connected with designers and brands I otherwise wouldn’t have discovered.