All photos in this article were provided and designed by Geri O’Toole and Geri Designs.
Creative Director and Interior Specialist Geri O’Toole brings a fresh and modern outlook to the interior design world. As talented and charismatic as they come, Geri is a Southern Ireland designer based in Limerick City with projects nationwide. We had the pleasure of chatting with Geri about her interiors, art, and aesthetic development. As always, we’re thrilled to have new and young designers as friends of The Kuotes. Here’s what Geri had to say!
The Kuotes: Hi Geri! Can you tell me about your background and how you got interested in design?
Geri: Hi! My life has always been steeped in design and aesthetic. My mother, who sadly passed when I was 9 years old, worked in interior design and took up painting later in life. My father was (and still is) always selling fine art and antiques. Our home was always surrounded in antiques and art, and I loved it from an early age. I trained in interior architecture and design, and when I completed training and gained experience, I came back to the family business and started running it about 10 years ago. Since then I redeveloped the business into a whole home solution from lighting to flooring and everything in between, but all luxurious and with quality product.
Get The Look:
K: When did you first launch/start Geri Designs? Where are you based? Where do you offer your design services?
G: The requests for my design skills on projects and my passion for interior design started the development of the design business. So it’s really only in its infancy. The new stand-alone brand of Geri Designs is relatively new, starting last year, but I’ve been designing for a number of years. I’m based in the heart of Limerick city in Southern Ireland, but I work on projects remotely and nationwide. I have a new studio opening in the next couple of months, which is very exciting! I also hope to work with some clients more remotely in other countries with our design packages.
Get The Look:
K: How would you describe your “Geri O’Toole” design style?
G: I think I would describe my design style as luxurious… Even if it’s more of a contemporary style I’m doing, I focus on the “wow” factor and enduring interior solutions that my clients will love for years to come. My personal style is quite timeless, I love to mix some antiques with my projects, while still maintaining a very fresh and clean style.
K: How would you describe your design process from conception to completion?
G: The concept is largely based around the clients and what they would love to live with and what works functionally. I take my inspiration as a concept from them as people and how they live and then I build on that. The design first starts with imagery, and then how the design works spatially – it’s really important that the proportions are right, that’s the key to good design. And (the most fun part) is layering with fabrics, art, color and materials. For me, it’s all about waiting for your ideas to come to life. Then feeling that overwhelming and satisfying feeling to see the furniture that I’ve custom made being installed in a space, seeing the entire creative process come together… there’s no feeling better than that!!
I love the revival of rattan and marble, as well as everything natural. I don’t think you can beat natural materials, they’re the key to making something look amazing… and standing the test of time.
K: What would you say is your favorite part of the design process?
G: I love meeting clients! When we understand each other and they have trust in me to guide them in the right decisions. That relationship and trust is so important to achieving the best results. I also love picking finishes and pulling looks together, that’s one of the most fun parts!!
K: Do you have any advice or tips as per your design style?
G: Don’t scrimp on the budget to go for cheap, trend-led pieces. Just wait, save and buy correct first time. There is nothing worse than buying cheap just to buy twice. Get the lighting right, keep it soft and atmospheric. Lots of plants too to add freshness in each space.
Shop The Look:
K: What trends/looks are you seeing this summer that you love?
G: I love the revival of rattan and marble, as well as everything natural. I don’t think you can beat natural materials, they’re the key to making something look amazing… and standing the test of time.
K: What is the biggest challenge you face as a designer? How do you attempt to solve that challenge?
G: Expressing the importance of better quality… not buying into fast interior design.
K: Is there anything else about Geri Design we should know?
G: It’s a dream come true for me to be working with something I’m passionate about – I have a full-time design team of four, and they’re a wonderful bunch that help me create beautiful homes for our many wonderful clients. We are growing all the time; the demand is there for beautiful and timeless design. We’re looking forward to what the future holds for us, and enjoying the journey of life in the interior design industry.
Other Favorite Designer Sit-Downs