As architects, we understand the planning and build process. As interior designers, we know how customers choose to express themselves in their homes. Combining both these skills, we’re able to design creative spaces that reflect how we live today and what will appeal to tomorrow’s new home-owner.

Optimise Design is an award winning Architecture and Interior design company based in Dublin 2.

With over 15 years experience in the residential sector both here and in the UK, Denise O’Connor’s design talent and passion for beautiful spaces to live has transformed the homes and lives of so many people. We strive to put our clients first. This dedication to each and every client relationship has led to a diverse range of clients. We organise our team to suit each client relationship. The design process starts with our client’s needs, and this is what forms the basis for each and every project we carry out.

Why us? We believe in raising the standard of homes in Ireland and delivering exceptional places to live.

We work collaboratively as part of a team, ensuring that the creativity, innovation and excellence in design we bring adds real value to your business – optimising all of the resources available. Our service includes advising on internal layouts, selection of finishes, new innovations in technology, lighting design, external landscaping, furnishing and dressing of show units and much more. Our combined background in architecture and interior design along with our expertise and knowledge in the area of home design brings valuable insight into how people want to live and it is this insight that gives each scheme that we are involved with a real commercial advantage.

Meet the Team

Denise O’Connor
Founder & Managing Director

Denise holds a degree in architecture from Richview School of Architecture in UCD. After graduating in Dublin she moved to London where she worked on residential, healthcare and office schemes including the award-winning headquarters for Holiday Extras for which she was project architect at Walker and Martin. In 2005 she returned to Dublin and set up architecture and interior design consultancy Optimise Design.

Denise is an architecture and interiors columnist for the Irish Times and a contributor for HOUZZ. She is also a regular contributor to various other publications and also gives lectures on a range of topics. She was a presenter for the first series of the RTE TV show ‘The Design Doctors’ and is the creator and name behind the successful paint collection for Dulux called Signature Collection.

John Keogan
Director of Development
John studied architecture at University College Dublin and the University of Virginia, USA. In 1992 he co-founded and was a director of Horan Keogan Ryan (HKR), where he acted for many of the country’s leading developers. In 2004 he established Keogan Architects.
From 2015 to 2019, he was Principal of the Dublin office of TODD Architects, an AJ 100 Company, where he advised sector-leading Companies such as Bartra Capital Property, Exeter Property Group, Propiteer Ltd, on a range of large scale multi-residential and Student Housing schemes. He also advised The Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM) on their proposed new Conservatoire at Westland Row, and the Ballymore Group, Santander, and the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) on corporate fit-outs.
John joined Optimise Design as Director of Development in October 2019. Aligning John’s broad range of Development expertise with our experience in Interior Architecture & Design, we are uniquely positioned to offer a holistic approach to Property Development from initial feasibility and site appraisal, through to interior design and selection & specification of furniture and finishes.
Leanne O’Donnell
Head of Design

Leanne is from Donegal and joined our team in 2013 after she graduated with an honours degree in Architectural Design. Her study focused on creating new and exciting ways to re-imagine our existing built environment, designing from the inside out with a core focus between the user and the space. As Head of Design Leanne is responsible for developing and managing all aspects of our design and creative output. She manages our design team ensuring our company vision is an ongoing process of refinement and evolution. She is a confident, critical thinker with a personal vision towards quality design and will ensure your concept is followed through to completion.

Keith Somers
Commercial and Hospitality Lead

Keith is the Design Lead on all of our commercial and hospitality projects and will be your point of contact for the duration of the project. His strengths lie in creating strong visual concepts, strategic planning, and in managing teams through all stages of the development. Drawing on a wealth of experience, ongoing research, and a large network of creatives and suppliers, he will ensure our best in class designs are fully realised on site

Tara O'Brien
Sales and Marketing Lead

Dublin native Tara O’Brien joined the Optimise Home team earlier this year. She manages the Sales and Marketing for both Optimise Home and Optimise Design. She’s previously worked in RTÉ managing the PR for its Television programming.  Tara has a keen interest in architecture and design and completed a FAS apprenticeship in Interior Restoration before embarking on her PR and Marketing career

Aoife Grogan
Architectural Assistant

Aoife is from Waterford and graduated with a B.Arch in Architecture from Waterford Institute of Technology in 2014. Before joining Optimise Design in early 2016 she worked in Waterford Council as a graduate architect in their Economic Development team.

Aoife is one of our main designers involved in the Optimise Home service as well as our architectural assistant on the Design Team. Her ability to clearly comprehend a clients brief allows her to incorporate her excellent design, presentation and communication skills to produce drawings and 3D visualisations for each project. Aoife is in charge of the Optimise Home schedule and is there to help you understand our service-process and complete your booking.

Orla Davis
Lead Interior Designer

Orla is originally from Roscommon and is an innovative and experienced interior designer with a client-focused approach. Working on residential projects of all sizes and with show house developments too, Orla offers a balance of creativity and design flair with organisational skills and a keen eye-for-detail.

Since completing a B.A (Hons) in Interior Architecture in 2007, Orla has worked in both interior design and architecture practices in the U.K., Ireland and Australia. While in London, she gained valuable experience working with two award-winning companies who specialise in luxurious high-end residential interiors.

Sorcha Harman
Interior Designer

Originally from Dublin, Sorcha holds a BA (Hons) Degree in Textile Design from The National College of Art and Design. After graduating Sorcha received a European scholarship where she moved to London to work in the Fashion Industry designing bespoke prints and machine knit patterns for London Fashion Week.

Moving back home to Dublin Sorcha began working as an Interior Designer merging her passion for texture, pattern, colour and space.

Ciara Ryan
Architect

Dublin native Ciara worked for a year with Milan Babic Architects in London before graduating with a degree in architecture in 2014 from Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). She gained further experience working in architectural practices of various sizes in Dublin (namely KOMA, MDO Architects and CPR Architects) where she acquired skills in managing and completing projects. She attained her Professional Diploma in Architectural Practice from DIT in 2019.

Developing a particular interest in residential work, her passion for design is primarily focused on how individuals can best maximise the potential of the existing space in their homes. Her ability to understand the functional needs of her clients is complemented by her commitment to reflect their individual lifestyles. Ciara joined the team in July 2019 and is one of our main designers for Optimise Home.
Michael Malone
Project Manager & Lead Architectural Technologist

Michael is from Westmeath and a graduate of DIT Bolton Street, Dublin. He has also completed a post-graduate diploma in Project Management from Trinity College Dublin.

Michael works closely with the design team to ensure every aspect of the project is considered and managed.
Michael is passionate about clever design detailing and he loves a challenge! Throughout the project Michael is there to provide guidance and clear solutions for our clients.

Q & A

Interview with Optimise Design Founder & MD, Denise O'Connor

I worked in London for eight years after graduating and my last job there was with a company who combined architecture and interior design. Much of the work was for developers working on residential developments. We were involved in everything from the layouts of the apartments right down to the fit-out of the sales and marketing suite. This was such a turning point for me because we were involved in the complete process. From advising the developer on what kind of customer was involved to creating the perfect environment for them to live in – it was all about the end user. I had always wanted to work for myself. My dad had his own business so it wasn’t something I was afraid of. It seemed like a natural progression to eventually have my own company. When I moved back to Dublin after having my first child I realised that there was a gap in the Irish market to offer a similar service to what I had been doing in London. And so, Optimise Design was born.

Being an architect is the only thing I’ve ever wanted to be. I’m very lucky; I absolutely love my job and what I do. My training has opened so many other creative doors from designing and creating a paint collection for Dulux to writing and TV opportunities.

We are passionate about how great design can have an extraordinarily positive effect on our lives and wellbeing. Architecture shouldn’t stop bluntly with the design of the building but should permeate all aspects from the interiors to the components that fill it. Ultimately the design of buildings is about the people who occupy them. So when designing them, we need to consider all of the elements that will affect their environment.

There have been lots of great moments but being asked to put a paint collection together for Dulux was wonderful. This is something that I have always wanted to do and it was a fantastic project to be involved in.

Because we’re designing people’s homes the jobs are as much about relationships as the end result. My favourite part of every project is when our clients have moved back into their house, and seeing the impact our design has made to their enjoyment of their home.

Being a presenter for Design Doctors, the TV show for RTE was also great fun. I’m always open to trying new things and it was a totally different world to what I was used to. It was wonderful and challenging at the same time. I learnt a huge amount and it challenged me to think about design in new ways which was fantastic.

I would describe it as timeless and elegant. We don’t really have a house style at Optimise Design but rather we try to tailor each of our designs to suit the needs of the clients that we are working with.

I draw inspiration from everywhere and anywhere from radio interviews to shop window displays. We tend to try to collaborate on our design projects and have group creative meetings where everyone can chip in on any of the early stages of the project. It’s a great way to familiarise everyone on all of our jobs and keeps the process fun and fresh. Everyone is encouraged to offer inspiration from things they encounter outside the office. We have an ‘Outside World’ theme in our weekly meetings where we share things that have caught our eye. It’s a fun way to bring new ideas into the business.

Testimonials

“We employed Optimise Design to help us redesign our tired home that badly needed a fresh start. Optimise provided a full and competitively priced package delivering fantastic design, planning, project management and interior design. It was great to be able to deal with one company from start to finish to get the look we were hoping for. Optimise fully understood our requirements and more than met our expectations. Their engagement with our builder and effective communication throughout the project helped keep our stress levels to a minimum! Thanks to Denise and all the team.”

Brendan & Anne Bane, Blackrock

“I have worked with Optimise Design on many projects over the last few years, mainly dealing with the design team and their clients directly.

I have continuously been impressed by the positive feedback these clients have given. Projects have always been delivered to high levels, well managed, and I can confidently state that there is a comprehensive understanding of the client and their requirements at each stage. One size does not fit all, and Optimise have a wealth of knowledge to ensure that the clients’ desires are understood and more importantly acted upon.

I regularly recommend them to design projects for friends and other clients. For me this is something I never do lightly.”

Barry Rochford, BoConcept

“I came across Optimise Design online after I bought my place in Ballsbridge and was looking for a turn-key solution. Given I live abroad I was unable to meet with the team in person and was limited to phone calls and emails. Despite this, the team were able to deliver exactly what I had pictured for my Dublin home. Amazing vision from the team and the perfect understanding of client expectations. Highly recommended!”

Tariq Amin, Kingdom of Bahrain

“Optimise Design did an excellent job in producing showhouses for our new village in Abbot’s Grove, Knocklyon, Dublin 16. We were so impressed with how Denise and her team strategically designed the houses to the exact brief that we wanted and the finished product looked fantastic. Furthermore, they were always on hand with any problems that arose, and executed the job in a timely and efficient manner.”

Francis Rathigan, Winterbrook Ltd.

“Optimise Design are enormously creative and gave me a new perspective on how to live in my house. They brought a design edge that reinvented the space. I would highly recommend them.”

Tessa O'Connell, Dartry

“We renovated and extended our 1920’s home. We are extremely happy with both the process and the outcome. Our home is nicer than we could have dreamed.”

Judith O'Sullivan, Blackrock