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.
Aoife Grogan
Architect

Aoife is an experienced registered architect and designer who has been with Optimise Design since 2016. As a Waterford native, Aoife graduated with a B.Arch in Architecture from Waterford Institute of Technology in 2015 and later worked in Waterford Council as a graduate architect on their Economic Development team. 

Aoife has extensive experience in residential design having designed hundreds of extensions, reconfigurations and renovations in her time working on the Optimise Home service. As a part of her experience she has managed many successful planning applications and tender packages for her clients while also guiding them through the architectural process. 

Gemma O'Rourke
Architect

Gemma joined Optimise Design in January 2020 following 5 years in a large commercial practice where she gained experience across a range of sectors. Gemma was keen to focus on more residential scale projects through working on our Optimise Home service, where each new design is an opportunity to have a positive impact on clients’ day to day lives. She is passionate about helping clients realise the full potential of their home, thinking outside the box to deliver the required spaces in a practical and logical way.

Dáire Kelly
Architect

Dáire joined Optimise Design in December 2020. Since graduating from The Dublin School of Architecture DIT in 2015 he has since worked on an array of large scale commercial and residential projects across Dublin city. He has worked with many leading developers and funds including Hibernia REIT, BAM Ireland, Ronan Group Real Estate and Kennedy Wilson Europe. He has completed extensive studies in Building Information Modelling (BIM) and will use this modern work method in the practice. Dáire is a registered architect and a member of the RIAI.

Orla Davis
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.

Johanna-Lisete Alling
Interior Architect

Johanna Joined Optimise Design in September 2020. Originally from Tallinn, Estonia, she graduated with a Bachelor degree in Interior Architecture and Furniture Design from Estonian Art Academy in 2013. In 2019 she graduated with a Masters degree in Interior Design from Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan.

Johanna worked both in Italy and Estonia before joining the team and her experience ranges from residential to hospitality project and also includes branding design. Attention to detail is one of her core strengths and she is passionate about creating spaces that not only look great but that make people feel great too.

Gráinne Ennis
Interior Designer

Gráinne joined Optimise Design in December 2020. She graduated with a BA Honours degree in Interior and Furniture Design from Technological University Dublin in 2015. Since graduating she has worked through various sectors including commercial, residential and exhibition design. Her experience gives her an innovative design approach with a keen eye for detail while always keeping in mind the overall interior space.

Throughout her career she has gained vast knowledge of design software allowing her to create realistic 3D visualization that will help bring the client along their design journey. Her onsite experience internationally also contributes to her ability to manage projects from concept through to completion. Grainne also has a professional diploma in Project Management from UCD.

Michele Keogan
Sales

Michele started her career in Insurance and worked as an office manager before qualifying as a Broker with a leading South Dublin brokerage. Following a career break to raise her family, her interest in architecture and design led to her being employed for the last 8 years as office manager with two Dublin-based architectural Practices. She is passionate about all aspects of design and engaging with our clients to ensure they have a rewarding experience when working with us.

Rachel Cole
Interior Designer

Rachel Joined Optimise Design in January 2021. Originally from Texas, and she moved to Ireland in 2015 to pursue her education in interior design. Once graduating she worked at BoConcept and gained experience in sales, marketing, and showroom design. She focuses on creating designs that both beautiful and functional for every client.

Sean Ryan
Architectural Assistant

Sean joined the team in November 2020 having graduated from the University of Limerick in September that year. Sean is passionate about residential design and works closely with the architectural team. His skill with 3D drawing is hugely valuable in helping clients realise their visions for their homes.

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