Susan graduated from Griffith College Dublin with a First Class Honours Degree in Interior Architecture. She was awarded Best Overall Design Project and won the national accolade for Interior Architect of the Year as awarded by the Institute of Designers in Ireland in 2009.
Post graduation, Susan refined her skills working on a wide variety of high specification projects at International Architectural firms, including global design giant, Genlser.
Upon returning to Ireland, Susan recognised a gap in the market for a more thought-driven approach to Residential Design. Having spent her career analysing how we work and play as a society, it seemed that the home was largely unserviced by the Interior Architecture community.
With a talent for both creative design and analytical thought, Susan's steadfast determination to create a unique aesthetic for each client begins with her ability to acquire and innovatively develop your brief. This detail-orientated approach extends throughout the life of her projects to ensure the design is assiduously executed from concept to completion.
In the 4 years since Susan founded the studio, she has become a recognisable voice within the Interior Design community in Ireland, UK and Northern Europe. She regularly features in the media, acting at times as guest Interior editor of leading lifestyle publication, RSVP Magazine, as well as contributing to design and build articles for The Irish Times, The Sunday Business Post, The Irish Independent and The Sunday Tribune. She also works on special design and marketing projects for many household names including Selfridges group (Arnotts | Brown Thomas), DFS, Sonas Bathrooms, Sage Group, Marriott Autograph Collection (5* Powerscort Hotel & Spa) and The 5* Westin Hotel.
Her work has also been featured in many Interior publications including Irish Homes Interiors & Living, Image Interiors & House & Home Magazine (cover Nov/Dec 2021).
Barbara has always had a curious, problem solving mind and a desire to make people’s lives better. To this end, she first completed an MA degree in Law and worked in liberal politics for few years. Soon after she realised she was missing her true passion for design. She retrained to be an interior designer at Veresegyhazi Oktatasi Studio in Budapest where she obtained a distinction.
In 2004 Barbara relocated to London. She first worked for Gallery 25, an antique dealership in Belgravia where she developed a love for antiques, especially 20th century Italian pieces. Between 2006-2010 she studied retail, digital textile, graphic and project designs in Central Saint Martins College, London and Hotel Design at Domus Academy, Milan.
In 2011 she joined the American design giant, Gensler where she worked as a front end lead designer for over 9 years. During her commercial career she has worked with media clients including Facebook, Google, Universal Pictures, Focus Features, UBM; financial firms including JP Morgan, Discover, T Row Price; consumer firms including Pepsico, Duracell, Procter & Gamble; and law firms including Sidley Austin and Akin Gump.
Barbara has always believed in the positive outcomes that can emerge from cross-sector designing, and has never liked to be restricted to one field. In her work, she emphasizes the importance of mixing elements of residential, commercial and hospitality design together. Gensler gave her opportunities to put her ideas into practice, for example in her work on large- scale hotel and mixed use projects in the Middle East.
With the arrival of the pandemic in 2020 Barbara decided to spend more time with her daughter and husband. Barbara is now focusing on residential projects and is finding this shift fulfilling both in terms of her evolving design vision and in achieving a better work-life balance. In 2021 she reconnected with her Gensler friend and former colleague Susan McGowan and joined her design firm Ashen & Cloud as Design Director.