Home Property Features Making your mark in Dun Laoghaire

Making your mark in Dun Laoghaire


Carla Benedetti overhauls a new property

Carla Benedetti is a designer who looks beyond the ordinary to find the extraordinary. She is a clever curator, thoughtfully creating spaces that tell the story of the people that inhabit them. She loves creative juxtaposition, mixing old with new, vintage finds with high-end, glam with edgy. Her style is an eclectic mix that respects quality and longevity over current trends.

Her approach to design is to think outside the box. The rule book is torn up and what you are left with is something authentic, personal, unpretentious and seriously cool.

Her signature look mixes dark, inky tones, earthy elements like wood and metal and authentic materials that make a home special, what she calls “perfectly imperfect.”

Here, Carla talks to us about a residence she worked on in Dun Laoghaire. The property is an old school house that has been divided into five luxury Victorian style properties.

“The design work began at an early stage when the property was largely unfinished and the client was able to make substantial changes.  With the exception of sanitary wear, the fireplace and the kitchen, which were all already installed, the project was a blank canvas,” said Carla Benedetti.

“We chose dark colours for the entire space to best show off the client’s avid photographic collection. The rooms in the house are quite spacious so there is plenty of room to showcase artwork, ceramics and an extensive book collection,” added Ms Benedetti.

Probed on her use of dark colours in her work, Carla explains;

“I don’t see dark colours as being trend-led or a fad, I just love how they are so transformative to the feel of a room.  Beautifully rich, intriguing colours that are constantly shifting with the light are an excellent backdrop to highlight the pieces you have gathered. This house is very quirky,  it’s a real reflection of the home-owner’s taste.

“From the moment you enter the double-height hallway, it’s definitely maximalist all the way. Every corner has something to look at, a beautiful mid-century table and dining chairs, natural textile pieces, edgy industrial pendants and custom-made raw-metal shelving; there’s a real thoughtfulness behind every single one of these pieces,” she enthused.

“Lighting plays a key role in the success of any space but it’s intrinsic to working with dark colours. Of all design elements, I am a bit lighting obsessed and I spend a lot of time researching one-offs and finding original lighting for a space. Layers of lighting in a room are a real game changer. In this house there are pockets of lighting in every corner, added Carla.

“Beautiful tiling and natural flooring are also hugely important and we spent a lot of time getting the right mix of quality and authenticity. If I had a choice between hardwood flooring and semi-solid, I would always pick hardwood or reclaimed boards for their distinct aesthetic that can’t be achieved using anything else.

“The bathroom does not feel like a separate wet space. Its contents bear the same collector’s spirit as all the other rooms in the house,” she said.

“The client loves how his home is an extension of his creativity, it’s an evolving space that reads as personal and unique, transformed into a private gallery for his ever-growing collections,” concluded Carla Benedetti.