The Story of Home: A bolt from the blue
In this video we return to our award-winning series with Ulster Bank, and visit the rock-inspired home of interior designer Lisa Marconi
For interior designer Lisa Marconi, having a home that creates a sense of happiness is absolutely essential in her approach to the design of her home. She and her husband Ian live in Churchtown with their two young sons. Although the exterior of their four-bedroom home looks deceptively “typical”, inside is a haven of art, Bowie-esque lightning bolts and a pink velvet ceiling in the master bedroom. It is alive with fun and colour and joy.
“I’m a bit unusual just because of my job, so for me, home means freedom. In my job I’m designing for other people and adapting my design to what suits them. Whereas in my home I can do whatever I want which is great. For me it’s freedom and about having fun. I think your home should always make you smile,” says Marconi.
Originally from London, she has been in Ireland for nearly 10 years. Along with her business partner, Sarah Drumm, they run the interior design company, Dust.
Marconi worked in TV in London and also in Ireland when she first moved over, before finding her true vocation. “I did some TV programmes here but they weren’t really the kind of programmes that I love working on. And then we bought our lovely house in Portobello and we completely gutted it and renovated it from the ground up and I loved that.
“Sarah was already an interior designer and I was really, really interested in it so I approached Sarah about opening up a shop together that sold some cool little things that you couldn’t get here, yet, and having a design studio running alongside it. She was really up for it so I retrained and Dust was born.”
A happy home
“It took a long time to find this house and when we found it we literally bought it. The minute we found it we put our deposit down because we just knew. I knew this wasn’t our forever home but I knew it would be a happy home for us and that’s what was important."
Like most homeowners, there is often little budget left to decorate or renovate once you have bought a house. Marconi capitalised on her talent at making spaces beautiful, all on a tight budget.
Before they had children, Marconi said she was always besotted by period homes, but their priorities changed after they had children. “What we wanted was a child-friendly house and, suddenly, that’s what our life became about. So it wasn’t so much about the perfect period house, it was about a house we loved but one that made sense for children.”
Marconi describes her personal style as “glam rock” and there are incredibly vivid, exciting bursts of colour and art and intrigue peppered all over the house. It’s a fun house with lots to enjoy and get excited about.
“I love the 1970s, both as an era musically and visually so I’m sure that is defining, as well. We’ve obviously got the Bowie-esque zig zags, the lightning bolts out in the hallway. Actually I’m obsessed with lightning bolts at the moment. Unintentionally, I’ve put lightning bolts all over the house and in the art. I like that slightly decadent, kind of fun, glam look. I like things with personality. I like things that are a bit fun and that are slightly unusual, just to make your home your own, unique.”
Marconi loves their master bedroom. “It makes me so happy every single day. I absolutely adore it. I also love our bathroom, the tiles, just having that lovely pop of graphic pattern in there. It makes me really happy. All our bedrooms upstairs are different colours and when you’re standing at the top of the stairs you can see them all. It’s just a lovely thing seeing all this colour all the time, it makes me really happy.”
Art is hugely important to Marconi and there is a visually delicious display of fantastic, beautiful, humorous art, of all kinds, throughout the house. “I think it’s something that completely makes a home, that’s what brings your personality in. I love mixing different styles of art.”
She wholeheartedly believes a home should reflect your personality and your true self, as well as where you are at that point in your life. “I think every home design should start with the person. What do you love? What do you hate? What have you always wanted and what have you gathered in your life along the way? What reminds you of you and your life?”
“As a family we like having fun, as a family we laugh a lot. I think our house is full of life and we’re full of life and I think our art reflects that. I want it to be colourful and fun and I want it to be funny, as well. I love the house. It makes me smile when I come home.”
About The Story of Home
The Story of Home is a six-part monthly print, video and online editorial campaign that explores the idea of home through the eyes of creative people who have found their dream place to live.
We are all writing our own Story of Home and to help inspire you we will travel around Ireland over the next six months to hear stories from a range of creative individuals on their own Story of Home.
For inspiration we’ve turned to a group of people who have managed to find a home that reflects their own personality and lets them live the life they dreamed of.
This is the third series of this award-winning campaign, again supported by Ulster Bank, which won the 2018 Global Media Award for best execution of native content at the International News Media Association.
That win reflects the global interest in these very local stories, reflecting the importance of the Story of Home to all.
Ulster Bank is also helping to write that story, working with customers all over Ireland: “One of the first major steps in creating your own Story of Home is getting a mortgage,” explains Susan Hogan, a mobile mortgage manager with Ulster Bank.
"In this series, we want to help with that and to help people consider the role of their homes at the very earliest stage so they can create a home that reflects their own story perfectly."
“We also want to take away as much of the stress from the mortgage process as we can, so we’re available to meet people at a time and place where they feel totally at ease,” she says.
“My role is to make the process as easy as possible and not one that is just about form-filling. We’re here to help. Building your own Story of Home has never been simpler.”
For more, see ulsterbank.ie
Ulster Bank Ireland DAC is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland
The editorial team behind The Story of Home
Series editor: Gary Quinn
Series videographer: Ana Conlon
Photographer: Conor Mulhern