Gwen Kenny is an acclaimed interior designer, known for her personal approach and exacting attention to detail. Her pursuit of excellence and sustainability in design mark her out from her peers, making her a sought after name by prominent businesspeople, successful professionals and other discerning clients. She has an unparalleled depth of experience and skill honed over more than 25 years in the industry alongside a wealth of academic qualifications, including her Masters in Professional Design Practice. Her relentless curiosity and hunger for knowledge give Gwen (and her clients) an advantage in that she is always on top of new products and innovations, combining these to push the boundaries of what is possible. Gwen also lectures upcoming interior designers at the Dublin Institute of Design. She has carried out a number of major design projects and refurbishments over the last 12 months including various design works to the historic Olympia Theatre, Teeling Whiskey’s new tasting rooms among other commercial projects and numerous residential projects of all sizes. Gwen is a regular contributor to the trade press including media, print and TV.
Over more than a decade of commissions in the hospitality, retail and corporate sectors, Gwen has built a strong reputation in all aspects of design and project coordination. She approaches every space with a sympathetic consideration to the history, architecture and function of the building. Her unparalleled attention to detail ensures that the final product meets the quality of finish and signature character of the client’s vision while also enhancing their business operations. On residential projects, her personal approach and her mastery of modern luxury combine with a keen understanding of scale and the ability to discern exactly the right elements for each space. She tightly manages every aspect of a project with meticulous attention to detail, from architectural elements down to the finishing touches. ‘No’ is not a word that Gwen uses in her design work, creating new standards of what is possible through innovation and perseverance. When inevitable yet unforeseeable site complications arise, Gwen has the contacts and resources to overcome these, having earned her credibility on site through the demonstration of good judgment and knowledge. Her in house team, her collaborators, her own can-do attitude and optimism are enough to get the design to fruition.
The roster of projects she is involved in has grown ever more varied and she has had the good fortune to work with discerning yet trusting clients who allow her to do what she does best, elevating the design of their spaces. One of the highlights of the 2017, which was recognised by this nomination, has been coming to the end of the process of refurbishing the major parts of the Olympia, some of them highly visible and some unseen but essential cogs in the machine of a working theatre nonetheless. Shaping the front-of-house and backstage spaces through considered and innovative design gets to the essence of what she does in all her work at Divine Design. Another highlight has been graduating from her Masters in Professional Design Practice with first class honours, attending college while also running Divine Design for 60+ hours a week, being mum to her two sons and lecturing in Dublin Institute of Design. The energy, commitment and dogged determination she showed to get through the year and still grow the practice are characteristics that her clients come to her for.