Location: Dublin, Ireland

Architect: Cantrell and Crowley

Interior Designer: Studio Grania Murray

Hotel Group/ Developer: The Merrion Hotel Group

Within an 18th Century cellar in the basement of the five-star Merrion Hotel in Dublin, Ireland, the designer that walked the foundations of the building 20 years ago, was invited back to renovate the space. The client asked Grania Murray to renovate the cellar as she knew the cellar from the 20 years earlier and therefore, she could easily understand and envision how they aspired for the basement to look whilst keeping all its original features and feeling authentic.

As far as Murray was concerned — there was never a question as to ‘if’ the end result would be achieved but rather a question of ‘how far’ she would need to go to achieve her unwavering vision for this historic space. The most abstract challenge of all was the ever-present struggle to obtain approval from the clients – a conservative group – for the inclusion of a daring selection of Irish craftwork. They are delighted with the outcome.

Murray attributes her inspiration of using 21st century artists to the fact that the Merrion itself has more than ninety works of 19th and 20th century art displayed for guests and visitor’s enjoyment, so incorporating other native creative disciplines was a natural next step.

This famous Dublin hotel and its iconic Cellar Bar will continue to inspire creatives and visitors to Ireland, for the next 20 years and beyond. With the preservation of this historic structure and Dublin landmark foremost in her mind, Murray also found a way to showcase the work of some of the finest young 21st century creators of modern Ireland in one of the most well-known settings in the country.