Interior design and Classical Feng Shui together. Áine Atara (née Mac Dermott) has a long career in the construction industry, designing everything from Accenture's HQ in London to Royal Residences in the UAE. Now offering even more holistic services to her beloved clients she is a Red Ribbon Feng Shui Professional and a certified Martha Beck life coach. Additionally, Áine has studied Celtic House and Land Clearing in her homeland of Ireland, where she is now based. Working as a consultant, Áine can help remotely as well as in-person, working either 'one to one', or by taking a client's representative role on a project or as consulting member of a design team on large scale projects.
Áine’s innovative work occurs at the intersection of consciousness and the built environment. Her expertise as a designer – coupled with innate clairsentience – enable her to read the energy of an environment and those who will use it, then design solutions to support them holistically.
Áine also specialises working with clients at the earliest stage of the design process – the pre-design stage – to establish and set intentions and ideal outcomes of projects before they begin.
Her company also specialises in “design fixes.” Clients, corporate and private sector alike, hire her to advise at all stages of the design process, from the review of concept presentations to the evaluation of the current designs of properties they own.
She has significant experience on both sides of the design and construction process. She has been a designer and a designer’s client. She has extensive international experience as an interior architect for notable corporate and private clients in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Austria, Germany, and the United Arab Emirates.
Áine worked for several prominent architectural and interior design firms in London and built an extensive portfolio of projects designed for an array of high-profile clients including Accenture, Barclays, Norwich Union, Sheraton, and Le Méridien.
On the strength of her portfolio, she was headhunted to work in the Middle East, where she worked on a collection of deluxe projects in the Emirates. As senior interior designer for United Design International, she designed upscale, luxury residences for the royal families of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. She was also commissioned to design at the Diwan – the presidential palace – where she designed the office suite for HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the deputy prime minister of the UAE, minister of presidential affairs, and member of the ruling family of Abu Dhabi.
Her work in Abu Dhabi met with particular acclaim. As a result, Áine was asked to join Aldar PJSC, a major real estate developer, where she was appointed Head of Design. She saw firsthand that a lack of attention to the full development of an idea’s intention at conception invariably led to serious financial implications when trying to resolve errors and omissions during construction. To round out her unique 360 ̊ view of the building process, Áine took training in life coaching to further enable her holistic understanding of her client’s particular circumstances.
To facilitate clarity early on, she developed her own contextual consulting process: pre-design strategy. In part, this means that she works with clients to create Briefing Directives. These documents contain specific sketches and early layout plans, precedent imagery, and site and location information. In addition, they provide full briefing instructions on specific requirements, essential architectural elements, ideal interior design, favoured functionality, optimal layouts, pre-selected finishes and any other client preferences.
Her spatial photographic memory allows her to remember, in detail, the resonance, arrangement, light, volume, and mood of the spaces she has visited around the world. Her mind is a design reservoir unlike any other, as she has ability to walk into a space and feel what is missing, what needs to change, what needs to be moved, and ultimately what is calling to be created. Her keen senses are incredibly effective too when viewing the not-yet-built, whether on a green-field site visit or when reviewing design concept presentations.
Áine studied architectural technology at the Limerick Institute of Technology in Ireland and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Interior Architecture from the University of Brighton, United Kingdom, where she graduated with honours. She is a full member of BIID, the British Institute of Interior Design. Her life coach training was under the tutelage of Martha Beck, the New York Times best-selling author and columnist for O, The Oprah Magazine. Her Classical Feng Shui master certification enabled her to pass further examinations to gain Red Ribbon status with the International Feng Shui Guild.