Clodagh, An Animal Inspired Designer

Designer Clodagh Incorporates the Natural Elements Within Her Designs

Worldly designer Clodagh was born in Ireland and grew up in the historic Moytura House, Oscar Wilde’s summer home. Early on, her lasting connection to animals was shaped. Having been raised with a multitude of animals Clodagh reflects, “I had a pony, two peacocks and my father had sixty dogs at one count but it was an up and down population as he gave away puppies to his friends. He would never sell a dog. He bred Irish Water Spaniels, Cocker & Springer Spaniels, Curly-Coated Retrievers, and Red Setters. We were assigned to take care of a dog, and clean and polish them for a show.”

Clodagh began her career in fashion at the age of 17 and quickly became a rising star in the design industry. She moved to Spain and cultivated her newly budding interior and architectural design business by opening a design studio and showroom. Simultaneously she spent much of her free time either being chased or chasing down her then two itchy pawed Irish Setters that possessed a strong sense of wanderlust. “I had two setters in Spain who used to run after me as I galloped around on my black Hispano-Arabe,” recalls Clodagh.

After 25 years, Clodagh Design, the architectural and interior design studio in New York City, has completed major commercial, residential, spa and corporate image projects around the globe. Clodagh has been honored with several awards including one of Architectural Digest’s ”World’s 100 Leading Interior Designers”.

Clodagh creates environments as “art to live in”, and incorporates the five senses and four elements in her designs, which she explains more expansively in her book, Total Design. Also, she’s one of the first designers to use Feng Shui when producing a balanced space. When asked about the Feng Shui influence of animals Clodagh explains, “I actually have a Feng Shui master, Sarah Rossbach, who works as a consultant on my projects. She suggests that sometimes a dog or cat will help animate the ‘chi’ (energy) in large minimal spaces. A dog brings good, happy energy, non-judgmental, to a space.”

Even with Clodagh’s busy design schedule she finds the time for humanitarian work. She sponsors the Thorn Tree Project (, an organization whose primary goal is to get as many children from the nomadic families in the northern arid lands of Kenya, Africa to go to school. Last year at her annual fundraiser more than 50 camels were sold which is great because they provide milk for the tribe. Clodagh is using her creativity to help design a better space for animals and others.


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