His designs are sumptuous with a capital ‘S’, frequently suffused with exuberant colour and over-scaled patterns. Gabhan O’Keeffe takes his top-end international clients – among them Bryan Ferry, Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis and the Archduke and Archduchess von Habsburg – on an innovative design journey, with a strong emphasis on ‘colour, texture, fantasy and craftsmanship’.
Gabhan trained in classical guitar and piano, before working as a dealer in fine decorative arts. In 1988, he set up his practice with partner George Warrington, who remains as the design director today. Now he runs a team of 16, including four architects. Clients can expect custom-designed furniture, rugs, textiles and lighting. Gabhan is a fluent Russian speaker, too.
With an emphasis on residential properties, the practice is engaged in assorted high-end private projects in London and Russia across ‘a broad spectrum of architectural and decorative styles’. Recently completed projects include the creation and installation of architecture and furniture for the Robert Lehman Collection in New York, and Sketch restaurant in London.
‘Gabhan is extremely talented and uses colours and luxurious materials to create light, spacious and bright interiors, often with a fun twist,’ says furniture designer Rupert Bevan.