One of Ireland’s great design success stories, Global Village Interiors, celebrates its 25th anniversary this month – all thanks to a couple’s struggle to furnish their apartment! Global Village has two stores, one based in our very own Powerscourt House.
Husband and wife Martin and Colette Lenehan set out with a vision to introduce quality interior products to the Irish market in 1989, after a fruitless search to outfit their small home in the way they wanted. Over the last 25 years, Global Village has turned that vision into reality, becoming one of the few interiors businesses to survive and thrive during the recession.
Their decision to become a flagship outlet for Neptune in Ireland established them as must-visit interiors destinations both in Powerscourt and KCR in Kimmage, which has the biggest range of Neptune products in Ireland. “We’ve always had a thing about quality, value and the unusual and, to this day, we don’t compromise on our values,” said Martin.
The first Global Village shop opened in Glasthule, Co Dublin offering an eclectic mix of ethnic style furniture and accessories such as Afghan chests and Chinese Ming Dynasty-style sideboards. “Although our customers in the area appreciated what we did, we realised that if we were going to advance the business we had to change our business model to attract more customers,” said Martin. The company then moved to bigger premises in the Blackrock Centre where their passion for quality products and great customer service quickly became known. “The Blackrock store became a haunt for designers, architects and customers with a passion for interiors, which is where the brand really started to take off,” said Colette.
With the opening of their two present showrooms in Powerscourt House (1999) and KCR in 2005, Global Village Interiors became synonymous with an individual style of quality and quirky interior products. It was their decision-making during the recession that was to be the making of the company. “The furniture business was falling off a cliff and we knew we couldn’t continue to do the same thing or we wouldn’t survive,” said Martin. “That’s when we discovered Neptune – a high-end company who shared the values we really looked for in furniture. “Neptune furniture is out on its own – high quality, handmade, solid wood. This is furniture with soul. It’s good to use, to feel, to touch and everything about the product is emotive. “Global Village’s motto is quality never goes out of style, and even in a depressed market we invested heavily in our showrooms. As a result, we now have the biggest range of Neptune products in Ireland under one roof in the KCR showroom.”
Martin and Colette admit it’s been difficult to separate their home and work life as they have lived, slept and breathed what they do, especially over the last five years. It’s that passion and love for Interior Design that has kept them in business. “The real reward for us is to see customers genuinely fall in love with their homes,” said Collette. “We have 25 years’ experience in the interiors business, and customers can get that for free. We also provide a full interior design service. “My advice to a consumer who wants a nice home is to get professional advice, talk to someone who knows what they’re doing. They do it once or twice in their lives – we do this every day.”
To find out more about Global Village, visit their website.