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Sunday Business Post Feature – 30th June 2024

Slow living doesn’t mean moving at a slow pace but is rather more of a shift in mindset. The cultural movement that is the ‘slow movement’ emerged from the slow food movement in the mid-1980s. That in turn sprang from a protest against the opening of a McDonald’s restaurant in the Piazza di Spagna in Rome.

Slow living, like slow food, is about quality trumping quantity.

An avid supporter of this approach is interior designer Sara Cosgrove, founder of Sara Cosgrove Studio, who many might know as one of the judges on RTÉ One’s Home of the Year series.

Like slow cooking and slow living movements, which, respectively, advocate a more conscious approach to ingredient use and sourcing and lifestyle choices, slow interiors encourages a more curated and considered approach to design.

The ultimate goal is to deliver a positive environment and wellbeing for people in unique and more personalised homes and Cosgrove applies that to both private residential clients as well as to the commercial sector.

Founded in 2021, Grove & Co initially specialised in built-to-rent properties and show homes. Since then, it has broadened its offering to serve the commercial, private residential and hospitality sectors with a growing list of clients including Ballymore, Cairn Homes, Glenveagh Homes, McGarrell Reilly, Chartered Land and Castlethorn.

The multifaceted interior design service has a team of creatives who have built a reputation that is setting the benchmark in aspirational living — innovators who are passionate about working with their client’s goals, commercial needs, and objectives and transforming properties into high-value, sought-after assets.

The practice provides a 360-degree turn-key service that is sustainably driven and quality focused.

With her experience, ethics and eye, Cosgrove has built a team of partners, designers and support staff who are passionate about her vision to create homes that give their dwellers attention to the ‘four Fs’ — the form, feel, function and flow — that shape the Grove & Co team’s choices.

Whether it’s a private home, a built-to-rent (BTR) property, a show home, a hotel suite or a public space, Grove & Co creates spaces designed to inspire and deliver a sense of wellbeing by sustainably creating holistic spaces made for living well.

“Our physical environment is so important to our mindset, whether it’s where we work, rest or play. These days, for many of us, our homes are where we do all three,” said Cosgrove.

“That’s why every project must be considered, from the planning stage to the final finishing touches. We commit to proving we can make a positive impact on the world by acting and evolving as a responsible company,” she said.

“It is so important to be invested in sustainability and to ensure we are working towards a better future for our planet. I have implemented key practices in our business and in our project management protocol to ensure we are considering every possible means of striving for a more sustainable future while delivering the best quality, value and comfort in our interiors.”

Seven is the magic number when it comes to Cosgrove’s criteria as they include: sourcing products, materials production, packaging, energy consumption, transportation, product lifecycle and employee conditions.

“As sustainability is a critical factor for our team, all our suppliers are vetted to ensure they consider a series of elements before proceeding with an order.

“For example, if employees are being paid a living wage, their children are more likely to be kept in school. Supply chains can be opaque but we do what we can to work with partners who understand our goals,” she said.

Working on commercial projects and with multi-unit clients often differs from one-off residential projects in terms of client needs and aspirations.

“Commercial projects tend to differ on a couple of different levels from private residential projects,” said Cosgrove.

“Namely the decisions made are done so with a more strategic approach because a lot of it is to do with dates, drawdowns and hand-overs. It’s very regimented and is related to key deliverables.

“There are benefits to both approaches; sometimes the additional hand-holding and exploration required in a private project means the end result can be more creative and more eclectic, with real depth.

“At the same time, the very clear-headed decision-making that is required in commercial projects can also benefit private projects too. So I try to take the experience of both arenas to maximise our designs,” she said.


Full link to the published piece here: https://www.businesspost.ie/property/celebrity-designer-is-putting-the-qualities-of-slow-living-into-practice/

To find out what the team at Grove & Co offers, visit groveandco.com or follow Grove & Co on Instagram: @groveandco_