The skilful art of combining exquisite furniture design with functionality and comfort seems easy for young designer, Enda McGonigle. As Sofa Source’s product development manager, he carries the task of maintaining the companies’ reputation for elegant, affordable and comfortable designs while fulfilling his own enthusiasm for fine, unique pieces of furniture. Comfort and ease of use partnered with design opulence are his signature. Furniture design is his passion, his expertise and his driving force.
Enda is a graduate of the iconic Letterfrack college of Furniture Design & Manufacture in Galway. In Letterfrack Enda has become adept at combining his creative strengths with manufacturing technology in the design and making of innovative furniture. A key focus of is paid to intelligent design that addresses issues such as market, competitiveness, cost, and environment, always bringing superb design to the fore.
Following his training and education in Letterfrack, Enda honed his skill and precise techniques with a Wicklow Contract furniture firm; the required accuracy and very high, demanding standards in quality and functionality has stuck with Enda and continues to be a guideline for his own exacting standards.
Joining us in Sofa Source, Enda has now found his niche. Here, he specialises in contemporary design with a classic twist and enjoys finding that illusive wow factor in each product he fashions. Inspired by the statement pieces of the iconic Irish furniture maker Eileen Gray and by the seminal work of Charles Eames, Enda has a keen eye for beautiful items to influence and elevate his end product.
“I find inspiration in many many places and am always on the lookout for form and graceful lines that catch the eye and lend themselves to gracious and practical lifestyle furniture. I try to bring comfort, function and above all, good design into the sofas and chairs we produce. At the moment, there is a trend toward inbuilt functionality, such as USB ports, electric recliners and motion sofas and head rests. We are having fun incorporating these design briefs into furniture that is elegant, graceful and reflects the modern trends in interior design.” Says Enda.
Finding the balance between use-ability and aesthetics is just one of the challenges for the modern furniture manufacturer and their designers. Enda designs to sell and once a great furniture design, incorporating modern interior trends and appealing form has been developed, there follows an in-house review, with much discussion and testing, before the final product reaches the happy end user. A realistic and reasonable price point is always foremost in the criteria too. So far, every product has proved to be a winner.
The Keely suite, which is finished in a striking two-tone contrasting fabric has become one of Enda’s design classics. This beautiful suite with its soft fabric and plush lines is the epitome of comfort and easy usage for any living room. It is a fine example of how refined design can meet ‘curl up for the night’ relaxation. It is a classic. Enda is currently working on designing and overseeing the manufacture of furniture for smaller living spaces. With many buyers finding their homes, apartments and houses too small for larger statement furniture, he is working on producing slim line models of classic pieces to ensure that a reduced living space will not mean a reduction in the style and grace of the décor. A smaller arm detail on a chair could greatly increase the aesthetic of the chair within its lifestyle space.
Enda keeps ahead of these current industry trends by constantly flooding his life with beautiful images and new product ideas from a variety of places. From Art galleries to Instagram, from Pinterest, from Trend Bible, from nature and from anywhere he visits. “I am always looking for inspiration and can get excited about a uniquely fashioned table or find joy in a particular tree colour as there is inspiration everywhere”. Attendance at International trade show also provides a sharing of ideas and vision, along with development of new clients. Enda has recently returned from shows in both China and the UK and while these trips are essential for Sofa Source to maintain their unique International trade links, they also showcase and allow sharing of design ideas. “Taste in furniture does differ around the world but the prospect of collaborations and seeing new and innovative ideas is wonderful, while the face to face learning is stimulating and hugely beneficial. Fabric is very popular for soft furnishings at the moment, with lovely pops of colour, burnt orange, aubergine, apricot and blue as the shades of the season. There is no doubt that there is a lot of exciting design innovations happening in the furniture word.”
Sofa Source are pleased to work with their clients to design products for their particular markets. Taking into account their superior knowledge of their individual market place. This does however feed into Sofa Source’s over-all global experience as Enda explains “When we develop a product for a customer in one market that works, we use our global trend knowledge and then push it into other markets that have similar taste. For example, we know if it works in the UK market it will most likely work in New Zealand but may not work in Germany. So, it’s this collaboration with our clients that creates a synergy and gives a uniqueness along with saleability to our designs”.
In his spare time, Enda plays golf and co-drives rally cars, but if truth be told, he is probably designing furniture even in these moments too. The future looks bright for this dynamic and talented young designer and we at Sofa Source are reassured that the quality, superior upholstery products of exceptional value and design.