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Featured: Liam Mooney

Liam Mooney Interior Design Clarke's


After studying Industrial design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Liam Mooney started a range of furniture under his own name. This was in 2006, the same time that Liam joined forces with Justin Rhodes and Cameron Munro to start the Whatiftheworld / Design Studio.


Liam Mooney is passionate about creating products that are simple, innovative and relevant ‘at the time, for the time’, and using this as a guideline, the company designs and manufactures furniture, lighting and accessories, and also offers bespoke design furniture and interior design services. 


We’re big fans of all the work that Liam does, but today we’re going to focus on his interior design work. We caught up with him to chat about exactly that.


What factors do you consider when designing an interior space?

The brief is always the most important part of any design project and is what I constantly refer back to. I like to spend as much time at the beginning of a project making sure that the brief is clear, succinct and very detailed.


How do you take the vision/style of the client and translate it into something you love as well?

I think it’s important to work with clients who share your vision of how things should look and feel. That way half the work is already done. After all people come to me because they know I provide a product in my own special way. I’ve been very lucky to mostly work with people who share my ethos and design style.


As a designer, what’s more important: form or function?

I believe form performs a function as important as any other. The goal is to marry the two perfectly. Too much of the one is going to result in an interior that is either impractical to work in, or ugly to look at. Both are equally important.


What do you think makes an interior space great?

Great interior spaces surprise and delight, they charm users. They function perfectly so that the users are focussed on the beauty and magic and not the impracticality. That being said, my favourite spaces are ones that offer me a timeless, new and innovative perspective.


What influences your design?

As I design mainly commercial spaces, the brand is always the starting point. Interiors are a physical manifestation of a brand, and as such have to abide by a very strict set of rules. After that practicality rules… how can the space be used in a clever and surprising way? How can interaction between people be encouraged in subtle ways? How can we make people feel like they want to spend hours in the space?


What aspects of your job do you enjoy the most or find the most rewarding?

I love interacting with people, so brainstorming and working with great clients is a reward in itself. After that, seeing vague concepts and ideas become a physical reality is a thrill matched by little else!


What are you working on at the moment?

At the moment, I’m working on some retails concepts and office spaces. All very exciting projects.


Clarke’s Bar and Dining Room – Bree Street:


Clarkes Bar and Dining Room


See our Out of Office feature on Clarke’s here


Christopher Strong on Long Street:


Christopher Strong in Long street


Merchants Cafe on Long Street:


merchants cafe


Liam was the Creative Director for the ‘Airstream Rooftop Trailer Park Project’, for which 8 different local creatives did the interior design of an Airstream Trailor. Liam designed ‘Pleasantville’ – a utopian, 1950s-style heaven:


Pleasantville Grand Daddy Rooftop Hotel Liam Mooney


The Conservatory at Daddy Long Legs, an inner courtyard designed in collaboration with Christie Fels:


The Conservatory - Daddy Long Legs Liam Mooney


See more of Liam’s work here:



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