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James O'Reilly

Published on 16 Aug 2020

An Irish entrepreneur transforming New York, one co-working concept at a time.

We’re hitting close to both of Oriors homes in this week's IRL featuring the lovely and unassuming James O’Reilly and Katie McShane. While they were both born and raised in Ireland (and maintain their charming accents), they have also passed the ten year mark allowing them to be considered New Yorkers. Katie practices financial law in New York but is also admitted to practice in Ireland, England and Wales. After James Co-Founded NeueHouse in 2008 he is continuing to make waves in the co-working world as the President of Life Time Work.

We caught up with James and Katie as they showed us round their newly renovated Brooklyn townhouse and talked about how the Orior pieces have fitted in to the space.

Q: How long have you been in NY and what brought you to NY from Ireland?

A: I came to NY 13 years ago, to work with a company called Tungsten Partners, a real estate and equity partner of Ace Hotel, amongst others. The Ace NY was the first project I worked on.

Q: Where did you meet Katie and how long have you been together?

A: We met originally when we both lived in Barcelona in 2011, then again in New York 7 years ago and she's been putting up with me ever since.

Q: What do you miss most about Ireland?

A: Green spaces, ice cold sea swims, family and friends...

Q: When did you join the Life Time team and do you feel as though co-working spaces are something which will continue to grow?

A: I joined Life Time, a 27 year old luxury health and fitness company, to start a new co-working business. With Life Time Work we're integrating premium health clubs with elevated co-working spaces for discerning professionals. Co-working is a great antidote to the isolation and limitations of working from home, that have been highlighted by this great pause forced by Covid-19. Once the virus passes, co-working will still be relevant and needed.

Q: What made Neuehouse such a success?

A: I think Neuehouse was unique because of our approach to cultural programming and experience design principles, more often found in great hotels and restaurants.

Q: How did you approach the renovation & design of your new place?

A: We wanted our home to feel calming in contrast to our busy lives. We also wanted to celebrate the historic elements of being situated in a Brooklyn townhouse, balanced with a few contemporary design objects. We really appreciate the organic elements and handmade quality of many of the pieces we chose.

Q: Have you been enjoying the Orior pieces? (Andre chairs, Canyon Sofa, Tim Table, Whitman Table)

A: The Whitman Table by its size alone is striking and incredible for entertaining, but silky smooth with organic knots softening the experience of sitting at it. We’ve particularly enjoyed the Canyon sofa during lockdown, it’s the coziest place to curl up in front of the fire and its really beautiful which is a big plus! We think that the soft edges of the wooden Tim Table, combined with the neutral corduroy Canyon is the perfect combo.