1 year ago

See Inside Helle Moyna’s Blackrock Home


Name: Owner of interiors store Nordic Elements, Helle Moyna lives with her husband David, and sons Tobias and Marcus Address: Booterstown Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin Home: A two-storey, five-bedroom house The vibe: A sensitive, airy renovation filled with classic design pieces

We bought the house in 2014 and were attracted to it because of its lived-in family feeling. Structurally the house is a composite of eras – some of it dates to the 16th century when it was part of Booterstown Castle, the rest is 18th century. We employed a conservation architect to advise on the correct procedures for the restoration. When we moved in we installed central heating and brought the basement back into the main house – it had been a separate two-bed apartment previously.

As for the interior design, I did this myself. I never work with trends and love shapes, colours and honest design. Many of the decorative items I’ve collected at auction – I have a preference for French pieces and Italian mid-century furniture – as well as contemporary Scandinavian designers.

Our dining area is the family room and we congregate around an oak table by the Danish family business – dk3. The table was made to order and, with two extension leaves, it can seat up to 16 people. With all the men in the house, I kept the chairs in practical tan leather. The shelving unit is one of my all-time favourite storage designs, dating from 1948, by Danish architect Paul Cadovius. I frequently use this piece in my projects, now under license by dk3, and call it a modern heirloom. I am delighted I have finally installed the iconic Fun 10DM by Verner Panton over the dining table. I love its gentle light and delicate mother of pearl discs.

We redecorated the front living room last year as I wanted a more spacious area with warmer tones and more seats for when we entertain. The red marble fireplace is original to the house; the colour is amazing. The large painting by Pierre Malbec was a gift to myself last year; I came across the artist while working in the south of France, and was drawn to the colours and shapes he uses. I have just ordered the Room sofa from Won Design in Kvadrat canvas green to complete the room.

Design has always been an interest and I set up Nordic Elements in February 2008. At the time I was on maternity leave with my youngest son and decided I did not wish to return to the corporate finance world. I put myself forward for redundancy, registered Nordic Elements, created a website and the rest is history. I am very privileged to work with great clients who trust and believe in me. No day or project is ever the same. Currently on my wishlist is the de la Espada Elysia chair and ottoman – I believe every home should have a good lounge chair with a footstool.

The living room features blue chairs and a mid-century sideboard bought at auction 20 years ago. The painting is by Pierre Malbec.

The solid oak dining table is by Danish company dk3 with CoPilot steel chairs also by dk3 in tan leather. The shelving unit is the Royal System by Paul Cadovius.

A quiet corner with rocking chair sourced from auction 15 years ago.

The hall and kitchen lights are by Rubn, a brand from Copenhagen which Moyna discovered seven years ago. “I designed the hall chandelier myself as I wanted a simple light that would not obstruct the view on the landing.” It features amber glass pendants which are easy to dust! In the kitchen, the units were designed with Morwenna Gerrard and made by Wabi-Sabi. 

The living room features the original marble fireplace. The sofas are from a Finnish supplier. The Atollo lamp in opal glass on top of the glass cabinet is a classic mid-century design.

The bedroom was finished last year. We added wardrobes and an en-suite made by Wabi-Sabi. As we did not have a lot of wall space we went for height and added a ladder.

The mid-century modern desk in the bedroom is another auction find.

For sanitaryware in the bathroom we chose classic black and white as it never dates.


Penny McCormick

Photographs by Ruth Maria Murphy

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