4 weeks ago

See Inside This Beautifully Transformed Cottage

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While interior designer Miriam Peters is responsible for designing all types of interior from classic to contemporary, period to new build, the handwriting for which her brand Minnie Peters is best known is informal, comfortable, harmonious and timeless. People often talk about its “very French look” but the fact is the work is Peters’ distinctive blend of Scandinavian and new Belgian influences, combining the best of contemporary natural materials like marble, stone, seagrass, wool and linen with vintage and antique elements.

A particular feature of the Minnie Peters home is the way it will combine a well-judged hint of the future with a touch of history. “For a home to be a beautiful and friendly and inviting space, it’s important for it not be too much of one thing or another, or all of one style or era which will result in a sterile, bland look and feel.” Peters’ love of collecting furniture, mirrors and lamps from multiple sources and eras, and her eye for finding art, creates all the subtle layers that make for a cosy, warm timeless space. “I like understatement, and I think that’s why I love the way Swedish, Danish and Belgian designers work. They don’t do anything too contrived or over-fancy.”

One of the most successful interior design brands in Ireland, Peters and her husband and business partner Nigel Bray are celebrating the company’s 25th year in business. Now in the fortunate position of only taking on projects that allow them to work with clients from initial concept to completion, they assemble a professional team for each specific project. “We want to give each project ample time to develop the design details and allow us to source architectural elements from around the world.”

For them, delivering a beautiful home for a client is all about the right team with the right design ethos: “We begin by engaging the architect and quantity surveyor that have the expertise in the type of work we like to achieve. While we start with the structure, the layout and how the house will work, it’s important that we understand or have planned the overall vision of the house from the start. Also, our service is concierge-level, we source furniture, artwork and architectural pieces (antique fireplaces, reclaimed flooring, beams and doors) that complement our vision.” They often find they source every detail if required – even the luxury bedlinen, cutlery, glassware. And understanding that the interior and exterior spaces must complement each other, the husband-and-wife-team’s expertise is invariably deployed in the layout and landscaping of the garden.

Over-curation and hyper-styling and furniture arranged to look good with little thought to its actual use is anathema to Peters. “Everything should function really well. Spaces should transition well too: so many people now have a modern extension on a period house and life is lived in two modes.”

It’s quite clear Peters’ schemes are as much about lifestyle as they are about design. She gets into the heads and daily lives of her clients, so she knows exactly why a well-placed lamp and upholstered armchair stools might just elevate a chic pared-back kitchen to a friendly and inviting space for dinner.

Continuity between the old stone cottage and its new extension.

The ticking-covered headboard, simple panelling and old Danish chest of drawers make for a characterful bedroom.

The stone cottage was redesigned and refurbished by interior designer Miriam Peters, and extended to provide a light-filled ground floor living area. The kitchen, by Andrew Ryan, has smoked and oiled oak countertops, a stone worktop and splashback by Miller Brothers, and oak beams, sourced by Nigel Bray, are used to break up the sheeted ceiling. Peters wanted the kitchen to be a comfortable and warm space for evening, choosing armchair stools and a lamps on dimmers to soften the mood.

A simple salvage antique table and collection of artworks in keeping with the pared-back interior.

Custom-designed hall storage.

A Swedish cupboard, the cowbells a reference to the cottage’s location.
The curtains are herringbone linen.

The hall is decorated as a room, with tobacco linen curtains and a comfy armchair. The cottage window is shuttered, the frames picked out in gunmetal grey.

Photographs by Luke White

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