Amplifying the view, retaining its period charm and creating a welcoming family home were the goals of the renovation of this Victorian seaside property …
“Though the property [in south County Dublin] reads as a one-storey home from the front, it is in fact four storeys, comprising five bedrooms and bathrooms, with terraced gardens on different levels,” explains architect Tony Mullen, who became involved in this project via a recommendation to the purchasers by the estate agent. Mullen’s brief was to create a comfortable family home. With the help of the main contractors, Irish Conservatories & Building Services, Mullen carried out essential repairs to the building. “Where needed, we faithfully recreated period skirting boards, doors, architraves and cornicing based on original mouldings.”
A priority was to create an open-plan kitchen, dining and living area on the ground floor, leaving the period details intact. The original house had a small kitchen so three rooms were opened up. The new kitchen, by Wicklow-based Alan Brown Cabinet Makers, has a large island with iconic Beetle counter chairs by Gubi, and banquette seating in a bay window. In the living room, a woodburning stove was installed in the original fireplace by William Buckley [of Buckley Fireplaces, Dublin 18]. Ensuring it worked efficiently was not an easy task given the smoke turbulence and down draft, a by-product of the property’s sea-facing location.
“Very little work was done to the drawing room on the entrance level, other than blocking up access to the old kitchen to the left of the fireplace. The alcoves were reinstated as per the original design,” says Mullen. Though Covid-19 intervened, the renovation process took nine months and was completed earlier this year. As for the interior design, Mullen recommended Dun Laoghaire-based Lost Weekend. If the family’s interest in music and entertaining informed much of the layout, “The colour scheme was inspired by the coastal location,” explains Emily Maher, creative director of Lost Weekend. “Soft blues and greys complement sand and stone hues and we used natural materials throughout.” Iconic pieces by Carl Hansen, Verner Panton, Marcel Breuer, Ilse Crawford and Eero Saarinen mix seamlessly with the family’s antique furniture and artwork.
“For example, in the dining room, the owner’s Japanese art informed the décor. The oriental wallpaper in soft beige and green tones is complemented by the furniture in walnut and glossy lacquer with bronze and gold accents,” says Maher. “In the living areas it was a deliberate decision not to have any window coverings, so that the view could not be concealed.” This bareness lends a natural elegance to the project. Both Mullen and Maher remark on the “meditative” atmosphere of the home, achieved via a lightness of touch and lack of interference with the property’s enviable position and period features. www.tonymullenarchitects.com; www.lostweekend.ie.
Photography by Ruth Maria Murphy.
A Companions side table by Ilse Crawford for De La Espada sits between white oiled oak and tan leather Colonial chairs designed by Ole Wanscher for Carl Hansen. The trio of circular Bongo matte lacquer coffee tables are from Meridiani. The Hello Sonia rug is from CC Tapis. The Fun pendant light by Verner Panton with seashell discs works with the coastal theme. The Gravity floor lamp with grey marble base and linen shade is by Gubi. The vases on the mantelpiece are from Nordic Elements; www.nordicelements.com. The landscape painting is by Irish artist Jenny McConnell. The oak floors were supplied by Trunk.
The formal drawing room is used for reading and music. The oval coffee table with grey-veined marble and platinum steel edging is by Meridiani. The sheepskin Stay chair is by Gubi. The sculptural items are from Belisarius Art & Design; www.belsarius.com.
The dining room features Eero Saarinen dining chairs by Knoll upholstered in soft sea-green velvet surrounding the walnut Solo dining table designed by Neri and Hu for De La Espada. The oriental wallpaper is from Surface View; www.surfaceview.co.uk. The pendant light with gold leaf discs is the Macchina Della Luce from Catellani e Smith. The sculptural pieces are from Belisarius Art & Design.
The Classon credenza designed by Jason Miller for De La Espada, sits beside a Gubi C chair in walnut and cane. The silk and wool Trace D’Aubusson rug is by CC Tapis.
In the drawing room, a baby grand piano. The blue sofa is by Meridiani, cushions by Fabricut.
An antique table serves as a desk in the bay window. The rug is Utlimate Bliss Big Natural by CC Tapis. The classic Thonet S32 cantilevered chair in cane and tubular steel was designed by Marcel Breuer in 1928. The table lamp is the Bestlite by Gubi. The Muse vases are from Ferm Living and the ceramic bowl is by Noel Byas.
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