Contents – New Issue

Dublin-City-Garden

Dublin City Town House

Classic Dublin Home

Once in a while, an exceptional property, both extremely rare and special lands on an interior designers desk. Des Curley was approached by a private investor, who had just purchased this absolute gem (and for whom Des had completed a number of projects). This two bedroom period terrace house is located in the area now known as ‘Silicon Docks’ right in Dublin’s thriving financial and technology nerve centre. The brief was very clear, an interior solution delivered on time and on budget. The property had to service the premium corporate rental market.

High-&-Beautiful

House For Sale

High & Beautiful

Our house for sale this issue is a tall modern home set on a hill at the top of  Cappagh Rd, Barna, Galway, with panoramic views of Galway Bay and the Aran Islands visible in the distance. This architecturally designed home sits on a beautifully landscaped garden which can be enjoyed and viewed from a large timber deck at the rear of the house.  When the owners of this home returned from London with their 5 children they set about designing a home that catered for the needs of their large growing family. Large light filled rooms were very important to this family, with the kitchen being the most important. As most of the family activity would take place in the kitchen/dining room area, it was vital that it was ergonomically designed, with ease of movement and comfort being the top priorities.

Teen-Space

A new space for Teens – Upcycling at its Best

In October 2013 a group of highly creative teenagers, attending South Galway CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services) accepted the daunting challenge of transforming a unit in Merlin Park Hospital into a space suitable for teenagers. Our brief was simple… find as much unloved, disused HSE furniture as we could, spend many hours on YouTube and Pinterest, invest heavily in blackboard paint and wallpaper, then let the newly established Upcycling Group loose with brushes and paste. We met every Wednesday evening and during school holidays and while making a spectacular mess our shared vision began to take shape.

Moycullen

Moycullen  – The Perfect Location

When Noreen and Greg found themselves in Galway, they searched to find the perfect place to set down their roots. Both are from opposite ends of the country, Noreen is from Kerry and Greg is from Derry,  They decided on Moycullen. Here they found a small intimate village with great community spirit that had all the hallmarks of a perfect place for a family. They bought a house in the middle of the village, but with two children they decided they needed more space. They didn’t want to leave Moycullen as both children were very much involved in football and the local activities.

Architecturally Designed Home

Designer Home in Galway

Designer Home in Galway

An architecturally designed home on the edges of Lough Corrib  sits neatly in a verdant hollow near the river Corrib in Bushypark, Galway. This substantial 3,000 sq. ft. residence was designed by award winning architect Pat Mc Cabe of Patrick Mc Cabe Architects, the residence won an award for design in 1999, shortly after its completion. Planning in the area is extremely sensitive owing to the vast majority of lands zoned as either agricultural or SAC (special area of conservation).

Timeless in Galway City

Timeless

Timeless

Fireplace from Eamonn Hughes Fireplaces

We were delighted to be invited to photograph this gem of a house right in the centre of Galway City.  There was only one word to sum up this home – Timeless. It is actually impossible to say if it had been built l0 years ago or 2 years ago. The couple who built and designed this house wanted just that – a house that would not date and they have achieved their goal without a shadow of a doubt! Large,airy, open spaces with many American influences make this house the perfect family home

Futureproofed.

A Futureproofed Home In Salthill .

Photography by Alan Smyth

Floors by Wood Plus.

Floors by Wood Plus.

Having acquired one of the last remaining prime sites in the Salthill area, Michael & Sheila were anxious to ensure that the house they were about to build would have a low carbon footprint and use as much renewable energy as possible. Over the next six months there followed a lengthy process of meeting, discussions and consultations with Gerard Carr of Gerard Carr & Associates and Declan Dooley of Kilcastle Construction Ltd to design what would best suit such a site, and meet Michael & Sheila’s expectations. The brief  was to create a ‘home’ that was bright, warm, easy to maintain and with as much “future proofing” as possible and with sights on an “A” BER to create a low carbon footprint. This result was achieved in the final analysis.

Marfil Floor tiles

Marfil Floor tiles

The entrance hall is warm and welcoming with rich cream marfil porcelain tiles that flows into the large dining/kitchen area. Ceilings downstairs are all 2.6 meter high which gives a big bright open feeling. The white oak timber stairs, doors, architrave and 150mm moulded skirting board are rich and vibrant. There are three recessed shelves which elegantly display some beautiful porcelain pieces making full use of led diode down lighting. The family room comprises 225mm solid oak floor boards, custom designed solid black granite fireplace with Barbas Wood burning stove. The brocade curtains with their cream and wine shades complement the full leather suites.   The sitting room provides a large bright and appealing area in which to relax and unwind. It is designed with an imposing Perlino cream marble fireplace with black granite insert and hearth. It is complemented with a Nestor Martin insert stove which has a heating capacity of 12 Kw with 80% efficiency. Rich red curtains in the large bay window add a striking contrast to the black leather suite which host luxury black and red matching scatter cushions. Two large chandeliers work very well with the soft wall lighting and a designer standard lamp and shade.

Floors by Wood Plus.

Floors by Wood Plus.

The double French doors with custom glass panels lead into the dining/kitchen area.   This large dining/kitchen area is bathed in light from 5.3m glass panels which stand 2.1m high with two velux roof lights in an apex over the two 1.2m wide centre doors that open onto the rear patio.

 

 

Double Doors lead to patio

Double Doors lead to patio

A large solid oak 2.5m table with high back leather upholstered chairs can easily accommodate eight adults for any dinner party. A large sumptuous couch is the perfect spot to relax after dinner whilst reading a newspaper or book with an abundance of natural light flooding into this room. You can also relax here, looking onto the magnificent patio and listening to your favourite music through the integrated sound system with its ceiling mounted speakers. The oak island is set at an angle in between the dining and kitchen areas – which highlights the vast space of this elegant living area – with its granite top and breakfast bar, complete with stainless steel inset sink, foldaway chopping board and under counter wine cooler. It is softly lit with four conical shades suspended from the ceiling.

Gey painted kitchen

Gey painted kitchen

All of this is backed by a totally modern kitchen which is perfectly balanced with design and detail accompanied by soft unit and pelmet lights. The kitchen boasts two full size Miele Ovens, Induction Hob, fully integrated fridge/freezer and fully integrated dishwasher.

Patio

Patio

The rear patio is paved with soft cream granite slabs and has a 30mm raised red brick flower bed which has an explosion of summer colours both from the plants and the planters with their vibrant displays of colour. The area is strategically lit with garden spot lights and pillar lights at night. A carefully positioned corner water feature completes the ambience of this peaceful patio/garden. The dining area flows out into the large patio area which mirrors the living area in style, colour and texture.

Solid timber flooring

Solid timber flooring

Moving upstairs, one is greeted with a large timber floored landing area which is lit from two large velux roof lights that extends to a maximum apex of 5.2m, creating a large open light filled space. The main bathroom oozes with character, with black and white themed tiles.  The main bathroom consists of clear shower door houses with a large rainwater showered, a stainless steel towel radiator, an insert sink in a vanity unit with a heated mirror which prevents it steaming up. The perfect spot to unwind and relax in the jacuzzi bath after a long day.   There are two master bedrooms both of which are en-suite and each have their own walk in wardrobe. One bedroom is decorated with vibrant purple colours and has wall to wall additional wardrobes and storage drawers with a 37 inch flat screen TV cleverly concealed behind timber framed mirrored colonial sliding door. All bedrooms benefit from 2.6m high ceilings, large triple glazed windows and solid timber oak floors, architraves and skirting.

Mirrored sliding wardrobe

Mirrored sliding wardrobe

The built in solid timber wardrobe and presses are all custom handmade and are more than ample for each of the large double bedrooms. Soft bed linens combined with matching cushions and curtains coupled with an imaginative use of wall mirrors and prints complete the décor to make these rooms truly 5* accommodation.   The future proofing, small carbon footprint and easy maintenance, is very evident in this home. From first sighting of the house, one sees that it is red bricked on three sides. The North facing side to the rear of the house has been finished in a white sand and cement plastering, as has all the boundary walls. This helps to direct the light to the back garden which is also bordered to the rear with an established tree line and some planting of additional gold crest trees to the rear and west boundary. This creates an exceptionally private, yet light filled rear patio/garden which was fully exploited during the “heat waves” of the past summer. The house is heated with a Daikin 14kw Air to Water heat pump with under floor heating throughout and each room and the hall has a separate thermostat control. Solar tubes on the south facing roof provide ample hot water.

large mirroe in the hall

large mirroe in the hall

This full system was designed by Unitherm Heating Systems in Galway. All of the plumbing – including water storage tanks and 300 ltr hot water cylinder are stored in a separate room adjoining the rear of the house. This eliminates all the noises that go “bang in the night”. The triple glazed windows throughout   – give a U value of 0.8, 50mm kingspan insulation on all exterior walls and the attic area is spray foamed to roof slopes from purlin to wall plates, front & rear of  the dwelling – thus the house is always warm, cosy and quiet. Outside the house, suitable ducting has been laid to accommodate any switchover to gas or oil should they become a more favourable means of heating, at any time in the future. A dedicated electric supply cable has also been provided to the front of the house to cater for an electric car in the future.

Downstairs wet room

Downstairs wet room

The downstairs bathroom has been equipped with a “wet room” shower with a door lintel provided to access the family room should it ever become necessary to provide a downstairs bedroom.   Heat recovery and internal vacuum system was installed by Sean Gavin Beam installation. The heat recovery is very effective in recovering up to 87% of all heat generated in the home whether it be from cooking, a light bulb or the under floor heating system. This make the overall heating costs very effective, ensures fresh air throughout the house and leaves a very small carbon footprint.   Work on the construction of the house began in May 2012 and was fully completed and handed over in turnkey readiness by Declan Dooley of Kilcastle Construction in April 2013. Declan was chosen by Michael and Sheila to complete this project after a lot of consultation and discussions with a number of interested parties in early 2013. “We never looked back from that decision. Declan was very easy to work with and was very thorough in every single detail of the house” Michael tells us. “His interest in the build was so meticulous that at times we felt that he might have been building his own house, such was the level of interest. Having a builder that was professional, interested and would discuss any minor modifications that we had or indeed that he felt would be of benefit was a huge asset throughout” agreed Sheila & Michael. It was the small things like advising on the availability of 50mm Kingspan over 38mm or the research into the type of ridge tiles that made the finishing touches to a house that today Michael & sheila call home.  the final word from Michael & Sheila, ‘to Declan and his team of professional tradesmen a very sincere thank you”

Blue bedroom

Blue bedroom

A picture paints a thousand words

This 1840’s period house is located a few miles outside Galway City. Originally used as a family home, it was turned into a Bed & Breakfast in the 1980’s and traded very successfully as such for many years. The first thing you will notice are the brass name tags on some of the doors. They remain in situ and I can’t help thinking they are a rather nice addition to the story of this fabulous home. When Donal Hegarty – Painter & Decorator was invited to tender for the painting contract of the property, he was delighted to do so as he could show his skills as a decorator and showcase his speciality – painting old period homes.

Living room in a 1840's period house, freshly painted by Donal Hegarty

Living Room in an Irish 1840’s period home

Traditionally houses from this period were painted in ochres, umbers, creams and fawns. White wasn’t used much except for the window sashes on the simplest buildings. The out buildings were painted white using lime washes. Wallpaper was introduced towards the end of this period and it became quite popular. Luxury and wealth was indicated by the use of deep dark colours in the larger homes and thus this home used heavy dark colours with the wallpaper and drapes which exuded opulence and luxury. This house was operating as a rather expensive Bed & Breakfast and the decor reflected this – with deep brocade wallpapers and strong deep colour schemes in all the rooms.

Hallway in the 1840's period house, Paint colour: Farrow & Ball, Savage Ground

Hallway; Paint colour: Farrow & Ball, Savage Ground

When Donal was hired, his brief was to completely change the colour scheme of the whole house, but he also had to retain its old world period look. He also had to take into account the antiques that were dotted throughout the house. The house also had some rather expensive modern pieces of furniture that could not be ignored either. His strongest memory on entering the house was the deep red in the hall and the strong yellows in the bedrooms. Many of the rooms were wallpapered, in keeping with the decor of the period and Donal had to keep this in mind when recommending a paint colour. Because the paint colour he was painting over was so dark he had to go for a high quality paint, in order to avoid putting on endless coats of paint. He was instantly drawn to the Farrow & Ball range using their ‘neutrals’ colour palette. This colour palette would give the house a fresh new look but would also blend with the antiques and the modern pieces of furniture. As you enter the large hall you are struck by the very striking floor tile in black and white, also a large gilt edged framed mirror makes a striking statement. Donal decided on the subtle shade of ‘Savage Ground’ from Farrow & Ball. It would be perfect for the eye-catching hall, so as not to take away from the strong highly patterned floor tile and the very ornate chandelier.

Living room in the 1840's period house; Paint colour: Farrow & Ball, Bone

Living room; Paint colour: Farrow & Ball, Bone

The room on the left is what would have been know as the drawing room during its B & B days – this room leads into another room through two small arches. It will more than likely be used as a breakfast room as two doors lead out to the wonderfully manicured gardens. Both rooms are floored in a traditional mahogany herring bone timber. Donal chose ‘Bone’ from Farrow & Ball here giving a slight hint of colour to these elegantly decorated living rooms. Ornate marble fireplaces sit back to back bringing atmosphere and warmth to both spaces. The large wide hall is continued under an arch to the main staircase. The black and white floor tiles ensure a continuity of both spaces and are matched with a custom made carpet on the stairs. The black of the carpet is broken up with a blue and salmon colour pattern, it was decided to continue with the same ‘Savage Ground’ paint choice of the hall. This was also continued up into the landing where the carpet runs along the landing covering the dark timber floor.
A large tapestry rug hangs in this area and again standing out beautifully while also bringing out the best of the paint choice.The wrought spindles and bannister are fantastically highlighted by the backdrop of the ‘Savage Ground’ shade.

Bedroom, Paint colour: Farrow & Ball, Cream 44

Bedroom, Paint colour: Farrow & Ball, Cream 44

Each room had its own label according to its decor, we picked two to show you – The Art Nouveau Suite – obviously because of its more modern decor with a large Art Nouveau rug hanging above the bed. Donal, in keeping with this modern theme, went with Farrow & Ball’s ‘Cream’. Although he could have gone for a stronger shade here he decided to have no jarring colours in the house and played it safe with the neutral tones. The Regency Suite, Donal decided, deserved a regency style shade so he went for Farrow & Ball’s ‘Clunch’. The white french style bed blended extremely well with the subtle tone of this colour. The large ornate gold mirror reflects the shade and colour of this very elegant bedroom. Although Donal had no work to do in the bathroom, we thought it would be worth showing you anyway. Fully tiled with a large free standing sink, this room is the epitome of luxury. It was used as the en suite for the Regency Suite and is accessed via a walk through wardrobe.

Frenchstyle bedroom, Paint colour: Farrow & Ball, Clunch

Frenchstyle bedroom, Paint colour: Farrow & Ball, Clunch

As Donal walked us through this beautiful home, now freshly painted, I was only sorry it had stopped trading as a Bed & Breakfast as I could only imagine staying in this period home and wandering though it, dreaming of its glory days as a grand home. The lives and the family who lived here will forever be just stories in my head. Donal Hegarty has truly done this grand old home proud – his choice of paint colours and the expertise with which he executed its make over has enhanced it and turned it into a beautiful family home.

Donal Hegarty – Painter & Decorator, 085 7555517

Words by Julie Keary
Photography by Alan Smyth

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Story of a Claddagh House

When I met Orla Sheridan to discuss her new business as a Personal Stylist, we got around to talking about houses and interiors. She told me she lived in the Claddagh. My attention was spiked as it is one of my favorite places in Galway. The homes in the area have been a fascination for me for years.

The Claddagh is one of the oldest parts of Galway. Although sadly none of the old cottages survived, the houses that replaced them have since been replaced and changed or morphed into large medium and small homes. The area has become rather trendy and many houses have been bought up by young professionals and renovated beyond recognition. I immediately ask Orla could I just have a peak at her home. Orla is in the unusual position in that she rents one of the newly extended and renovated houses. Although rented, Orla has put her own style and stamp on the house. Well, the house was a treat and I was delighted when Orla’s landlord allowed us in with our camera.

Living room in the Claddagh House with a burning fireplace

Surrounded by greenery you almost have to duck down to enter the house. Orla refuses to cut it back as it allows her privacy. It also hides the bins, as it is a terrace house the refuse bins can be placed discretely at the front of the house, out of sight from the occupants and the passersby. The first thing that is obviously a new addition to the house, is a little entrance porch. The front door leads straight into the main sitting room which extends the length of the house – hence the need for a little porch. The original house had a staircase directly opposite the front door with a small room to the left and right.
Dining Area in a Claddagh House with wooden floors, a wooden table and white chairsThe original beams show the exact placing of the staircase. When the house was renovated the stairs were removed and placed at the back of the house in the extended part. This extension houses a very unusual kitchen and dining room. The staircase then leads up to a mezzanine with access to the two bedrooms. The original house was very small and very basic – a two up two down house so to speak. It got me to thinking about the original family that once lived here and I wondered how many children grew up here. Having grown up in Galway I always remember many of my friends’ Grandparents living in the Claddagh, in these very houses and they were not small families – another source of fascination for me but maybe that’s a story for another article.

The kitchen area seems so large and airy and its then I realize it is because the extension is double height and the light streams into the kitchen through some velux windows in the roof. Double doors lead out to a back garden which appears like a very small space with the decking and shrubs. But Orla explains that she has allowed the shrubs to grow quite wild as she loves the feeling of greenery around her. The deck area is topped with a gazebo style structure and Orla and her husband have had many an evening meal outside in her overgrown garden.
Kitchen in the Claddagh House with a movable island and red accessories
The living room has the original fireplaces still in working order although Orla tells me she only has need to light the larger one and the smaller one is purely decorative and is mirrored by two similar ones in the two bedrooms upstairs. Cream shelving is matched up with the cream and glass coffee table and the cream unit on the opposite side of the living room. Numerous copies of Vogue Magazine and style books sit o the coffee table indicating Orla’s keen interest in fashion and style. A red and cream theme is seen all around the house with a red desk contrasting with the cream units in this very comfortable living room.

The simple timber floor running through the ground floor and a timber kitchen was already in situ when Orla moved in, so she really had no say in that but she has enhanced the simple semi rustic and semi contemporary look and feel to the house. The kitchen units are very unusual with open shelving above the cupboards with a series of copper piping going through each set of shelves – a really unique touch to the kitchen. A movable island was added which complements the kitchen and can be wheeled out of the way when it is needed. A rough timber table sits to the right of the kitchen and ultra modern white chairs sit neatly at the table. Orla chose red accessories to blend with the copper piping and also added large red dome shades to cover the drop lighting in the kitchen area. A large metal beam is painted in red and denotes where the old house ended and the extension started.
Working Area in the Claddagh House with a small decorative fireplace, a red desk and a few red accessories
A sisal natural carpet covers the stairs and leads to the mezzanine and into the two bedrooms – both very simply decorated with cream beds and crisp white bed linen. Simply stylish and quaint is the only way to describe this beautiful home. Having visited many houses over the last ten years this was one of my favorites and the one house in which I would be very happy to live. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that it is situated almost in the city and within spitting distance of the sea, in one of the most historic and beautiful parts of Galway – The Claddagh.

Orla Sheridan, personal stylist

Orla’s new website is  www.orlasheridan.com or you can contact her on – +353 (0)87 2389283.

Words by Julie Keary
Photography by Alan Smyth

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