Cold, almost lifeless and dark, it was as though this elegant old house was hibernating. But owners Cornelia and Peter Legge, who first discovered the site in 1978, knew straightaway it was a sleeping beauty.
“We slowly brought the house back to its original state by doing a great deal of work ourselves in stages,” explains Cornelia, an architect-turned-interior designer, who is inspired by the clean-cut lines and lightness of Swedish design.
Tinkering with the layout over the years, the couple knocked through walls, adding a small glazed extension and a salvaged marble fireplace for a more homely atmosphere. By peeling back the plaster and sanding down the pine doors, stairs and shutters facing the sunshine, the original character of the house began to reveal itself.
The relaxed interior design developed organically and the generously proportioned rooms have been decorated in natural tones and materials. Imaginative touches grace each room, incorporating quirky objects – many of them handmade by the highly creative family.
In 2011, the couple’s sons Jonathan and Mark launched the Irish craft shop Makers & Brothers, which shares space in the revamped stables in the wild-flowered garden with Peter Legge Associates, their parents’ architectural practice. This season, Cornelia will be lending her sons a helping hand at their gorgeous Dublin 2 pop-up, Makers & Brothers & Others.
Now the work is complete, the family cannot imagine moving. “It is a happy home that one always wants to come back to – it has its own welcome and charm,” Cornelia says with a smile. “The boys’ friends never want to leave; once the fire is lit and you sit down with a glass of wine, you’re set.”
Photography by Mark Scott