After stints in the UK and France, designer Helen Cody returned to Ireland to find her Dublin 8 home in need of a lot of TLC…
Ask her friends, and no doubt you’ll be told that Helen Cody’s home, which she shares with her two dogs, Harry and Joe, is very “her”. The fashion designer’s Dublin 8 cottage is the perfect reflection of her elegant, vintage-loving aesthetic. “I would describe my style as very eclectic, and strongly influenced by history, decay, and things that nobody wants!” she laughs. “I love things that are old and discarded. I’m a bit of a scavenger – whether it’s car-boot sales in London or brocantes in Paris. I like re-inventing pieces.”
Helen returned to Ireland last year, and promptly began working on a new contemporary bridal couture collection, which was launched in March as a pop-up at Dublin design store Industry. It features stunning handmade pieces that also showcase her love of mixing things up.
She was drawn to her home by the high ceilings. “At the time – this was 2000 – I had been outbid on nine houses. I drove past one night and saw this house; the lights were on, and there was a ‘for sale’ sign outside. I decided to just knock on the door and see. As it happened, the homeowner had been ‘sale agreed’ three times and they had all fallen through so we made a deal there and then privately. It was amazing.”
Helen has recently given it a revamp since moving back and added a light-filled studio out the back. “When I returned last year after living abroad for a couple years, it had been rented out, so it needed a complete overhaul, on a small budget. I’m great at the art of the tart-up, though! I started simple to begin with, and painted everything white, including the woodwork and ceilings.”
Helen’s home is filled with personal treasures but never veers into cluttered territory. How does she manage to keep it so calm and clean? “It might sound funny, but I like to photograph the spaces I’m in,” she laughs. “If something is bothering me, I’ll look at it through a photograph and find that I can read it much more objectively and find a good balance. I like rooms to feel calm and ordered. Also, I think if you collect enough things over the years, your taste settles into itself and things begin to feed off each other.”
Photography Mark Scott
If you love the lost-and-found feel of Helen Cody’s home, check out the traditional and modern mix of this Victorian-era townhouse