Cool Countryside

  • by IMAGE

When architect Helena Fitzgerald got the chance to create a family home on her parents? rural farm, what she built was no ordinary farmhouse. Inspired by the picturesque views of Carlow's Blackstairs Mountains, she made it her mission to build a beautiful and contemporary home that respected the extraordinary landscape. ?I tried conventional designs at the start,? Helena recalls ruefully. ?But I ended up with this much more expressive one!?

The resulting geometric structure blends in naturally with its surroundings, featuring timber cladding, generous windows and plenty of light-filled internal space. There is something uplifting about the uncluttered yet homely interior, which has a lovely flow between each space. Textured wooden floors in rich oak are offset against the organic-toned walls, and functional open-plan shelving displays the architect's elegant collection of objets d?art.

Scotland and Scottish design has had a profound influence on Helena's life as she met her husband Gerry while spending a summer in Edinburgh. Elements of the classic Scottish tenement block are echoed around the house, from the well-proportioned rooms, to the distinctive, granite coloured exterior.

However, the house remains all about the stunning countryside it's set in. ?The interiors are a blank canvas and quite neutral,? Helena says. ?The atmosphere changes constantly with the weather and light.?


Photography by Mark Scott?


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