A light-filled extension has opened up this mid-terrace Dublin 6 home
This protected building was given a careful restoration and extension, including reusing the original brick and including details that respect its history.
A mid-terrace in Dublin 6, this home is a protected structure, but its owners wanted to update it, and maximise its potential. They turned to Studio And architects, and director Ciara McGonigal explains that a large part of their design involved reconfiguring the space, and removing previous additions, while also upgrading things like wiring and plumbing.
“Unfortunately, much of the original features had been removed, such as the cornicing, ceiling roses, and fireplaces,” she says. “Alterations had been made over the years that did not fully consider the aspect of the property, including the addition of a porch and boiler room to the rear, while the kitchen to the rear return had low levels of natural light and looked onto a small, dark patio.”
The homeowners wanted the house to work better for day-to-day family life, with a bright open-plan kitchen and dining space, while respecting any original features.
Renovations included removing a previous extension, reconfiguring the layout to add storage, a downstairs toilet, utility, and an open-plan kitchen and dining space. A large window and double doors by Mellots Joinery connect the space to the garden, and further light comes through two large Velux roof lights.
A big aspect of the project involved rebuilding the gable wall. “The chimney to the rear gable wall was deflecting and structurally unsound,” Ciara explains, “and it was necessary to remove and rebuild the entire gable wall. A condition of planning was that the original bricks would be carefully removed and used to rebuild this wall.”
On the first floor level, the original footprint was kept, but more previous alterations were removed, and the layout was reconfigured to add a family bathroom, as well as a double bedroom and home office space with a Juliette balcony looking out to the back garden.
The chimney in the rear reception room and main bedroom was no longer in use, so they decided to excavate the chimney breast, giving valuable space back to these rooms.
Adding light was a crucial part of the design, and it has been done so at every opportunity. As well as the window-filled extension, bi-fold double doors connect the reception rooms at the front and back of the house, allowing light to flow when open.
Ciara explains that the middle reception room has been painted in a dark colour to create contrast. “Opting to paint the walls and woodwork here in the same dark blue colour creates a dramatic contrast to the light-filled extension. This room is a multi-function room; a playroom, library, and office.”
The home’s ample light has allowed the owners to choose a moody colour palette throughout, with dark, textured Anaglypta wallpaper and monochrome tiles from Tech Tiles in the hallway, a dusky green in the bedroom, and black shaker-style units by Blackrock Kitchens.
Although only 14 square metres, the extension has created a generous, light-filled space, while the rest of the house flows harmoniously.
The kitchen is now a sociable space, Ciara points out, in contrast to the small, dark room it was before. “A built-in oak bench in the dining area faces the kitchen and kitchen island, perfect for entertaining. The new dual-aspect design also brings both the Victorian streetscape and the garden into the home, creating a feeling of openness and connecting the building with its location.”
Photography: Andrew Campion