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Image / Living / Interiors

6 tips for renovating a period home, from a homeowner who has done it


by IMAGE Interiors & Living
01st May 2021

The drawing room and library

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The light-filled drawing room and library houses beautiful original plasterwork.

How this homeowner pulled off the perfect period renovation of this south Dublin Georgian home (and take a tour).


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Choose wisely. For any renovation, hire a good architect and good builders. They will guide you over the bump and potholes that inevitably come with a period restoration.

Be conservative. Conservation officers will have the final say on structural changes in listed buildings, so don’t assume you can do what you want. If your building is listed, choose an architect with a history of working on a listed building, not only will they already have experience on their side but they often have a good working relationship with the conservation officers, which will go a long way in speeding up the build.

Go beyond the cosmetic. Don’t be tempted to paint everything white and move in. Most houses need to be replumbed, insulated and updated. It’s better to spend the money on the basics first to avoid a crisis.

Devise workarounds. Before deciding to open up all the rooms at garden level or to extend into the garden, consider your options. Sometimes, small alterations to improve the daylight and sunlight can make for a more practical and low-key solution.

Don’t store up trouble. Storage can be a problem in Georgian houses, so consider converting a smaller bedroom into a dressing room, or creating a bespoke storage room at basement level.

Be true to the era. Many paint and wallpaper companies offer heritage collections, created from matching up historic colours, allowing you to lend an authentic palette to your new home.

Words by Jillian Bolger, photography by Mark Scott, styling by Marlene Wessels.