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Look inside this Malahide home’s cool makeover full of clever details


by Megan Burns
19th Aug 2021

From tricks to maximise light, to contemporary panelling and even a bespoke bar area, there’s plenty of great ideas inside.

For many people, working from home has highlighted things about our most-used rooms that could be improved. This was exactly the case for the owner of this Malahide home, who brought in Maria Fenlon Interiors to help.

As Maria explains, the home suffered from dark rooms and a lack of connection to its coastal location, while certain rooms had specific issues like an awkward kitchen island and a living space which felt undefined. “As the owner works from home, it was essential to fine-tune these areas to afford maximum efficiency, and provide comfort and visual delight throughout.”

home renovation ideas

While ensuring that functional spaces worked exactly as they should, Maria also wanted to showcase the owner’s passion for art and music.

One priority was to bring more natural light into the space, and so an existing stud wall was removed from the hallway and replaced with glazing, bringing light into the centre of the building.

Mirrors are also used throughout to maximise any natural light, and to create unexpected glimpses of the coastal view. “A large feature mirror, above a bespoke bench in the kitchen, brings views of the sea into the space and reflects the evening sunset,” Maria explains, while “a circular mirror in the hallway helps to widen the feel of the space.”

The lighting scheme was another careful consideration. Task lighting is important in functional areas, but eye-catching fittings are also used to add to the contemporary feel of the home.

The geometric light above the dining table and the softly glowing orb pendant in the bathroom are great examples of choosing something a little different from the norm. The home’s lighting is controllable by a phone app, and its colour can even be adjusted to create different moods.

home renovation ideas

Another main aspect of the project was adjusting the layout where necessary to make the most of the space. An angled island was replaced in the kitchen with a rectangular one without replacing the rest of the units. These were simply painted black and given new handles to fit in with the new scheme.

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The living space needed to fulfil several functions, so the design worked to define different zones within this space. A stud wall was extended to create a space for the bar area, without it dominating the whole room. Elsewhere, an acoustic slatted timber clad wall adds texture and interest, and Microcement is used to clad the feature wall, adding further texture.

Complementing the owner’s taste, Maria also incorporated some new art pieces into the home. “Adding original Irish art and craft work to decorate the final scheme is always a pleasure,” she says.

home renovation ideas

It was a success with the owner, who loved the result. “Maria embraced my growing art collection, my love of photography and my passion for music and tied them into a seamless design that never screams anything, but whispers an idea, an expression of who I am.”

The whole house has been given this treatment, including bedrooms, bathrooms, and a workspace, while a yoga room and gym was even added to the home. It shows that even with only minor structural changes, a home can be completely transformed with carefully-made decisions, and prioritising what is most important.

Photography: Ste Murray

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