Designer Lisa Collins goes timeless classical with revived Edwardian
It’s tough to give a period home a classical look that’s in keeping with its time without courting dowdiness. It’s especially hard to acquire new pieces in the classical style that don’t look like tat. After all, most of the items found in a home when Victorian and Edwardian properties were being built were handmade to some extent and used none of the cheaper plastics and synthetic materials we have become accustomed to today.
And while contemporary and classical pieces always mix well in a period home, getting that mix exactly right can also prove difficult to nail. Then there’s sizing to contend with — classical plush wingback chairs and deep well-stuffed sofas were usually designed for larger houses. So it can be tricky finding pieces which fit well into small or average-sized period homes.
One interiors firm which seems to have fitted itself perfectly into the period property segment is Mindy Brownes, the Mullingar-based Collins family owned interior, designs and furnishings business which also offers a home design consultancy service. The firm has more than 1,000 customers across Ireland and Europe and is a regular at the big Home shows. It is particularly noted for achieving timeless looks which don’t lose relevance to fads as the years pass. An example of what the Collins touch can achieve with a period home is the complete look engineered by director Lisa Collins for the house at 17 Seafort Parade in Blackrock, an elegant end-of-terrace red brick Edwardian with a look that dips into Arts and Crafts.
Collins, who did her time with Harvey Nicks and Chanel, is one of the key drivers of the interiors side of the firm. She outlines her approach to the Blackrock property: “The furniture pieces we introduced are classical timeless examples with a contemporary twist. Our sofas in the living space give a heritage feel to this period style home. We also added mirrored chrome furniture to add light and special awareness to the room.
“Then we introduced a dramatic wall colour to the living space to add luxury and warmth. Our downstairs snug area evokes a sense of travel and exotic lands. We also introduced our vintage world map and furniture inspired by colonial design.”
With its big clocks, porthole mirrors and plush button pinned seating, it’s all very Jules Verne meets 21st century. Now the Edwardian home has been placed on the market. Aside from the complete interiors makeover, it was also entirely upgraded and renovated throughout and is ready to go for another 100 years. Some of the heavy lifting included a new roof along with a complete course of sound proof insulation installed between floors. A whole solid oak floor has been added at garden floor level along with requisite damp proofing and insulation from the Damp Store. It now spans just under 1,300 sq ft.
On the upper floors the original pine floor boards have been professionally restored, sanded and varished. Now it comes with zonal gas fired central heating and new high efficiency combi boiler fitted. Up front, the original front door was restored and reglazed.
A flight of granite steps leads up to the front door and hallway with pine floor, side panelling and a ceiling rose. The livingroom, which looks over the grounds of Blackrock College, comes with a King Star wood burning stove and the original pine floor. Also on this floor is the third bedroom which can also be utilised as a second reception.
Up to the first floor and you’ll find bedroom one, double sized with tongue and grooved floor and fitted wardrobes. Bedroom two also has its original pine floor and enjoys sea views across Dublin Bay. There’s also a bathroom with part wainscot wall panelling and a tub with dual shower heads above.
At basement level there’s a family room with a wood burning stove and solid oak floor as well as a bright south west facing open plan kitchen and dining room overlooking the back garden. This comes with granite work surfaces and bespoke handmade units which also house an integrated Belling cooker, Bosch dishwasher and a Hotpoint fridge freezer. There’s a utility room, under stair storage and a guest shower room. The price is €795,000 through DNG.
17 Seafort parade,
Blackrock, Co Dublin
Asking price: €795,000
Agent: DNG (01) 283 2900