Flashes of inspiration
Blanaid Hennessy finds harmony in the shared home of photographer Richie Stokes
It's refreshing to walk into a house shared by young men and find that a black leather sofa, PlayStation and beer cans are not decorative stalwarts. But in my experience, Richie Stokes's home is the exception rather than the rule.
Richie (28) is a freelance photographer specialising in portrait, fashion and wedding photography, but he's also trained in interior design. And it shows -- he and his housemates have combined forces to get the look of this home just right.
Richie travels abroad on photographic commissions as often as possible, and he picks up things for the home from each destination.
The fact that the four others sharing with him also buy eclectic items on their journeys makes for a very individual look.
The house is a beautiful, refurbished and extended Victorian semi-detached, which now has five bedrooms and two en suites. It is full of mod cons, yet it has kept all the character of retained period features.
"The high ceilings, cornicing and big working fireplaces are great, but the underfloor heating is really nice on cold winter mornings," says Richie.
How did five young mean stumble upon such an amazing place?
"I needed more light and space," he explains. "I found the house on Daft, came to have a look around and it was even nicer than it looked on the internet.".
The leafy, vibrant area of Ranelagh was a factor in the decision to move.
"I grew up around the corner, so it's nice to be back near all my old friends and family. It's also fantastic to have a garden again. There is so much space for entertaining," says Richie.
The home, with its soft furnishings, retro accessories and elegant lighting, is a culmination of five different design opinions all living happily together under the one coved ceiling.