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Old house new home - brothers share story of their painstaking restoration of 45 Pearse St

So many beautiful old buildings lie vacant around Ireland, but could be brought back to life as homes. Brothers Declan and Brian Rainsford tell Katy McGuinness the story behind their restoration of 45 Pearse Street, Dublin 2

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Brian Rainsford at 45 Pearse Street

Brian Rainsford at 45 Pearse Street

45 Pearse Street

45 Pearse Street

45 Pearse Street

45 Pearse Street

45 Pearse Street

45 Pearse Street

45 Pearse Street

45 Pearse Street

The property before renovation

The property before renovation

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Brian Rainsford at 45 Pearse Street

Many of us are drawn to historic homes by the craftsmanship and materials evident in their beautiful features, yet struggle to reconcile these with the demands of modern life. We love the look of the old but want the functionality and convenience of the new.

Remodelling and reimagining an old building as a modern home, without diminishing its essential character, is a challenge that can be made even more daunting when its qualities are hidden by its dilapidated condition or previous, poor-quality alterations. It's a complex process that requires the advice of a professional architect from the outset.

Luckily for Declan Rainsford (who for many years has been based in New York where he owns bars and restaurants), his brother Brian is an architect - a partner in the firm Horan Rainsford. The pair share a love of old buildings.