Sunday 19 November 2017

Renovation advice: How architect Amanda Bone transformed a period Victorian by the sea into a functional family home

The kitchen, which has moved location, has an island and an Aga.
The kitchen, which has moved location, has an island and an Aga.
Victorian seaside home in Co Wicklow
The dining room, featuring a table the owner bought for €50
Victorian seaside home in Co Wicklow
The garden connects well to the rest of the house
The master bedroom has a free-standing partition that gives two parts to the room

Architect Amanda Bone refurbished and sensitively upgraded the two-storey detached house into a comfortable family home.

What: A Victorian seaside home in Co Wicklow

Architect: Amanda Bone Architects

Builder: Eoin McCormack

The brief: To refurbish and sensitively upgrade the two-storey detached house into a comfortable family home.

The works: Involved the partial reconfiguration of the existing internal layouts to both the ground and first floor to allow for improved and flexible living areas, for upgraded bedroom and bathroom areas, and for a greater connection between all parts of the house and the surrounding gardens.

The kitchen was moved from the rear of the house into one of the reception rooms, a fireplace was removed and replaced with an Aga, an island and free-standing unit were custom-made by Newcastle Design, and all existing floorboards were sanded and stained.

The former kitchen became a kids' TV and play room. A bathroom in the back hall was demolished to allow for a larger hall to store children's boots and coats. On the first floor, the master bedroom was fitted with a mirrored walk-in wardrobe concealed behind a partial partition and an en suite was added. The house was rewired and given new plumbing and heating, and the roof was insulated.

Amanda says: "It's hard to make fitted furniture work in an old house. Free-standing units work better, but in this kitchen that meant there was only room for an island and the Aga because there were doors on two of the walls."

On the bedroom: "The front bedroom was changed into the master bedroom to make room for an en suite. Its ceiling is ornate so we didn't want to close it off completely with a wall, instead the free-standing partition provides the back of the bed on one side, and is mirrored on the other. It allows an appreciation of the ceiling and gives two parts to the room."

The owner says: "The house was big enough to start out with, so an extension was never on the agenda. Relocating the kitchen from the back of the house into the main part was an inspired idea by a good friend. In our home, the kitchen is the most used and occupied room of the house, so bringing it into the centre and heart of the house made perfect sense. Because of the Aga, it's permanently warm in winter and the heat permeates into the surrounding rooms. The move also meant that we are actively using every room in the house."

On the interior design: "The wallpaper in the hall is Little Greene's 'Camellia' from its Oriental papers collection from Salmon Interiors, in Bray. The woodwork colour in the hall is Farrow & Ball 'Down Pipe' (which we also used on the kitchen island)."

Budget for kitchen: "The total cost for the kitchen fit-out, including the stone used on the island, either side of the Aga, and in both units, was €23,400.

"The kitchen is by Newcastle Design. I worked closely with Ronan Carey there whose level of customer service is second to none. The island worktop is Silestone White Storm."

On DIY: "The dining room table was a €50 auction find from Mullen's Laurel Park [auction rooms in Bray]. We sanded it and painted the top with blackboard paint. The chairs are Fritz Hansen Series 7 by Arne Jacobsen. I bought them online a long time ago."

Sources: Kitchen stools: Toledo Style Swivel Stool from Cult Furniture; Kitchen: Newcastle Design with input from the architect on scale and layout.

Sunday Independent

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