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How an architect brought ‘serious smarts’ to Sonya Lennon’s period terraced home — and made room for teenagers!

Sonya Lennon’s home renovation took five years to plan and 10 months to build from start to finish but it was worth it. During that time she was doing a host of other things, including a master’s degree

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Fashion designer and activist Sonya Lennon in her superb extension designed by Nicola Ryan of Studio Red. The double height and expanses of glass mean it’s super bright at all times of the day. “Nicola brought serious smarts to the space,” Sonya says. The extension incorporates a kitchen with charcoal units by Arena and a dining area. The many plants Sonya uses inside make the onlooker more aware of the leafy exterior, which includes a hazelnut tree. Photo: Tony Gavin

Fashion designer and activist Sonya Lennon in her superb extension designed by Nicola Ryan of Studio Red. The double height and expanses of glass mean it’s super bright at all times of the day. “Nicola brought serious smarts to the space,” Sonya says. The extension incorporates a kitchen with charcoal units by Arena and a dining area. The many plants Sonya uses inside make the onlooker more aware of the leafy exterior, which includes a hazelnut tree. Photo: Tony Gavin

The bright blue cabinet incorporating the sink in the main bathroom adds a pop of colour and is a lovely contrast to the green of the plants. The sink is from TileStyle. Photo: Tony Gavin

The bright blue cabinet incorporating the sink in the main bathroom adds a pop of colour and is a lovely contrast to the green of the plants. The sink is from TileStyle. Photo: Tony Gavin

Sonya in the dining area. The kitchen table is from Ikea and it’s set off by the white Eames chairs. There’s lots of storage including in the window seats. The prints over the kitchen table by Donald Judd resonate beautifully with the wooden slats in the extension. Photo: Tony Gavin

Sonya in the dining area. The kitchen table is from Ikea and it’s set off by the white Eames chairs. There’s lots of storage including in the window seats. The prints over the kitchen table by Donald Judd resonate beautifully with the wooden slats in the extension. Photo: Tony Gavin

Sonya in the courtyard, which links the study at the front of the house to the kitchen, which has big doors opening on to it The bistro set is from Dunnes Stores. Photo: Tony Gavin

Sonya in the courtyard, which links the study at the front of the house to the kitchen, which has big doors opening on to it The bistro set is from Dunnes Stores. Photo: Tony Gavin

In the kitchen, Sonya opted to combine open shelving with the closed units. The hob in the island is a combination of gas and induction. The long light fitting over the island is made of reclaimed oak by Eoin Shanley of Copperfish. Photo: Tony Gavin

In the kitchen, Sonya opted to combine open shelving with the closed units. The hob in the island is a combination of gas and induction. The long light fitting over the island is made of reclaimed oak by Eoin Shanley of Copperfish. Photo: Tony Gavin

The front living room remains the same size as before but Sonya opted to redecorate it and the rest of the house. The paint colour is called Typography. “My husband couldn’t object as he is a typographic designer,” Sonya laughs. The print over the sofa is by Katherine Beug Sonya Lennon favourite room in North Strand. Sitting room. Photo: Tony Gavin

The front living room remains the same size as before but Sonya opted to redecorate it and the rest of the house. The paint colour is called Typography. “My husband couldn’t object as he is a typographic designer,” Sonya laughs. The print over the sofa is by Katherine Beug Sonya Lennon favourite room in North Strand. Sitting room. Photo: Tony Gavin

The mezzanine from above. The slats on the outside of the glass are floating and provide great plays of light depending on the time of day. These are echoed in the slats on the mezzanine itself. Photo: Tony Gavin

The mezzanine from above. The slats on the outside of the glass are floating and provide great plays of light depending on the time of day. These are echoed in the slats on the mezzanine itself. Photo: Tony Gavin

The new double-height extension from the back of the house. The garden designer Diarmuid Gavin gave Sonya advice on new planting. She retained trees such as her 20-year-old hazelnut trees. The outdoor furniture is from Dunnes Stores. Photo: Tony Gavin

The new double-height extension from the back of the house. The garden designer Diarmuid Gavin gave Sonya advice on new planting. She retained trees such as her 20-year-old hazelnut trees. The outdoor furniture is from Dunnes Stores. Photo: Tony Gavin

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Fashion designer and activist Sonya Lennon in her superb extension designed by Nicola Ryan of Studio Red. The double height and expanses of glass mean it’s super bright at all times of the day. “Nicola brought serious smarts to the space,” Sonya says. The extension incorporates a kitchen with charcoal units by Arena and a dining area. The many plants Sonya uses inside make the onlooker more aware of the leafy exterior, which includes a hazelnut tree. Photo: Tony Gavin

Fashion designer and activist Sonya Lennon’s newly renovated home is stunning. It’s no surprise, really, as Sonya is one of Ireland’s most stylish women — and those with great fashion sense can usually make the crossover to interiors and create a home that is full of colour, verve and interesting ideas.

The wonder is how Sonya has had, over the last few years, the time and space in her head to undertake such a renovation.


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