Industrial resolution in Dublin 4 – the €895,000 cottage that has given Tiger-era interiors a more homelike makeover

4 Estate Cottages, Shelbourne Road, Ballsbridge, D4 ​​Asking Price: €895,000 Broker: Owen Reilly (01) 6777100

Contemporary interiors always have an edge, but they can become outdated pretty quickly. And when Niall O’Callaghan bought 4 Estate Cottages in Ballsbridge in January 2019, the interiors looked more than a little ‘industrial’ as he puts it.

Built as a farm worker’s cottage, the two-bed room used to be the living and working space of a graphic designer. 18 years ago it was lengthened at the back and the interior opened up to give it a contemporary interior look.

Niall felt the shell work was good, offering a clever use of space and a high vaulted ceiling, giving it a spacious and airy look inside that belies its 1,162 square feet.

But stylistically what was ultramodern two decades ago had lost its cool over time and Niall didn’t like it.

Widowed only three months before the purchase, the father of three adult daughters has worked in the photo accessories industry for a long time. He bought the cottage to live closer to the city center after his bereavement.

He had to “soften it up” to create a comfortable home, introducing key elements of his old home like his paintings and his treasured furniture.

To do this, he brought in the skills of interior designer Lisa Forde.

“My brief was to add some cosiness and warmth to the interior while retaining elements of his old home,” explains Forde, who worked on the cottage in the second half of 2019.

“It was an emotional time for Niall,” she adds. “I wanted to make the house as comfortable as possible for him. At the same time I was working on a budget and trying to upcycle as much as possible.”

When she first saw the property, Forde was struck by the split levels of the interior, which had some impractical features, such as the floating staircase in the living/kitchen area, which in particular had no railing or barrier to prevent anyone from entering falls Little Millhouse, his Dashshund.


View of the living room from above

She installed a glass railing on the staircase to complement the rest of the space, where glass, wood, natural furniture and exposed brickwork feature heavily.

“The color scheme is inspired by a seascape and includes light grays with blue tones, light gray green, earthy brown, taupe and sandy beige,” says Forde. “I’m always inspired by the landscape,” she adds. “You find all these colors in the sea, in the rocks and in the sand and in the sky. That inspired my color palette.”

She also used natural classic furnishings like linen and silk as much as possible, not just to add warmth but to ensure they don’t become outdated easily.

“Upcycling is important to me. We shouldn’t waste existing furniture,” she says. “It’s interesting how you can transform an object with a little work and imagination.”

Bright lime green units in the kitchen were in perfect condition, so Lisa simply built new doors, gave them a pale oyster finish, and added attractive leather handles to work with the existing walnut hardwood floors.

She added lighting under the presses to give the kitchen a glow and painted the walls a soft gray-blue to add some color. The kitchen extends to the living room, where a comfortable linen-covered sofa sits in front of a small wood-burning stove.

The front room is another lounge area but doubles as a bedroom for one of Niall’s daughters when she visits from the UK. Forde installed a gas fireplace in the room and had wooden bookshelves built on either side with recessed lighting behind it.

“I used an off-white linen-effect wallpaper to create texture on the walls and painted over the exposed brick to make the space cozy,” she explains. “This is my favorite room in the house. I just love how it all comes together.”

Upstairs is an office space with a cleverly installed glass wall that overlooks the downstairs living area and lets in light.

There are two double bedrooms on this floor. In the master, she delivered an imposing tweed headboard and spot lighting. The bedside tables are made of aluminium.

This opens to an impressive raised deck with an outdoor gas fireplace. The upholstered wooden seats were repainted in off-black by Lisa. “It stood out against the existing brickwork quite nicely and gave the furniture an elegant lift,” she says.

Niall has a daughter who lives with him but another of his girls soon returns home from London to work in Dublin’s tech sector. So he needs a bigger house with three bedrooms.

That’s why Niall is now putting his cottage up for sale. Owen Reilly demands 895,000 euros for him.

See also Industrial resolution in Dublin 4 – the €895,000 cottage that has given Tiger-era interiors a more homelike makeover

Fry Electronics Team

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