Declan and Morty were taken with their property from the first viewing; a two-bedroom Victorian terraced home, with original sash windows and front door, which add to the charm of the red-brick façade.
There was no bathroom and the kitchen was very rudimentary, with just a gas cooker and sink in a lean-to at the rear.
The whole place looked stuck in the 1970s, with dated wallpaper and worn carpet everywhere
Meet the owners
Declan Sheehan, a trade market searcher, and Morty Scanlon, a service delivery manager, live here
‘The location was also a major draw,’ says Declan. ‘It’s perfect for city living – only a five-minute walk from the centre, with plenty of pubs and restaurants on the doorstep.’
Located in Dublin, the couple paid £330,000 for the house in 2011 and have spent £200,000 on renovations. It has recently been valued at £645,000.
An interior designer friend encouraged the couple to take the house on as a renovation project. Having previously lived in a newly built house, which they sold to fund the project, the couple had never taken on a renovation
‘We wanted to have a good interaction between the indoor and outdoor spaces,’ says Declan. ‘We knew that we would need to extend at the back in order to cleverly maximise the square footage of the house, so the layout that would make the best use of the natural light and space.’
‘We carried out a huge amount of research into the design,’ says Declan. ‘We looked at similar recently renovated properties nearby, seeing how other people had used or modified similar spaces.’
‘Luckily, we didn’t need planning permission as the work was within permitted development. We put the job out to tender and didn’t assume the cheapest quote was the best – we looked at what we were getting for our money.’
Work began on demolishing the lean-to and gutting most of the house, then the construction of the new extension got underway. To keep down costs, Declan decided to take on the role of project manager, sourcing as many of the tradespeople and materials as he could.
The property had to be rewired, replumbed, replastered and heavily insulated. A new boiler and underfloor heating were installed, new floors and windows fitted, and all the rooms redecorated.
The new kitchen extension is linked to the home by a corridor from the living room, with a courtyard in the middle that seamlessly connects to the interior spaces. ‘The large sliding glass doors and rooflights ensure the whole place is flooded with natural light.’
When it came to the décor and interior finishes, Declan and Morty were lucky to have a good friend who is an interior designer, Tom Kibbe.
The all-white palette gives the house a minimalist, contemporary feel, particularly in the kitchen, where handleless, highly reflective gloss cabinetry and stainless-steel appliances keep the look seamless and uncluttered.
‘We bought the kitchen from Nolan Kitchens, and from the first consultation through to design and installation, the company’s service was excellent. The team really listened to our needs and we now have a kitchen that is aesthetically pleasing and functional, with plenty of storage and work space.’