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Recreating a Georgian gem, in contemporary classic style … from the ground up

Stunningly positioned overlooking Cobh Bay in County Cork, this gorgeous Grade ll listed Georgian house had hardly changed internally since it was built in the 1840s. Its extremely poor condition meant that what started as a major design refurbishment turned into a total transformation: a rebuild which left only the original external walls and roof intact.

For us, it was a fantastic opportunity; a beautiful frame, surrounding an almost entirely blank canvas, on which to create something truly spectacular. (Click here to see what the house looked like before we went to work.)

A truly Grand Design

In a word, this project was all about grandeur. The client wanted the inside of this magnificent building to live up to its architecturally distinguished exterior. At the same time, we were creating a modern family home. So we needed to achieve a perfect blend of authentic period feel and highly specified contemporary style.

Georgian, with a touch of the 21st century

Starting with major underpinning work, our remodelling of the building’s fabric included replacing all internal walls, and adjusting floor and ceiling levels throughout, to create the airy elegance of a gracious Georgian home.

To achieve that big scale grandeur we mentioned, we re-introduced extensive areas of panelling, as well as deep moulded skirting, powerful plaster cornicing and ornate architraves.

Within this new classical “envelope”, we discreetly incorporated lots of lovely 21st century comforts, including touch panel lighting with individually programmed mood settings, a music system wired into all rooms, concealed TVs, and underfloor heating throughout.

Attention to detail: a beautiful obsession

A few of our favourite bits? We’re particularly proud of the stunning staircase, with specialist pewter and ebony finish, built on site by one of our carefully selected élite craftsmen. The four poster bed (same craftsman) is rather special, too.

And, as an example of our obsession with detail, we’d like to draw your attention to the piano, which we stripped down, relacquered and partially nickel plated, to create the perfect accompaniment to the beautiful Art Deco pieces on the wall behind it.

“We were delighted with the creativity and full-blooded commitment that PURPLE DESIGN brought to this project. Orla not only responded brilliantly to our brief, but brought her own magic to creating something far more special than we could ever have imagined.”
Client: Charles Dunne

The project: in brief

Redesign of the house following initial brief from clients
Submission of drawings for planning and listed building consent approvals
Preparation of tender documents, specification and drawings
Negotiation and appointment of contractor
On site supervision
Management of contract
Design of bespoke furniture and lighting throughout
Procurement and delivery of all finishes, such as windows and joinery, bespoke doors, and ironmongery
Procurement, delivery and installation of all furniture, lighting and soft furnishing
Hand-over of house to clients