Scandi Cool #22

This 18th century cottage in Ireland has a modern pared-back extension, designed to draw the outside in – although that doesn’t include the livestock!

THE PROPERTY

An 18th century cottage with a contemporary extension in County Clare, Ireland. The ground floor has a reception room, boot room, kitchen, dining room, living room and two bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms. Upstairs, there are two more bedrooms and en-suites.

STAIRS

There’s a reason why these cottages (pictured top) in Ireland were built in this way; they fit in the setting and are made with local materials. So when it came to renovating this property, the owners had to stay true to its foundations.

Get the look: The cantilevered stairs are made from salvaged railways sleepers

Swiss architect Jean Claude Girard came on board to help restore the existing 18th century cottage, staying true to the original look for the exterior but making the interior as contemporary as possible.

The cantilevered stairs are made from salvaged railways sleepers. They’ve been hollowed out and fitted on to a massive steel frame hidden in the wall and roof that helps support the entire building.

KITCHEN

The house now sits on top of the cottage’s existing footprint, with a new extension taking the place of the property’s old sheds and outbuildings. Now, when you drive up, it looks just the same as it did a century ago. It’s only when you look up that you see the transformation – the cottage is now a double-height space, so the reception room is an amplified version of what was there before.

Get the look: Kitchen units, Ikea. Toledo stools from Cult Furniture.

Unlike the airy voids of the main living space, the kitchen, hallways and bedrooms are more intimate and contained, but still steeped in character. The kitchen island, for example, is clad in wood reclaimed from the local parish hall.

Get the look: Kitchen units, Ikea. Toledo stools from Cult Furniture.

In the summer, the glazed doors open up on to the adjacent patio to double the space.

Get the look:  Toledo stools from Cult Furniture.

DINING AREA

The visual trickery continues with an angled corridor that conceals that immense picture window at the rear of the house. The big reveal comes as you step into the dining area; suddenly, the ever-changing view of the seasons and livestock outside socks you between the eyes.

Get the look: Table, salvaged glass top on Oddvald trestles from Ikea. Hans Wegner Wishbone chairs. Kivik sofa, Ikea. Lamp base, Ikea. Shade bought in Singapore. Artwork next to sofa, ‘Mala Noche’ by Buenos Aries street artist Cabio. Cushions on bench next to fireplace, custom made.

The house is secluded; it’s high on a hill with no neighbours, so the owners had the freedom to play with as much glass as they wanted. They also manipulated scale and volume, sacrificing rooms on the first floor to create cathedral-high ceilings above the living and dining areas.

Get the look: Table, salvaged glass top on Oddvald trestles from Ikea. Hans Wegner Wishbone chairs. Kivik sofa, Ikea. Lamp base, Ikea. Shade bought in Singapore. Artwork next to sofa, ‘Mala Noche’ by Buenos Aries street artist Cabio.

The huge picture window provides an ever-changing view of the farm and its resident dairy cows.

This is a disruptive building because the design is so radical for the area; at the same time, it works perfectly with the landscape.

Get the look: Table, salvaged glass top on Oddvald trestles from Ikea. Hans Wegner Wishbone chairs. Lamp base, Ikea. Shade bought in Singapore. Artwork next to sofa, ‘Mala Noche’ by Buenos Aries street artist Cabio.

RECEPTION ROOM

This room is in the 18th century part of the house and was originally the kitchen; the flagstone floor is as old as the building.

Get the look: Orson armchairs, made.com. Kivik footstool, Ikea. Bookcase, custom-made in Delhi. Skull, from a flea market in Hackney.

To avoid it becoming a space you just passed through, a bar was added to encourage guests to sit around and linger.

Get the look: Bar cabinet, bought in Singapore and shipped back. Artwork on bar, by Hong Kong street artist Tsang Tsou Choi.

LIVING AREA

The hearth is where a family would have cooked and warmed themselves; it never went out.

Get the look: Sofa, made.com. Noguchi coffee table, Vitra. Cream 1950s Swedish chair, bought from RetroZebra in Hackney. G-Plan Quadrille side table, bought at auction.

So, the cottage had to have an open fire – it’s just a contemporary version.

Get the look: Sofa, made.com. Noguchi coffee table, Vitra. Cream 1950s Swedish chair, bought from RetroZebra in Hackney. G-Plan Quadrille side table, bought at auction.

White walls and a vaulted ceiling give a serene quality to the living space.

Get the look:Cushions on bench next to fireplace, custom made.

But the real stand-out feature is of course the view.

Get the look: Sofa, made.com. Noguchi coffee table, Vitra.

BOOT ROOM

A poured concrete floor covers the entire footprint of the contemporary extension. Wooden furnishings add warmth and a sense of history.

Get the look: Trunk, made from reclaimed flooring (same as kitchen island). The Chap coat hooks from Lassco.

MASTER BEDROOM

The artwork above the bed is a copy of a piece by Chinese artist Yue Minjun.

Get the look: Malm bed, Ikea. Ercol nest of tables, bought at auction. Iranian Gabbeh rug, bought in Singapore.

The bluey green tones of the painting were picked out to add a hit of colour to the room.

Get the look: Iranian Gabbeh rug, bought in Singapore. Vintage upholstered Bandung chair from Indonesia. Console table, custom made in Singapore.

BATHROOM

The angled roof and freestanding tub add drama to the simple space.

Get the look: Flooring, bath surround and shelving all made from reclaimed flooring.

Dead space under the window was used for fitted shelves.

Get the look: Flooring, bath surround and shelving all made from reclaimed flooring.

GUEST BEDROOM

There’s more salvaged flooring from the local parish hall in here. The painting above the bed by street artist Pure Evil gives a bit of grit to the white space.

Get the look: Nolmyra chair, Ikea. Table, market find.

SHOWER ROOM

Get the look: Metro tiles, Topps Tiles. Savoy sink and pedestal, Bathstore.

An angled window above the sink provides a view of the countryside below.

Get the look: Metro tiles, Topps Tiles. Savoy sink and pedestal, Bathstore.

Photography / Paul Massey

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