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renovation station

Running out of space? Add an extra storey...

Creating space out of nowhere with an extra bedroom and extra storey – it’s magic.

IF YOUR FAMILY is expanding, or your housing needs have changed and your two-up, two-down doesn’t fit the bill anymore – what’s a body to do?

A common problem when buying your first house is outgrowing it and needing a new one – but what if you don’t want to leave your house or area for some reason? Or the thought of house hunting now sends cold shivers down your spine?

Ros Kavanagh Ros Kavanagh

According to Solearth Architects, the answer is simple – keep your beloved house and add an extra storey and an extra bedroom.

Ros Kavanagh Ros Kavanagh

Take one end-of-terrace house in Dublin’s Liberties area, with an historical and partially protected external fabric and open it up entirely by removing internal non-structural walls, and adding a third storey (via a partial attic conversion) to create another bedroom and a living room below which now has a 5m ceiling and is lit on five sides – as sky lights were added also. Light fantastic.

The architectural approach involves swelling the internal spatial presence out to ‘balloon’ against the existing skin, and to add a new inner skin with insulation and services between.

Ros Kavanagh Ros Kavanagh

Traditionally these older houses tend to run on the (dare we say it) dark and poky side, but by removing the internal walls, opening the whole interior up and creating open spaces, complemented by using a Japanese-influenced ‘less is more’ approach -this three-bedroom house is a mere 900 sq ft, if you can believe it.

Ros Kavanagh Ros Kavanagh

Two bedrooms and a bathroom are on the ground floor with the living areas on the first floor giving better views, light and air.

Ros Kavanagh Ros Kavanagh

Using light-coloured materials throughout such as timber flooring, bamboo stair balustrades and white paint with a pop of colour to decorate the now light-filled living and dining room, a complete transformation has taken place.

See more of Solearth’s projects on their website here>

See more of photographer Ros Kavanagh’s work here>

Making the fairytale come true for your family home>