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renovation station

How to wake up a tired old semi-d for modern family life

A rundown home in Shankill, Dublin finds it mojo (and some light and space).

THINKING OF A fixer-upper? You’ll be in luck in more sought-after areas where houses that need some TLC have proven most commonly available in the last two years.

If so, take some inspiration from the complete overhaul which Keogan Architects achieved on what was a tired, rundown dormer home in Shankill, south county Dublin.

John Keogan explains that the clients had young children and bought the house in the popular seaside suburb hoping to have it cater for their growing family’s needs.

“It was in very poor condition and required a complete renovation and extension to bring it up to modern standards,” he said.

And how. Look at the transformation on the front and rear elevations…

Front – the ‘before’:

Keogan Architects Keogan Architects

Front – the ‘after’:

Gareth Byrne Photography Gareth Byrne Photography

Rear – the ‘before’

13.07.24_Rear Elevation Keogan Architects Keogan Architects

Rear – the ‘after’:

Gareth Byrne Photography Gareth Byrne Photography

What you can’t see from these images is that the new pitched roof is directed towards the nearby public park – the tall window to the front gives a view through the trees to this green expanse beyond.

The transformation on the outside is mirrored by a reordering of the interior space to provide more space and light. The entrance hall sets out an opening statement for the rest of the house – it is now a double-height space flooded with sunlight thanks to three south-facing Velux roof lights.

Glazed inserts instead of a traditional balustrade allow the light to circulate up the stairs and creates a gallery effect on the landing.

Gareth Byrne Photography Gareth Byrne Photography

This glazing continues throughout to the new space at the rear of the house – a large sliding glass door connects the front living room to this kitchen/dining/living area at the back:

Gareth Byrne Photography Gareth Byrne Photography

This new space at the rear is the real heart of the home, tied together by a wood-burning stove as a centrepiece. More high ceiling space here gives it a real sense of space and it multitasks with loads of room for dining, an expansive kitchen and room to lounge for the family:

Gareth Byrne Photography Gareth Byrne Photography

Gareth Byrne Photography Gareth Byrne Photography

The house now has four bedrooms and external insulation makes it cosy from top to bottom, despite the fact that an additional 100 sq m was added, doubling the original floor space.

Built-in storage, such as this mirror-panelled closet in one of the bedrooms, has given the home cleaner lines and extra capacity for the paraphernalia of family life:

Gareth Byrne Photography Gareth Byrne Photography

To have a look at this renovation and other projects by Keogan architects in more detail, check out their portfolio here.

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