Cottage gets a cheery revamp after flooding

Owner of Ballsbridge house uses bright colours and chic furniture to banish the bad memories


In October 2011 Trisha Younge made the front page when she had to be rescued by raft from her flooded home, a cute Ballsbridge cottage on the banks of the Dodder, clutching her best friend Milly, a whippet cross.

The flood turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Trisha got to rethink her home’s layout and to make changes she couldn’t afford to do otherwise. She opted for an open plan living area and selected a cheery colourscape to vanquish any bad memories.

As the water started to seep in she moved paintings and some books upstairs but couldn’t move any of the large items of furniture. She lost furniture, fixtures and more than 200 books to the deluge. “Everything that was upholstered was ruined,” she explains.

When the water reached waist deep she had to leave but her front door was impassable so she waded out through the water to her side entrance passing her dining table, chairs and books all floating by. This all happened in 90 minutes.

Rendered homeless she was rescued by her cousin and then spent several nights in a hotel before renting a house in Sandymount. She felt dislocated and displaced. It took eight months for the insurance company to pay for the works which cost in the region of ¤70,000.

The cottage is a mix of contemporary and antique pieces and there is artwork everywhere, not the kind bought to match the interior rather an eclectic mix of paintings, sculpture and decorative objects. Trisha, now in her fifties, has been buying art since she was 22. There a sketch attributed to Norah Guinness, a metal bust by sculptor John Behan and another piece by painter Mark Reilly. A limited edition print by William Crozier hangs over the fire.

A small hall opens into a roomy open plan living space that has a striking feature wall, a cool blue made by mixing the Little Greene Paint Company’s Turquoise with a splash of white.

The entrance area has several antique purchases including a chair from Ashford Antiques in Avoca and a pawfoot pedestal table found in antique shop in the west of Ireland.

She replaced her original rustic pine parquet floor, salvaged from Trinity Collage with a pale oak herringbone design, supplied by Floor Design.

The kitchen and dining areas are sectioned off using a chartreuse green, 0800 by Colortrend, a colour she says is surprisingly easy to live with.

The kitchen is simple and uncluttered with all units set below the counter. Carrera marble worktops add a light reflecting quality. The island, painted RAL platinum grey, contrasts with the chartreuse and breaks up the space.

One extravagance was a Fisher and Paykel single dishwasher that can wash glasses and dishes between courses on a 20-minute setting– ideal for all the entertaining at home she does.

A half wall screens off part of the kitchen from the front and formal section of the house. This cupboarded wall hides the fridge, microwave and storage. A down-lit nook has glass shelves that add a decorative touch to the work area.

The opal glass topped kitchen table is surrounded by Hans Wenger wishbone chairs. Framing the setting is a large antiqued mirror set into an old Parisian lead window.

In the sitting area she added more colour through her furniture choices. A mellow yellow armchair sits adjacent to a burnt orange sofa. Next to it is a tan leather Barcelona style chair and ottoman from CA Design. A colourfully patterned rug from Rug Art adds another chromatic layer.