Bringing Edwardian style into the 21st century in Ballsbridge

Retaining its unique period features, while adding a contemporary twist, was key to restoring this home from the early 1900s

Dublin may be known for its Georgian architecture, but it is not the only building style in our fair city, with many other eras still proudly being displayed in homes and commercial buildings across the capital.

Of course, restoring and maintaining original features isn’t always an easy feat, but through dedication, determination and a passion for detail, there are some stunning examples of period properties to be seen.

One such example is a four-bedroom Edwardian home in Ballsbridge, which was built in the early years of the 20th century and has recently been lovingly restored. Comprising a front drawing room, dining room, kitchen dining space and bright and airy sunroom, the property also boasts a home office and a beautifully landscaped garden.

The renovation was taken on by Arlene McIntyre of Ventura Design. The bespoke interior designer says that her brief was to create a whole new look for the home, while also retaining some of the unique features which made it so special.


“The client purchased this beautiful period home and wanted to give it a new breath of life,” she says. “All of the rooms needed to be redecorated, while still keeping all of the original period features, so we worked closely with our client to refresh all of the existing rooms, including installing a new kitchen, new bathrooms and new flooring and carpets throughout the house.

“We also introduced wall beading to the hallway stairs and landing, and again worked with the original features in the master bedroom, while also introducing a contemporary twist to the bespoke built-in joinery on either side of the headboard, to help frame up the bedroom and add some nice storage for books and other objects.”

The experienced designer says she was very excited to work on this period property and together with the client came up with a design plan that suited the house and the homeowner’s taste — while at the same time considering and respecting the allocated budget.

“I loved the house from the first moment I walked through it as it really is a beautiful home, with so much natural light filtering into the sunroom and kitchen,” she says.

“The concept phase with our client worked over a period of between eight to 12 weeks, as all of the bathrooms needed to be redesigned and we needed to create concepts, organise joinery design and propose new interior designed furnishing layouts to all of the areas throughout the house. During this phase, we worked closely with Newcastle Kitchens on the layout and design of the kitchen,” she recalls.

The property was quite dated when McIntyre and her team first took it on and she says it was “definitely ready for a giant refresh”.

The open-plan dining area off the kitchen now has a completely different look which means that the house feels less sectioned off into separate rooms. Modernising all of the bathrooms with new sanitary ware and new tiles was also a huge change, along with refreshing the wall tones and interiors throughout.

“We wanted to give this home a more contemporary feel while at the same time, staying true to the original features of the property — so together with our building partners, we were able to offer a complete turn-key fit out to this project,” she says.

Ventura furnishings were used throughout the home, along with Newcastle Design in the kitchen, Matt Britton for the flooring and carpeting and Tilestyle for the bathroom supply.

McIntyre, who is the co-owner of Ventura Design along with her husband Juergen Riedel, has more than 25 years’ experience in residential and commercial interior projects and has appeared on TV programmes such as RTÉ’s Designed For Life home makeover show. She typically takes on about five to 10 projects a year.

Arlene Harris

Arlene Harris

Arlene Harris is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in health, lifestyle, parenting, travel and human interest stories