To prove that yes, dreams can come through, we received the incredible opportunity from a very special client, to work as part of the skilled team to restore and renovate one of the grandest Irish Classical-style country homes, in County Kilkenny.
Working hand-in-hand with our clients and their expert conservation architects, contractors and craftspeople, and in conjunction with the County Council and Heritage Boards, we are supporting the work to convert this Georgian residence dating from 1795, to a private hospitality and small event resort, catering for long and short-stay visitors. Bought in 2019, it is need of a full renovation.
Set on 79 acres of Parkland and 19,127 in square ft in size, the five-bay house is a fine example of Regency architecture comprising three storeys over basement. During the 19th Century, the house was extended and embellished with a three-bay two-storey (full-height) extension flanking each side of the original house.
Internally, beautiful historic architectural features take your breath away. The many grand reception rooms have carved cut-granite cornicing, fluted Greek Doric columns, decorative stucco, and some original flooring, carved wood panelling and window shutters. Our designs will place emphasis on these features, building on the rich history on view as you walk through each room.
The Mansion will serve as a retreat and wellness destination for an international visitor. Our client, the owner, is deeply aware of the rich heritage of the estate and the natural landscape and of telling this story into the future, and so the ethos for the interior design brief is to marry the functional needs of the destination, with the remarkable history. The conservation requirements will guide much of the renovation journey and will incorporate much precious antiquity, gathered by the client.
In terms of an overall interior aesthetic, we returned to the source of all things, to nature and the materials of the Earth. Through research, brainstorming and conversation, we focused on romanticism, softness, delicacy, and femininity for colours, finishes and furnishing. The palettes from the Earth, the Sky and the Sea are used extensively, to create a soft, rustic, French Classical style interior.
The impressive entrance hall as guests arrive will be warm and welcoming. Use of the restored, original flooring, ornate columns, coving and shutters and fire places are complimented with bespoke light fixtures and comfortable, hospitality furniture.
A series of double aspect reception and library rooms route around the Ground Floor, with restored large double sash windows flooding the house with light and providing views of the parklands, lake, wall gardens and Follie. These rooms have fine plasterwork on walls and ceilings and beautiful historic fireplaces.
The kitchen and pantry facilities are being restored, as is an incredible original kitchen with vaulted ceiling, old stove and a wonderful wine cellar in the basement.
On the first and second floor, there are many fine bedrooms and a private apartment, and not forgetting the Grand Salon, one of the most important and ornate rooms, which will continue to serve as a formal room for hosting and greeting visitors.
We have been tasked to develop full interior design plans and to project manage the interior work following the departure of the exterior main contractor. We will supply and fulfil all lighting, interior decoration, flooring, sanitaryware and kitchenware, joinery, window treatments, furnishing through to accessories and room dressing.
This project is ongoing.