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AS ONE HALF OF INTERIOR DESIGN DUO, THINK CONTEMPORARY, ANTHONY BUGGY SPENDS HIS DAYS DESIGNING AND DECORATING OTHER PEOPLE’S HOMES. WHEN IT CAME TO REVAMPING HIS OWN LIFFEY-SIDE DWELLING, HE HAD FREE REIGN TO CREATE HIS SIGNATURE SPACE – WITH INPUT FROM HIS WIFE, PAULINE AND TEENAGE DAUGHTERS, FALA AND AIDEEN OF COURSE! WRITES CAROLINE ALLEN
March / April 2011
The result is a serenely stylish Tardis-like house that is compact from the outside but spacious and light inside, thanks to the liberal use of glass and gloss. With strong roots in the area, Anthony has managed to combine family heritage and modern highlights in this chic capital retreat. “I returned from Australia in 1995 and took over the family cottage, the front section of which dates back to the 1800s. Even with the extension, it’s a small house for a family of four, so I didn’t want any wasted space. My focus was on simple lines, hints of colour and quality key pieces,” Anthony says.
A COTTAGE ON A BUSY ROW HAS AN ARRAY OF DESIGN DELIGHTS TO UNVEIL BEYOND THE HALL DOOR. ITS TRADITIONAL FAÇADE IS IN CONTRAST TO THE COOL CONTEMPORARY LOOK AT THE REAR.
With rising damp having been a problem due to the lack of insulation in the thick stone walls, he decided to gut the 600 sq m cottage. A whole new sub floor was installed and a new roof put on, with slates brought in from Wales. The house was rewired and underfloor heating installed. Externally, the stone was repointed; new sash windows installed; the granite windowsills exposed and brick headers erected over the windows. The old extension to the rear of the cottage was demolished, with a 1,000 sq/m contemporary design taking its place. This incorporates a new kitchen/diner; living room; sitting room; bathroom and master bedroom. A striking atrium connects the old and new zones. Two sets of French doors from the living room into the garden were later replaced by a wall of bifolding glass doors by Vrogum Denmark to optimise the beautiful view of the River Liffey.
WHEN IT’S TIME TO SWITCH OFF AFTER A BUSY DAY, THE ‘HAPPY’ CHAIR WITH FOOTSTOOL IN BURGUNDY LEATHER BY SWEDESE, OFFER A STYLISH SEAT.
Anthony felt that individual spaces rather than large open plan areas would be more in keeping with the character of the three bedroomed dwelling. The walls were painted in restful hues such as Farrow & Ball’s ‘Old Blue’ in the hallway; ‘Natural Canvas’ by Colortrend in the kitchen; ‘Rococco’ by Colortrend in the living room; and ‘Stone Ridge’, also by Colortrend, in the master bedroom. These gentle shades provide the perfect backdrop for the couple’s art collection, which includes the work of Colin Martin and William Grace. Solid Canadian cherrywood flooring adds warmth to the overall scheme and is picked up in the bespoke French cherrywood dining table that the couple brought home from Australia. The sleek and streamlined red and cream high gloss galley Miele kitchen with walnut surfaces that sits on grey porcelain tiles makes a real style statement. “We wanted something striking,” remarks Anthony. “Previously we had a painted kitchen and we didn’t like it.” The family’s craving for bold colour injections is also evident in the feature Romo wallpaper in the master bedroom; the pink headboard, designed by Anthony and upholstered in a linen fabric from Casamance, in sixteen-year-old Aideen’s room; and in the orange painted panel in the garden. “I find so many people are afraid of going beyond beige,” says Anthony. “Using a strong colour can really have an impact on a room and on your frame of mind. My advice is to be brave and to start with paint, which can be changed inexpensively. Some mistakes with colour can be costly and that’s where hiring an interior designer, even for an hour’s consultation, can save money. In Think Contemporary, we worked with one client who decided to opt for two fabulous purple sofas in their family room and they love them.” Anthony employed a few tricks of the trade to enhance the sense of space in the cottage such as using ‘floating’ MDF storage in the hallway. The lack of light there was tackled with panache. “We tried several things with the hallway, including painting the doors and architraves in a gloss to try to
RED-HOT STYLING WAS CREATED THROUGH THE INSTALLATION OF A MIELE KITCHEN IN HIGH GLOSS RED AND CREAM.
reflect the light that was available but we didn’t like it. The doors and architraves are in a RAL stone white satin which gives a more contemporary effect. We also put a long mirror along the hall to reflect the light. We simply mounted mirror on an MDF sheet. Two glass doors also help to lighten up the overall look.” A striped skinny fit carpet runner elongates the space which even has an office space stylishly shoehorned into it. While in the current climate, there is the temptation to cut corners, Anthony is a strong advocate of a few carefully chosen investment pieces. “We went for a sofa made by Orior in Newry. It was expensive, but we were quite willing to spend on it as we can get it reupholstered.”