A Farmhouse Restoration- Part Two
August 26, 2015
It has been a busy summer here in the design studio working on a number of projects that are all at different stages. Each project is vastly different – collaborating with talented craftspeople, sourcing new and exciting items for clients who all have completely different briefs make my line of work so enjoyable and diverse.
I have been keeping a close eye on our Farmhouse Restoration project. Over the last few weeks it has been stripped back to its original state, and any structural surprises have been discovered. This is always a nervous time for me as budgets have been set and I don’t want to lose some of our finishing budget to costly structural surprises. Amazingly as old as this house is (we were told last week by an extremely interesting individual that the farmhouse could actually date back to the 17th century, but that is another story) it is only the roof that will need a little extra help, the house is structurally sound so our budget is still on track.
One of my favourite rooms to design is the kitchen and this is going to be a newly built extension to the rear of the house and close to the existing barn. I am working hard on connecting a quirky design to compliment the barn, farmhouse and its Victorian extension. “Chicken coop” is the word that constantly pops into my head for the design of the new extension. Many of the Belgian Farmhouses have adjoining out-houses and some tend to remind me of a converted chicken coop. External walls clad with wood latting, ceilings dressed with salvaged beams, and flagstone floors create an authentic feel reminiscent of the Belgian style.
I have got to know and admire the work of an American Architect Jeffrey Dungan. He has an incredible (Irish) sense of humour, a great passion for Ireland and has become quite taken by the charm of this farmhouse. Jeffrey and I have discussed it many times through emails and phone-calls. I decided to challenge Jeffrey to help design the exterior of the kitchen as he is one of the few greats I have worked with who puts his heart and mind in to the end-vision of each of his unique designs.
When I hit Jeffrey with the idea of ‘a converted chicken coop’ he thought it was hilarious, however after taking up the challenge within no time at all Jeffrey had captured my vision entirely.
Jeffrey recently flew over and spent a few days in Ireland to visit the farmhouse. At our studio Jeffrey totally immersed himself into the design details, loving the challenge of creating something that looks like it has always been there. The design vision I had imagined was transferred to paper by wonderful hand-sketches. It was great fun and I look forward to seeing the design unfold. Jeffrey will just have to pay us another visit to see his creation completed! I look forward to us working together again in the future.
I have lots of sourcing trips planned for September in Belgium, Paris and London where I hope to find lots of new, antique and salvaged items for our current projects. As always, I will keep you posted through Instagram.
Miriam (aka Minnie)