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.

Parlour Room window details with shutters
Window that had been split between two rooms for over fifty years

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.

Rear of the Farmhouse where the kitchen extension is to be built
Over-grown barn to the rear of the Farmhouse

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.

Learning from the Master…

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 Dungan doing his thing!

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)


  1. Greet says:

    Oh dear miriam, this is going to be an amazing project! Love the work of jeffrrey dungan. i can’t wait to see it finished!xoxo

  2. Suzi says:

    Another awe inspiring post, cant wait for the next and to seeing what treasures you find on your travels. Have fun.

  3. What a wonderful collaboration together. Can’t wait to see it all come together

  4. Angela says:

    So, yA coMing tA Belgium are ya!

  5. Gail Miller says:

    It is so exciting reading your blog & watching how you & your team are working your magic on this house. I can not wait to see the finished result but I am thoroughly enjoying Your blog as I feel part of The journey. I am going to be so jealous of the person that gets to live in that house when completed. I am in awe of your style, no one comes close to you.

  6. What a pleasure it was to see the site and visit with you and your creative crew- i did feel blessed by the journey with you all and was a treat to play a small part in such an exciting project… in america we dont have 300 year old buildings where the addition is 200 years old-
    What a momentous event to be able to work on such a place and lay my design down along side the centuries of others who lived and labored in that same space…
    for me also it was a part of my goal to work more abroad and especially in ireland where my family heritage comes from.
    thanks again and slainte!

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