Less is More: Renovation Maximizes Space, Adds Sunshine



window seat dublin home extension

The “bigger is better” mentality doesn’t always apply when adding on extra space to a home. A family with a three-story 19th century home in Dublin wanted to renovate and expand, but without losing any of their scarce back garden space. GKMP Architects took on the challenge and installed two very small additions rather than a single large volume.

wooden window seat

In a row of Dublin terraced houses, the family didn’t have many choices for adding to their home or changing the existing functionality of each room. They wanted to update their home by removing a scullery and one bedroom to make way for a larger kitchen as well as a dining room and play room. (Below, the additions are outlined in blue.)

dublin home extension

This could have involved some complex rebuilding, but the architects thought creatively and decided to instead build two small one-story extensions totaling a mere seven square meters. The house itself was of sufficient size for the family, but they didn’t have the living space that they would have liked. The additions, then, are more a part of the rearranging of the living facilities than an outright overhaul.

blue cushions window seats

The small additions were made from concrete, complementing the existing cement structure. The large windows of the expanded volumes look out from the dining area and playroom, the former housing a generous window seat made of iroko wood. The play room enjoys a window that wraps around two walls to provide plenty of sunshine. Both additions sport skylights to maximize the amount of natural light the home receives each day.

outdoor blue tiles

Blue tiles make appearances on the inside and outside of the additions, putting a splash of color into the grey exterior and making for a gorgeous visual contrast between the pale blue tiles and rich wood.

wraparound staircase bookshelves

In recasting the areas of the home to fit the family’s needs, a new stairway was built in the central part of the house. This was once a dark, unused utility space but now houses a bright wrap-around staircase lined with a lovely built-in bookcase.

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