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Digital Subscriptions > Build It > December 2017 > Modernist marvel

Modernist marvel

Ruth and Don Boardman’s renovation project has revamped their house in Dublin into a stylish abode for a family of five
Before the project

After five years searching for the perfect renovation opportunity, Don and Ruth Boardman purchased their three-bedroom, end-of-terrace house in Dublin in 2012. Despite the dated 1970s interiors, the couple envisioned how to improve the dwelling – by adding a two-storey side and rear extension to create an open-plan living area on the ground floor.

The pair share the home with their three children Rebekah, Naomi and Levi, plus Mylo the bichon frise. As a family therapist, Don has a strong appreciation for how a welldesigned property can enhance day-today life for the entire household. “I believe the right living space can enable people to connect with each other in the best possible way,” he says. “Fritz Redl, the child psychologist, said ‘A house that smiles, props that invite, space which allows,’ and that rings so true for us. This is what we wanted, and we succeeded thanks to architect, Dave Egan.”

First steps

The terrace was built 90 years ago for British military officers and their families who settled in the area. “Little by little, these homes came up for sale,” says Don. “Ruth and I are big fans of Modernist architecture, and we hoped to create a contemporary design with large spans of glazing to connect the house to the outdoors.” One designer the couple have always admired is Irish architect Eileen Gray. By chance, the early phases of their project coincided with an exhibition of Gray’s work at the Irish Museum of Modern Art. “This ended up having a huge influence on our project – particularly the flat-roof, white-box style of the house. I must have visited the event 18 times for inspiration,” says Don. “Our humble scheme seemed to absorb much of Gray’s vision by osmosis.”

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About Build It

The December edition of Build It magazine is packed with practical advice and inspirational projects to help you make a success of your scheme, including: • A budget-friendly self-build home (page 20) • Underfloor heating vs radiators (page 69) • Getting lighting right (page 77) • 10 steps to self-build design success (page 81) • Does your plot have real potential? (page 96) … and more!