A bit of creative thinking can rework former council properties into contemporary home
When compared to the elegance of an Edwardian house and the decorative warmth of the Victorian redbrick, the pebble-dashed former council house is often considered a poor relation, devoid of covetable period features and the sense of space of some of the earlier homes.
But what it lacks in good looks it can make up for in affordability and can offer an opportunity to live in a well-built home in central areas of our towns and cities.
Style Council: Inspirational Interiors in ex-Council Homes, an inspiring new book by Sarah Thompson, peers inside flats and houses built by British and Irish councils to show the world that the property style has moved on from decorative clichés that abound in Del Boy’s council flat in the TV series Only Fools and Horses.
Published by Square Peg, it features examples that have been imaginatively remodelled by owners and architects, including two in the Tenters, Dublin 8, by Jim Lawler of Dublin-based practice Melted Snow, who views them as imaginative opportunities to extend.
“Many ex-corpo houses are relatively small inside with a two-up two-down configuration,” Lawler says, “but they often have big gardens relative to their size – extra space that is essential for families with kids. That is where the opportunity to extend lies.”
It is a style of house that appeals to urbanites, he adds, like graphic designer Pete Reddy who lives in an end-of-terrace property of about 74sq m to which Lawler added 27sq m of space in a two-storey cedar- clad extension to the side.
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