A design delight built in 1940s Scandi-style

The deceptively modern looking ‘Marianus’ is a bright and airy Scandi-style 1940s built home, writes Trish Dromey.

A design delight built in 1940s Scandi-style

The deceptively modern looking ‘Marianus’ is a bright and airy Scandi-style 1940s built home, writes Trish Dromey.

YOU couldn’t guess from its interior that Marianus was built in the 1940s — it’s light, bright and modern, with an impeccable, uncluttered Scandi style look. What you probably could guess is that someone with knowledge of interior design had a hand in doing up this four bed detached property which is tucked into a leafy residential hillside in Tivoli and has impressive views across the river and the city.

The owners are a publisher of Irish descent and his UK born wife who previously studied interior design and more recently did a course at the Crawford Gallery in art textile (her framed pieces can be seen on the walls all around the house.)

They purchased the property 16 years ago: “ The family we bought it from had lived in it since it was built in 1949 and hadn’t changed a thing,’’ she reveals.

What followed was a comprehensive updating and expansion planned with the assistance of architect Conor O’Sullivan. A flat-roofed converted garage at the side was replaced by a modern pitched roof extension and the front living room acquired a small bay extension with double doors. Building up in to the attic and putting on the new roof, the couple added on a fourth bedroom which has now has the very best views in the house.

Next came rewiring, replumbing, gas central heating and double glazed wood effect PVC windows. “We ripped up all the carpets took out all the fireplaces, replastered the walls which were bumpy, put in modern doors and new stairs and painted the floorboards,’’

She says the house has had a few looks over the years, but that right now she has opted for Scandi style with a muted palette of pale greys and off whites which she likes because they are restful.

The floorboard colour was originally Farrow and Ball off white but is now white with a hint of pink, an idea she borrowed from Orla Kiely. There’s not a carpet in sight, although she admits that she didn’t take them off the stairs until after her children had moved out.

She has also taken a minimalist approach to window coverings, some don’t have any while some have roman blinds and the attic bedroom seems to be the only one in the house with curtains.

With off white painted flooring and very pale grey walls, the front living room is a bright modern space with a stove, an eclectic mix of mostly grey furniture and an alcove which has been painted black to make the black TV less noticeable. There’s a similar styled lounge with an electric stove as well as a guest WC and a small office at the front.

The owner drew up a plan for a kitchen which she wanted, with simple, blue under-counter units with beech worktops along one side as well as a full height white cupboard on the other.

An archway leads out to the dining room which has double doors opening out on to a patio at the front and blue built-in cupboards with open shelving at the other end. Also a bright modern space with a high ceiling and a large Velux window, it has a door to a shelved utility room at the end. A staircase in the hallway, now painted strong grey contrasting with pale grey walls, leads to the first floor which has three bedrooms including one at the rear which is now shelved for use as a study. At the rear there’s a small bathroom as well as a separate shower room.

A second identical staircase leads to the attic which has a master bedroom with a dormer window at the front. From here you can see down the river to Blackrock Castle and right across to hills in Rochestown and forested areas in Garryduff. There’s also a view right in to the new stadium at Páirc Uí Chaoimh – it seem probable that you might have been able to hear Ed Sheeran from here. The sloping gardens at front and rear were both redesigned by a landscape designer. At the front the owners levelled out a parking area, put in a set of steps and added a sheltered decked area at the side for sitting out.

Major work was also carried out at the rear where a steep slope was turned into a stepped gardens with the use of railway sleepers and steel beams. Steps at one side lead up to a decked area half way up the slope and on the other side another set can be used to climb up to a second decked area right at the top, with city and harbour views.

Jackie Cohalan of Cohalan Downing auctioneers is quoting a guide of €640,000 for Marianus which is located in a cul de sac of around seven individually built detached at Tivoli Estate, a little over three kilometers from the city centre.

She says proximity to the city is a strong selling point, as is the fact that it’s in well established, desirable residential location and is spacious, detached and ready to go.

VERDICT: Cork’s Tivoli meets Scandi style

Tivoli, Cork city


Size: 171 sq m (1,846 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 3


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