Step Inside a Dublin Home Where Art Deco Architecture and Modern Design Collide

·7 min read

Stand on the street and this home, in a well-heeled district of Dublin, looks like any other smart semi-detached house. However, hidden behind its unassuming 1930s façade is a surprise—an arching, spacious gallery of a property. Created by Dublin-based design firm LyonsKelly, the concept for the house is as evident in the arched, airy architecture as it is in the contemporary pieces inside.

Known for their unified architectural and interior vision, John Kelly and Eoin Lyons like to find a meeting point in each of their projects that is truly distinct. The task of turning this 1930s abode into a giant residence perfect for both entertaining and family life was something that architect Kelly and interior designer Lyons enjoyed. Art Deco in spirit yet utterly timeless, the result is a slick, three-story house and basement with a procession of rooms circulating around the ground floor: formal rooms to the front, family areas facing out toward the garden.

Connecting through to the dining room, the central hall is the heart of the house. Here, a console by Hervé van der Straeten and a colorful artwork by Terry Frost, a leading British abstract artist who worked in St. Ives, Cornwall, during the 1950s, reign supreme. In the dining room, the light fixture was designed by the late Irish designer David Collins for Lobmeyr.
Connecting through to the dining room, the central hall is the heart of the house. Here, a console by Hervé van der Straeten and a colorful artwork by Terry Frost, a leading British abstract artist who worked in St. Ives, Cornwall, during the 1950s, reign supreme. In the dining room, the light fixture was designed by the late Irish designer David Collins for Lobmeyr.

At its arresting square entrance, a Niamh Barry sculptural pendant and an oversized 1940s mirror greet visitors. Past the Eltham Palace–inspired dining area and a paneled drawing room—a nod to the design duo’s appreciation for French Art Deco and Jean-Michel Frank—is a generous kitchen that marks the start of the informal spaces. It positively glows with natural light.

That type of light, which LyonsKelly managed to maximize by opening up façades and introducing a top-lit, double-height central atrium that helps illuminate the middle of the hall, is arguably home’s greatest extravagance. “Everyone comments on the qualities of the light,” Kelly says. “It is coming in from every possible angle.”

Running across the front of the house, the drawing room provides intimacy and warmth through elements such as the Luke Irwin rug, curved Liaigre armchairs, and organic bronze mirror by Hervé van der Straeten. This contrasts with the champagne-colored birdseye maple paneling made by Irish furniture brand Zelouf & Bell, which represented in New York by Maison Gerard. Notably, metallic elements pick up the evening light, such as the artwork by Patrick Scott and the 1950s side table from Michael Mortell Gallery. The curtains were made by Mary Wrynne using fabric by Christopher Farr while the plinth was bought at Bernard Tinivella in Paris.
Running across the front of the house, the drawing room provides intimacy and warmth through elements such as the Luke Irwin rug, curved Liaigre armchairs, and organic bronze mirror by Hervé van der Straeten. This contrasts with the champagne-colored birdseye maple paneling made by Irish furniture brand Zelouf & Bell, which represented in New York by Maison Gerard. Notably, metallic elements pick up the evening light, such as the artwork by Patrick Scott and the 1950s side table from Michael Mortell Gallery. The curtains were made by Mary Wrynne using fabric by Christopher Farr while the plinth was bought at Bernard Tinivella in Paris.
The inspiration for the dining room was the Art Deco dining room at Eltham Palace in southeast London. The table was custom-made by Irish company Klimmek Furniture and is surrounded by dining chairs by Ecart. The console is from Soane Britain while the 1970s vases are from AD Antiques Paris.
The inspiration for the dining room was the Art Deco dining room at Eltham Palace in southeast London. The table was custom-made by Irish company Klimmek Furniture and is surrounded by dining chairs by Ecart. The console is from Soane Britain while the 1970s vases are from AD Antiques Paris.

Throughout the house, a sense of luxury is balanced out by restraint. “It is elegant and glamorous but not overdone,” says Lyons. “Our client’s taste is quite sparse, but they also wanted a luxurious interior with lots of detail.” Each room has something remarkable—from the David Collins light fixture in the dining room to the custom cabinetry in the dressing room. Many pieces are French, which suits the Irish climate and way of living. “Sofas tend to be more upright, like how British people tend to sit, rather than low-level Italian furniture,” Lyons notes.

Regardless, in this comfortable home, it’s the sinuous shapes and consistent sense of harmony that most speak to a job well done. And after all, enhancing the character of this architectural abode were Kelly and Lyons’s overarching aims.

Step Inside a Dublin Home Where Art Deco Architecture and Modern Design Collide

Inspired by a Charles Oakley painting and the home of Sir John Soane, LyonsKelly designed the double-height central hall with recurring arch motifs to add a classical element. “If you took away the arches, it makes it a very contemporary space,” says Kelly. All principal rooms open off this area. The stool is by Carol Egan, an Irish designer based in New York, and the artwork on the first-floor landing is gold leaf on linen by Irish artist Patrick Scott.
Inspired by a Charles Oakley painting and the home of Sir John Soane, LyonsKelly designed the double-height central hall with recurring arch motifs to add a classical element. “If you took away the arches, it makes it a very contemporary space,” says Kelly. All principal rooms open off this area. The stool is by Carol Egan, an Irish designer based in New York, and the artwork on the first-floor landing is gold leaf on linen by Irish artist Patrick Scott.
A sculptural pendant by Dublin-based designer Niamh Barry was purchased from Maison Gerard New York for this area of the house. The 1940s mirror is from London antique dealer Carlton Davidson while the round bronzed table is from Marc de Berny. The fireplace is a Soane design made by Ryan + Smith in Ireland.
A sculptural pendant by Dublin-based designer Niamh Barry was purchased from Maison Gerard New York for this area of the house. The 1940s mirror is from London antique dealer Carlton Davidson while the round bronzed table is from Marc de Berny. The fireplace is a Soane design made by Ryan + Smith in Ireland.
Running across the front of the house, the drawing room provides intimacy and warmth through elements such as the Luke Irwin rug, curved Liaigre armchairs, and organic bronze mirror by Hervé van der Straeten. This contrasts with the champagne-colored birdseye maple paneling made by Irish furniture brand Zelouf & Bell, which represented in New York by Maison Gerard. Notably, metallic elements pick up the evening light, such as the artwork by Patrick Scott and the 1950s side table from Michael Mortell Gallery. The curtains were made by Mary Wrynne using fabric by Christopher Farr while the plinth was bought at Bernard Tinivella in Paris.
Running across the front of the house, the drawing room provides intimacy and warmth through elements such as the Luke Irwin rug, curved Liaigre armchairs, and organic bronze mirror by Hervé van der Straeten. This contrasts with the champagne-colored birdseye maple paneling made by Irish furniture brand Zelouf & Bell, which represented in New York by Maison Gerard. Notably, metallic elements pick up the evening light, such as the artwork by Patrick Scott and the 1950s side table from Michael Mortell Gallery. The curtains were made by Mary Wrynne using fabric by Christopher Farr while the plinth was bought at Bernard Tinivella in Paris.
The inspiration for the dining room was the Art Deco dining room at Eltham Palace in southeast London. The table was custom made by Irish company Klimmek Furniture and is surrounded by dining chairs by Ecart. The console is from Soane Britain while the 1970s vases are from AD Antiques Paris.
The inspiration for the dining room was the Art Deco dining room at Eltham Palace in southeast London. The table was custom made by Irish company Klimmek Furniture and is surrounded by dining chairs by Ecart. The console is from Soane Britain while the 1970s vases are from AD Antiques Paris.
Connecting through to the dining room, the central hall is the heart of the house. Here, a console by Hervé van der Straeten and a colorful artwork by Terry Frost, a leading British abstract artist who worked in St. Ives, Cornwall, during the 1950s, reign supreme. In the dining room, the light fixture was designed by the late Irish designer David Collins for Lobmeyr.
Connecting through to the dining room, the central hall is the heart of the house. Here, a console by Hervé van der Straeten and a colorful artwork by Terry Frost, a leading British abstract artist who worked in St. Ives, Cornwall, during the 1950s, reign supreme. In the dining room, the light fixture was designed by the late Irish designer David Collins for Lobmeyr.
The kitchen walls are painted White Dove by Benjamin Moore while the chevron floor is pale oak, rather than the dark oak of the more formal reception rooms. The bar stools are by Gubi. Linen curtains by Mary Wrynne soften the space and filter out any strong light.
The kitchen walls are painted White Dove by Benjamin Moore while the chevron floor is pale oak, rather than the dark oak of the more formal reception rooms. The bar stools are by Gubi. Linen curtains by Mary Wrynne soften the space and filter out any strong light.
The curved bay window of the kitchen makes the most of the light throughout the day. The dining table is by Emmemobili while the pendant is from Roll & Hill. The chairs, which are covered in a metallic mauve leather by Edelman, are from Camerich.
The curved bay window of the kitchen makes the most of the light throughout the day. The dining table is by Emmemobili while the pendant is from Roll & Hill. The chairs, which are covered in a metallic mauve leather by Edelman, are from Camerich.
This relaxing family room features side tables by Tom Faulkner, an ottoman by Knoll, and an armchair by Vitra. Table lamp is by Nicholas Haslam while the floor lamp is from Visual Comfort. The walls are covered with sea green linen by Phillip Jeffries.
This relaxing family room features side tables by Tom Faulkner, an ottoman by Knoll, and an armchair by Vitra. Table lamp is by Nicholas Haslam while the floor lamp is from Visual Comfort. The walls are covered with sea green linen by Phillip Jeffries.
The south-facing kitchen and family rooms open out to the back garden.
The south-facing kitchen and family rooms open out to the back garden.
As there are no windows in this dressing room, LyonsKelly introduced a circular skylight above the shagreen-topped island made by Zelouf & Bell. The matte glass wardrobes are by Rimadesio for Minima while the rug is from Stark Carpet.
As there are no windows in this dressing room, LyonsKelly introduced a circular skylight above the shagreen-topped island made by Zelouf & Bell. The matte glass wardrobes are by Rimadesio for Minima while the rug is from Stark Carpet.
The high-gloss bathroom was designed by LyonsKelly with cabinetwork from Abington Design House. The lights are from Jonathan Coles while the quartzite marble was sourced from Miller Brothers.
The high-gloss bathroom was designed by LyonsKelly with cabinetwork from Abington Design House. The lights are from Jonathan Coles while the quartzite marble was sourced from Miller Brothers.
The second-floor study features an armchair from Moroso and a side table from Glas Italia. The table lamp is from Oluce.
The second-floor study features an armchair from Moroso and a side table from Glas Italia. The table lamp is from Oluce.
Lined in midnight blue–dyed hemp by Phillip Jeffries, the home cinema features sofas made by Orior using Elitis fabric. The wall lights are from Jim Lawrence while all the joinery is by Abington Design House.
Lined in midnight blue–dyed hemp by Phillip Jeffries, the home cinema features sofas made by Orior using Elitis fabric. The wall lights are from Jim Lawrence while all the joinery is by Abington Design House.
The outdoor basement-level area uses granite from McEvoy Stone and Japanese maple supplied by Bernard Hickie.
The outdoor basement-level area uses granite from McEvoy Stone and Japanese maple supplied by Bernard Hickie.

Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest

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