Adrian Duyn discusses his amazing renovation project in County Kerry

I had free rein over what I wanted to do!

Story Highlights
  • “There is nothing major that I would change as I’m very happy with the layout and the size of the rooms.”
  • “Have your wishlist as it is very important to know what you want but also, you have to be realistic!”

When Adrian Duyn bought his 1980’s bungalow in County Kerry, it needed a complete revamp. Adrian gutted the house completely so he was left with a shell and a blank canvas to work with. He designed the interior layout himself with a little help from his brother Killian who is an Architect. He raised the ceiling above the entrance and in the kitchen dining area to create a sense of space, and placed the hallway through the centre of the home.

He made the kitchen-living dining area open plan, with doors opening to a south-facing decking area. Mr Duyn works in furniture design and conservation with his Father, Joop and he designed all of the interiors himself including most of the cabinetry, furniture and woodwork. He built, made and fitted all of the interior fittings.

Adrian describes his two bedroom home as cosy with a luxury hotel or superyacht feel because of the tactile surfaces; such as material walls, velvet window surrounds and hardwood timber walls. He also has a few cherished antique pieces dotted around as a nod to his restoration work. Adrian has said that it’s his own personal style and loves the feeling every time he enters his home.

“At the start of renovating the house I thought to myself ‘bring it on,’ because it was a lovely challenge but I didn’t realise how big a challenge it was going to be. For years I was looking at properties and nothing really worked out as I couldn’t get a mortgage and then everything fell in to line for this one,’’ explained Adrian Duyn.

“When I viewed this house, it was perfect. The setting and the possibilities to do things to the house was varied and there were great options there. I could see what I could do so I was delighted with the challenge.
“My brother really helped me with the layout. Having his professional eye was fantastic. Killian also helped me with the curved ceiling as well. Working with family was lovely as you have a special bond with them especially if you get on with them!

“I had free rein over what I wanted to do. I had a few ideas that I had as plans for other projects that might not have happened and I was able to use them on my own house,’’ he added.

In terms of the build, were there any delays or did things go smoothly?
“During the build there were no huge delays as I knew what I wanted and being in the trade I have contacts in different areas so I was able to get products fairly handy. I wasn’t really waiting on any tradespeople either as they were able to help me out when I needed them. I was blessed that it all worked out very well and quickly. I bought the house in 2016 and I moved in nearly a year to the day in 2017.

“The plus side to the first lockdown was the good weather and I was able to finish off the terrace on the decking area at the front. I was also able to enjoy the house as I wasn’t rushing off to work so that was really quite nice,’’ explained Mr Duyn.

Having lived in the house for a few years, is there anything that he would do differently?
“No, there is nothing major that I would change as I’m very happy with the layout and the size of the rooms. The kitchen area would be my favourite space in the house as I love sitting at the island because it is a great social space and it is a lovely space to chill out in and drink a cup of coffee in the morning.

As to any advice Adrian would offer anyone who may be about to embark on a similar type project?
“Have your wishlist as it is very important to know what you want but also, you have to be realistic! You might not be able to get everything done at stage one, you may have to leave some things until a later date. Know what kind of windows and what type of heating system you want to put in the house as they are the big ticket items. Think about the layout of the house and how the house will adapt to your situation over the years,’’ enthused Adrian Duyn.

Words: Emer KellyImages: Pauline Dennigan & Adrian Duyn

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