The star of the County Down

Richard Rodgers speaks to Build & Renovate about his fabulous home

Story Highlights
  • "The house is lived in, it isn't a showhouse."
  • "I've always dreamt of living in a house like this."
  • "The house is 200 years old with a six year old extension!"
  • "I took my time doing the work."

Interior Designer Richard Rodgers of Rodrick Design undertook the project of transforming a stunning country property located in the heart of County Down drumlins. The property dates back to the 1800’s and it was originally a schoolhouse which has become a home after it was sympathetically restored and extended to achieve its maximum potential.

Each room has been carefully created with colour and textures to complement the integrity of the building. The layout of the house makes the most of the building’s space with bedrooms, bathrooms and an office located on the ground floor and the rest of the main living space located on the floor above.

“The house was a shell when I bought it. The house was bought and developed by a builder and then the property crash happened and the house was dormant for a number of years. I’ve always dreamt of living somewhere like this and I’m delighted that I was able to bring the house back to life as it has had so many purposes over the years,” said Richard Rodgers.

“Straight away I could see the potential for the upstairs living area. It’s not a good room, it is a space that is used! When it came to working on this house, I wouldn’t say that it wasn’t stressful but I didn’t rush into anything when it came to the house. For the first eight months, we had bare concrete floors as I knew I wanted something that would complement the building.

“I really tried to stick to the traditional elements whilst trying to tie in some modern furniture. The house has a lot of character to it,” enthused Mr Rodgers.

Rodrick Design Ltd is a boutique Interior Design consultancy for residential and commercial projects. Established in 2015 by Mr Rodgers, he brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to each project. His personal care and attention to detail are key to each design project, creating a timeless style that combines contemporary and traditional elements.

At Rodrick Design, their vision is to transform your surroundings with a design approach that highlights purpose, distinction and beauty throughout an all-encompassing design experience.


Having worked extensively on design projects throughout the world from Malaysia to the Far East, Rodrick Design’s roots are firmly based in its County Down studio working with more than 100 suppliers, the very latest collections allows them to create that unique look that their clients deserve.

Rodrick Design offers a range of services from bespoke curtain and roman blind making to personally designed handmade rugs. They work closely with local crafts people producing everything from bespoke handmade furniture to full residential and commercial fit outs.

Richard’s signature classic contemporary designs complement every architectural style with a strong identity that draws inspiration from the location, building vernacular and the client’s requirements, interests and lifestyle. Bespoke design is integral to their approach. Every facet of a project can be custom made to exacting specifications ensuring that the clients’ needs are realised with unwavering creative expression with the very finest quality assured in each project.

“I wanted every space in the house to be used and the house is lived in, it isn’t a showhouse. The layout of the house is very unusual but I love it! Having lived in the house for a few years upon reflection I wouldn’t change anything majorly other than small things such as the placement of light switches. I didn’t rush into anything when it came to the house.

Where the extension is, I would love to have a balcony off that. The house is 200 years old with a six year old extension which works as the sunroom,” he enthused.

“Other than the living room by the cosy stove, my other favourite space would be the bathroom as it is a really nice space to be in and especially with the summer approaching I really love the garden and being outside working on it.”

In terms of advice Mr Rodgers would give anyone who may be about to embark on a similar project to his home?
“I think it is about finding really good local tradespeople who know how to work with old buildings as well as how to treat them. It isn’t like a modern house, you really have to know what you are doing with an old house like this and if you get the wrong tradesperson then they can do a lot of damage to your property.

“Don’t rush into any decisions and try to mark out the space for your furniture such as your bed or your sofa and key pieces so then you can figure out the layout of each room as well as figuring out where the sun comes in, how best to use the space and also take lighting into consideration as well.

Try and live in your house for a while before you make any big decisions. Of course you have to pick your kitchen and bathroom but if you can get a feel for it, live in your house for a while! This is my forever home hence why I took my time doing the work on it whilst also collecting some lovely key pieces, concluded Richard Rodgers.



    Richard Rodgers
    Rodrick Design.

    Andrew Vaughan
    Blackstone Media/Photography.

    Words: Emer KellyImages: Andrew Vaughan of Blackstone Media/Photography

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