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This project involved strategising and fine tuning the plans!

Architect Brian Mulvey discusses small but beautiful design...

Story Highlights
  • "The essence of design cannot be overstated."
  • "The concept that small can be beautiful truly came to life in this project."

Mad About Design excels in the realm of modern residential design, expansions, and refurbishments, holding design brilliance and unwavering professionalism as their chief goals. The firm embraces a distinctive design methodology that is customised to meet the desires and expectations of their clientele.
The ambition of Mad About Design is to conceive structures that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional and finely crafted, fostering engaging environments for living, working, and leisure activities. Ultimately, they seek to uplift the overall architectural ambience.

Here, Brian Mulvey discusses how to achieve the perception of spaciousness within a preexisting, small home.

“In the realm of architecture and renovation, our mission is to go beyond the constraints of a smaller dwelling, bringing forth the illusion of abundant space within the framework of an existing compact home. Our expertise lies in employing clever design strategies, such as open floor plans, strategic lighting, and the utilisation of multipurpose furnishings. We believe in making every square inch count. Through meticulous attention to detail, we aim to create an environment that feels open and airy, fostering a sense of freedom within the existing space. Our approach to achieving spaciousness is not just about aesthetics but also about enhancing the daily living experience, ensuring that every corner is both functional and visually expansive,” said Brian Mulvey.

“This project involved strategising and fine tuning the plans to optimise the available space on every level. In the intricate process of designing and refining the architectural plans, our team is dedicated to re-working and fine-tuning the floor plans to not only meet but exceed the clients expectations.

Our primary goal is to maximise the use of space on each floor, ensuring that every square foot serves a purpose. By carefully analysing the layout, we aim to create an environment that seamlessly integrates functionality and aesthetics, resulting in a harmonious living or working space. Our commitment is to provide our clients with a space that is efficient, visually pleasing, and tailored to your needs.

“Navigating the labyrinth of planning permission guidelines proved to be quite the challenge with this particular project, especially in this densely populated urban setting. With neighbouring properties already experiencing limited direct sunlight and a close-up view of their neighbour’s back windows, our commitment to compliance was unwavering.

Balancing the demands of planning regulations with the need to maintain amicable relations with the neighbours, we endeavoured not to be an undue source of inconvenience. Throughout this intricate process, our ultimate goal remained clear: to deliver something extraordinary for our client. We persevered, crafting a design that not only adhered to planning constraints but also carved out a unique, harmonious, and uplifting living space that would delight our client and enhance the neighbourhood,” he enthused.

Upon reflection, is there anything you would have done differently in terms of the design/ layout of the house?

“Our team were immensely proud with the final design. Collaborating closely with the clients, we seamlessly integrated their design ideas, creating a space that truly reflected their vision. Looking back, there’s a sense that perhaps even more could have been achieved – a larger glazed roof light, for instance, could have elevated headroom and natural light. The surprise of obtaining planning for the original design was a valuable lesson; sometimes, pushing the envelope in design is not only possible but also rewarding. It’s a fine balance when dealing with planning permissions, and this experience has sharpened our resolve to explore creative boundaries while remaining mindful of the regulatory framework.”

As to Mr Mulvey’s overall thoughts on this project?

“The concept that small can be beautiful truly came to life in this project, showcasing the magic that can happen when skilful hands and a visionary direction come together. Working with such remarkable clients was a privilege – their enthusiasm and openness to embrace the idea of creating something extraordinary on a modest site were inspiring. Their willingness to push the boundaries of what’s possible in a compact space allowed us to harness the beauty of minimalism and efficiency. It’s a testament to the idea that, with the right collaboration and a touch of creativity, small spaces can indeed be transformed into something uniquely beautiful and functional.

“The essence of design cannot be overstated. Whether it’s a good or bad design, the materials cost the same. However, when you invest in a well-conceived and imaginative design, you’re investing in the quality of your life. Our time on this planet is limited, and the chance to create something exceptional, whether it’s a home, a workspace, or any project, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s not a rehearsal; this is the main event. So why not dare to be different, think outside the box, and do something utterly extraordinary? In the grand stage of life, it’s your moment to shine, so make it MAD!,” finished Brian Mulvey.

Words: Emer KellyImages: Niall Cummins Photography

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