This house had been in my mind for many years; waiting for the right location and the right architects to interpret my ideas and design my dream house while sticking to my tight budget.
The final product gives me all that I wanted; light, space, connection with the garden, all wrapped up in a stunning contemporary design. Every day, I am reminded of the features that make this house my home; from the huge bedroom windows overlooking the garden and Dun Laoghaire Harbour to the angles of the roof light letting the morning light down onto the stairwell and the kitchen below. The steel balustrade, which was a budget driven compromise from the glass I originally wanted, has turned out to be the feature I most like about the house. It is the backbone of the house and is a beautiful feature on both levels. The floor to ceiling windows in the open plan lower floor open up to the patio and garden providing the connection with the outdoor space I wanted and makes the house feel much bigger.
The shape and sloping of the site was a challenge but because the final design worked with these challenges rather than fight against them, there is a calm and a harmony about the house as a result. Diarmaid’s advance planning and attention to detail meant that, what could have been a stressful build phase, was not.
I consider myself very fortunate to own such a beautiful home.
We had the pleasure of working with Diarmaid of Diarmaid Brophy architects on an extensive renovation we carried out on our home in Dartry in Dublin 6. We would unreservedly recommend to you Diarmaid as an architect for several reasons.
As in many cases, our project was constrained by many factors such as layout, neighbours, regulations and also by the gap between our desires and budget. Diarmaid was able to take on all of these and proposed alternatives that complied with all the restraints, while providing us with the functionality we were seeking as well as being architecturally bold, pleasing and beautiful.
We had strong feelings about matters of design having accumulated, over the years, many dreams and desires often conflicting ones. Diarmaid was very good at seeing the project through our eyes whilst bringing his knowledge and experience in architecture and building practicality to steer us away from mistakes and trouble and on to an excellent outcome.
Workflow is obviously critical in projects where time means money and we found Diarmaid superb on this front. We were never delayed by Diarmaid and there was never an item or issue that was forgotten or fell between the cracks. Diarmaid never missed an appointment, failed to return a phone call or to deal with an issue on hand. On projects like building where there are tens perhaps hundreds of issues to deal with, not having to revisit items discussed or to remind constantly is invaluable and saves money, time, nerves and feelings. If for no other reason for this one alone I would be glad to work with Diarmaid again.
We were unfortunate to have fallen into the year that regulations and paperwork were set at ridiculously high levels for private projects. However, we were fortunate to have Diarmaid deal with all of that for us and so today we have every document we need and every box ticked on time.
All permutations were explored in the planning stage and once concluded we were able to go through the construction phase without making costly changes.
And last, but by no means least, we found Diarmaid a reasonable and pleasant person to lead our team especially in situations where stress and conflict may very easily arise.
When friends recommended Diarmaid for our extension project, we understood exactly why from our first meeting. Where some architects felt the urge to tell us how they would “fix” our house, Diarmaid took a refreshingly opposite approach. He calmly observed and listened, chatted and took notes, and gently prodded and poked us into really thinking about what we wanted our home to be.
Beneath his calm and reassuring exterior is even more impressive stuff. He has a superb design eye with laser-like attention to detail. His drawings were meticulously worked out so that site meetings and 14-week build were 100% focused on getting everything right. Nothing was ever left to chance. There was always more than one solution to any problems that arose – and even these were few and far between. When a veteran site foreman wishes all architects could be as professional, clear and collaborative as Diarmaid, you know you’ve found a good ‘un.
As an experience, it couldn’t have gone better for build novices like us. He expertly guided us through the tendering process and various build phases; made our decisions on ‘big ticket’ items clear-cut; and took away the pain of the mind-numbing (for us) selection of sink units, taps and door handles. Even though we were out of the house for the entire build, his project management skills always made us feel totally involved.
He was a total joy to work with and our new space is a total joy to live in.
Thanks Diarmaid. Nailed it.
It was brilliant to work with Diarmaid from the inception of our project to its final realisation. Diarmaid worked through all of our requirements for the refurbishment of our period home, taking on board the need to incorporate a new kitchen and dining area in the basement, refurbishing and reconfiguring the upper floors and incorporating as much storage as possible throughout the house to cater for the demands of family living.
His encompassing vision took on board our ideas and improved these 100-fold. Diarmaid was brilliant at coming back to us with different options and recommendations, that were always really well researched. He encouraged us to think beyond the interior space and the completed design far exceeded our expectations.
In addition to his design acumen, Diarmaid brought to the process great project management skills, efficiency and brilliant attention to build detail. All of this while being responsive to us as clients and being really personable and easy to work with.
Despite the limited floor area Diarmaid’s design flair and expertise has created a wonderful new living space for us, complete with brilliantly designed and executed hidden storage. Our new light filled kitchen and dining area is fantastic, while our new outdoor space is a joy to be in. We can’t thank Diarmaid enough for making the whole experience such a stress free and enjoyable process!
The house was very neglected & needed complete restoration when we bought it. We aspired to a home that would meet our needs in terms of providing contemporary design and comfort, connecting the living spaces, bringing the garden & additional light into the house, whilst at the same time respecting its Victorian heritage. The villa-style layout of the house limited options, but from the start Diarmaid demonstrated the ability to listen to our requirements & turn them into realistic design ideas, within the agreed budget, inspiring our confidence quickly.
He brought us through the planning application, advising us knowledgeably on what would and would not be acceptable from a conservation perspective & winning us over with his design proposals. He has a ‘can do’ attitude, so when one option was not acceptable, he moved on quickly to suggest other solutions. He provided project management services, competently & professionally overseeing the tender process, the restoration & construction phase of the project, as well as providing interior design advice.
Throughout what can at times be a daunting and overwhelming project for novices, Diarmaid was on hand to provide professional advice, moral support and manage expectations of all personalities involved in the project. His calm manner, great communication skills & collaborative approach facilitated the smooth completion of the project. He also has a broad range of experience working on similar projects, giving him good knowledge of the possible pitfalls, the potential solutions and reliable supplier contacts. We very much enjoyed working with Diarmaid and are grateful for the huge contribution he made to our beautiful home.