before and afterDIY

Before & After: A Family Home in Ireland

by Grace Bonney

The majority of makeovers we’re sent tend to be from the United States, so we’re always excited to hear from homeowners, renters and designers outside of the country. We were recently introduced to Kingston Lafferty Design, a Dublin & Wicklow-based multi disciplinary design studio. Led by Roisin Lafferty, Kingston Lafferty recently completed a small residential makeover in Leopardstown, a district in Ireland. The home had seen a lot of wear and tear over the years and needed a fresh look for a young family. By keeping the focus on the family, Roisin was able to create a design that was colorful and modern, but also practical and functional for all members of the family. Roisin explained, “The floor plan is quite small, so it was important to create the illusion of space and give the impression of brightness. For this reason, we opted for a soft grey palette on the walls with pops of colour throughout the space to brighten and add personality. We got rid of the carpet and installed a high-end laminate floor throughout to enhance the feeling of flow and openness.” Along with a more open plan, Roisin’s team created three different entertaining spaces that would work for parents and children. The final result is a bright and colorful space that feels twice the size but didn’t require any expansion or additions to the home itself. Thanks so much to Roisin for sharing this project with us! xo, grace

Click through for the full makeover after the jump!

Before living room
Image above: The living room “before.”

Before lounge
Image above: The lounge “before.”

Before playroom
Image above: The playroom “before.”

After living 2

After Living
After living 3
After living 4
Images above: The living room “after.”

After lounge
Image above: The lounge “after.”

After playroom
Image above: The playroom “after.” Artist Becky Russell created the geometric wall in the playroom based on the children’s favorite colors. Roisin and her team opted for an eclectic selection of pieces so the space wouldn’t feel too “matchy-matchy.”


*Please note: We requested additional full-room photographs, but unfortunately none were available. We apologize for not being able to provide a wider angle on each room. We’ve heard your requests for more full-room shots and are making every effort to secure them from upcoming post subjects.

Suggested For You


  • So great to see some Irish designers :) Lovely work, love the living room looks really cosy and inviting. If you would like to see some more Irish interiors there are some posts on my blog of my new cottage in the Irish Countryside, unfortunately it isn’t as nice as this one though- it is more country cottage to suit the rural surroundings…

    All things nice…

  • Lovely to see some Irish habitats! Great transformation. Would love to know the wall colour from the Dulux Signature range this is if Roisin is reading. Thanks x

  • I really love the re-do, colorful touches against the neutrals. Brilliant! However, it would be so nice to see some wider shots to get a feel for how the space is transformed rather than just details. Of the four photos of the living room, 3 are of the fireplace. It would be nice to see the whole room!

  • What a transformation, so much better. I love how the living room is so much more grown up but the playroom is so happily indulgent of the children. I especially love the wall in the playroom and that grey armchair. And I too am delighted to see an Irish project on Design*Sponge!

    Just to clarify – Leopardstown is actually a suburb of Dublin, and those palm trees are actually very common in Ireland (they are incredibly resilient and often grow back from just a leftover stump after apparently dying in a particularly cold winter)

  • Yes it will be a Palm Tree in Ireland, but……… its the south east of Ireland which is low lying and close to sea level and protected against the elements because of it. Usually little frost and little snow hence this plant can survive. When the temperatures dropped to -15 – 25 a few years ago a lot of the Palm trees were damaged in Ireland and England.

  • It is very nice but I do agree w/Natalie in that “I can’t believe they took out that old fireplace.” The new is very chic but it feels a bit cold to me, the old, in my opinion, had some warmer elements. Beautiful job but it is all a matter of taste and that’s okay.

  • Is it the lighting or are these photos been overly photoshopped? It hardly looks real – look at the things on the shelves.

  • I love both fireplaces – the old and the new! As someone who doesn’t have the luxury of a beautiful old fireplace to start with, I would LOVE to know more about the new version in this post. Is that an insert? Where can I learn more about it?? Details pretty please!

  • Love the geometric wall in the kids’ playroom. I’m Irish. Just to weigh in on the palm tree discussion… it’s much more likely to be a Cordyline (cabbage tree etc.), which is actually (i think) a member of the lily family, not a true palm. The are pretty ubiquitous here as a result of being sold by garden centres as ornamental plants, and they are, as someone said above, incredibly resilient. Although the hard winters of 2010/11 were the last straw for some of them. There you go. More than you ever needed to know!