Couple’s incredible renovation of 1960s home stripped back to ‘bare bones’

by AryanArtnews
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The change in the 1960s property was remarkable

Matthew and Christine Mullan brought the place back to the “shabby bones” of the project, which they say allows them to make their mark on the place

Property changes in the 1960s were remarkable

A couple tells how they took their 1960s home back to ‘the humble bones’ and completely remodeled it – sharing incredible results.

Matthew and Kristen Mullan said the project allowed them to make their mark on the place.

Christine, 35, designed and project managed the renovation and ensured compliance with statutory requirements.

An architect “with ideas and vision”, she embraced it from start to finish.

Matthew, 36, an engineer, helped him come up with a solution to his wife’s idea. He “hands on” and comes up with “smart solutions.”

The pair share interior design inspiration on Instagram via their page @architect_v_engineer.







before and after
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Christine told BelfastLive: “We bought a 1960s detached house. Although it was a very solid property, it was never updated, so we did a full renovation to bring it back to its original shape.

“The three-month contractor refurbishment/build allowed us to move in December 2019, then we approached the aesthetics as an ongoing project, and we did the work ourselves.







see transformation
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“We wanted a family home that was individually designed to our needs – where we could have some fun and make our mark. It’s all about family for us.

“We redesigned the ground floor layout and removed walls to create a large open plan living space.

“We took the house back to its bare structure, re-piped it, re-wired it, replaced all the windows and completely updated it.







Everything looks fine now
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“We also converted some of the outside shops into houses and created a secret playroom for the kids.”

The 35-year-old explains the hardest part of renovating a property.

She said: “The budget, the timetable and the unknowns of the existing property.

“Some of our ideas/completions are different from the norm, and sometimes it’s hard to get traders to embrace the vision – it’s not always an easy choice.”







bathroom before and after
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For the best part, the architect added: “The best part is seeing our designs come to life.

“Our kids have been involved (helping with the design and decor) and seeing them take pride in what we’ve created has been rewarding.”

With work still in progress, the couple are happy with the finished room and have more ideas for a makeover.







Before and after toilet
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For others currently renovating their homes, Christine said: “You’ll get there eventually. Sometimes everything can get a little bit more, but when you get there, it’s all worth it.

“Follow your intuition and ideas, and don’t be weighed down by other people’s opinions.

“We’ve been lucky, relatively speaking, we don’t have too many problems with renovations as far as construction works.







Converted from a wreck
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“However, some of our ideas required trial and error to refine.

“We’re making our own countertops for our utility room and are now making a second attempt.”

Christine adds where she gets her interior design ideas.

“We were inspired by design experience and many Pinterest/Houzz mood boards.

“We created our Instagram page architect_v_engineer – to track our progress, but I don’t appreciate the supportive community there.







garden before and after
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“It’s definitely a place to get inspiration and support right now,” she said.

She also has some money-saving tips: “Shop around! If you find something you like, go online and see if you can find something cheaper elsewhere.

“By doing some research, we saved over 60 square meters on the same tile.

“And don’t feel like you have to do everything in one sitting.







Everything looks cool now
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better bedroom
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“List what needs to be done and what you want. The building work/structure is all necessary, but all the decor can be done over time.

“We don’t do a lot of indoor shopping, instead we tend to design and make a lot of the pieces ourselves, so they are unique and personal to us.”

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