Northern Ireland property: East Belfast couple’s renovation of 1960s home stripped back to ‘bare bones’

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Northern Ireland property: East Belfast couple's renovation of 1960s home stripped back to 'bare bones'

Architects and engineers are able to incorporate their professional experience into their properties

An East Belfast couple has shared their thoughts on their home’s impressive interior makeover.

Matthew (36) and Christine Mullan (35) have completely renovated their 1960s detached home, restoring it to ‘shabby bones’.

Christine is a ‘thought and visionary’ architect who designs, details, manages projects and handles all statutory requirements in the refurbishment of their properties.

Matthew is a “hands on” engineer who came up with “ingenious solutions” to Christine’s ideas.

Christine told Be: “We bought a 1960s detached house. Although it was a very solid property, it was never updated, so we did a full refurbishment to bring it back to its original shape. A three-month contract Commercial Refurbishment/Build Let’s Move In December 2019 we are doing aesthetics as an ongoing project and we do the work ourselves.

“We wanted a family home that was individually designed for our needs – where we could have some fun and make our own 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 brought the house back to its exposed structure, re-piped, re-wired, replaced all windows and completely updated it. We also converted some outdoor storage into the house to create a secret playroom for the kids.”

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

“Unknowns about the budget, schedule and existing property. Some of our ideas/finishes were different from the norm, and sometimes it was difficult to get a businessman to accept the vision – it wasn’t always an easy choice,” she said.

For the best part, the architect added: “The best part is seeing our designs come to life. Our kids are always involved (helping with the design and decorating) and seeing them take pride in what we’ve created, It’s all worth it.”

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

For others currently renovating their homes, Christine said: “You’ll get there eventually. Sometimes everything can be a little bit more, but when you get there, it’s all worth it. Go with your gut and your thoughts. , don’t be put off by other people’s opinions.

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

“However, some of our ideas took some trial and error to perfect. We’re making our own countertops for our utility room and are now taking a second try.”

Christine adds where she gets her interior design ideas.

“We were inspired by design experiences and many Pinterest/Houzz mood boards. We created our Instagram page [architect_v_engineer] For us – tracking our progress, but I don’t appreciate the supportive community there. It’s definitely a place to be inspired and supported right now,” she said.

This East Belfast lady also has some money-saving tips: “Shop around! If you find something you like, use the internet to see if you can find it elsewhere for a better price. We’re on the same tile Saved more than 60 sqm. Research.

“Nor don’t feel like you have to do everything at once. 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.”

Check out our gallery below to see the interior makeover!


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