Step inside ‘Lover’s Walk’, a reimagined 70s house in Cork, Ireland, where a distinctive mix of layered elements manifest through colour and materiality, with an arresting effect.
Award-winning practice Kingston Lafferty Design led by creative director Róisín Lafferty, was tasked with the transformation of a detached 70s family home, nestled into a hill overlooking Cork city. What initially began as a small scope of work soon evolved into a complete rethink of every space, resulting in a much more holistic project; one that was conducive to avant-garde ideas being put forward, offering the owners a chance to experiment with colour. “We didn’t want it to just be paint – it had to have more richness and depth with nature as the anchor,” Róisín says.
The building’s footprint, like many of the era with its central oak staircase, attracted the owners. Its grid-like feel and framed views from all the rooms of the surrounding landscape including hundred-year-old oak, ferns and moss make for an innate sense of calmness. “There’s a timelessness to it – when you walk in the house there’s a sense of calm,” Róisín says.
Tangible and intangible elements easily meld together in the house with layered depth, giving context to 70s structure, nostalgia, landscape and materials. “As a designer, you aim to achieve balance and harmony,” Róisín says. “The polished concrete on the ground floor works as an anchor to all the other points – marble, timber, ceramic and rich colour, while the distinctive tones and veins of the selected marbles reflect the landscape, emulating the lushness of the moss and trees.”
Deliberate clashes create a nuanced balance, adding to the appeal. “We tried to create portals everywhere, like the 1.5m tunnel from the front door to the kitchen where the walls, floors and ceiling are all done in red finger tiles with no trims, only mitred edges,” adds Róisín.
In the home’s kitchen, the designer deliberately created a contrast where the quartzite benchtop offsets rich primary-coloured timbers and mahogany. “The quartzite is strong and playful, it reminds me of sugared rock,” she says.
The sensory and experiential interiors of Lover’s Walk, created through intricate detail, dramatic colour and materiality, are inherently seductive.