The Multi-unit project in Rathmines by Michael Ó Mara Interior Design & Property solutions sets the new standard for adapted, studio style accommodation.
It took several months to procure the perfect property for our client, having drawn up a list of potential property’s and carried out various inspections. We sought a property that could be renovated and upgraded to a proper standard and to purchase at a manageable price based on return potential. By our recommendation, the perfect property could be utilised for both short term and long term letting – a consideration here was that with longer term lets, the specification is greater such as requiring an independent fridge and freezer unit so an under counter space saver was not viable. There was also the matter of there being a 4 ring hob as opposed to a two ring for long term lets. Such obligations tend to be restrictive due to space constraints however we worked around the obstacle and developed design solutions to overcome. Another important inclusion was of a separate bath/ shower area for each unit. Designing such parameters into a a 12 metre space is a key challenge as each square metre has to be utilised effectively and at the same time have an aesthetic, considered finish.
Eventually a property on Grove Park, Rathmines was procured. This area is synonymous with ‘bed-sits’ and adapted houses. In many cases the property’s were investment property’s with a poor standard of fit out and accommodation which was reflected in the overall condition and rental yields. In a lot of cases the cheapest materials were used and considered design and optimisation was not achieved to realise the full potential of these property’s. In such cases, the living experience is not the greatest nor is it a space that is homely, welcoming, contemporary and a pleasure to reside.
When the Grove Park property was first procured, the above issues were prevalent. The property had seen better times. It required considerable TLC and design consideration. The accommodations generally only provided a sleeping area for one, the bathing areas were dank and poorly constructed, the living spaces dark and unwelcoming, the decoration non existent and the kitchens, whilst compact, were not functional or up to letting standard. The common areas too were dark and unwelcoming. Poor illumination throughout, reminiscent of a Dickensian era with one over head bulb at the entrance with the first landing bulb of the common area defunct.
The laundry space under the stair had but one washer/ dryer unit for 7 Residents, insufficient for daily living. This space was extended into what was a common WC. The building overall was damp with a smell, drafty and cold. The heating was a mixture of electric convector and gas fire places, greatly insufficient for today’s expected standards.
The property was split over 3 levels with 7 bed-sits, an untended rear garden and front of house small garden.
Our approach for this project was to reconsider the layout and realise the full potential of each unit, turning the low grade ‘bed -sit’ into a medium quality rental suite with proper facilities and functional space.
In turn this would create opportunity for a good return for short term lets based on their location and appeal and also offer the flexibility to adapt to long term lets too if necessary and based on market and legislative conditions.