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54 George's Street Lower
Dublin, County Dublin,

01 5585205

Award Wining Architects based in Monkstown, Co.Dublin and working in all surrounding counties.

Specialising in sensitive contemporary design for domestic extensions, renovations, new-build houses and interior design.  We also design and build custom joinery.

RIAI registered architects, project managers & interior designers

Dublin Architecture Blog

Hofler Architects Dublin  - Our Blog of our news and views.

Filtering by Tag: Interior Design

In Praise of Shadows

Paul Mulhern


A bunch of us were out cycling this morning in the Wicklow hills and I got talking to a lighting designer about the critical importance of light in an architectural project.  It is as important as the physical materials we build with - yet its intangible, delicate and takes real feeling, skill and experience to handle.  

We got on to talking about how important the shadows and darkness are too.  You can't feel, sense and appreciate one without the other.  It brought me back to one of my favourite little books - In Praise of Shadows by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki.

Comparisons of light with darkness are used to contrast Western and Eastern cultures.  The West, in its striving for progress, is presented as continuously searching for light and clarity, while the subtle and subdued forms of oriental art and literature are seen by Tanizaki to represent an appreciation of shadow and subtlety, closely relating to the traditional Japanese concept of wabi & sabi

The type of detail a sensitive eye notices...

The book itself is a little gem - Amazon Link.  (You can find a PDF of it pretty easily online too).

If you are looking for an architect with a sensitive eye for detail - get in touch!  We'd love to hear from you.

Spacious - RIAI registered architects and interior designers.

Our contact details.

Interior Design & The Coffee Experience. World of Coffee Expo - Dublin.

Paul Mulhern

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”   Maya Angelou.

Yes, we've been to Melbourne.  We have spent three years there and lapped up as much of the city's coffee culture as we possibly could.  The way coffee is done there has to be experienced - has to be felt, and we believe that Dublin needs to offer up more of that experience that tackles all the senses, not just taste & smell.

Melbourne's affinity for coffee developed around the mid-20th century thanks to a myriad of independent espresso cafes.  After World War II, large numbers of Italians and Greeks migrated to Australia, and to Melbourne in particular.  Australian Italians miagrated to Melbourne later, following the development of the piston-driven espresso machine by Achille Gaggia in 1945. Italians introduced Australia to espresso shots, and beyond that the idea of cafe culture. Around the mid-century, Melbourne began establishing itself as a cultural city, and newly opened coffeehouses proved to be excellent public meeting places for socializing.

Australians embrace the English tradition of long, hearty, cooked breakfasts. So it's only a natural fit that Australian cafes seamlessly blend coffee cafe culture with food, leisure, and conversation—as opposed to work with the Americans (think non-stop refill filter).

The fierce independence of Melbourne coffee shops extends to nearly every element of their design - the interior materials, lighting, textures, acoustics but also their quirky names, the signage, letterpress business cards, takeaway cup graphics, the music and the design magazines on hand to browse. And then there's the coffee!  

Once you've experienced this kind of coffee passion you'll never darken the door of a corporate chain shop again.

This blog post is timed of the lead up to the World of Coffee - Dublin Expo. - 23rd to 25th June 2016, RDS Dublin.

Talk to us about our experience and how we can help you start up yours - Interior Design, Architecture, Planning Permissions, Tender, Construction, Branding, Image & Design Inspiration, Health & Safety, Budget Control.

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New Rural House Design, Oldcastle, Co. Meath - Project Update

Paul Mulhern

I have been working on a new one-off house on the site of an intriguing old ruined farm just outside of Oldcastle in Co. Meath.  The stone ruins form two semi-enclose courtyards to the north and south and the existing site levels vary by over three floors with huge stone retaining walls forming boundaries to the adjoining fields.  There is also a detached ruined farmhouse to the west, an old orchard field and a nearby stream.  We are planning to salvage and reuse the stone for the main elevations.



The nature of the site makes for a challenging and interesting project.  We are proposing to build on the site of the existing main structure so are not introducing new buildings into the landscape. Due to the differing levels we've ended up with a three-storey design that places the living spaces on the top floor.  This allows us to benefit from the beautiful views in all directions while hiding most of the volume of the house.  Only the uppermost floor of three is visible from the main vantage points outside of the site.  Placing the living spaces up top also allows us to create bright and open accommodation with exposed chunky oak roof trusses supporting the natural slate roof.  Views to the north are framed with by a large glazed opening that slides open to a narrow step-out balcony.  A large raised terrace is located to the south and this is on top of part of the master bedroom.  The terrace connects with steps down to the main semi-enclosed courtyard garden at the rear.

The two double bedrooms and their en suite bathrooms are located on the middle floor.  The master bedroom has large windows and a glazed door leading out to the south courtyard with its beautiful enclosing retaining walls.  We'll be designing bespoke joinery for the rooms including a deep window seat here.

The ground floor entry level is below ground level to the south and east.  As well as the entry hall and W.C. this level will contain generous storage space and room for plant equipment for heating, solar panels, heat-pump and rainwater recycling.

The staircase will be an impressive design element linking all three floors.  It will feature stone from ground to first floor and then change to lighter hardwood above where it will wrap around the walls an include a walkway with views up and down.  Light will filter down from the numerous openings above creating a bright and inviting space.

The project meets all criteria of Meath County Council's Rural design Guide and is due to go in for planning permission.  We'll post progress updates here on that process and the continuing work on construction drawings and the full interior design scheme.

Read our earlier post on the reuse of farm buildings here.

Read about Paul's previous work at the Rock Farm Straw Bale Project here

Here's a link to Meath County Council's Rural Design Guide.

Contact SPACIOUS Architects to discuss any queries or potential project HERE

Industry - Carefully Curated Design

Paul Mulhern

We first noticed Industry on our many walks from the Hume Street office down to Dublin City Council's Planning Department for pre-planning discussions and lodging our planning applications.  Back then they were located in the East end of Temple Bar in a petite little premises.  Now that have a much bigger place on Dury Street in Dublin 2 and they're well worth a visit.  They've now even incorporated a great cafe.  Check them  out via the links below!

Industry Design Shop, Dublin

Industry Design Shop, Dublin

Industry are an independent home wares store located online and also at 41a/b Drury Street, Dublin 2

"Industry offers an evolving collection of carefully curated objects, furniture and wares for the home and everyday life. Some are new, some are old, some industrial and some recycled. All are hand chosen for their beauty, function, quality and uniqueness. We sell furniture, lighting, textiles and a huge range of accessories. Everything we sell has been hand picked whether it is vintage or new, one thing is for sure, we’ll be sad to see it go! We hope you like what you find online and in store!"
Shop Interior with New Cafe...

Shop Interior with New Cafe...

Industry  41 A/B Drury Street, Dublin 2.  Tel+353 1 6139111

Learn more about SPACIOUS Architects:



Hofler Architects,  6A Carrickbrennan Road, Monkstown, CO. Dublin.

Tel: 01-2809322.   Contact Us