Home Improvements

by Jenny Mcfarlane

November 20, 2017

9 of the latest stylish bathroom trends for 2018

These exciting new bathroom design ideas will make sure your home is ahead of the curve in the new year.  Title image: Alape From taps…

Andrew and Jackie Lohan took on a roofless wreck in County Mayo, Ireland. Their clever Gothic Chapel conversion – which centred on a timber and plasterboard box – made compelling viewing.

TV House Gothic Chapel in County Mayo Ireland4

Originally built in the 1830s, the Gothic chapel had fallen into disrepair. Andrew and Jackie bought it and restored the tower and roof before converting the interior into a home

TV House Gothic Chapel in County Mayo Ireland4

The walls were deliberately repaired with a different colour brick so the story of the rescue work became part of the fabric of the church

Converting a church can frequently prove more of a penance than a pleasure. As Kevin McCloud pointed out, the soaring proportions are often compromised by having to squeeze in bedrooms.

The church that architect Andrew Lohan and wife Jackie had taken on was a potential holiday home near Westport, in the form of an 1830s stone chapel with Gothic touches. Kilgallan was already neglected by 1902, when the bell tower was struck by lightning; the Fifties saw it lose its roof. When the Lohans, from Dublin, bought it for £25,000, it had trees growing inside.

TV House Gothic Chapel in County Mayo Ireland4

Andrew’s conversion has provided a spacious home without obscuring the original structure

Andrew drew up his own plans, then shelved them for five years while the rest of their lives, with two children and busy jobs, took over. ‘It was a building you couldn’t approach on a piecemeal basis,’ remembers Jackie. ‘It was really all or nothing.’ The couple decided they could fund the project if they rented it out as a holiday home in County Mayo, Ireland.

Determined not to destroy the space, Andrew designed a three-storey timber and plasterboard box, which was dropped into the church to provide private spaces without obscuring the original building. The very opposite of dark and overbearing, this Gothic chapel’s interior is now an uplifting retreat. ‘If you lie in the bath upstairs you can actually see the mountains, including the landmark Croagh Patrick,’ grins Jackie. ‘That’s a real Cadbury’s Flake moment.’

TV House Gothic Chapel in County Mayo Ireland4

The dining room sits at one end of the chapel beneath a large triple window

TV House Gothic Chapel in County Mayo Ireland4

A galleried walkway leads to the guest bedrooms and looks down over the open-plan living spaces

Photography: Mark Luscombe-Whyte

Kevin McCloud on how our homes give us the chance to reflect and have new experiences

Our editor-at-large ponders how our homes can give us a chance to reflect and have new experiences.
how-our-homes-give-us-the-chance-to-reflect-and-have-new-experiences
tv-house-secrets-converted-run-down-yard-to-industrial-style-home
Grand Designs TV Houses

TV house secrets: converted run-down yard to industrial-style home

Tracy and Steve Fox turned a run-down yard in London into an innovative industrial-style home. We ask Tracy how they’re getting on three years later
tv-house-exclusive-transformed-seventies-bungalow-on-the-isle-of-wight
Grand Designs TV Houses

TV House exclusive: Transformed Seventies bungalow on the Isle of Wight

Architectural designer Lincoln Miles, who transformed a Seventies bungalow on the Isle of Wight, has now created aseries of innovative dwellings on the island.
tv-series-secrets-self-build-mews-house-in-london
Grand Designs TV Houses

TV house secrets: self build mews house in London

Building a colourful mews house before gaining planning permission was a risk for architect Ian Hogarth. Is he still a fan of the striking style?...
tv-house-exclusive-upside-down-cedar-clad-eco-home
Grand Designs TV Houses

TV house exclusive Upside-down cedar-clad eco home

Idyllic plot, check. Innovative design, check. Super-eco credentials, check. Natasha Cargill’s Norfolk home from the recent TV series ticked all the right boxes… just
grand-designs-australia-tv-house-sri-lanka-inspired-family-friendly-home
Grand Designs TV Houses

Grand Designs Australia TV house Sri Lanka-inspired family-friendly home

This striking Grand Designs Australia build combines concrete finishes with the architectural inspiration of Sri Lanka to create a family-friendly home.
grand-designs-water-tower-conversion-london
Grand Designs TV Houses

Grand Designs water tower conversion in London

An ambitious Grand Designs water tower conversion based in London had two new-build extensions included in the renovation.