Home Story: Suzanne Brady
There's something lovely about getting a glimpse inside people's homes. I love how a little vision and lots of creativity and determination can transform an old and dilapidated structure into an architectural gem. And while a facade can have massive impact, it is seeing what lies within the structure, as well as learning the story of those who live in the home that really makes a home memorable.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Suzanne Brady of Cove Cake Design in her beautiful family home in Dublin. Founder of bespoke wedding cake company Cove Cake Design, Suzanne's cakes are quite simply works of art. She combines a passion for flavour, with outstanding skill and exquisite designs to make unique and personalised cakes for weddings and special occasions. On touring Suzanne's beautiful home in the gorgeous Dublin village of Glasthule, I also had the chance to see her office and studio where she does the design work for her cakes. There were a number of cakes on display in the space, demonstrating Suzanne's flare and exceptional attention to detail. It's fair to say that even the most fussy bridezillas of this world would fail to find anything short of sheer perfection in Suzanne's work.
As well as ticking the style box, the cakes definitely get top marks on taste too. And there is no end to the flavours that can be catered for: maple and pecan, strawberry and champagne, guinness and caramelised white chocolate, orange, almond and rosewater...the list is as delicious as it is endless!
With such style and skill when it comes to her business, it comes as no surprise that Suzanne's home is equally as stylish as her culinary creations. The house itself is a beautiful Georgian cottage with a modern extention to the rear and is home to Suzanne, her husband and their three children Laoise (8), Oscar (5) and Oonagh (1).
The marriage between the classic Georgian architecture to the front and the contemporary open plan living space to the rear has been perfectly executed. There is a real sense of balance between these two distinct styles, with the classic and contemporary features working in perfect harmony throughout the space.
Suzanne, who takes a keen interest in interior design has achieved a home that is not only beautifully decorated but also a fully functioning family home. There is ample, sleek storage, throughout the house and it's obvious that this is an organised home. However, things aren't merely hidden away in the confides of cupboards and boxes, toys take pride of place and echo the wonderfully vibrant colours of the family living room in a way that is neat and practical but also adds a vibrancy and life to the space. The house has also been very cleverly designed to allow for an abundance of light and space throughout. One of the nicest features of the extension is the courtyard in the centre of the property which allows natural light to flood throughout the surrounding rooms, including one of the main bedrooms in the original building.
I caught up with Suzanne over some delicious lemon, blueberry and coconut cake for a tour of this stunning home and to talk through design of the house.
Suzanne, tell me about the house and the project you undertook to get it to where it is now?
The house was a complete renovation and restoration project which took a year of planning and 9 arduous months of building work. This gave us a lot of time to think about what we wanted and how we wanted to decorate and I did spend many months buying interior decorating magazines! I didn't really have any design scheme in mind but this was the third property we had renovated or decorated and I finally had found the confidence to just buy pieces that I liked and trust that they would all work together in the end. The design itself features a modern rear extension and hence the fittings and decoration in this part of the house reflect this. For the original part of the house we were more creative with a mix of old and new: reclaimed radiators, antique light fittings, and up-cycled furniture alongside new pieces. Many of the pictures and ornamental pieces have been collected on travels or received as gifts. I like that a house and it's contents have a little story!
What interiors shops do you like?
We are lucky to have some great local independent interiors shops such as Formality in Glasthule, The Blue Door in Monkstown and Lost Home in Dun Laoghaire. Meadows and Byrne is great for kitchenware while I do love to browse in Heirloom Antiques or Buckley's Auctioneers for some antique finds! For more functional pieces we have bought from Marks and Spencer, Ikea and Next.
What do you love most about the house?
I love so many things about the house...the element of surprise for people that a big open house lies behind such a small facade; the layout which perfectly suits our needs as a family and the light which pours in in all directions at various times of the day.
Where is your favourite part of the house?
My favourite part of the house is the little upstairs landing which we have turned into a small reading area. With three children and a business I don't have much time to sit there but I dream of enjoying cups of coffee over morning papers there one day!
Cove Cake Design combines a love of baking and design to create delicious and elegant wedding cakes for the modern bride and groom. Using the highest quality of locally-sourced ingredients in their carefully curated menu, they make everything from the preserves to the caramel sauce from scratch. The Cove Cake ethos is that each cake is a unique little piece of delicious art and they pride themselves on working closely with each and every client to design a cake that perfectly complements their wedding day. Find out more at covecakedesign.ie
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