Project Name: Ballyfin Hotel
Location: County Laois, Ireland
Architect: Purcell
Interior Designer: Ballyfin Demesne Ltd
Completion: May 2011

Ireland’s finest Neo-classical house, Ballyfin, was transformed through conservation and repair into an exquisite and comfortable country house hotel.

The design brief was to restore the house with great sensitivity and a strong understanding of the estate’s significance and refurbish it to serve as a five star hotel followings years of dilapidation and its former use as a school. As part of the restoration, the interiors at Ballyfin have been sympathetically restored and reinvigorated.

The brief was to create the impression of an Irish country house from which the family had just departed, leaving behind all that previous generations had accumulated over the years, including souvenirs from the Grand Tour and design inspirations acquired when travelling abroad: Ballyfin should be comfortable, stylish, discreet and Irish, with layers of history to be unravelled and enjoyed. The house features fine dining, wine cellars, a lively bar and a large and comfortable library with books on Irish art, architecture and history, carefully repaired and adapted. Purcell remodelled a modern, four-storey dormitory extension to provide an additional wing, with bedrooms, ballroom, swimming pool and spa. Each of the 14 bedrooms is individually and sensitively decorated to respect the eclectic nature of the Irish country interior. The ground floor reception rooms were given the same care and textiles that were typical of the Empire or Regency period were researched and recreated. This can be seen in various details, including the wallpapers of several bedrooms and reception rooms which are old Mauny designs, recreated from documents. Purcell retained almost all of the original material with repairs and replacement of any material done in the manner and form of the original work.