Do Try This At Home

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How to turn an Edwardian house into something much more 21st century. Childhood holidays in Ireland are what started Philip Narine's interest in buildings and decoration. "In the late seventies I went to stay with a friend of my mum's in a run-down country manor in the south of Ireland. The place was full of mad colours and battered antiques." When Narine bought his current home in North London, he set aside a year to undertake its renovation. Some of the works were dramatic, such as opening up the lower back of the house and putting in three concertinaed glass doors. He also removed the roof to rebuild the attic, making it into a spacious, split-level bedroom with sitting area that has a splendid view of Alexandra Palace. The effect of Narine's childhood holidays in Ireland is clear to see. His house has plenty of character, a strong dose of chic and just a hint of comfortable shabbiness in the mottled mirrors and aged leather armchairs. Writer Vinny Lee - vinnylee@btinternet.com

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