A Georgian home in Limerick brought beautifully back to life

By Ruth Bell 27-11-2023
A Georgian home in Limerick brought beautifully back to life

This exquisite, historic house has been given a modern twist by new owners Jen and Shane – and is more than ready for Christmas!

Words: Ciara Elliott | Photography: Philip Lauterbach


We had always dreamed about living in an old Georgian house in the countryside but we didn’t want to be too isolated,” says art director Jen Connell, who moved during the pandemic, with husband Shane, who works in financial services and their golden retriever Lily back to her home county of Limerick from Dublin. “We were visiting over Christmas and saw that this house had come up for sale, so we went for a peek – never believing we would buy it. But location-wise it was perfect, and everything just fell into place.”

Falling in love with the Gothic windows, high ceilings and the castellated walls of the courtyard and adjoining cottage, the couple was also fortunate in that the previous owners had already done a full renovation on the house before selling. “The main challenges so far have been adjusting to moving from an A-rated new build house in Dublin to a drafty old house built in the 1780s, but with lots of character,” laughs Jen. “We love the romance of it though and there are plenty of updates we can make to make it cosier.”

Saving money is something that Jen says she always does where possible. “I believe in investing in some aspects and not spending on others. For us, it made sense to not buy a fixer-upper but one that needed a certain amount of upgrades that we knew we could afford some day and that wouldn’t cause major disruption. We liked the idea of a project but one that wouldn’t require us to move out.”

As for furnishing the house, Jen admits to being a bargain hunter at heart. “I do splurge on high quality antique pieces but I also love hunting for vintage and second-hand finds online and at flea markets,” she says. “In our previous house, although we loved it, there were drawbacks like not having enough space for our dog. I also love the quieter lifestyle. Our neighbours in the village are very friendly; they’ll always stop for a chat when we’re out for a walk or in the local pub. It feels like people have more time here.”

Image of Jen Connell with her dog in the living room of her Limerick home

Since getting the keys in May 2021, the couple has painted and decorated and put their own stamp on the house through carefully chosen lighting, accessories and furniture. A big advantage was that they haven't had to re-do the kitchen or the bathrooms as these were already newly fitted by the previous owners. “I’ve loved collecting pieces that really suit the age of the home and leaning into period glamour,” says Jen. “There is no rush to make any of the big decorating decisions yet although there are some projects we are excited to do - like renovating the barn and eventually redesigning the kitchen. We are happy to see how we use the house for a bit longer before committing to anything very permanent.”

Jen says they like to try out different furniture layouts with the items they currently have, lots of which came from their previous home. One of their moving worries was the installation of giant chandeliers previously bought, which needed moving and shipping. “We had a large crew of men hoisting the largest chandelier over the stairs and it was honestly terrifying,” she winces. “We managed to get them installed safely but it was a harrowing experience!”

The couple’s best advice for anyone living in a similar era house would be to get used to living in the house for a while before making any major renovation decisions. “I also would advise to take inspiration from the era the house is from when designing your spaces,” says Jen. “But keep your own lifestyle in mind and how you want to use the home.”

Image of the living room with a Christmas tree in Jen Connell's Limerick home

Living room

This light-filled reception room is painted in sumptuous 'Hague Blue' by Farrow and Ball. The leather sofa is the Halo Luxe Bewitching sofa from Dfs with cushions from Amazon and House of Hackney. Meanwhile, the corner chair is from Rustwood Vintage and desk from Will & I. The sideboard is from Ashbrook Antiques and the chandelier is from Renaissance Antiques.

Images of the living room with a Christmas tree in Jen Connell's Limerick home

The couple's colourful cocktail corner features a vintage upcycled 1950s cabinet from Muck N Brass with decanters from Oliver Bonas and Jonathan Adler and glasses from The Range. The mantelpiece is decked with Christmas stockings, sleigh and stars, all from Penneys and above is a mirror is from Renaissance Antiques. The tree decorations are all from Penneys with ribbons from Etsy.

Image of the open-plan living room with a Christmas tree in Jen Connell's Limerick home

Open-plan living room

The rich mid grey walls in here – painted in Worsted by Farrow and Ball – are the perfect canvas for the couple's velvet sofas, eye-catching artwork and festive decor. The green sofa is from Made with the facing sofa from Harvey Norman. The blue ottoman is from Dfs. "We love to relax in here, curled up on the sofa together watching movies in the evenings," says Jen. "It is especially gorgeous at Christmas with the tree and the sparkly lights."

Image of open shelving in the open-plan living room in Jen Connell's Limerick home

The gallery wall in the living room includes prints and pieces from Juniqe.ie, illustrator Charlotte Molas, Audenza and Urban Outfitters. “This is my favourite room in the house and feels extra gorgeous at Christmas," says Jen. "I love the blue and green tones with Chinoiserie inspired touches. It also gets the best light all day here.”

Images of the open-plan kitchen with a Christmas tree in Jen Connell's Limerick home

Kitchen-dining room

In the dining room the table is set for the festivities with a mix of pieces from: The Designed Table, greenery from the garden and glasses, candle holders, wooden bowls and baubles from Penneys. Meanwhile, festive touches such as candles, flowers and greenery make the kitchen feel homely.

Images of the hallway in Jen Connell's Limerick home


Jen loves to decorate all areas of her house for Christmas and the hall stand is no exception. The berry garlands, candles and ceramic presents are all from Penneys. The lamp, lampshade, candlesticks and decanter set are all pieces picked up through the years either at antique shops or online auctions and the vintage stand is from Ashbrook Antiques. The hall is painted in 'Ammonite' with 'Off Black', on the woodwork, both Farrow & Ball.

Image of the master bedroom in Jen Connell's Limerick home

Master bedroom

Setting the scene in here is the bed which is from French Bedroom with wall lights from Marks and Spencer and bedding from Penneys. The marbled cushion is from Poodle & Blonde with rug from Zara Home. The ceiling light is the Sinnerlig pendant from Ikea. “One of my favourite items that I have ever bought for the house are the gold fans over our bed and in the sitting room," says Jen. "They were €20 at the Dublin Flea.”

Image of the bedroom in Jen Connell's Limerick home

Guest bedroom

This soothing room is painted in a soft pink ('Peignoir' by Farrow & Ball) and has a Joules Windsor velvet bed, from Dfs. The wardrobe and chaise longue were both antique online finds with bedside tables from Ashbrook Antiques. The bedside accessories are from Penneys, as are the rug, tray and candles.


You can follow Jen Connell's continuing renovations on Instagram @jenconnell.home.


Love Christmas? Don't miss these top gift ideas from TK Maxx and Homesense, as well as these great tips for festive tablescaping.

Share This Article

You May Also Like