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Living Space the way you want it - Irish Independent

 Irish Independent, Property Section, Friday, 17th March, 2006, Author: Roisin O'Hea


Living Space the way you want it - Irish Independent

With the first SSIAs maturing next month, lots of home owners will be looking to spend on house improvements and adding value to their homes, ROISIN O'HEA reports

If you're thinking of remodelling your kitchen, planning an extension or attic conversion, or maybe redisigning your living room or bathroom, the fun starts here. It can be a daunting experience, just even thinking about where to start, so a new product which has just been launched this week may give you the much needed push to get you on your way.

Modelrooms, created by Katie Galvin, is an innovative first-of-its-kind product on the Irish and UK markets. Aimed at householders who want to change rooms or remodel their living space, modelrooms is an easy to use planning kit, which can help them interpret their house plans and get the design they want.

Having spent 15 years presenting architect's design plans for corporate and private clients, Katie was constantly approached by householders to produce custom models of their house designs, only to realise that these were quite costly.

She decided to look for a solution that would give homeowners the benifit of a design plan but without the high cost, and immediately got to work on prototypes.

Engaging friends, family and architect customers, Katie discovered she could use magnetised pieces and a metal base and - eureka - modelrooms was born!

One of her willing 'guinea pigs' was her older brother Tom who, along with his partner Geraldine, were looking to extend and remodel the living area of a period house they had recently bought.

 The house originally contained a small galley and dining room measuring only 9' x 6' and 9' x 12' respectively. They wished to extend and remodel these two rooms into one much larger open plan area measuring 18' x 28', somewhere where cooking, entertaining, playing and relaxing could all happen in one space.

 Their home in Dun Laoghaire became Katie's second home as she got to work with prototypes and using the modelrooms kit concept to interpret Tom and Geraldine's design ideas. The clean lines and simplicity they desired became easy to shape with the help of the kit. It worked - and they were able to hand over their ideal room plans to an architect, rather than an architect coming back to him with lots of variations. Tom Galvin said "The modelrooms kit concept meant we could sit down at our own leisure and play around with ideas, and change them as often as we wanted, until we found my desired room plan. It's a great way to learn about house plans, with its easy to use fun method."

Modelrooms consists of an easy to use box kit with magnetic boards, magnetised scale pieces (includind set-to-scale furniture, appliances, doors windows, stairs, wallsetc) that can be used to create your room plan. You can move pieces around as often as you wish to get the desired room format and even use the 'inspiration cards' included which can help with ideas for room and space planning.

The beauty of modelrooms is the ease with which it allows you to share your ideas for your rooms with other people. it also allows yo to easily create many different design options, make copies and draw comparisons.

Once you have your room plan in place, you can take this to a kitchen or bathroom sales company, an interior designer or an architect, and show them exactly what way you want your room to work out.

Katie Galvin said "Plans are generally difficult to interpret unless you are a qualified designer, architect, or builder. The modelrooms kit gives people the opportunity to create a clear room plan without any skill or training. It gives people the chance to put all their ideas in one place, and see for themselves what their rooms may looks like without having to trawl salesrooms amd hope that someone can interpret their dream design.

"By using the modelrooms kit, people can take control of their room design, and plan according to the space available and what pieces of furniture or appliances they have to consider"

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