The ordinary exterior of a 50s semi-detached home in Limerick belies its edgy interior. After years of apartment living, architect Michael O’Connor and his wife, Caroline, were determined to put their own stamp on their first house. From the initial viewing, they knew that this house, just off Limerick’s South Circular Road, had the potential they were looking for. “We viewed it in summer 2005 and it was the light throughout the house that first struck us,” remembers Michael. The house faces due south and its slight elevation on the site capitalises on this. A 70-foot garden with two mature apple trees was another draw. The first step was to knock down the garage building, which opened up the site. The ground-floor space, which consisted of living room, dining room and kitchen, was maintained. Michael added a narrow, full-height slit window at the back, which opens into the dining room and elegantly connects the house from front to back. It gives a hint of a view of the back garden from the living room at the front, but this feature can be closed off with a hinged screen.