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'The kitchen feels like an extra living space now': Inside Aga's home renovation in Galway

Knocking the kitchen wall allowed two rooms to become one open plan area.

Image: Instagram/31_port_west

About you

Name: Aga Nowosad-Kelly (@31_port_west)
Age: 38
Occupation: Talent acquisition specialist

About your home

Location: Galway
What type of house is it? A semi-detached house, built in 1995.
How many bedrooms and bathrooms? Four bedrooms, three bathrooms
When did you move in? May 2017
Who lives there? Myself, my husband, our two children (aged seven and one), and our dog Eevee.

What made you choose this home over others?

I think we viewed over 20 houses, because so many places we looked at just didn’t seem right. Our rental property at the time had a south facing garden and we loved spending time there, so we really wanted the same in our own home. By the time this house came up on the market, we had already viewed two houses in the same estate, but they were smaller inside and had north facing gardens.

The house was out of our budget, but we went to view it anyway and loved it straight away. It needed a lot of work, but the space and potential were there. We ended up placing an offer under the asking price…. and we got it!

Screenshot 2020-08-10 at 16.44.49 Source: Instagram/31_port_west

What’s your favourite part of your home and why?

We spend most of our time in the kitchen, as it’s a really open and spacious area. The kitchen is the result of a lot of hard work – when we bought the house it was two separate rooms, but we knocked the wall between the dining and kitchen area. It doesn’t even feel like a kitchen now, but rather like another living space. 

Screenshot 2020-08-10 at 16.41.23 Source: Instagram/31_port_west

What’s one part of your home you don’t like so much?

There’s a small room downstairs that we use as a guest room, office and storage room for bikes, hurls, footballs and so on. With so much going on in there, and my husband now using it to work from home, it’s a difficult room to keep clean and under control! 

What’s the most unique part of your home?

I think the brave colours make our home stand out. Our green fireplace is definitely unique! I have always loved interior design, and I’m a fan of trying new things and seeing what works. I did some interior design and architectural design courses in the past, and with our new home I’ve been able to use my skills fully.

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How does an average day start in your home right now?

We usually get up around 6am as the one-year-old doesn’t let us sleep in any longer. We spend most of our mornings between the kitchen and living area – our kitchen is my working from home space right now. We are planning to renovate our attic and create additional office space there eventually.

Screenshot 2020-08-10 at 16.42.30 Source: Instagram/31_port_west

How does an average day end in your home right now? 

We both try to finish work around 6pm and have dinner together at the kitchen table. The evenings are busy from about 6.30pm – 9.30pm with two bedtimes to manage. From around 9.30pm we have a bit of a quiet time, watching a bit of TV in the living room or just relaxing on our two comfy chairs in the kitchen.

What’s one thing you’d do differently if you were designing your home again?

I think if I had a chance I would make the doors between the kitchen and the living room wider and install barn type doors, so the two spaces were even more connected. When you’re renovating you have to make decisions quickly to avoid slowing down the work, so there are some smaller things I would do differently if we were beginning again.

More How We Live: Inside Caroline’s work-in-progress cottage renovation in Kerry>

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