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how we live

'I sit with a coffee and look out at the garden': Inside Amanda's home and studio in Derry

Illustrator and designer Amanda takes us inside her family’s three-bed.

About you

Name: Amanda Sheridan (@studio_flaneuse)
Age: 30
Occupation: Artist

About your home

Location: Derry
What type of house is it? An end of terrace house built around 1910.
How many bedrooms?
When did you move in? February 2015, after five months of work by my husband and some of our friends. 
Who lives there? Myself, my husband James, our three daughters – Ruby (6), Florence (5) and Betsy (1) – and Heidi the cat.

What made you choose this home over others?

It ticked all the boxes to be honest. The location is very central to the city so we can walk everywhere, but we also have a view right across to Donegal and the mountains from our back garden. It’s the best of both worlds. 

The only reason I was originally not sure about buying this house was because it lacked any period features. So we added them ourselves! Turn of the century fireplaces, stoves, windows… you name it, we sourced it.

What is your favourite place in your home?

I have two. One is the rattan ‘hygge’ chair in front of the stove. I love sitting there with a book and a fresh coffee, watching the fir trees at the end of the garden sway in the wind.

The second would be the office space in our bedroom. It gets sunlight from the three windows in the room, so it’s the perfect spot for artwork. We’re currently renovating the attic so I can have a proper studio, and the hexagonal shelves will definitely be coming up there with me when I move.

Is there any part of your home that you don’t like so much?

Our front door and bathroom, but don’t worry, they are both on their way out!

Is there any part of your home that makes it unique?

There are so many different points of focus in our home, as having a home that feels unique has always been a fundamental necessity for me. The stove is surrounded by 17th century Delft tiles, and vintage hanging copper pots found in a brocante in Bergerac.

Our best find was the ‘enquiries’ window which we use as a room divider. It was originally the reception window from the Oatfield Sweet factory in Letterkenny, Co Donegal. I absolutely love the 1960s ribbed glass.

JOURNAL_1_AMANDA_SHERIDAN Amanda Sheridan in her home. Amanda Sheridan Amanda Sheridan

You’ll also find lots of artwork from both my husband and myself hanging about the place. I also just finished an abstract mural in my daughter’s nursery which really brings colour to that little corner of her world. I plan to do another mural in the porch and our hallway when the girls are older and there are less mucky hands on the walls!

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

Things are a bit different at the moment with the lockdown. Our youngest has taken on the life of a rooster and wakes every morning at 5am. Around 7am my husband takes the girls down for breakfast at our farmhouse table in the dining room. This really is the centre of our household at the moment: it’s where we prepare food, eat, have coffee breaks, and where the girls play and do homework.

I get up at 9am and work out for an hour and a half. James then either works from home in my office space or heads out to do work in the garden. He has spent the last 10 weeks transforming our dull concrete yard into a garden with patio space, lawn and a long awaited wood fired pizza oven! We all have lunch together, he heads out again and the girls and I spend time in the dining room or the lounge.

How does an average day end in your home?

We have dinner at 5pm, then maybe unwind with a board game or listen to some music on the vinyl player in the lounge. The girls are tucked in at 7pm. James then usually goes out to work in the garden again, I work on my artwork in my office space until dark, or go down to chill out with some Netflix in the lounge. Weekends are our date nights where we either watch a film or sit listening to vinyl with a glass of wine.

Is there anything you’d do differently if you were decorating your home again?

I wouldn’t change a thing, but there is still plenty to do, and it’s a lifelong project. We really do both get so much from our home, it just keeps giving back. Any time I manage to get it tidy from laundry and the kids’ toys, I fall in love with it all over again.

More: ‘The view changes every hour’: Saoirse’s cliff-edge home with a lighthouse in the garden>

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