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Friday 31 March 2023 Dublin: 9°C
# how we live
'I can't believe I got away with pink': Inside this totally renovated 1970s home in Dublin
Rachel takes us through a day behind her front door.

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About the home

Location: Dublin
What type of home: Semi-detached 1970s house
How many bedrooms and bathrooms: 3 bedrooms, but we converted the garage into an extra bedroom so we now have 4. And 2 bathrooms.
When did you move in: 12 years ago

About you

Name: Rachel
Age: My children don’t even know the answer to that question!
Occupation: Currently on a career break, meaning once I keep the children alive till they are old enough to do it, I’ll be skipping back out to work again.
Who else lives there: My husband and three children

What made you choose this home over others?

If I’m honest, my husband picked it as he always wanted to live where he grew up. I was heavily pregnant at the time and was in full-on nesting mode – if he had shown me a mobile in his parents’ back garden I would have agreed to that without hesitation. We sold our other house and were living with my mum while trying to buy another.

It was bigger than our previous house, which was a new build, so we went from everything spanking new to a house that needed a lot of TLC but was in the right location, right across from his parents’ house.

Which place in your home do you love the most?

I just love my living room. It’s calm and has my favourite colour combinations in it. I can’t believe I got away with having pink in the living room without the hubby even raising an eyebrow.

Which place in your home do you love the least?

The back room just off the kitchen on the way into the downstairs bathroom. It should be a utility room but I haven’t had the time to make that happen, so at present it is a dumping ground for shoes, laundry, school bags and coats.

Take us through a day in your house, room by room.

7am: The alarm goes off in the bedroom.My middle child, who is 10, is already up and has made her breakfast and lunch for school.
9am: The kitchen is normally chaotic before we head off on the school run 9am. Then we are back home with the toddler in tow to make a start on the mess in the kitchen from that morning’s chaos.
10am: I normally have my morning coffee and feed myself and the little one.
11am: I get a start on making the beds with my little helper who loves to jump into every freshly made bed, telling me how “lovely and cosy it is”. So, as you can imagine, making the beds can go on for a while.
1pm: My little one has built up the hunger from all her bed hopping. Once she’s had that, we normally play out the back garden until we have to leave for the school run.

3pm: Feeding time at the zoo again. I get the repetitive sentence from the kids, “There’s nothing to eat in the house,” while looking in the presses full of food and only wanting goodies from the pantry.
4pm: Kids go out to play in the back garden and I get on with the laundry, stopping for another coffee which normally ends up cold. The kids are hungry again, so I make up a fruit bowl or a smoothie.
5pm: I’m usually pulling the kids apart as one or the other is crying.
6pm: The kids are hungry again, so after much debate we start making the dinner. Normally they all want to get in my way, I mean they all want to help. It’s great, food everywhere, even the kitchen window doesn’t escape.
7pm: The kids normally sit down and relax, either in the playroom or the living room, or have a play in their bedrooms.

8pm: Feeding time again. They’ll have something small just before their bedtime.
8:30pm: Normally we clean up the kitchen and fold the laundry.
9pm: Jump in the shower — that’s my ‘me time.’
10pm: We watch a bit of TV and then hit the hay by 10.30. Then we do it all again in the morning!

Is there anything you’d do differently if you were doing it again?

We completely gutted the house three years ago and brought it all back to the bone. We moved out for nine months while the renovations were going on. We had a new baby, so it was all a bit chaotic. The budget didn’t stretch to the front and back garden and furnishings, so we’ve been doing this over time. I think we would only do some things differently if we had a money tree out the back garden, so we stayed within our means and did the best with the funds we had.

Making changes sometimes can’t be helped with older houses while renovating, and that can be costly, which unfortunately we found out the hard way. A simple job can end up being a much bigger job once they’ve pulled things back and finding something unexpected. 

More: ‘We couldn’t afford to buy our dream house, so we created one’: Inside this stylish and bright semi-d in Cork>

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