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how we live

'The drawing room is next on our list': Inside Emer's work-in-progress Victorian renovation

Emer’s Carlow home was a former hunting lodge.

About you

Name: Emer (@myriverlodge)
Age: 40
Occupation: Accounts

About your home

Location: Co Carlow
Type of house: It’s a Victorian house and former hunting lodge dating back to the 1800s.
How many bedrooms and bathrooms? 6 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms in the main house, and 2 courtyard apartments.
When did you move in? March 2019
Who lives there? Myself and my husband, the kids (Mia, Jake, Nicole and Isabelle) and the pup (Daisy).

Screenshot 2020-09-14 at 17.21.08 Instagram / myriverlodge Instagram / myriverlodge / myriverlodge

What made you choose this home over others?

We were only in our previous home for about two years, thinking we would be there for at least ten. Then we saw this house pop up online. We looked at each other and said, ‘Would we go for a look?’ It was our dream home but we never thought we would actually end up buying it. When we came to view it, we fell head over heels in love with it. The river and the gardens really took our breath away. We tend not to stop and think, so we made an offer immediately and thankfully everything fell into place.

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

I think this is likely to change as we do more with the house, but at the minute it is the kitchen. We had a lot of work to do here, as there were issues with damp. To start, we incorporated part of a one bed apartment that was attached to this room, and created a pantry off the kitchen. The space now is incredible and has become the heart of our home. We uncovered a big fireplace in here during the renovation, so we think this was the original kitchen of the house way back when. It is nice to restore it to its original purpose.

Screenshot 2020-09-14 at 17.16.40 Instagram / myriverlodge Instagram / myriverlodge / myriverlodge

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

To be honest, we like all of it. A lot of the rooms haven’t been finished yet so the décor definitely isn’t to our taste, but we still love it all. I don’t think we would do anything differently, but if I had a magic wand I would speed up the whole renovation process…

What’s the most unique part of your home?

There’s a little island down on the river that runs alongside the house. It stopped us in our tracks when we viewed the house, and visitors always say the same. The first job we did when we moved in was to fix the bridge that brings you across to it, as we wanted it to be somewhere we could use as much as possible. We have a BBQ and outdoor furniture down there and often sit out late into the evening.

Screenshot 2020-09-14 at 17.14.57 Instagram / myriverlodge Instagram / myriverlodge / myriverlodge

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

The mornings in our house are the worst since school has resumed. I’m usually up about 6.45am. I go downstairs to bring Daisy out. Then it’s into the kitchen to make coffee, lunches and breakfasts. Back upstairs to get dressed and out the door to school, preschool and work.

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

On a normal day we will have dinner in the kitchen at about 6.30pm. Generally cooked by me while the kids are in the snug watching TV or outside playing. After dinner they bring Daisy out for a play, then start to get ready for bed. Once the kids are in bed, we sit in the snug with the fire going, and watch some TV ourselves before going up to bed. The drawing room is next for a makeover and I look forward to spending some evenings there once it’s ready.

Screenshot 2020-09-14 at 17.20.53 Instagram / myriverlodge Instagram / myriverlodge / myriverlodge


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