how we live

'Our first DIY project was the blue front door': Inside a Belfast new build with lots of personality

Stephanie lives with her partner and their two cats, Wee Man and Wee Lady.

About your home 

Where? Co Antrim

What type of house? A new build semi-detached house

How many bedrooms and bathrooms? Three bedrooms, two bathrooms and one downstairs WC 

When did you move in? December 2017 

About you 

Name: Stephanie Smith 

Age: 28 

Occupation: Pharmacist 

Who else lives there? My partner Ross and our two cats, Wee Man and Wee Lady 

What made you choose this home over others?

Unlike other new build sites, the houses within our development are all slightly different and I liked the fact that they are all unique. It’s in a great location, just 15 short minutes from the hustle and bustle of Belfast city centre.

The house also overlooks the scenic views of Belfast Lough. We quite often go for relaxing walks along the seafront during the weekends. 

What is your favourite place in your home?

My favourite part of the house is probably the living room. We have a wood burning stove, which makes the space feel very cosy, especially in the wintertime. It’s lovely to curl up on the sofa in front of the fire. The dark indigo feature wall is one of my favourite colours we’ve used in the house. 

living room Stephanie's living room. Insidenumber42 Insidenumber42

Is there any part of the home you don’t like?

The garden needs work, as it’s just a square patch of grass with a fence at the moment. I would love to add a bit of interest with some landscaping and a few plants or trees to brighten it up. The good thing about the garden is that it overlooks the local allotments and the grassy views of Knockagh Hill. 

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

The blue front door! Most other houses in the development have a black front door, and so one of the first DIY projects I undertook was to paint the door a pastel blue colour and add a traditional knocker. I love how it turned out!

Take us through an average day in your house, room by room. 

6am: Ross usually wakes up earlier than myself. He’ll feed the cats and make his way to the gym for swimming before he heads to work. 

7am: I am not a morning person whatsoever, and it’s usually a real struggle to pull myself out of our comfy king size bed. I normally get ready for work and then head to the kitchen to make some breakfast. I’m normally rushing so will take this to eat on the go during my drive to work. 

8.30am-4.30pm: I work in a GP surgery as a pharmacist, which can be very busy. My days usually involve prescribing from hospital letters, issuing prescriptions, telephone calls with patients and other healthcare professionals, and answering any medication queries that patients or the doctors may have. I also do vaccinations and prescribing audits for the practice.

5pm-9pm: I normally get changed into comfy clothes as soon as I get home from work. We cook dinner together most nights and then watch a good TV series in the evenings with the cats. I’m usually perusing home accounts on Instagram to get ideas for my next DIY project.  

During the weekends the routine is much more relaxed. Ross normally makes us some tasty breakfast and coffee, which we eat overlooking the garden. We’ll then normally do a bit of shopping; go for a walk or head into Belfast for some food and drinks. 

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

I felt quite a lot of pressure to furnish the house quickly, and consequently ended up purchasing a lot of pieces that didn’t quite fit my style. Over two years on, we’re still changing things to suit our taste.

My advice to any first time buyers or renters would be to take your time to work out what your decorating style is, and then only buy pieces that complement it. Instagram and Pinterest are great if you’re struggling for ideas or interior inspiration!

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