how we live

'Sitting on the patio, you feel like you're on holidays': Alicia's vibrant and colourful home in Tyrone

Alicia lives in the four-bedroom home with her husband, two daughters and Polly the cat.

About you

Name: Alicia Ellis
Age: 34
Occupation: Senior HR advisor

About your home

Location: Tyrone
What type of house is it? A detached home, built about 15 years ago
How many bedrooms and bathrooms? Four bedrooms and three bathrooms
When did you move in? Four years ago
Who lives there? My husband and me, with our two young daughters, and Polly the cat.

What made you choose this home over others?

We loved the fact that the house has so many reception rooms so we could make one a home office, and one a play room for the kids (although neither ever make the Instagram grid, as they’re the most untidy rooms in the house). Our previous home had a much smaller foot print, so it was the extra space that sealed the deal for us.

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

I love the rich blue colours in our living room, and when I sit in there with my feet up, all the day’s stresses melt away. It was the first room where I used bold paint colours, and once I saw how it turned out, I didn’t look back.

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

Our kitchen is very dated and the tiles are an awful colour – it’s the original kitchen that was installed in the home when it was first built. It’s the next room I’m saving up to overhaul. It might take me ten years but Rome wasn’t built in a day.

What’s the most unique part of your home?

I love the new floor tiles in our entrance hall. They make a big impact when you first walk in. Also the hand-painted patio makes me feel like I’m holidaying somewhere when I sit out with a cocktail in hand. It’s one spot that people always compliment us on.

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

From Tuesday to Friday, my alarm clock is set for 5.45am so that I can have half an hour to myself before the madness starts. After getting ready in the bedroom, I come downstairs to the kitchen to make myself some cereal and a cup of tea. I watch the breakfast news with my cup of tea in pure quiet bliss in the living room, thinking of what’s planned for the day ahead. I leave the house at 7am for work.

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

Once dinner is done and the kids are in bed around 7.30pm, I hit the shed to do a basic workout in my home gym that we invested in just before lockdown. By 9pm, I sit back into the living room, feet up and we’ll watch an episode of whatever it is we’re into at that time. By 10pm I’m back into the bedroom to get my clothes ready for the day of work ahead and then lights out.

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

I’d add a cloakroom for coats and shoes. There is an empty space behind one of the kitchen doors that leads to the playroom that could easily be boarded up and used to store those kinds of things. 

More: ‘I always wanted a big entrance hall’: Inside Laura’s impeccable Georgian-inspired self-build>

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