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'The colours in our sitting room always make me smile': Inside a cosy mid-terrace home in Dublin 18

Amy Cullen spent her childhood “just up the road” from her current home in Stepaside.

Image: Instagram/homewithamy

About your home

Where? Stepaside, Dublin 18

What type of house? Ex-council, mid-terrace

How many bedrooms and bathrooms? Three bedrooms and two bathrooms 

When did you move in? May 2016

About you

Name: Amy Cullen

Age: 36

Occupation: Mum and homemaker

Who else lives there? My partner Martin and our three children. We have two girls aged seven and eight, and our son is three. 

amy sitting roon Amy's sitting room. Source: homewithamy via Instagram

What made you choose this home over others?

I grew up just up the road in Kilternan so we were keen to stay local. We actually lived just around the corner and jumped at the chance to move in!

What is your favourite place in your home?

That’s a tough question, I think it would be the sitting room. It’s at the front of the house with a great view of the mountains just beyond the neighbouring houses, the room is flooded with light all year round and we have an open fire in there, too, so it’s always super cosy. The colours in our sitting room always make me smile – plenty of deep navy, white and gold with a tiny pop of mustard too.

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Favourite photo of my kitchen- probably coz you can't see much of the cupboard doors or the big ugly dishwasher and because there's full view of my favourite plates from my grandparents house. If I could just get all this mmmmagnolia out of my house I'd be much happier 🤣 #rental I also have my granny's vintage silver teapot out on the windowsill, I've been known to be just a bit sentimental 🙈 #mygorgeousgaff #ourgaff #myhouseandhome #myhome_mydecor #ourkitchen #makingthemost #home #irishhome #myhousethismonth #irishkitchen #irishmammy #irishinterior #interiors #interior2you #interior4you1 #kitchen #fairylights #myhousebeautiful #sparkle #instakitchen #ourhome #vintagebits #vintagehome #iwish #downwithmagnolia

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

As it’s a rental, there are a few things we would love to change but I am still (and probably always will be) doing my best to make the most of each room. The hot press still houses an immersion tank, which doesn’t leave much room left for towels, so I guess that would be the part I dislike.

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

To create a home for ourselves here as tenants, I’ve had to rely a lot on fairly muted paint colours and accessories due to the landlord rules to give our home a stronger sense of us.

We were given the go-ahead to use a strong colour in the entrance porch and toilet, so we went for a really deep grey and I absolutely love it. I haven’t been in many houses that have dark entrances, so perhaps that’s unique to us!

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Day 10...@houseandhomemagazine prompt is Bathroom design... now technically not a bathroom, more a WC and it is an old image but the downstairs WC still looks like this. I actually love this little room, I think it's really pretty and even though I'd LOVE to paint the floor tiles, it works for me at the mo 🥰 Our upstairs bathroom doesn't have the same photogenic qualities in my opinion. It's magnolia (still) and it's in desperate need of some decorating tlc! Dark walls, love or hate? I LOVE dark walls but as we rent we are not allowed to have too many, good job I have quite - let's say eclectic taste and I am always thinking of ways to let rooms in our house make us smile 🙂 #myhouseandhome #myhome_mydecor  #makingthemost #home #irishhome #myhousethismonth #irishkitchen #irishmammy #irishinterior #interiors #interior2you #interior4you1  #myhousebeautiful #sparkle  #ourhome #irishdiyers #mydiy #batheoom #darkinterior #cosy #mycosyhome #mumlife #dublinmum #instainteriors #mygaff #loveit

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

5 – 6am: Yep, this is unfortunately the time we wake every day – don’t forget we’re still living with a 3-year-old. So, any time between 5am and 6am, myself or Martin will be woken by a visitor into our bedroom. One of us will take him downstairs, sometimes into the sitting room and other times straight into the kitchen. Either way, Paw Patrol will usually make an appearance as will a very large cup of coffee and a peanut butter and jam sambo for our son.

6 – 7am: The girls will make their way downstairs from their shared bedroom. Our eldest won’t eat for a while, but our seven-year-old will want some breakfast straight away. I’ll go into the kitchen and get that ready, then prep school lunches while she’s eating. I’ll then remind everyone what they need to do and remind our eldest to eat. Once everyone’s eaten, it’s back upstairs.

7 – 8am: This is a busy hour before school, everyone’s getting ready, looking for hair brushes and bobbins. Once I’m ready, I’ll help the little man get ready for Naíonra (Irish montessori). 

8 – 9am: Final checks, shoes and coats on and we’re off! When we’re really organised we’ll walk but on other days we drive.

9 – 11.30am: I’ll pop home and empty the dishwasher and tidy up if I didn’t get around to it through the morning. I might go out and get groceries, stay home and clean, rearrange some furniture, meet friends for a catch up or go for a walk.

12 – 2pm: Pick up my son from Naíonra and we might go for a walk or to a playground, or if he’s really tired we’ll just come home and rest and chat in the sitting room.

2 – 4pm: We pick up the girls from school and come home to do homework and colouring in the dining room, I’ll make snacks or hot chocolate and we’ll catch up.

4 – 6pm: The kids will either go outside to play, play in their rooms or in the dining room, or watch a bit of telly in the sitting room while I make dinner. Then we’ll eat together and clean up.

6 – 8pm: We all go upstairs when Dad gets home from work and the kids get ready for bed, one of us will usually read a story with our son while the other spends bedtime with the girls. Everyone is normally asleep by 8pm.

8pm – late: I say late, but realistically it should probably say 8 – 10pm-ish! That’s when we get some down time to sit and catch up, drink tea and maybe watch some telly. We always sit in the sitting room in the evening, but I would like to create a more inviting feeling in the dining room so we might sit in there sometimes too.

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Getting my #hinch on this morning, finally woke up feeling relatively human today! Dont worry @martinmcd67 I wont over do it and set myself back, just a few ad hoc bits to get done before I pick the gang up from the airport 🙂 It is absolutely lashing here, so grateful to be inside doing my little jobs today. I flew through #hinchyourselfhappy - literally the fastest book I've ever read! Couple of days and I was done, I LOVED it! You really get a sense that you know @mrshinchhome from the book. I have to admit that before I checked her out, I was one of those people that said I would never follow someone who's all about cleaning - she's not! She's about looking after yourself and finding what works for you, she's a genuine, optimistic and positive personality that, tbh if you follow - will brighten up your day. Using the #hinchactivityjournal to get organised today 🥰 #livingmybestlife 😂 #allthebest Also, have to mention how absolutely gorgeous the christmas @countrylivinguk magazine is! Love Love Love Ps - yes I've had a lot of downtime lately 😷😂 #homewithamy #hinching #mum #love #family #mumlife #mom #mummy  #motherhood #momlife #photography #mama #cornerofmyhome #mumblogger #interiorstyling #myhouseandhome #irishhomes #irishinteriors #interiors #cosy #mycosyhome #candles #rainydublin #dublinmum

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

If we could, we would 100% extend out the back and possibly reconfigure the ground floor. Our current kitchen is tiny – described by a good friend of mine as pantry-sized.

The rooms at the back of house are too small and need some more light. It wouldn’t take much to create a really special space by combining our dining room and kitchen and extending the square footage, then adding a couple of skylights. This would give us the dreamy, big family space we all crave. But all in all, we adore living here. We have great neighbours, it’s a great location and a very happy home.

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