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'The glass doors make us feel like part of the view': Inside this self-build bungalow in Wicklow

Fáinche lives with her husband, two children and their dog in Co Wicklow.

Fáinche's kitchen in Wicklow.
Fáinche's kitchen in Wicklow.
Image: Instagram via simplydesignco

About your home

Where is it? County Wicklow 

What type of house is it? Self-build timber frame bungalow

How many bedrooms and bathrooms? Three bedrooms, three bathrooms

When did you move in? December 2013

About you 

Name: Fáinche Murphy 

Age: 33 

Occupation: Homemaker 

Who else lives there? Donnchadh, my husband, our two children and our dog 

What made you choose this home over others?

We always loved the idea of building our own home. We lived in Waterford and wanted to move back to Wicklow as it’s where I’m from.

In 2009, we found the perfect site and started to design our house. We chose not to use an architect as we had a strong idea of what we wanted, plus our close friends were quantity surveyors so they were a huge support. Our main goal when designing the house was to create an open and bright space that maximised the view.

What is your favourite place in your home?

My favourite place would be our open living area. We have large glass sliding doors which throw in so much natural light and warmth. It allows us to feel like we are part of the view.

That coupled with the vaulted ceilings makes the area feel spacious and open. It is also a great family space where we chill out altogether.

View this post on Instagram

Bathroom pic today. For a change . 🌿 I have more plans for the bathroom but like they say all things come to those who wait. I think we will be waiting a while. 🤣Because I have a long list of things I want to do 🙈😅 we will get there eventually. I'm actually enjoying pottering at the jobs. And seeing them get done. 6 years in and enjoying seeing it all come come together. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #irishhomes  #irishinteriors #designblog #instahome # #interiorsinspo #interiorsblog #selfbuild #cornersofmyhome #lovethewayyouhome #apartmenttherapy #hyggelig #hyggeliving  #simplydesignco #bathroomdesign #myhousethismonth #myhouseandhome #realhomesofinstagram #sorealhomes

A post shared by Fáinche Murphy (@simplydesignco) on

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

Not really, I’m very happy with all aspects of our home, I think that is one of the benefits of building your own house – you can build a house that is designed to your needs. 

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

We built an overhang outside our living room which serves multiple purposes. It creates a nice area to sit out in, even when it is raining.

In the summer, it reduces the amount of glare from the sun, stopping the place from overheating and feeling like a glass house. And from inside, it gives the impression of a much larger room as the canopy extends the ceiling and the decking extends the floor. 

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

This is what an average Saturday looks like for us.

6-8am: We have very early risers. We have breakfast – pancakes are a big hit in our house. In the summer, we have our breakfast out on the deck. We recently added a screen to the side of our deck which has made it into a lovely cosy area to enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner alfresco. 

9am: I do a bit of cleaning and organising, then sit at our breakfast bar with a coffee and potter on my Instagram account. Daddy plays with the kids. He works in Dublin so they don’t get much time with him during the week as he gets home late. 

11am: If it’s a nice day, we go for a walk in the woods with our dog, Bozzy. We grab our coats from our utility where we store all our outerwear. We have an Ikea PAX wardrobe with lots of shelving to store all the shoes, wellies and jackets so the kids can access them easily by themselves. 

1pm: We come home and have lunch. We eat inside or outside depending on the season. We spent a lot of time during the summer eating outside on the deck. We are looking forward to doing it again this summer.

2pm: We most likely will get stuck into a DIY project, which we love to do. A few months ago, we made a clothes drying rack in our utility. I wanted something that would suit our space so we decided to make one ourselves. I’m delighted with how it turned out!  

5pm: This is usually when we have dinner. 

6pm: Saturday night is movie night. We sit down together on the sofa in our living area and get stuck into a movie and popcorn and relax for the evening before going to bed. 

View this post on Instagram

I have had a very productive day so far and it's only 3 pm. 🤗 Most importantly I started my Christmas shopping🎄 Bought lots of lovely bits online. Feeling very organised and festive 🙈🎄🎅 The tree will be up next 🤣 #christmasshopping #gettingorganised . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #homeinteriordesign #wicklow #irishhome #myinteriorstyle #mystylishplace #myspaceanddecor #mygorgeousgaff #kitchen #interiorstyling #instahome #interior_and_living #homedecoration #myhouseandhome #plantsofinstagram #irishinteriors #irishinteriors #dailydecordetail #diyhomedecor #mycreativeinterior #homdecor #spotthenewtrend #spotlightonmyhome #myhometrend #myeclecticshack #photooftheday #instagood #shareyourfeed

A post shared by Fáinche Murphy (@simplydesignco) on

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

Not really, we are overall very happy with our home and design. I would have liked a second sitting room but we were restricted on the size of the house by the county council, so we were unable to include a separate sitting room.

More: ‘We wanted all the kids to have their own rooms’: Inside a Co Down five-bed that’s full of life>

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