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'The cosy living room is my happy place': Inside this homely and stylish 1930s terrace in Marino

Marketing manager and mum Joanna Carley takes us through a day behind her front door.

Source: Joanna Carley

About the home

Where? Marino
What type of house? 1930s terrace
How many bedrooms and bathrooms? 3 bed, 1 bath
When did you move in? September 2015

About you

Name: Joanna Carley
Age: 30
Occupation: Marketing manager at OneFabDay.com (currently on mat leave)
Who else lives there? My husband, Michael, and our four-month-old daughter, Tess.

What made you choose this home over others?

I should probably have done more research and had some sort of a wish list but I really didn’t. We knew we didn’t want a modern house and that was about it! I viewed it on a Thursday (Mick was in work) and texted him and told him it was the one. We were sale agreed on the Monday! We had only viewed one other house together.

I liked that it had a lot of the original features like fireplaces, floorboards and tiles. We just needed to put our own stamp on it. We thought we’d only be here a few years but I love it so much and the community is so amazing I would hate to leave now!

Source: Joanna Carley

Which place in your home do you love the most (and why)?

I love our little sitting room. It has the original fireplace, a lovely big low window, and is the cosiest, snug room in wintertime and lovely and bright in the summer! Christmas in here with the twinkly tree, fire lit and a cup of tea is my happy place.

We’ve also recently done up our kitchen and I absolutely love it. I’ve collected so many vintage bits and bobs at flea markets and charity shops over the years and most of them live in here. It seems to be the room people remember most when they come to visit.

Source: Joanna Carley

Which place in your home do you love the least (and why)?

It’s got to be the bathroom. It’s the only room we haven’t done up yet. This is a weird thing to hate, but the shower is at one end of the bath and the taps are at the other end so you either bathe under the shower behind the screen or lie on taps! Drives me mad!

Take us through a day in your house, room by room.

This has all changed dramatically since our baby arrived in February! I always knew I wanted to stay at home if we were lucky enough to have kids, so I’m delighted that I love our little house so much as I’m spending so much time in it now! Being a mammy is my full-time job right now and my new office is our little home!

Source: Joanna Carley

7am-10am: The morning is spent feeding Tess in bed and trying to catch up on sleep from the night before. If I can escape from being trapped under a snoozy baby, I’ll tidy up the bedroom, listen to a podcast and watch all the kids head off to school out the window. There’s a ‘walking school bus’ in Marino and you can hear it coming from miles away!

10am-12 noon: I make some breakfast in our kitchen and spend the morning hanging out in our sitting room watching terrible day time TV.

12 noon-1pm: We usually have a peek at the flowers in the garden, say hello to our neighbour or go for a stroll around the neighbourhood before making lunch and doing a few jobs. Babies create a lot of laundry! We just moved the washing machine to under the stairs and it gave us more space in the kitchen. Plus, I don’t have to listen to it while I’m in there.

Source: Joanna Carley

1pm-4pm: Next we get dinner ready and wait for Mick to come home from work. I love cooking and pottering in the kitchen and Tess is at a lovely age where she’ll sit in her bouncer for a little while and watch me. The first few weeks after she was born, the cooker didn’t get any attention!

4pm-6pm: More feeding, playing and snoozing in the sitting room.

6pm-7pm: Dinner in the kitchen or more often that not, in shifts on the sitting room floor while Tess plays on her mat, and then we all head to bed embarrassingly early!

8pm-9pm: We do Tess’s bedtime routine and all get into bed. Our bedroom feels so different with the addition of a cot and all the bits that come with a baby, but I use lots of baskets and boxes to help make it not feel too much like a playroom. We’re limited on space so I try to have a place for everything in each room to not feel overwhelmed with buggies, jungle gyms and wet wipes!

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

Nothing major, but I wanted to have everything freshly painted when we moved in, so we just went with neutral tones in all the rooms. Now I already want to decorate everything again but it’s so much faff moving everything out to paint the rooms. I also think I would have done the bathroom when we moved in rather than waiting, because four years on, it’s still not done!

More: ‘We set up a play area under the stairs’: Inside this toddler-tailored family home in north Dublin>

About the author:

Emily Westbrooks

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