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Tuesday 6 June 2023 Dublin: 14°C
# how we live
'I see our house as my canvas': Inside this airy and clean-lined new build in Kildare
Leona Browne takes us through a day behind her front door.

Mill Lane Studios Mill Lane Studios

About the home

Where? Kildare
What type of house? New build detached
How many bedrooms and bathrooms? Four bedrooms, one main bathroom, two en suites and a downstairs toilet
When did you move in? 2011

About you

Name: Leona M Browne
Age: 37
Occupation: Art teacher
Who else lives there: My husband and furry child Millie, a puggle, and our nearly 2-year-old son, Bear

What made you choose this house over others?

I loved the open space downstairs and how much light and space it had. I would hope to go for a bit of a different home next time we buy one, with potential to build on and add a modern vibe mixed with old.

Which place in your home do you love the most?

My favourite space is our kitchen dining area where we spent a lot of our time together listening to music from our speakers in the ceiling, which is something we put in before floors as it was so important to us.

I also love my studio, where I get to draw, be, create and plan, and plot my next project in our home as I’m always wanting to change and add things. I see our house as my canvas. I also love this space because it’s where I get creative with my son as I really want him to explore materials and not become a TV screen zombie.

Which place in your home do you love the least?

Oh it would have to be the back garden, only because we have not got the money to start to get it in shape to enjoy. Our front garden is somewhere we love to hang out so I’m hoping to get that started this summer.

It won’t be at all perfect or exactly what I would like, but I have lots of ideas and pinned so much on my mood boards on Pinterest. I will, as I always do, create a space that we will love, slowly but surely, as I do feel it is important to allow your house to grow and change with you and your family.

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

6:00am: We wake as a family at 6 on the weekdays. We get breakfast and get the car packed to bring Bear up to his grandparents to mind him. I go to teach art and do workshops and my husband goes to work in Dublin city centre. He drives to the train station and we’re all gone by 7 on weekdays.

8:00am: On the weekends, we slowly rise at 8. I cook in the kitchen while my husband might go out get a paper or might even read some books with our son. Millie, our puggle, goes straight to her food press. I cook eggs and we all sit around our large Ikea birch table and enjoy chatting while music plays on the speakers.

We usually play songs for Bear from Toy Story or Polar Express because he loves to listen to the music of the movies he loves so much. He even acts out scenes from the movie Ashe when hears the tone in the music. It’s quite magical, to be honest.

10:00am: Then a strong coffee and we’re up to get dressed together and washed.

11:00am: We get our weekend clothes on and set off for an outdoor adventure, usually the beach or woods as our puggle simply loves these places. I wish we had a mud room for this reason as we are such outdoor people.

5:00pm: We then we retire home around 5, settle down, maybe play with board games and flash cards and some ball fun out the back or front garden with Millie, then bath and bed.

8:00pm: Myself and my husband and Millie would sit on couch and get stuck into a Game of Thrones catch up or a good movie. We might even simply chat over a gin, which I’m hoping can be in the back garden soon!

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

Yes, a mud room, for sure. I would also love a bigger entrance and to have the kitchen in a bigger shape.

‘I wake up to the sound of birds chirping’: Inside this traditional Irish cottage with a flower garden>

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