how we live

'There's plenty of painting to keep us busy': Inside a home renovation delayed by lockdown

Lisa Joyce and her husband moved house at the end of February.

About you

Name: Lisa Joyce (@seoigehome)
Age: 44 
Occupation: Nurse specialist

About your home

Where is your home located? Dublin 16
What type of house is it? A semi-detached home, built in 2005. It’s an end house so we have a nice big garden with some room at the side.
How many bedrooms and bathrooms? 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms (two are en-suite bathrooms, one is a downstairs loo)
When did you move in? Not long ago, February 28, 2020!
Who lives there? Myself, my partner Paul, our daughter Sadie (aged 3), and Paul’s mam Claire.

What made you choose this home over others?

We didn’t choose it, really! Paul’s parents bought and moved into this house in 2005. Paul’s dad died five years ago, and Paul’s mam invited us to live with her recently. We are planning on getting a mortgage to make this house our own, which will allow Claire to have a comfortable retirement.

We used to rent close by, and I love this area. The bus stop for work and the city centre is a one-minute walk from the house, and we have Marley Park within walking distance.

What is your favourite place in your home?

Our plan is to move up into the attic room eventually but right now we are in one of the double bedrooms, which I have decorated in green and mustard shades. I find the green tones very calming, and look forward to my bed every night.

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

A lot of our planned work in the house has been delayed due to the Covid-19 lockdown. The new laminate floors have been put on hold, as has the badly-needed bathroom renovation which is badly needed. But I am keeping myself very busy with lots and lots of painting.

One area I really want to focus on soon is the kitchen. Although it is big, it could work better for us. There is very little worktop space. I have plans to paint the doors and add an island to help it work better, until we can afford a total refurbishment.

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

Not many women can say they enjoy living with their mother in law, but I do! On the decorating side of things, you’ll see flashes of leopard print across the house. Those wouldn’t be to everyone’s taste but I do have a grá for leopard print.

How do the average morning and afternoon go in your home right now?

As a frontline worker my days haven’t changed much since Covid-19. I rise at 6am and very quietly get myself ready for work. I get the 6.30am bus to the Mater Hospital. Breakfast and the first coffee happen at my desk most days.

Paul, who works in IT, has been based at home during this pandemic, and the big dining table in the kitchen is now his home office. Gran is off work cocooning, so she and Sadie spend time in the garden playing and gardening most days.

On my days off, if the weather’s good, we are out in the garden painting fences, garden furniture and playhouses. Luckily Sadie loves to paint too! If the weather is bad, we’ll paint indoors or do arts and crafts.

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

The priority as a frontline worker is to not bring Covid-19 home, especially when living with Paul’s mam who has underlying health issues. So after work, it’s in the door, shoes off, uniform in the washing machine and straight upstairs to shower.

We all sit around the table in the kitchen area for dinner together. Paul who is a budding barista will make us a nice coffee with his prized Sage coffee machine after dinner.

After dinner, I spend time with Sadie, getting her ready for bed and snuggling on the couch. She loves her books and has a nice collection in her reading corner in her bedroom – a space we’ve newly decorated since we moved in.

Is there anything you’d do differently if you were decorating this home from scratch?

Paul’s parents had the attic converted when they moved in. Although it is a big space, it has a very small en-suite shower room, and the conversion also resulted in the loss of one of the original box rooms to make way for new stairs. Our plan would be to put some work into the attic room to make it a more relaxing and comforting space.

More: ‘We moved in here three months ago with a new baby’: Elisha’s cottage makeover in Wicklow>

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