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how we live

'The minute I walked in I knew it was for me': Inside this light-filled 1930s redbrick in Glasnevin

Naomi Hanrahan takes us through a day behind her front door.

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About the home

Where? Glasnevin, Dublin 9
What type of house? An Alexander Strain semi-detached built in the 1930s
How many bedrooms and bathrooms? 3 beds, 1 bath
When did you move in? August 2008, a month before Lehman Brothers collapsed

About you

Name: Naomi Hanrahan
Age: Old enough to know better
Occupation: Owner of vintage and interiors shop Find, interior stylist and sometime artist
Who else lives there? I’m surrounded by males — a husband, three boys, and Harry the Puggle

What made you choose this home over others?

More space. We lived in an Edwardian terrace in Drumcondra and I had just had my first baby. The reality of needing a new kitchen and bathroom struck me.

I originally went after a Victorian redbrick nearby, when this house came up. It needed a lot of work, but I have never been afraid of a project. The minute I walked into the square hall I knew it was the house for me. I love period homes, this had all the character with a more modern layout, which was perfect for my now crawling baby.

The first thing that resonated with me was the amount of light. There were windows everywhere, so we had sunlight bursting in in from the east in the morning, the south in the afternoon and the west in the evening — and the baby loved it. He was flying around from room to room.

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

In front of the fire in what was described in the brochure as a “breakfast room” which is really more of a snug where everyone piles into to do homework, watch TV, share YouTube videos with me or their latest achievements on the Nintendo Switch. It’s the smallest room in the house, but it’s where everyone ends up. I think it must be because of Harry the Dog.

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

The lean-to. It’s a perspex and wooden box at the back of the house leading into the back garden. That makes it sound architecturally cool; it’s anything but. It’s a dumping ground for washing, shoes, boots, paint and tools. When I first moved in I thought to myself, this will be gone in a month. Two more kids and a dog later, and it is still with me. At least it is useful.

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

7:00am: Everything kicks off at 7.00am in a blur of coffee, cereal, toast, unfinished homework, sports gear and Cartoon Network in the kitchen until everyone is bundled out by 8.30.

8:30am: Then I have the house to myself. The first couple of hours are generally spent in the front room replying to emails, DMs, and working on the website. I generally style a shot for Instagram or my website of my latest acquisition. The front room has amazing morning light, so it’s great for photography. Social media is really important to my business.

11:00am: It’s into the hated lean-to to throw on a wash, fill the dryer and out the door.

12:00pm: If I’m in the shop it’s down to Cows Lane where its a day of meeting with suppliers, dealing with customers, delivery people coming and going, and constantly moving the shop around to facilitate a new piece or saying goodbye to something that’s been sold.

3:00pm: My mum picks up the boys from school and I’d be lost without her. But I’m generally back for dinner and homework.

6:00pm: Depending who’s home when, dinner can be anything from roast chicken in the kitchen to a “pizza party” delivered to the house and eaten in the breakfast room on front of the TV.

8:00pm: From 8 through to 9 the house resonates with the call to bed.

9:00pm: What’s left of the evening is spent binging on Netflix or reading in my bedroom. I like my bedroom, it’s the quietest room in the house and possible the warmest. Then it’s lights out and a nagging feeling of whether we have locked the back door. I get my husband to check just to be sure.

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

A clear budget and a clear plan from the get-go. I would have put in new windows at the beginning because it is so disruptive. Also, we merged the toilet and the shower/bathroom together for more space; in hindsight, it would have made more sense to keep these separate now that the house is full of people.

More: ‘I see our house as my canvas’: Inside this airy and clean-lined new build in Kildare>

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