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Digital Subscriptions > Your Home Magazine > November 2015 > I changed the look of my house by myself

I changed the look of my house by myself

Eva McConkey transformed the look of her home using her new-found decorating skills

In 1910, Eva McConkey’s greatgrandfather bought a brand new house in the village of Glasnevin, just outside Dublin. A century later, Glasnevin, just two miles from Dublin’s city centre, has long been overtaken by a city that he would hardly recognise, but the Edwardian red brick home he bought is still in the family.

His great grand-daughter, Eva McConkey, and husband Ian, moved into the downstairs flat in the house in 1994, initially renting it from Eva’s parents. Three years later they bought the house, replacing the roof soon afterwards. ‘At that stage, we couldn’t afford to forego the rent from the students in the flat upstairs, so we just lived in the downstairs, continuing to do so when first Louis, then Oliver arrived,’ says Eva.

But when their third child, Jane, was born in 1999, it was time to move the students out and the couple restored the house to a single home. They replaced all the windows and took up all the carpets, sanded down and sealed the floorboards, and had the house wallpapered in raspberry and royal blue stripes; the dining room was painted in burnt orange. ‘It was 1999, and I loved it, I thought the colours were amazing and I had yellow striped wallpaper and a raspberry and a royal blue sofa in the living room and adored them because they were so cool and funky,’ says Eva. She spent the next few years as a stayat-home mum, with three children under three, her days were filled with toys and games, falling into bed exhausted at the end of the day.

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Now that the nights are long and there’s a definite nip in the air, it’s time to make sure your home is as comfy and cosy as it can be, as we’ll be spending a lot more time indoors over the next few months. Our trend alert on p.20 this month is inspired by misty moors and the rich colours are perfect for giving your home a warm and welcoming feel. And if you’re thinking of getting a new sofa before your family and friends arrive for Christmas, then make sure you read our expert guide on p.36 for all the information and inspiration you need to pick your perfect settee. We also take a look at the latest ovens which are big on style and features, but kind to your pocket – ideal for cooking your Christmas dinner (p.48). If you’re thinking of moving home in the New Year, then turn to p.106 to find out how to discover where the latest property hotspots are in your area. Bonfire night is a great excuse to have a get-together before we all get too busy in the run-up to the festive season. On p.100 we’ve got some fantastic recipe ideas for you to try at your fireworks party – I particularly love the spectacular bonfire cake, it’s a real showstopper that will definitely ‘wow’ your guests! As always we’ve got some stunning makeovers, including kitchen diner revamps packed with clever ideas (p.24), plus some gorgeous reader homes that I know you’ll find inspiring (p.73).
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