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Digital Subscriptions > Your Home Magazine > September 2016 > Furnishing our cottage has given us a stylish and comfortable family home

Furnishing our cottage has given us a stylish and comfortable family home

Mairead and Gareth Steen channelled their creative energy into the décor and sourcing furnishings to give their home its finishing touches
Mairead used the same palette of colours throughout the open-plan space, with an Eames chair and Barcelona table from CA Design and cream sofa from Laura Ashley. The rug is from Ikea and the light is from Hicken Lighting
Photos Philip Lauterbach

Keen to get onto the property ladder, Mairead and Gareth Steen couldn’t resist the opportunity to buy this recently extended terrace. ‘We loved the character of this Victorian cottage when we first viewed it back in 2012, it had a lovely feel to it, with a pretty ivy-clad exterior, with six-over-six sash windows, and tripartite dormer windows. Nestled in a quiet cul-de-sac, situated just north of Sandyford village it was within a leisurely stroll of an array of shops and restaurants, not far from Dublin’s city centre so the location was also ideal,’ explains Mairead.

These cottages would have originally been the workers’ cottages for the Ballawley Park estate, built at the turn of the 19th century, they would have been basic two-up two-down cottages. The previous owners had done quite a lot of structural work, changing the layout and updating the bathroom and bedrooms, and the kitchen. This really suited Mairead and Gareth as it meant they wouldn’t have to spend money on any building work and they could see that they could enhance the property’s best features with some decorative touches. ‘We had been renting a furnished apartment so we didn’t have much furniture, and had been saving to buy so it was an added bonus not having to do any building work, it meant we could allocate our funds into buying good quality pieces for the house,’ says Mairead. The house has a large rear garden and the previous owners had extended the property to the back, adding a contemporary design that kept the floor level of the existing kitchen the same height. They opened up the original door and window spaces and incorporated steps that lead down to a spacious living and dining area that has two roof lights and two sets of French doors allowing the space to be flooded with natural light. ‘We both thought this worked really well as it zoned off the kitchen from the living dining space but was open enough so if you were in the kitchen you could still engage with family and friends in the living/dining space,’ explains Mairead.

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About Your Home Magazine

We love nothing better than a nice brew in the Your Home office, so you can imagine how excited we were testing out the latest tea and coffee machines for this issue. Whether your favourite is a cappuccino, a double espresso or a good old Earl Grey, we’ve found the best machines for the job so you can enjoy coffee shop quality in your own home (p.52). September is the time of year when the weather starts to change and we begin to spend more time indoors once more. So in this issue we’ve put together a round-up of the latest interior trends on the high street to make your home look its cosy best over the coming months (p.36). For even more inspiration, turn to page 20 to discover our pick of the latest accessories and homewares to give your rooms an elegant on-trend oriental look. And, as always, we’ve got plenty of inspiring makeovers – this month we’ve got three stunning living rooms (p.24), and beautiful reader homes (p.73) to give you plenty of affordable ideas to recreate in your own home. Your garden may be looking a little jaded now autumn is creeping in, but this is the perfect time to plan ahead to ensure it’s bursting with colour in the spring. On page 114 you’ll find all you need to know about which bulbs to plant for a riot of spring colour next year, as well as some unusual varieties to try too. Last, but not least, do check out our quick and easy supper recipes (p.100), the fish finger pie is my new guilty pleasure!