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Our house is a history of our travels

Aurora Aleson and husband Paul Halpin have collected treasures from around the world to fill their home

Alifetime of travel has resulted in a very unique interior in this redbrick Victorian terraced house in Dublin city. Spanish-born interior designer Aurora Aleson and husband Paul Halpin have travelled the world and often brought back beautiful things that have found a place in their home. ‘Paul has always had a deep interest in the culture of central Asia, and we have travelled extensively in that region, where they make the most beautiful carpets in the world,’ says Aurora. ‘Paul’s interest is deeper than carpets of course, and his collection of books on the culture of Asia is so extensive and unique that it will be left to the Chester Beatty library, but he also has an excellent eye for the visual arts, so we have collected everywhere we go.’

The couple bought the house back in 1986, it was the first house they had viewed. ‘We simply looked at it, liked it and bought it,’ says Aurora. ‘It was in a quaint street and we loved the garden.’ The house was in poor condition and the garden a complete wilderness, but that didn’t worry the couple as Aurora loves to rescue a building and make it beautiful once again and Paul has great DIY skills. They were happy to complete the renovation in their own time, once the house was rendered liveable, although that in itself was a mammoth task as the house had rising damp, needed a new roof and complete rewiring, plumbing and the installation of central heating.

‘I knew exactly the colour I wanted for the walls, but couldn’t find it. I mixed a blue with a sand colour, but had to be very careful that it didn’t turn green!’ Paul found the fireplace in a salvage yard, the painting over it is by Mick Mulcahy. The leather chair is from a garage sale and the leather foot-rest came from an auction. The pale blue table lamp is from the 1880s and comes from Aurora’s grandmother’s home in Madrid, where it started life as an oil lamp. The small brass table was bought at an antique shop.
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About Your Home Magazine

At last, summer feels like it’s finally arrived, which for many of us means the chance to spend more time outside enjoying the sunshine. 
If you’re lucky enough to have your own outdoor space, whether it’s a garden, patio, roof terrace or balcony, we’ve got loads of great bargain buys to help you make it look and feel as gorgeous as your interior. Whether you love funky brights, global glamour, country cottage style or laid back coastal chic, you’re sure to find plenty of ideas to brighten up your space on page 36. Meanwhile, if you’re planning to enjoy some days out away from home, make sure you pack a picnic. In this issue we’ve got some scrummy ideas for posh picnic nosh that will knock soggy sandwiches into a cocked hat (p.100)! And don’t forget to check out this month’s buyer’s guide (p.44) for our pick of the best camping equipment to create a home from home under canvas. Summer is also a great time to get some home improvements done, so on page 106 you’ll find the low-down on choosing the perfect patio doors to make the transition from indoors to out a breeze. Whether you want French windows, bi-folds or sliding doors, we’ll help you pick the perfect style for your home. And, as always, we’ve got plenty of decorating inspiration for you too, from our affordable kitchen makeovers on page 24, to our ideas for creating a bang-on- trend mid-century modern scheme on page 20, you’re sure to find a look you love. Happy decorating!