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One look at the garden and we were hooked

Emilie and Ronnie Halligan transformed a rather dated bungalow into a light and comfortable cottage retreat

Photos Philip Lauterbach

Good idea!

Painting the concrete floor really made a difference in the kitchen living area, it is much more practical than carpet, particularly when living in the country.

The simple décor and white appliances in the kitchen give the space a lovely open feeling

Emilie and Ronnie Halligan discovered their dream house and garden on the south side of the Sheep’s Head peninsula in the south west of Ireland in a rather unusual way. Emilie was born in Germany and Ronnie is of Irish decent, having spent most of his working life in Germany. They both love Ireland and had their hearts set on buying a house there, but had been looking for some time without much luck. Ronnie was keen to have a good-sized garden and Emilie wanted to be by the sea. When Ronnie retired he decided to do something special and make the most of his new-found time, and as a keen walker he decided to walk the length of Ireland, from Mizen Head in the extreme south west to Malin Head, the most northerly point of Ireland, which he duly did in June 2013. A planned early stop-over bought him to the pretty village of Durrus in West Cork and while perusing the internet he came across an ad for the property that he and his wife ended up buying in July of that year. ‘This part of Ireland with its rugged coastline has stunning scenery so I felt really lucky and blessed to have discovered the house. The view and the garden really sold it to me, someone up there was definitely looking after us,’ says Ronnie.

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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!