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We made our house work for our growing family

Rachel and James Tyrrell transformed their home into a bright, eclectic space the whole family can enjoy


Back in 2006 when Rachel and James Tyrrell bought their first home together in Co. Wicklow, Ireland, the red brick bungalow was perfect for the two of them. ‘The only jobs we tackled initially were a bit of redecoration and revamping the bathroom,’ recalls Rachel. ‘We wanted something a bit more contemporary so we fitted it with modern tiles and incorporated a wet room in the space.’ But when their first child arrived they realised the layout just didn’t work for them anymore. ‘The house suddenly seemed a lot smaller and there wasn’t enough storage,’ she explains. ‘We decided we didn’t need to extend, because by re-jigging the layout and changing the function of the rooms the house would suit our growing family and be more practical for our day-to-day lives.’

Good idea!

Framing colourful wrapping paper is a cheap and fun way to introduce artwork into your house in a personal way.

A breakfast bar provides extra counterspace and a spot for casual dining, the bar stools are from Ikea, with cushions from Dunnes Stores. A wall painted in blackboard paint makes an interesting feature, and the perfect spot to write reminder notes or shopping lists
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About Your Home Magazine

Spring is in the air, so it’s the perfect time to drag your home out of the winter doldrums and freshen it up with a coat of paint and a few bright new accessories. And, in this issue, we’ve got lots of affordable ideas for giving your home a quick facelift. On page 37 we take a look at this season’s hot new trends on the high street – from cool coastal vibes to edgy ethnic touches, fresh florals to touchy-feely textures, I know you’ll find a look you love. When it comes to the smallest room in the house (yes that’s right, the downstairs loo), it’s often a bit forgotten and unloved in the décor stakes, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Just turn to page 48 to see how small really can be beautiful! If your kitchen is in need of a revamp but you don’t want to change the units, then consider replacing the flooring. Take a look at our purse-friendly ideas on page 54 to see what a big difference it can make – without the hassle of ripping out your cabinets! Now the weather is getting a bit better, it’s time to start knocking your garden into shape so you can sit out and enjoy it over the months ahead. This month in our gardening section we take a look at some of the most popular garden styles – cottage, Japanese, formal and prairie – and show how easy it is to achieve them in your own garden (p.114). Last but not least, in our food pages this issue we’ve got some utterly scrummy pie recipes that I know you’re going to love (p.100). Trust me, the cheesy fish pie is to die for!