kitchen table with fruit

There’s just me living here, my three children, two cats and two dogs

This was a re-possessed house.

I liked it because it was affordable and close to the school for the children…and it had a small garden. It needed a bit of work doing to it… but not too much.

I just saw there was room for improvement.

The previous owners had The Parthenon painted on the back of kitchen wall. The floor was half tiles and half wood. So the table was on a painted green wooden floor with a decoration round it and tiles there… And then a very old sort of brown wooden kitchen.

Then they had a fake polystyrene wall over the top of the cooker, the hob.   It was very odd. And there was a vine stencilled all the way round the walls. It was horrendous!

You forget all those things…

kitchen in home with children - wall decorated with children's art

When we moved in I was pregnant at the time. I was doing all those things to the house while pregnant and working.

My piano is in there. It’s going to have to come out of there. It’s just an old tacky thing. The children started to learn but they weren’t interested but I want to keep it in case… so it’s there. 

The middle one is very musical. He is on the ukulele and if he carries on with that I will buy him a guitar. He’s already asking for an electric guitar.

back door to garden in home with children

What I liked was the fact that there were two gardens here ( front and back).

Being able to grow things is important to me.

I would never have decking or anything like that. I like things growing. It’s a bit of space for the children – it’s not big – but it’s a bit of space to get out if they need to.

dog on black sofa asleep

My husband left me in October.

My neighbours have been absolutely lovely. They are all elderly and I know them all by name, and they know me by name.

They and have all pitched in and tried to help, and they look after the children when I need to do stuff.

Since he’s left I’ve re-decorated.

This was all duck-egg blue. I only got it finished 2 weeks ago – I just wanted a change. Just to brighten things up. And yeah… definitely to get rid of him.

There’s not one piece of him left!

fruit on  table in home with children

There’s always people in the house so I got a bigger table. It’s more social.

When the children were little there would have been things all over the place.  Now L. loves her drawing, she sits at the table or colours in. M. would go upstairs and go through books. S…. it’s just games, games, games … and X Box. 

The children are all into different things – it’s not like when they were little. They have their own things they like doing.

green bedroom with lampshade

Because it’s just me I have moved into the box room.

The boys get the bigger room – so they can play in there.

My daughter has the biggest room of all. I’ve re-decorated it because it was the brightest pink you ever did see. When we moved in she was only four and pink was her thing. It’s now a beautiful shade of green….

children's room with superheroes wallpaper and curtains

I did the boys’ room quite a while ago.

They have the superheroes on the wall.

Now, it’s just my room… and the bathroom that really that need doing next. They are small rooms that I can do in a day. 

I do it to take my mind off things.

black cat in kitchen with chairs

Home to me .. is somewhere to feel safe and loved and to love my children.

I work as a nurse in intensive care.

I get up at quarter past seven and jump in the shower and try to get the children up at half seven.

L. is getting more and more difficult to wake up in the mornings – she’s nine.  She would read all night…. and has just finished reading all of Harry Potter.

The children come down, get some breakfast and then they get dressed.

There’s normally a lot of shouting and a lot of: do this… do other and we eventually all get out.

If the weather is like this we walk. If it’s pouring down with rain we jump in the car. Then I come home take the dogs for a walk and  I try to get stuff done.

fireplace, red wall living room and dog - home with children

This fireplace was already here and there was like a gas fire in it. But I  told them to take it out and then painted it black. I couldn’t afford a new fireplace and thought that colour would go with it.

The red … I just liked that colour and I thought it was cosy. It matched the fireplace and it was warm. I didn’t want a bright red – I wanted a deep red. It’s kind of Victorian and I like that. 

The book case I just painted up… that chest it’s got all the children’s’ toys in – but I will get round to painting that soon.

I buy everything second hand…. those tables I will paint them up.. I’m an environmentalist – I suppose – and don’t like to waste things.

Eventually I will get round to getting curtains… It’s just the money you know. You can’t afford to change everything…. you just go with the flow.

table with books, clothes, children's lunch box

Nuala Rooney

I am designer, educator and researcher developing creative and holistic human-centred insights within the social/spatial sphere.

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