comfortable chairs with rugs

My mother collected a lot of stuff and went to charity shops like, every single day.

But she had such an eye for good quality she would get amazing stuff. 

My parents moved here in 1983 … 33 years or so. It’s nice that it has kind of matured.

There were 4 children and  my parents living here. And the last 10 years there have been various dogs.

There’s a really amazing neighbourhood community here .. and a beautiful view and gorgeous garden

My parents put the money into extending the house, converting the  roofspace and basement – it must be 15 years ago  or so.

We have 8 sheds – or something like that.

There’s one shed that is a laundry shed but it’s also a dark room and it has the freezer. And we have another shed which has an extra toilet, but it’s also the tool shed. 

We’ve got another shed that is the forage shed for my daddy’s business. One that’s like a seating area. And one that’s has all the cut wood… and then another one with all the plants, it’s like a potting shed.

We have a lot of hobbies…

Woman on sofa with dog in mother's house

There’s just me and my daddy living here now.

He does all the cooking the laundry and gardening and I do all the cleaning.

The aesthetic decision making? I suppose I took over that from my mother.

My mother designed the floor for example. She collected linens and tweeds. She made that pillow and then I got really into felting as well.

I inherited my mum’s style. It’s my style now. She’s given me an aesthetic knowledge I suppose…. Like about materials and textiles and quality and where things are made and the story behind them.

I suppose we all, even my father, have an appreciation for well-produced objects.

We all make things so we have an appreciation for craftsmanship.

We are into nature and collecting things so there are nests and feathers everywhere.

 mother's fabrics on family kitchen chair

My mother would have gone to the market a lot so quite a lot of furniture would have come from the there.

We also inherited some from people.

This was the chair from my granny’s house in Dublin. We put a big piece of foam on it and it became the chair for the kids to sit at the table. It’s my favourite one. 

The grey is original, but I put the pink on it.

There’s a lot of stuff I just can’t throw away.

My mother started making these quilts for people in Syria. Once people knew she was making them and selling them to raise money she would get donated beautiful tweeds. The red tweed she would have got as an off-cut from Avoca.

So people in the parish …people who’d died and had all this amazing  material like this  amazing 1960’s hand-made tweed .. it just would arrive. We have some amazing stuff upstairs. 

I don’t know really what to do with all this fabric.

piano, cartoon and children'sbooks

This must be from the 1970’s.

I found it in my uncle’s house.

He has learning difficulties and always buys children’s reading books because he’s trying to teach himself to read. So, this kind of thing is a pure gem.

I bought it off him for a couple of quid or something….

mosaic in kitchen of family home inspired by mother

The mosaic was because my mother loved Judy Greene pottery.

Judy Greene is a potter from Galway. We had a whole set of her stuff but it just breaks. Hand thrown stuff. With 4 kids things got broken all the time. We started keeping stuff and have boxes and boxes of broken crockery. 

Mummy made a mosaic upstairs in the bathroom – that’s now gone. Anna, our friend, did this. We helped the artist a bit but it is a serious job and it has to be flush.

antique wardrobe bedroom

My room is a bit messy but it’s got some amazing furniture.

This was from my granny in Dublin.

It’s absolutely  beautiful… from a furniture maker in Newry.  This was hers. We have even more amazing furniture but it’s stored in my other granny’s house. 

I just love beautiful objects – beautiful objects that have a story

However, there are some things I do sort of think I may need to get from Ikea –  for a particular purpose. Something that I can’t find an older version of, or a hand-made version of, and that’s just the way it is.

Everything has a story.

My mother was very free with me. She said: you do whatever you want.  If you want to decorate your room… do it in whatever colour you want.

I was decorating my room from I was pretty young… different colour schemes. There was only so much you could do with the layout… but yeah, I was always playing around with painting.

mother's hats as feature in hall

My mother would kind of inspire me.

She loved her hats. So we still have her hats hanging up.

We don’t really re-decorate  very much.  White walls are pretty good.

Sometimes we have art exhibitions in the house.  My art and my brother’s. He had an installation in the front garden or front room and I had an installation in the basement.

My uncle had an Action Man collection so we installed the Action Men throughout the whole garden. And we played music and stuff. It was great…..  Maybe 3 years ago.

hall, stairs and front door created by mother

It’s such a good location here.

You have to create that atmosphere yourself. I suppose it’s strongly associated with family.

My idea of home?

I’ve got a really high standard now because our house is so beautiful, and welcoming and homely

My mother really created that welcome.

Nuala Rooney

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

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1 Comment

  1. Susan, ‘How Wonderful’ and exciting and keep us updated indeed..! Being from the country I also love making lots and adjusting them to the way that’s best for me lifestyle. We don’t have to do the ‘stereotype things’ and enjoy all to the best, or full lifelike in the home because it’s says the story of ones life and full of uplifting exciting things that NO one else will ever have the same..! Ask Google for patterns for anything and adjust to your liking. Like, I make whatever adjusted to what’s best for my windows, cushions or even my own cloths for me to enjoy and share.

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