This House in Ireland Has Been Transformed With Color and DIY Projects

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Name: Karen Coleman, husband, three kids, one cat, and a puppy
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Type of home: Semi-detached house
Size: 1350 square feet
Years lived in: 3.5 years, owned

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: We live in a four-bedroom semi-detached house built in the 1950s inside the main commuter belt of Dublin City, Ireland. We are extremely lucky to have such a large garden in this area (100 feet long), which is split between lawn at the front, with fruit trees and vegetable beds towards the back along with a Perspex greenhouse that my husband made in the place of the crumbling old glass and wood version.

Both me and my husband are interested in DIY and try to be sustainable with regards to our house and home where we can, whether this is through buying preloved furniture or making over what we already have. I have reupholstered a wingback chair and an IKEA EKENESAT chair in the past year. I prefer to make over or customise, where possible, rather than throw out to buy new. I also made curtains and cushions for our two reception rooms as well as a fabric planter. I’ve painted an Art Deco sideboard twice now (although I think I preferred it the first time I painted it!). I’ve also painted stools and other furniture pieces around the house. Basically if it’s not natural wood, I’ve painted it!

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Wholesome, eclectic, mid-century, handmade charm!

I’ve created bedroom themes for two of my kids. (The 12-year-old is not interested!) My 7-year-old has a Harry Potter theme, very budget-friendly as I’m conscious this fad will be outgrown within the next while. My 10-year-old has a pink theme with a rainbow mural over her headboard.

I like a home to have color, so I couldn’t resist adding some in to my newly updated kitchen, also on a budget, which has a gray and white aesthetic. I added a warm bluish green hue to one wall and some color pops, which I think take it from serious to chirpy! We got a puppy this year, and she is currently residing in the kitchen, so there will be more paint jobs once she passes the teething phase.

How do you identify? Is your identity reflected in your home? I’m quite visual, so I love color. I wouldn’t say I’m a maximalist, though I’m also not minimalist! My handiwork is all over my house, so I suppose it really represents what I like! I’ve recently discovered Charley Harper’s whimsical nature prints, so I’ve been adding these touches around the house. I seem to have really embraced pale pink as a complementary color through painted furniture and soft furnishings that I’ve created… it’s been incorporated gradually — and I like to think subtly — so the male house members have not overly objected!

What is your favorite room and why? My favorite room changes, but currently it’s the kitchen as we changed out the inherited non-functioning units during the summer and replaced with almost twice as much storage capacity in the same space; it’s just better laid out, and I’m no longer frustrated with it! It’s also much brighter now.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? Besides the kitchen, it would be Charley Harper calendars and postcard prints from Amazon and some preloved furniture from an online marketplace.

Any advice for creating a home you love? Don’t be afraid to try some of your own decor. It could be painting or plant parenting or even soft furnishings. The sense of accomplishment as you sit back and take in your creativity is a wonderful thing!

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.