Already living in the area, interior architect and designer Rachel, and her husband Rob, an engineering manager, had gone for planning twice on different plots of land before this house came up for sale.
‘We were refused planning twice before we came across this 170-year-old farmhouse. Although it looks big from the outside, it was a two-up, two-down property and we knew it was too small for our growing family and needed a lot of work to suit our needs,’ explains Rachel, who shares her home on Instagram @rachelhobbsinteriors. ‘At this point, I had Rocco (now six) and Indie was three months old (now four), however, we could also see what could be done to turn it into the home we wanted. Plus it is set in a beautiful location. It is only five minutes from the main road but feels like it is set in the country and only a short distance from Rob’s family. We also have incredible neighbors. It really was the perfect find,’ she adds.
Rachel and Rob sold their house, bought a mobile home and moved on-site, which is where they would spend the next two years, and not only negotiate living with two young toddlers (Rocco was two and a half and Indie was eight months old when they moved into the mobile home), but also welcome baby number three, Forrest (now two) into this temporary accommodation.
‘To keep costs down we did everything we could on the house ourselves with the help of Rob’s dad and other family and friends, and we brought in professionals for more specialised work,’ comments Rachel. ‘Doing things this way meant that living on-site was the best solution so that when Rob came home from work and was then working on the house in the evenings and weekends, that we were all in the same place at least.’ Rachel and Rob worked alongside an architect to incorporate an adjacent outbuilding and link it and the farmhouse with a new, contemporary two-story extension.
As Rachel explains, ‘We approached our architect right at the beginning to ensure that we got it right. He was able to offer his expert knowledge when it came to the orientation of the rooms to maximise the light coming into the house and focus on our needs as a family to get the most out of the design.
If like us, you are working to a tight budget, I would advise factoring in spending for an architect otherwise you could make costly mistakes along the way and have costly regrets at the end.
‘Where I did then look to save money was with some of the finishes. For example, in our kitchen, I opted for a hardwearing and affordable acrylic door with an oxidised steel metal finish rather than a wooden handpainted one. However, I did invest in a charcoal soapstone worktop and I can keep this and simply change my cupboard doors when the kids are older.
‘I looked at my flooring in the same way. I chose large-format terrazzo floor tiles throughout the ground floor and then in our snug room, office and sitting room I went for a laminate wood flooring, which not only gives these areas a cosier finish but is harder wearing than a solid hardwood floor when you have three young children. Again, when the kids are older I will probably look to replace this laminate flooring with a hardwood.’
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Caroline Duffy, from Dundalk, designs fashion prints that are sold around the globe and has recently launched her new luxury silk scarf collection.
The Perfect Fit
Mountfield Kitchens gave this Omagh self-build a striking kitchen design that ticks every box for the homeowners.
A Home with a Heart
Formerly a series of bedsits, Kate and Cian have successfully transformed this Victorian semi in Rathmines into a stylish family home.
An Organised Heart
Claire Savage and Lisa Skinner from Order in the House get on top of your kitchen clutter this month.
A Refreshing Change
The owners of this Co. Down self-build decided to enlist the help of a professional when it came to updating their interior spaces.
A Passive Passion
Embracing the adventure of a new build, Niamh and Mark have dreamt big, future-proofed their home and built a functional passive house specific to their own needs.
Back To School
It’s time to brush up on your culinary skills at one of these eight cookery schools.
Handcrafted & Homemade
Blackheath Pottery is the perfect destination for ceramics, coffee and cakes in the countryside of the Causeway Coast.
It’s time to show your support for these stylish wallcoverings.
The Heart of the Home
Mode German Kitchens helped cake baker Pamela bring to life a kitchen that is not only designed for style but also for functionality.
EMILY RATAJKOWSKI: WHY I STAYED QUIET
Emily has also written about a creepy encounter with photographer Jonathan Leder.
CRAIG TOO CREAKY TO PLAY BOND!
Hanging up spy-wear to salvage what’s left of his battered body!
TRADING APPS MOVE TO GET A LIVE PERSON TO HEAR YOUR PROBLEMS
It’s one of the downsides of apps that make things like ordering food or buying stocks and cryptocurrencies easier: What happens when something goes wrong?
As last season's top new drama returns, undercover vigilante Robyn McCall (Queen Latifah) teams with the cop who once wanted to expose her. Det. Marcus Dante (Tory Kittles) asks the motorcycle-riding badass to help him catch bank robbers who killed police officers-an investigation that will lead to top levels of U.S. intelligence and politics. Showrunners Terri Edda Miller and Andrew W. Marlowe tell us more.
This 2016 Chevy Silverado is a Dream Come True for Hector Marmolejo
First Look at ‘FUTURES'
IF THERE WAS EVER A TIME TO reimagine what lies ahead, it’s today as we envision our post-pandemic world.
Rescue Dogs and Airplanes
A good dog and a good airplane make for a good life.
DIANA'S HIDDEN STRENGTH
A new docuseries reveals an assertive, more complex People’s Princess
Canadian stalwarts The Tragically Hip return with an album of nostalgic songs: Bassist Gord Sinclair explains why
Autonomous Robots Prepped For Cave Search And Rescue Mission
After practicing in a former limestone mine and an abandoned hospital outside of Pittsburgh, a fleet of robots from Carnegie Mellon University is headed to Kentucky for the final test of the ability to autonomously navigate an uncertain, underground course.