We met the lovely Cathy through the shop. When Cathy comes to visit family in Belfast she calls in to say hello to the Maven gang with her adorable little dachshund Juno. We have been inspired by Cathy's instagram feed @cathyandjuno, which is a must follow if you want to discover incredible places to swim in the sea throughout Ireland. Cathy's enthusiasm and effervescence have been a tonic to the last grim old Covidy 18 months or so.
Tell us about your home and who lives there?
Myself, my partner Stephen and our miniature long haired dachshund, Juno have called Marianella home for the last 3 years. When we relocated from England, we struggled to find a home as the Dublin property market was crazy – when is it never?! We were very lucky to nab one of the remaining apartments in this beautiful development in Rathgar. When designing the scheme, the developer focused on creating light and airy homes surrounded by nature, so it is a very peaceful place to live.
Your apartment looks to be recently built, were you able to make decisions on finishes or did you strike it lucky?
Our apartment was built in 2018 and the developer fitted it out with a gorgeous Kube kitchen, bespoke fitted wardrobes and satin glazed bathrooms so we really did strike it lucky. The only thing we had to think about was the flooring. Our previous house was Victorian property in Manchester that had original floorboards throughout, and we didn’t dare change them, so we were excited to put our own stamp on the floors. We ruled out carpet on order to get the full benefit of the underfloor heating and had always dreamed of parquet flooring. We fitted most of the apartment with oak smoked parquet wooden floors and opted for porcelain patterned tiles from Fired Earth in the hall.
What’s your favourite bit of your home?
The nook! We have a little dining nook in the kitchen that gets flooded with light and is a peaceful place to eat, share a bottle of wine with friends or curl up with a book. It also doubles up as a greenhouse due to the big picture window so our plants love it too! We painted it Pantone’s Pine Green to contrast the pale pink kitchen and to compliment the plant life that thrives in this little corner.
How has your home had to change as life has changed through the time of Covid?
The apartment had to become my office and yoga studio through each of the lockdowns. Through the time of COVID, we felt very fortune to live in a spacious place with two balconies, one that we use during the day for dining and the other we turned into an outdoor living room that catches the evening sun.
Can you tell us about that cinema room?
The cinema room is for use of all the residents in the development. We have had many cosy movie nights there - one of my favourite memories is of our first Christmas in the apartment when my family visited from Belfast and we watched It’s A Wonderful Life in the cinema. Before the pandemic hit, residents ran a weekly cinema club which I hope returns once the COVID restrictions lift.
How do you relax?
I swim to relax. Before the pandemic I used the local pool daily, but lockdown changed my life as it brought me to the sea. What started as a way to exercise during the first lockdown soon became a new lifestyle. I decided to swim the whole year through and by doing so discovered a new way of living with the stress of the pandemic and it brought many wonderful people into my life.
Tell us how you would spend a perfect weekend?
My perfect weekend would be spent outdoors. A morning swim to kick off the day followed by a hike and lunch in the mountains. As it's a dream day scenario, I would find my way back to the sea for a sunset swim and beers with friends around a beach fire.
Where is your favourite place to swim, close to home?
My favourite spot to swim in Dublin is Vico Baths in Killiney, its about 10km from home.
Any tips on how to keep a Fiddle Leaf Fig alive? I’m so impressed with the two you have!
Ignore it!!! Honestly, my fiddle figs are mostly neglected and yet they thrive. I water them once a week - sometimes fortnightly - and clean their leaves every few months using milk and a soft cloth. One of the fiddle figs has travelled with us from Manchester and is about 8 years old - it is starting to become more of a tree!