What’s your name and what do you do?
I’m Cathy and I’m a lawyer by day and a semi-professional tennis ball thrower at the weekend (ball is life).
Who lives in your home?
Me and boyfriend, Stephen have lived in our apartment in Dublin for just over two years since moving back from England, but the real boss is our housemate Juno Stardust, a crazy miniature dachshund.
How would you describe your home?
Calm, simple, but colourful. Our last home was a lovely Victorian terrace in Manchester and it was full of stuff, at least 10 years’ worth of stuff (most of which we had to donate to the local charity shop or give to friends and family before making the move home). When we bought our apartment in Dublin, we had the opportunity to start afresh and we decided to go down a different road. It has taken us two years to decorate our home as we invested in key pieces and we had to save for most of them. The result is just how I dreamt; a bright and airy space that is comfortable, peaceful and full of plants. We have peppered the space with mementoes of previous lives which has added personality and warmth and made it a home.
What have you enjoyed about your home during the lockdown?
Watching it get messy and lived in! Before lockdown, we were rarely at home and the apartment was all ‘needles and pins.’ Now, books to be read and those already enjoyed are piled up on the coffee table, yoga mats left out for the next practice (rather than being neatly stored away) and the kitchen has become a space that I love to be in.
I have also really enjoyed watching our community grow and blossom. Ironically, in a time of social distancing our neighbourhood has grown closer. Our neighbours are looking out for each other, doing shopping for those having to cocoon, placing happy messages in windows and showcasing talents, like regular piano concerts, to lift our spirits.
Is there a DIY job you've got round to that you're proud of?
We are fortunate to have a dual aspect apartment that has two balconies, one just off the living room and the other off our bedroom. We had shamefully neglected this back balcony, but at the start of lockdown we got our asses into gear and created an outdoor living room (pictured) which has become my favourite place at home. I start most mornings and end each day on this balcony. It is a really peaceful spot, perfect for reading in the morning and having a glass of wine as the sun sets. It has also become my favourite place to practice yoga – although, I don’t think the neighbours really need to see that!
If you could change anything about your home, what would it be?
The view. I have always dreamed about having a sea view, but I feel very lucky to be surrounded by beautiful people and lush gardens so I can live without it.
What’s the most recent thing you’ve bought for your home?
Plants, plants, more plants and really comfortable outdoor armchairs for our balcony.
Also, at the beginning of lockdown, I treated myself to the Ferm Living stone incense burner from Maven. It is so simple yet beautiful and it has been used every day as I can’t get enough of the whiff of white sage.
What’s been your go-to meal in the last few weeks?
Every Sunday we make brunch to bring a little pre-lockdown normality back into our lives. Our go-to dish has been Forks over Knives’ banana pancakes which are so good and easy to make. Last weekend we upped our game and had a go at making Yotam Ottolenghi’s savoury porridge with ginger and garlic crumbs which was a real game changer.
Is there anything you’ve started to do during lockdown that you’d like to continue as ‘normality’ resumes?
Yes, staying at home! I honestly I don’t know why I wasn’t at home more and I have totally fallen in love with being here.
Also, I have started to create my own yoga flows and this weekend I will be teaching my first class (on Zoom). Granted the audience will only be my mum and sister (two willing guinea pigs), but I hope this will help me face my fear of teaching and be the boot up the bum that I need to start teacher training post lockdown.