18 Dec 2022

At Home: Annie + Paul

This month's At Home features a house that we are particularly familiar with, as it belongs to our sister Annie and her gorgeous family.  The house sits on the site of the family home where we grew up, so for all of us holds happy memories of treasured family time.

Photography by Simon Hutchinson 

Can you tell us about your home and who lives there?

I live in a detached 4 bedroom home just outside Eglinton in Co. Derry with my husband Paul and our 2 daughters, Alice age 6 and Ivy age 4.

Your house is a new build, how was that process?

After living in Belfast for a number of years, we decided we wanted to move back to Derry and ideally wanted to build our own home. This coincided with my parents wanting to build a more energy efficient home. It was decided that we would work together and build two homes that would compliment each other side by side. The brief given to the architect was that we wanted to utilise the views over the stunning River Foyle and that the homes would be as energy efficient as possible.

By the time it came to building the house, we were just beginning to come out of the first lockdown due to Covid-19 so there were still restrictions in place. We had to manage trades coming in and out of the building carefully. We were delayed a few times with sub-contractors contracting Covid but on the whole, we were very lucky to keep the build progressing at a steady speed. The houses are both timber frame and these were built at our workshop next to the site. (My Dad has been building homes since the 1970’s and the timber frames for his homes are built at the company’s workshop, situated beside the family home.) The windows were one of the first thing we ordered as we knew these would have a long lead time. We had the windows painted and ready to go in our workshop so they were able to be slotted in as soon as we had the timber frame up, allowing us to be quickly wind and watertight. 

Is there anything you would have done differently?

We are really happy with how our home turned out. Each decision was made with so much consideration so we are happy with everything.


Kitchen by Studio Terry

Where do you get your ideas and inspiration for your home?

Initially I found a lot of ideas on Pinterest. I always loved the idea of using black cladding – this was a picture that inspired this look:

Villa Boreale by Dave Tremblay Cargo Architects

I loved the idea of a simple, modern home with Scandinavian influences that lended itself to the rural country setting that our home was in. I feel the black cladding on the first floor level gives a ‘barn’ effect to the home so it blends in well with the countryside it is surrounded by.

We also wanted to make sure the house was bright and cosy in the inside so we have used splashes of colour to create a sense of fun and joy within- a special place for 2 little girls to grow up in. Our front door is painted a bright pink and I absolutely love it!

 What is your favourite bit of your house?

It’s really hard to pick a favourite place but I do love our bedroom with its vaulted ceiling. Our headboard was made from the old wood flooring that was removed from my parents old home so its nice to have a little bit of my old family home in the new house. Our dressing room is also a little sanctuary in which to get ready in the morning. It’s nice to have the space to organise everything properly.

Have you got plans for any more projects at home, or are you happy with where it’s at?

I am still hoping to do some more painting. I was recently inspired by the electric blue hallway in Glebe House, Co. Donegal which belonged to the artist Derek Hill. I have now purchased similar paint and going to use this in our guest room!

Photograph by Elyse Kennedy for

If money was no object, what would you buy for your home?

I would buy extra solar panels and an extra storage battery to fully capture all the sun generated and help keep our energy costs down. I would also love to purchase more art. My favourite artist is Esther O’Kelly- her work is STUNNING. I would cover my whole house in her work if I could.

How would you spend a perfect weekend?

A perfect weekend for us is to have a curry together as a family on the Friday night, do a bit of exploring out and about on the Saturday, a lovely candle lit meal for Paul and I on our own after the kids have gone to bed and a lie in on the Sunday followed by brunch together with family. (Loads of coffee thrown in the middle of that too!)

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Let us help.

Check our FAQs or
send us an email at

© Maven 2024 • Website by Pale Blue Dot