There is no single route to a perfect self-build. Unique solutions are required for each individual, family and location. For some, the answer lies in designs that are so flexible they can be adapted to suit their needs at any stage of their life. Others believe it’s best to build the kind of house that is right for the way they want to live now, and that is our focus in this issue. An example of how uniquely suited a house can be to a couple is the story of artist Max Brosi and his wife Anna Marie, which starts on page 26. They were guided by Walter Segal’s self-build principles, their connection to nature and creative leanings. The result is a compact, functional home that has windows positioned to align with the sun, as our ancestors did in Newgrange, and a self-sufficient garden. Wherever you live, one key to success is making sure your home is designed so you can equally enjoy being indoors or out. It can be a real challenge in Ireland to make that happen so if you’re looking for ideas on how to get reacquainted with your patch of green, why not consider building a tree house (check out our hands-on guide on page 72) or start dreaming about that swimming pool or hot tub (on page 86)? For those with furry friends, Fiann Ó Nualláin offers lessons in pet-friendly gardening, which start on page 92. Longer, drier days also provide the ideal circumstances in which to carry out intrusive renovation work. But this should not be undertaken lightly as poor design and execution can have serious long term effects. If you’re thinking of making some renovations, make sure you consult our tips starting page 82 to help you avoid the pitfalls. And this summer don’t forget to check your roof. Maintaining it on a regular basis, no matter how new it is, will save you a lot of heartache. Turn to page 64 for insights on what to do. To finish on a lighter note, and if you’ve been inspired by Max Brosi’s woodturned creations showcased in his home, then it’s time to don the face mask and start learning how to work with a lathe – the masterclass starts on page 118.
Happy building and improving!
Blood, sweat and tears – Lorna and Derek Lawther’s self-build in Co Down felt more like an odyssey than a journey! Find out how they survived it all with children in tow.
Gimme shelter – Max Brosi is a Co Sligo-based artist who works with wood and steel. It’s no surprise therefore that the home he built for himself and his wife Anna Marie is the stuff dreams are made of…
Small is beautiful – Minimalist design and small furniture that pack a punch.
Concrete chic – Let yourself be talked into adopting the industrial style in your home.
‘This wallpaper is killing me one of us will have to go!’ – Staying on top of the craft that is wallpapering.
Irish designers’ homes – This issue we look inside the holiday home of Derek Treneman MRIAI in Co Sligo and the extended family home of Mark Tumilty MCIAT in Co Down.
An insider’s guide to roof repairs – Keeping your home in good health means taking care of your roof and gullies all year round. Find out how.
A brief guide to roof types and coverings – Hit the right pitch as we steer you through the maze of roof coverings.
The perfect tree hideaway – Summer is a perfect time to add a tree house to your back garden. Find out what you need to know to get started.
Getting a retrofit right – We all know the phrase ‘buyer beware’ but what does it mean exactly if you plan to upgrade your home to more energy efficient standards?
Splashing out – Relax in some water therapy with our guide to swimming pools and hot tubs.
Pet-friendly gardening – A garden that’s safe and enjoyable for every member of the family, especially of the furry variety.
The sea beckons – Sinead and Niall O’Connell found the perfect Co Clare seaside retreat in an unexpected place – a housing estate!
Growing pains – Starting with what was an essentially square and compact dwelling, Peter and Rhea Marshall of Co Antrim added curves and natural light in the form of an extension.
Woodturning masterclass – If you’re looking for a hobby that’s engrossing and therapeutic then check out our guide to making timber objects with a lathe.
All at sea – Architects around the world are looking at ways to cope with population growth and rising sea levels. One answer comes in the form of amphibious homes built by ‘aquatects’.
Between the covers – A pictorial compendium of Irish thatched buildings and a guide to making your home both a physical and mental sanctuary.
Eye on Ireland – What’s been happening that’s essential knowledge for anyone building or improving a home.