A few days ago I told you about our first home in Ireland. You can see that post Here.
Well, our current home is part of that first home. John converted the old garage into a two-bedroom bungalow. We later added a sunroom off the kitchen; called a conservatory.
I never heard the term bungalow before moving to Ireland. Historically a bungalow is a single-story house; like a ranch-style I suppose. But our house is two stories so technically it does not qualify as a bungalow. But it seems that some real estate companies consider a cottage a house. If the building is tiny; they might call it a bungalow, even if it has an upstairs.
Our cottage is small: below 1200sq feet. As an American homeowner, I do find it a bit confining at times, but it is cute and functional. Weather in Ireland allows for more outdoor time than Ohio; so I spend most of my time outside or in the sunny conservatory.
Downstairs we have a sitting room with the TV, couches, the computer and the stairs case that leads upstairs to two bedrooms. Behind the sitting room is a kitchen with a small eating area. Off the kitchen on one side is a bath and shower room. On the other side of the kitchen is a glass-walled conservatory. We spend almost all our waking hours in this room.
I sit in the living/sitting room at night to watch telly. I do spend a lot of time on the computer with my business in that room. John and I have a small shop in Oilgate; similar to our shop in Ohio.
After moving over to the cottage, John and I began building up the outside gardens. We put raised beds on either side of the boundary wall running the entire length of the yard.
My gardening mistakes occurred in those initial beds. I planted hedge-like plants unaware that a hedge plant grows to enormous size. I still have to cut them some of the plants back a lot but most of them I removed and replaced with hydrangeas.
We tore down the old workshop and built a new one in the back of the property. IN place of the old studio, we created a Japanese influenced garden and rockery. We put in a self-contained little stream as our water feature: two ornamental tiny Japanese maples and some granite statuary.
We added additional maples and a Camila- a very popular flower tree/bush in Ireland. One of the first bloomers.
A stone entry garden and A small outdoor gazabo finished the project. We did have to add a small garden shed to store the lawn equipment.
Initially, we had to have tons of soil delivered to level out the property. We shoveled most of that soil ourselves over two years- when we were both eight years younger. I am amazed at what we were able to accomplish a few years ago. I do not think either of us could do that today!
In Ireland, most close properties are encased in stone walls. Many are built with cinder blocks that surround the entire property and are painted to match the house. Our property is the same. We even have a wall and gate between the Carriage house and our little cottage. It allows for privacy between the two families. At first, we thought we could sell it as two homes but found local zoning laws had changed and that was no longer allowed. So I recommend you thoroughly investigate laws before building or purchasing property in Ireland or any foreign country.
I hope you have enjoyed the recounting of my journey to Ireland. Traveling back and forth to two homes is always an adventure, and I get to enjoy the best of two worlds. I cannot underestimate the beauty in Ireland. I have traveled the continental USA as a young woman and saw the grand canyon, almost all the state parks. I have seen beautiful landscapes, but I find there is something special about the scenery in Ireland. I highly recommend a visit if you can manage it.
Stay tuned for more photos and blogs about my Irish life.
Thanks for visiting. Let me know what do you think about our little house? Have you visited Ireland?
Take good care