So I'm completely obsessed with DIY Instagram.
My lockdwon #2 obsession was furniture upcyclers – they're amazing, check them out – but my new-found lockdown #3 love is a natural progression from DIY furniture – it's self-builders on Instagram.
There is something so satisfying about seeing people make progress and achieve things in a time that seems so static for so many of us. It's a whole online community of people undertaking the massive project of creating and executing the building of their dream home. The mammoth task gets documented on Instagram – all the high and the lows.
I came across one page, an Irish self-build, which began in 2015 and just recently – as in the last two weeks (!!) – moved into their stunning new home.
Persisting throughout lockdowns and pandemics, this is their amazing and inspriring self-build story of 'Railway View' House;
The couple bought the site in November 2015, overjoyed to have found their 'forever location'. With an overgrown garden and laneway, the site didn't look like much at first.
The windows in the crumbling house were smashed in, tiles were missing from the roof and ivy had completely taken over the outside of the house.
By December 2016, the paperwork was done and they officially owned the site and house. They started by boarding up the windows and doors and by the 18th of February, had their planning permission.
They began in July, clearing out the house – and finding some creepy old religious pictures! – and then knocking the whole place. By January 2019, they had cleared the land around the build and began to lay the foundation, finally getting to see the stunningly scenic namesake, 'railway view'.
They brought us along on some of their interior 'inspo' shopping trips, exploring potential tiles, storage solutions and lighting, with all the excitement of self-builders DIYing with an amazing vision in mind for the space.
As it always does, once the foundation was laid, the build seemed to fly along. Walls sprang up, windows and doors began to take shape, and suddenly, there was even a roof!
By winter, the house was sealed and the windows and doors all fitted. Using the old limestone that came from the old house and sheds they had knocked on the site, they created a stone wall look on a section of the house, with the thick mortar joints really emphasising the 'modern farmhouse' style of the build.
The long windows, wood panelling and clean lines modernise the build and give it a smooth, interconnected flow, allowing the old and the new to seamlessly blend.
But what truly had our jaws dropping was the way the building was angled to catch the most stunning of sunsets. The large, angled windows ensured they will capture every last drop of sunlight and capture every amazing colour.
With the wiring laid and the plumbing finished, they began on the finishing touches inside, showing how the outside comes in, with that same bare faced old limestone wall running through the house, adding texture and character and the sleek, modern inside.
When the pandemic hit and the construction ceased due to every supplier being shut down, they carried on nonetheless, focusing on rebuilding the old stone wall around the property. It also gave them a chance to search out some more character-filled pieces for their home interior. They even discovered that they had inadvertently built the house between two fairy forts! Good luck with that!
'And just like that, we're in!' They moved in January 2021, showcasing the stunning interior in a series of Instagram posts.
They face the unique challenge of moving into a home in a pandemic and locked down country, meaning that furniture stores are off-limits for all those little purchases you make last minute.
'The first piece of furniture bought for the house, to sit in this window. Some ground works done over the winter to finish off so looking forward to spring and having less mud outside the window. A little table needed beside it too i think when the shops open!'
They cited other Instagram DIY and interior accounts as their inspiration for their own home decor. You can see the blend of the old and the new again in this pic of their kitchen with the brass light fixtures and panelled island, versus the sleek countertops and modern breakfast bar.
And not only are they amazing self-builders, but they've started upcycling furniture too, as seen with this stunning countertop sink unit. Bought on Donedeal as a dresser and turned into a bathroom unit – swipe to see the before and after!
We are in total awe of their talent and so happy they finally got to move in! Follow along with their page as they give tips and tricks for self-building alongside more updates of their seriously enviable modern, sleek farmhouse here.