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House tour: How Indy Parsons found and transformed her dream period home
Image / Living / Interiors

The Gucci wallpaper panels were brought from Tom and Indy’s previous home. The dining table is an antique inherited from Indy’s parents.

House tour: How Indy Parsons found and transformed her dream period home


by Megan Burns
13th Jun 2024

Waiting for the right home may have been a painstaking process, but it’s one that has paid off for Indy Parsons and her family.

photography Ruth Maria Murphy

words Megan Burns

After a big renovation, most people would think, “never again” – or at the very least, take some time to enjoy the spoils of their hard work. Indy and Tom Parsons had poured themselves into their previous home in south Dublin – waiting over a year for planning permission to extend, then enduring months and months of building, but they had lived there only nine months when another house caught their eye.

“We randomly saw a house in this area of Wicklow that we really liked,” Indy says, “and it got us thinking about the fact that we had always really wanted a period house. Almost on a whim we put our house up for sale, we kind of got house fever.” The timing didn’t work out with the house they had originally spotted, but their own house soon sold and they moved back in with Indy’s parents. “It was a really bad time to be looking,” Indy says, “there was so little on the market. We kept going to viewings for over a year, even for houses we weren’t interested in, just to keep us from going crazy.”

It’s a tactic that paid off, as at one of these viewings they got talking to an estate agent about the road they would love to live on. “He said, ‘that’s so funny, I was just valuing a house on that street’,” Indy says, “but he thought the owner wasn’t going to sell. It turned out to be the exact house we wanted, so we said, we’ll do whatever it takes. Eventually the owner agreed to sell it to us off market, we were so, so lucky.”

Indy and Penelope.

They’re now settled in with their son, Teddy and baby Penelope, but looking back, excited as they were to have secured their dream home, Indy and Tom were setting themselves up for another significant renovation. The house has been rented out as two separate units, there was no heating, and it was in poor condition. “It’s so hard to spend so much of your budget on the invisible things, like wiring and plumbing and roofing,” Indy says, “but it just had to be done.” What helped, she says, was knowing that they weren’t going to extend, and so wouldn’t have to face the planning process again. “That made it feel less daunting, even though it was probably just as big a job as our previous home.”

Many of the building’s original features, including the windows and coving had been removed, but luckily, much of the original features were still intact on the ground floor of the house, giving them something to copy elsewhere. “I remember our builder being so annoyed when I told him how much panelling I wanted,” Indy laughs, “but it really just makes all the difference, and brings out the character of this house.” Indy and Tom decided to make the grand rooms on this level into the spaces they knew they would spend most of their time – the kitchen and dining space. Known for her plant-based blog and cookbook The Little Green Spoon, it’s no surprise that Indy had a clear idea of what she wanted from the kitchen. “I feel like a lot of people probably would have extended the basement and put the kitchen there, but we’re very happy with it. It’s a very hard-working space: it’s a kitchen, it’s a playroom, and we knew that it would be from the very beginning, so it was always going to be the focal point.”

The bold countertops with their prominent veining were something Indy knew she wanted, chosen in an “indestructible” porcelain that’s suited to family life. The size of the island, Indy explains, was also something she was adamant on. “I knew I wanted a huge island. Everyone that came to the house, when I showed them the size it was going to be, they said it was way too big. It kind of takes up the whole room, but in a good way, I’m really glad we did it.”

The basement plays host to the TV room, the lack of light making the perfect cosy spot for curling up to watch movies together. “We decided to lean into the darkness and painted it navy. So it’s much moodier: very cosy and chilled.”

This house was an opportunity to do some things differently than they had in their previous home, such as adding more colour, but there were also things that they had loved that they wanted to replicate. “There are a few things we repeated, such as the tiles in our last ensuite, and the colour in our bedroom. I fantasise about having a duvet day up there. It’s kind of purple, kind of grey, kind of pink, so it’s a mix of pretty and calming. I loved it in the last house, and I just didn’t get enough time with it, so we used it again,” Indy says.

“For Penelope’s bedroom I went a bit out of my comfort zone,” says Indy. “It’s not my usual style, but I’ve ended up really loving it.”

Evidence of the couple’s bolder approach is seen in baby Penelope’s room, and a bathroom at the top of the house, both with floral wallpaper. “Teddy is the only one that uses it, but I wish it was my bathroom,” Indy says. “You feel like you’re in a little hotel in the Cotswolds up there.”

Renovations took around eight months, double what was originally thought, so Indy is enjoying taking her time when it comes to finishing touches. “There are still gaps in terms of art and furniture, but I don’t want to get things for the sake of it. Until I see something that I know will be perfect in a spot, I prefer for it to be empty.” Looking around this home, you can tell that Indy and Tom’s patience has more than already paid off. littlegreenspoon.ie 

 

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2024 issue of IMAGE.

IMAGE Summer 2024

The Summer issue of IMAGE is here, and we’re taking the longer days as an opportunity to slow down, take stock, and luxuriate in the lull that summer brings. From laid-back looks to in-depth reads, there’s everything you need to set you up for the season. Plus: * Warm-weather style * Boho is back * In studio with Irish designer Sinéad O’Dwyer * Career success stories * Growing and foraging * Women in music * Reframing divorce * Tackle your tiredness * Summer beauty favourites * Bringing the outdoors in * Irish eco escapes * Garden getaways * and so much more… 

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