Caroline Foran: 'For every problem, there's a solution'

Author Caroline Foran talks about her home interiors and why changing 'explosive nappies' beats taking out the bins any day
Caroline Foran: 'For every problem, there's a solution'

Caroline Foran. Picture: Moya Nolan

Where is your happy space at home?

Probably my bedroom. My husband [engineer Barry Doyle] and I converted our attic into our bedroom and handpicked lots of things for it.

When our baby Caelan [eight months] first came along, it was like a torture chamber because he was not a great sleeper and he could be up all night.

Now that he’s in his own room, it’s my haven.

Caelan is wonderful. I underestimated how isolating parenting can be — having a newborn and then adding the pandemic to the mix. 

Caelan is at a lovely age, he is so giggly and so responsive.

My parents moved from Dublin to Dingle a few years ago and my mam Aideen Facetimes us every day. She is originally from Cork but is a Kerry woman now!

Caroline likes mixing textures and tones in her interiors.
Caroline likes mixing textures and tones in her interiors.

What is your favourite room?

The whole house, really. Doing up my own house is probably like my obsession! I am such a homebird — I was a homebird even before the pandemic.

I love anything that creates a comforting home environment. I am always changing things, and maximising the space.

I love spending time in the kitchen. I try to keep it (at least visually) clean and tidy, and that makes me feel in control when life with a small baby can feel a bit chaotic.

Caroline describes her interiors as relaxed and cosy.
Caroline describes her interiors as relaxed and cosy.

Caroline Foran. Picture: Moya Nolan
Caroline Foran. Picture: Moya Nolan

At the moment, my partner at www.Gaffinteriors.ie Jo and I are delighted to be working with Lucozade Revive to help people revive their workspaces within their homes.

The transition to work from home was so sudden, most of us didn’t focus on creating the right ambience or optimising the space correctly and it’s easy to get fatigued when we’re seeing the same space constantly.

How would you describe your home/interiors?

We live in a terraced house in Drumcondra and I would describe our interiors as relaxed, cosy, and modern, with a little bit of mid-century.

I try not to take my interiors too far in one direction, as then it would look too fixed.

I love mixing textures and tones. It all looks higgledy-piggledy but everything looks like it’s meant to be there.

Best bargain ever for you?

One of my recent purchases, a House Doctor rug I got on Gaff Interiors.

I will find something at Gaff Interiors that I won’t find elsewhere.

Jo Linehan and I set it up a few years ago. I was buying my first home and Jo was renting. We felt there was this gap because everything interiors-related was so high-end and not always accessible, and that’s where we got the idea.

Biggest extravagance in your home?

My Smeg toaster and my Smeg kettle. I bought them with wedding gift money.

Favourite household chore?

Cleaning the surfaces: I am a bit of a fiend for using Dettol and when I see the shiny countertops it makes me happy.

I don't bat an eyelid changing the baby's explosive nappies but recoil if something gets on my fingers from the bin

Least favourite task....

I would say taking out the bins: I don’t do that. My husband finds it funny that I wouldn’t bat an eyelid changing the baby’s explosive nappies but recoil and visibly squirm if something gets on my fingers from the bin — it’s as if something will bite me!

Kitchen cupboard must-have?

Garlic-infused olive oil. We get it from Tesco. It’s so handy, it’s a little bit of a game-changer and saves one big step in cooking.

Do you like cooking?

I love cooking. Seafood risotto would be my signature dish.

Who would be your ideal dinner-party guest?

Chrissy Teigen, because she is refreshingly honest in a very curated world, and I’m sure she wouldn’t hold back on a juicy story or two.

What would you save from your house in a fire?

I reckon, in the event of a fire, my husband would get out himself, so I would save the child and dog. 

I would also save all my plant babies — we put in such an effort growing them — and these two ornamental brass elephants we have. I got them from my nanna’s house and they are always facing the door for good luck.

What is the best advice you got at home growing up?

For every problem, there’s a solution. Let’s try to work towards it. My mom instilled it in me.

What household/interiors advice would you like to give others?

When it comes to décor, start with one focal point you love and go from there.

Be willing to make mistakes — it’s the only way you will become confident.

Trust yourself to make mistakes. What’s the worst that could happen?

How do you unwind?

In the bath with a glass of prosecco — having warned everyone I don’t want to hear from them unless something is seriously wrong!

Caroline Foran at the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards 2017 with Helen James. Picture: Patrick Bolger
Caroline Foran at the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards 2017 with Helen James. Picture: Patrick Bolger

  • Podcaster and author Caroline Foran has set up a platform for buying and selling preloved homeware and interiors —www.Gaffinteriors.ie — with Jo Linehan. Caroline’s latest book Naked: Ten Truths To Change Your Life, is out now.
  • The pandemic has forced almost a third of Irish adults into home working. Lucozade Revive has enlisted Caroline’s help to bring a new lease of life to people’s homes, which have doubled as an office for a year now. Tipson working from home will be shared on Lucozade’s Instagram channel @lucozadeenergyirl throughout the campaign.

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