Caraiosa Centre – holistic cottage renovation in Co. Westmeath

It is the dream of many cottage lovers to be able to live and run a successful and rewarding business from their cottage and recently I had the good fortune to meet with a couple who have done just that. On one of the hardiest days of the year my fabulous Focus ice-skated cross country from Carlow to Moate in Co. Westmeath to visit the cottage of Helen and Brendan Doherty – better known as the Caraiosa Centre. Everyone automatically thinks of the coastal regions of Ireland when speaking about its scenery but the midlands truly have a gentle beauty of their own. Long meandering lanes of roadways hugged by leaning trees, abundant hedgerows and scattered remnants of history – autumn is bliss in the midlands but equally on this frosty morning it was enchanting. Moving from the City Coming from a background in nursing and massage therapy respectively, Helen and Brendan took the plunge to relocate their entire family from their suburban lives in Bray to the wilds of Westmeath in 2005. Many people thought they were crazy, both were born and bred in the town but the idea to move had been in their minds for some time. As both were involved in very caring professions they were determined to find a space that they could live in and which would also serve as a peaceful retreat for guests. They viewed and fell in and out love with several properties before finding their ideal home in this pre-1830’s cottage. The Urban Rural adjustment On the first night they arrived at the cottage having packed up their lives,...

Welcome to Cottageology!

Anything and everything to do with Irish cottages!    The aim for this website is to provide a central location for information about Irish cottages from renovation and maintenance to history, living stories and lifestyles – all cottage related topics are open for discussion! I have always had a passion for cottages, their aesthetic, romance and hints of a simpler lifestyle woo me.   Finding the perfect cottage is a challange that can take years and the process of renovating one can take many more.   However I have always noticed that there is not one comprehensive up to date website devoted to Irish Cottages –  searches will bring up cottages for rental or trying to sell you something but very little helpful information about cottages.  I hope that this website will become a source of reference for those who are thinking of renovating or have already begun renovating a cottage with articles on each stage of the renovation process.  Hopefully, I will be able to collect case studies from each of the counties of Ireland and build up a list of genuine, recommended trades people to make potential renovators journeys easier. I would also love to hear from people who have lived, or currently live in cottages; your experience and stories will form the heart of the website, passing on knowledge that might otherwise be lost in the sands of time.  I would also love to hear of trades people or services that you would recommend to potential renovators in your area. And of course for people who dream of owning a cottage some day – I hope this website will be a place of...