04 Feb 2022
Posted in: First Time Buyer
When we think of the word home, it’s not just the keys in your hand or the four walls around you that come to mind. It’s everything from the beaches we walk to the cafés we catch up in. To help us delve into all the facets that make up a home, we caught up with photographer Ruth Medjber to talk about what home really means, with a few tips of how to get there.
So tell us Ruth, what does home mean to you?
Home can mean a myriad of things to me really. It’s a space where I go to relax but it’s also a space where I can go to be myself. Whether it’s blasting disco tunes at 3am, having a bop or sitting down in front of the telly and having a cry, whatever mood takes me, I have the freedom and space to do what I want to.
When we talked, you mentioned that you were proud of being a Dubliner and how that has shaped you as a photographer. Tell us more about that.
I am a Dubliner yeah. I think we are all what makes Dublin, ‘Dublin’ - my family, my colleagues and my peers are very much what shapes the city for me and I think that being a photographer in this gorgeous city has allowed me to take a step back and see things that maybe other people don’t. It’s allowed me to be rooted and grounded in my own heritage and to look back to family and everyone else who grew up before me in this space.
Growing up in Dublin, do you think it’s changed as a city at all?
Yeah I think Dublin has changed as a creative city. Well, as long as I’ve been looking at her she has. When I graduated college there was this mass emigration of creative people who were looking for work and I felt sad to watch them all go, but since then, I’m so grateful that I stayed. I’ve rolled with the punches and have evolved with the city as it’s changed. Because of this, I’ve been able to see the strongest parts of our culture and the strongest parts of Dublin which I’ve been able to appreciate so much more.
I think that Dublin’s come full circle. It’s become a real creative space again, full of amazing people and great work. We should be super proud of everything that Dublin has become. I mean you see it in the top ten lists around the world of great places to be. A part of me is like ‘yeah, it is an amazing space’ and I’m super proud of it. It’s allowed me to become the photographer that I am.
In a city as big (and small) as Dublin, how many different homes do you have?
As a creative person you live quite a nomadic life in a way that you have many different homes. For me, I could make my home in my favourite box in the Olympia Theatre or the photographers pit at any stage in Dublin. I also choose to use galleries as mini homes. I go and set up camp for the day and bask in the glory of other people’s work.
And then I have my studio space which is definitely a home away from home. I’ve made it my own little comfortable paradise. A place where I can freely welcome people with no judgement and we sit there and create something together.
At the end of the day though, I take myself ‘home home’. My little bit of paradise that I’ve carved out for myself where I can hang out with my dog and do all the normal things in life. To just be myself.
We love what you’ve said there, your ‘little bit of paradise’, can you tell us about this space?
Yeah if anyone was to look at my home they might see a lot of clutter and mess and a whole load of art and it is that way but to me, it’s organised little bits. I live in a tiny house, I won’t lie. It’s very small but it’s very cosy. It’s perfect just for one and I’m extremely grateful to have this space. I’ve filled it with things that I adore like a wall of photo books that I constantly look to for inspiration. I love nothing more than sitting there in the evening and putting on a record and melting into a hundred photo books. I like to marvel at all the work that has come before me and take inspiration for my next projects.
Apart from it sounding incredibly cosy, what’s your favourite thing about your space?
It’s the lighting, surrounding myself with lamps and candles and having a big window to stare out of at night time or when the sun is breaking in the morning. My surroundings and that window have been the jumping point for so many of my projects. If it wasn’t for that little patch of space that I call home, I don’t know if some of those projects would have come into existence.
Lastly Ruth, would you have any tips or advice for first time buyers out there who are looking to get their first home?
It can be daunting, but if I’m anything to go by, I’d just love to tell people that it doesn’t have to be that daunting. It’s tricky because it’s a market that wasn’t created for single, self-employed, low-income earners (of which I am all three) but I have managed to get a mortgage. I did so through a whole lot of research. There’s a lot of help available out there, you just have to do a lot of digging around and talking to people who work in mortgages. If you find someone who’s on your side and ask for very specific tailored advice, it’ll make a world of difference. So yeah, just look for advice and do your research.
You can watch Ruth’s episode of Our Place here and if you’re looking for your own place, be it a cosy home near the sea or a self-build down the road from the local, our EBS Mortgage Masters are here to help you find it. You can call into one of our EBS offices for a chat or book a mortgage meeting with one of us here. We’re there when you need us, and we’ll be with you for the full journey.
The content of this blog is expressed in broad terms and is limited to general information purposes only. Interview conducted by The Tenth Man on behalf of EBS d.a.c. Interviewee received a gratuity for her participation within the Our Place campaign. Readers should always seek professional advice to address issues arising in specific contexts and not seek to rely on the information in this blog which does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by EBS d.a.c.
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