Home of the Year
Over 8 weeks, 21 homes will compete for the Home of the Year title, with three very different properties featured each week.
From re-design, new builds, renovations and restorations Home of the Year features people who have made their dream home, just the way they want it. The series will showcase homes from all across Ireland including a renovated schoolhouse building and an 18th century mill turned home, contemporary new builds pushing the boundaries in design, a converted Irish farm cottage, re-imagined bungalows and semi-detached homes with a difference.
Making the tough decisions on which homes go through to the final are our three expert judges; design legend Hugh Wallace, renowned interior designer Deirdre Whelan and award winning architect Patrick Bradley. Patrick gained a lot of attention when his own shipping container home appeared on Channel 4’s Grand Designs. Patrick’s home has gone on to win several awards and has appeared in newspaper articles all over the world.
Looking for individuality, functionality and clever design, the judges will individually score each of the homes out of 10, the home with the highest combined score in each programme will go through to the final, where the ultimate winner will be crowned.
20 – 26 Jan 2020: Episode 3
Gary Owens live in a renovated 18th century mill turned home in West Cork.
Gary an academic renovated his home from 2008 to 2009. When he and his wife Michi bought the mill it was habitable but they worked hard to make it their own. Their home is full of furniture and artwork that they have collected over the years. In working on their home the couple were passionate about breathing new life into this old building. They replaced the modern windows and doors with ones they sourced or had made to bring back the character of the building. They have truly appreciated its unique qualities and have devoted themselves to the refurbishment.
Kate and Mark McMullan live in a red brick terraced in Dublin with their baby Rex and their miniature labradoodle Polly.
The couple had been looking to buy in the area for months and came to view the house in September 2014 on a dark, wet Saturday morning. The weather turned out to be a bit of luck for them as they were the only people at the viewing!
The house required significant renovation. It was dark, damp, cold and poorly laid out. They worked hard to bring light and a sense of space to the property. They gutted the interior completely, stripping it back to the bare structure. They had it rewired and re-plumbed and reconfigured the layout to maximise the light, space, flow and the connection with the outdoors.
They love how it is a bright, airy and calming space despite it being a small terraced house, particularly in the spring and summer months. They believe that the clean lines and minimalist approach make their home practical and easy to live in which they also love. They made a bold decision to paint the walls and upstairs floorboards white and to use a light grey floor downstairs.
What’s key for the couple is that the home works for them as a family.
Paul O’Rourke lives in a colourful apartment in Dublin’s City Centre. A chef with a passion for interior design.
Paul lives with his partner and has worked hard to make a big impact in a small one bedroom apartment.
He opened up the kitchen to allow more light in to the kitchen space from the large windows in the living room. He got rid of the fitted kitchen that was there and opted for a smaller kitchen.
Paul has fallen in love with interior design since working on his own home and he loves mixing dark walls with an industrial and vintage style. Through use of paint colours and statement pieces he has made a really unique home.
Margaret and Mark Conway split their time with their Irish home in South West Cork and the UK.
The family love the area and all that West Cork has to offer. They knocked a bungalow on the site and Margaret put a lot of thought into the plans of the house working closely with the architect so that they could incorporate as much of the surrounding landscape and views into the house itself. Fields, cliffs, headlands and the sea are visible from almost every room. She also loves the rock face at the back of the house. Fastnet Rock Lighthouse influenced the design of the home. It was very important to that local west cork craft people who understand the sea were involved in the building of their home.
Katrina and Adam Carroll live with their daughter Nainsi in a semi-detached home south of Dublin city which Katrina has really put her individual stamp on.
Katrina and Adam moved back to Dublin when Katrina was pregnant with Nainsi in 2014. Their home is a terrace home built in the 1950/60’s.
They gutted their home over a period of 5 months. They renovated all the rooms and internal walls. Katrina describes the homes as being her style she says its vintage cottage chic. She has upcycled a lot of their furniture and upcycles all of the time as a hobby. Katrina loves her vintage finds – some of which have come from London where they lived until 2014. Katrina shares photos of her home on Instagram.
Emma Lynch is an online interiors entrepreneur and co-owner of Lamb Design. She lives in a seaside bungalow with her husband and their two children in County Wicklow.
The home originally belonged to Emma’s grandparents and she spent every childhood summer there until it was sold to another family. The house was put on the market by the owners when Emma and her family were living in London and they decided to buy. The renovation took two months, involved tearing the house apart internally, leaving only a shell and a roof. She chose to keep the front of the house exactly as it was, and all the shrubs and rose bushes for sentimental reasons. This is a home which makes the most of its views and Emma was inspired by the sea to make this home very light, bright and airy with a touch Swedish simplicity with a hint of a Nantucket coastal vibe.
Ruth Forsyth, a stylist, lives with their 3 children in a redbrick period terrace in South County Dublin.
The family fully renovated and extended the house into a beautiful unique family home. They had to put on a new roof, re wire, re plumb and dropped the floor level for the ground floor. They love their open plan living kitchen and dining room. Every room has its own individual style. Ruth loves to scour flea markets, auctions and interiors shops in any city she visits – a lot of items in their home have been accumulated from travels. Ruth has created a beautiful eclectic family home.
Kostas Wootis (//wootis.com/) is an architect who designed his family home in Co.Clare. He lives there with his wife and daughter.
Kostas, originally from Greece, wanted to design and build a family home for his wife and daughter. Even though the site is in the middle of the woods he still wanted to bring nature into the space. He did this by putting an internal garden into the home. He feels plants have a calming influence and create a relaxing atmosphere. They invested in good insulation and high spec windows but the aim was to keep costs to a minimum so they used MDF, for things such as architraves, skirting boards, fireplace surrounds. The main living room is upstairs, this was because he wanted the room to face south west so they could avail of the sun in the evening and take in the nice views. Kostas loves the modern openness of the home.
Therese Healy spends a lot of her time abroad with work and has created a home in Cork where she can really make the most of her precious time in Ireland.
When she purchased the property, it was an original old cottage with an unsuitable and impractical extension. It needed full renovation and re-design to make suitable for modern-day living. She renovated at the height of the recession. The house was completely gutted and the old, bad extension was removed. She used craftspeople from the area. The design of her home is inspired by her travels overseas, including Japan.
She used an architect from Brandon who emphasized retaining the original feel of the cottage and made the new extension quite different with a lot of glass and set back from that original footprint. Therese loves returning home from her work abroad, she loves the sea views, the internal space and the light flowing in.
Joseph Kearney lives in an upside-down copper home in South Dublin where he decided to take an opportunity to create an once-in-a-lifetime chance to commission a serious piece of architecture in a footprint of 105 square metres.
When Joseph’s wife passed away, he felt that their former Victorian family home didn’t work for him anymore. Joseph knew the site of his new home well from walking past it, the site was a rubbish dump, the lot at the back to another home and in 2004 he bought it.
Joseph worked with his architect Tom Maher of TM Architects//www.architectstm.com/ to create a very original home. The result was a curved design that starts on the roof deck with its projecting ceiling and Canadian maple interlining, and carries down to form the floor of the living room. It’s an ‘upside down’ house with the bedrooms and main bathroom on the ground floor; the living area and study on the middle floor; and the kitchen/dining at the top, opening onto a roof garden. The home used materials such as copper, limestone, glass and timber to create a home that is truly unique.
Building Surveyor Feargal Connell and his wife Bernie live in a Victorian inspired house in Westmeath and relied on Feargal’s expertise when designing their dream home. The family sold a home during the boom, bought land and built their dream home.
Bernie and Feargal always wanted a Victorian home in the countryside but high prices meant this wasn’t possible. They sold their former home a bungalow during the boom years and the money made from that they put into their current home (used all of the money on it).
They did a lot of research into Victorian houses as they wanted to get the measurements right such as window, skirting and ceiling dimensions. They always have had a love of period homes but wanted a more modern style of that décor. Bernie said her husband would prefer to have all antiques but sometimes she has to reign him back in. They have a mix of antiques and furniture from eBay. She loves Laura Ashley and describes her style as modern country. She said she always get her own way in the end when it comes to style such as painting the front door a bright pink colour!
Patrick, an artist and Ros, the creative director of Avoca, live in an eighteenth-century farmhouse buildings in the Wicklow hills.
The home which is made up of a farmhouse cottage and converted outbuildings. They bought the cottage when living in Galway in the 1990’s when their eldest son was six years old. They describe it as a piece of heaven that they don’t make anymore.
They says their style is eclectic and bohemian filled with family heirlooms, Patrick’s paintings, junk-shop finds and design pieces. The couple have a real sense of individuality in the home and use bright colour to really bring the space to light.
Linda Shevlin is a Visual Art Curator based in Co. Roscommon. She lives in this extended former schoolhouse with her daughter Ruby.
The original home was an old school house which was built in 1902 and required renovation. Linda bought it in 2005 and upon moving in set about reconfiguring all the rooms, lowering the floor and renovating the property. Then in 2008 the modern extension was put on.
Linda wanted the interiors to be in keeping with the architecture. So, the older part of the home is more traditional where the extension has a more modern feel.
Linda is interested in modern design that responds to its environs. For example, the exterior of the building is clad in cedar painted black so that it blends with the landscape surrounding the building.
Stephen Jacques & Pat Donovan live in a modern two bed apartment in Dublin’s city centre.
Steve is from the UK originally and Pat is from Wexford, both works as social workers. After looking for a year and a half in Dublin city centre they found these newly built apartments.
This home oozes style and it has clean lines with pops of colour through it’s artwork and objects. For all the lighting and furniture they opted for Danish designs.
Jacqueline, Francis Kiernan and their children live in a bungalow with a surprise in Co. Armagh.
The family bought the home in 2015, falling in love with the open plan living and the extensive grounds. Jackie had a very clear idea of the home she wanted and so the remodelling began.
She changed the entrances to the house, gutted all the rooms, changed the kitchen and moved the fireplace. She would describe her style as a mix of scandi, with soft industrial and mid-century furnishings. They also rethought the landscaping of the exterior gardens.
Having selected the seven finalists, the judges must now select the overall winner. The homeowners come together for the very first time at Palmerstown House in County Kildare, where the judges will deliberate and ultimately crown the winner of Home of the Year. This year after the judges decide on a winner, they chat with the homeowners for the first time and then announce the winner of Home of The Year 2018.