Interiors voyeurism will never go out of style – not least when we’re all confined to barracks and eyeing up neglected corners of our own residences that could do with TLC.
For a bit of inspiration, tune in to RTE One Home of the year at 8.30pm this evening to join the adventure of judges Hugh Wallace, Deirdre Whelan and Peter Crowley as they visit residences in Armagh, Dublin and Belfast.
The show is always a welcome distraction – and never more so than now, when we can’t actually physically peer through keyholes or windows or descend on even our pals’ and relatives’ gaffs (and rightly so, in the interests of health and safety).
Rebekah Millar and her husband Eoin live in a new build-house that they bought in 2016 in County Armagh. From the outside you would think it’s a bijou cottage but what awaits you inside is a bright and spacious family home.
Rebekah wanted to create “a cosy home with a moody feel”, adding it offers an ideal layout for the children and they love the open spaces. She has put her own stamp on it with her use of dark colours and mix of textures.
Photographer Claire Brown and Patrick O’Donnell had been renting in Dublin for many years when they decided to buy in 2012. They liked the house -- but it needed a complete interiors revamp.
They agree they could see the potential and started renovations as soon as they moved in. Claire and Patrick wanted to inject their own style into it as much as possible. Claire was keen to strip it back, keep its originality and then add her personality in layers.
They exposed the brick in the hallway and, Claire adds: “Each room has continued to evolve over the years. It will always be a work in progress. A lot of love and attention has gone into every little detail and we feel very lucky to have their home.”
Interior designer Lee Austin and Mark Johnston had been looking for a spacious house in Belfast that Lee. As an interior designer Lee works on many properties but found his home was by far the biggest challenge he ever worked on.
They did a full refurbishment and reconfigured the layout to suit how they wanted to live in the house. They took the original moulding from the living room and replicated it throughout the house. They used bespoke panelling and added an extension at the back so they would have an open-plan kitchen, ling and dining area.
They are very proud of the result and love to entertain their friends and family. “We want our friends and family to enjoy the house as much as we do,” says Lee.
What makes a house a home?
Championing creativity, individuality and clever design, Home of the Year features homeowners around Ireland who have done something special to the place they call home.
This is the sixth programme in the sixth series in which 21 homes compete for the Home of the Year title over eight weeks with three very different properties featured each week.
Tune in at 8.30pm on RTE One