When it comes to entertaining his audience, country music legend Daniel O’Donnell doesn’t have any room to improve.
But his Donegal home needed a bit of work, according to Daniel’s wife Majella and architect Dermot Bannon.
Daniel and Majella share a large four-bed detached home in Kincasslagh, one of the most scenic parts of west Donegal.
Unlike Daniel, who’s fairly happy with the place, Majella was keen to upgrade and reconfigure the interior. With her husband on tour, she’s determined to get the very best from her architect.
But Daniel shows his feisty side, telling Dermot and Majella that the master bedroom is “just perfect” and “there’s not a thing wrong with it and we’re not changing it”. Majella also likes the main bedroom but not the exit to the roof of a castle turret outside: “The door that goes to nowhere, unless you want to sit out on top of a roof and have all the neighbours looking at you doing what, I don’t know.”
In a new series of the popular RTÉ show Room To Improve, which starts Sunday, Dermot tells the couple of his plans to unify three ground-floor rooms to create a huge open-plan kitchen and living area, overlooked by a mezzanine library.
To introduce light and views of the spectacular Donegal landscape, Dermot wows his clients with an enlarged double-height south-facing window, but they’re not so taken with his vision of wooden floors and a huge exterior floating deck.
When Majella shares the cosy simplicity of her holiday cottage on Owey island with Dermot, he attempts to sell his vision of a Scandinavian wood interior with a visit to the elegant Breac House at Dunfanaghy but Daniel and Majella are determined to get their way. Rejecting the “folly” of oak finishes and viewing platforms, Daniel is far more interested in salvaging wardrobes and adding an ensuite bathroom to every bedroom in the house. Likewise, he has little patience for Dermot’s suggestion of “secret” doors and wall claddings.
As a massive consignment of triple-glazed windows arrives on site, the concerted efforts of nine fitters are nothing compared to Dermot’s challenge of placating his feistiest and most single-minded clients yet.
Room to Improve starts next Sunday at 9.30pm on RTÉ One
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