Irish householders are looking to reimagine their living spaces

Over half of Irish households are considering property improvements due to more time spent at home
Irish householders are looking to reimagine their living spaces

Lockdown has taught us the value of our homes but also highlighted the issues within them, says architect Dermot Bannon. Picture: iStock

It is no surprise that after a year of becoming extremely well acquainted with our four walls, we’re staring them down and looking at them more critically than ever.

But we need to be fair. Certainly, we’ve put a good bit of heavy lifting into reimagining our space — wrangling office desks into bedrooms or pulling up a chair to the kitchen table for the 9-5 rather than a spot of snacking (sometimes both at the same time, let’s be honest).

But think of our poor rooms themselves and all the grunt work they have had to contend with, and rather than give them the stink eye — and rigid performance appraisals — we need to cut them some slack.

Rather than give our four walls the stink eye, we need to cut them some slack

Structures originally intended to serve as our sanctuaries have been multitasking to the point of exhaustion as offices, schools and gyms as well as living space.

Dermot Bannon.
Dermot Bannon.

Yes, lockdown has taught us all the value of our homes but also highlighted the issues within them, says architect Dermot Bannon: “We have all struggled with space and functionality over the last 12 months. 

"Our homes have become not only the place we live but the place we work, teach, exercise, entertain ourselves, and get some headspace.”

Over half (56%) of Irish householders are considering home improvements in 2021 because of more time spent at home, due to the impact of the pandemic, it was revealed this week.

Lockdown has taught us all the value of our homes but also highlighted the issues within them

The study, commissioned by the Irish League of Credit Unions, Energia, and House2Home, also found that comfort and warmth (68%) and saving money on energy (63%) are the two main drivers of future Irish home improvements.

Their carbon footprint is also of concern to homeowners, with over three-quarters surveyed saying they think a better BER or energy rating for their home would positively impact the environment.

So, interest should be keener than ever in the upcoming Open Door campaign organised by the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland and the Simon Community.

Now in its 17th year, the campaign will run from Tuesday, May 4, to Friday, May 14.

Architect Dermot Bannon and Kathryn Meghen, CEO at RIAI. Picture: Fennells
Architect Dermot Bannon and Kathryn Meghen, CEO at RIAI. Picture: Fennells

In return for a €95 donation, you can receive an hour-long consultation with an RIAI-registered architect to discuss building, rebuilding or renovating their homes.

Launching CU Greener Homes are Paul Bailey, Irish League of Credit Unions, Rory Clarke, House2Home, and Cormac Mannion, Energia. Picture: Conor McCabe
Launching CU Greener Homes are Paul Bailey, Irish League of Credit Unions, Rory Clarke, House2Home, and Cormac Mannion, Energia. Picture: Conor McCabe

All consultations take place online and all funds raised go directly to the Simon Communities.

It is an opportunity to “make a virtual impact on your real-world living space”, added Dermot Bannon, who is an ambassador for the campaign.

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