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Image / Editorial

Inside the Enniskerry villa that was Marianne’s house in ‘Normal People’


by Lauren Heskin
28th Jun 2020
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Marianne’s house in the BBC’s adaption of Normal People was not in Sligo, but rather the former home of Minster Shane Ross in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow.

By now most of you will have inhaled the BBC’s adaptation of Normal People. Yes, the acting was magnificent, the sex scenes are revolutionary in their realness and Connell’s chain has its own Instagram. But these weren’t the only things I was cooing over. The houses, specifically Marianne’s family home in Sligo was an interiors knock-out.

Knockmore House was the interior and exterior set for Marianne’s house. Photo: Savills

While the inhabitants might have been cold and distant, the home itself was anything but. In soothing tones of blues and neutrals, it was a Scandi-Georgian dream of French doors, mid-century furniture, soaring sash windows and artfully messy collections of books.

The living room remained much the same as the set of Normal People. Photo: Savills

Named Knockmore House, the real house was the former childhood home of Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross and his parents, Ruth Isabel and John Ross. The Regency-style Palladian villa has five bedrooms and four bathrooms spread across two floors, and the sprawling gardens, thanks to avid garden writer and horticulturist, Ruth Isabel, are magnificent in their size and maturity.

The main living room, which became the kitchen in Normal People. Photo: Savills

The Ross family sold the home by private treaty in March, 2019 for €1.3 million, not long after which it became the set for Marianne’s family home in Normal People.

 

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While the house has some beautiful architecture and sweeping views down to the sea and of the Sugarloaf, it seems that the crew completely transformed some of the rooms to create the moneyed and tasteful yet cool and detached home that embodied Marianne’s childhood.

 

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While rooms like the small blue living room, where Connell and Marianne first discuss having sex, and the master bedroom, which became Marianne’s bedroom, are much the same, other spaces were completely remodelled.

 

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Lucy van Lonkhuyzen, the production designer for Normal People, took a number of before and after shots of the house as it became the set for Marianne’s house.

The living room was transformed into a sleek kitchen/diner, while the dining room where Marianne and Connell share their first kiss has also been given a blue-tinged revamp.

The front hall prior to sale. Photo: Savills

 

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The deep orange colour of the front hall was painted a grey-blue, but it looks as though some pieces of furniture like the ornate sideboard were retained for the set.

While it’s unclear who the new homeowners are or whether the house was returned to its previous state following filming, we would definitely be following the interior design aesthetic envisaged by the Normal People design crew. Now I’m off to paint every room in the house blue…

Featured image courtesy of Savills

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