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Image / Living / Interiors

Take a tour of the bijou winner of this year’s RTÉ Home of the Year


by Lauren Heskin
06th Apr 2021
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This incredible Dublin cottage and 2021 winner of 'Home of the Year' is proof that you don't need much place to get creative with your interiors.

RTÉ’s Home of the Year has really been showing the range of interiors talent in Ireland. In 2019 it was a stunningly restored Belfast mansion. In 2020 it was a beautiful, higgledy-piggledy converted carriage house in Dublin. And now, the 2020 winner has been announced and while it doesn’t fit the mould of past winners it’s an absolute cracker. 

This evening, judges Hugh Wallace, Suzie McAdam and Amanda Bone looked over their seven finalists to chose the overall winner of Home of the Year. David O’ Brien’s black house in Co Cork, Kate O’Driscoll’s period home in Dublin, A quirky cottage in Dublin belonging to the Jen Sheahan, Saara McLoughlin’s colourful and quirky semi-D in Limerick, Sally Ann Mitchell’s Donegal cottage Kevin Desmond’s period Dublin city home, and Tanya Lee Conroy’s unique new-build in Co Galway rounded out the list.

And the winner? This year was a tough one for the judges as all the house were incredibly strong. Honestly, we had our money on David O’Brien’s unusual black home (and that piano kitchen island) or Tanya’s modern take on the traditional farmhouse in Galway. However, Jen Sheahan’s home won out after much debate between the three judges and looking back at the late 1800s artisan cottage in Dublin, it really is a worthy winner. And how could you forget about that bathroom disco ball!

“The home has been re-imagined and oozes with the personality and style of the homeowner – the design, layout and functionality of this home was a real surprise,” Say Hugh Wallace of the final decision. “It has great functionality for a small home but even better – big personality and that came from the homeowner.

The small, double-fronted cottage seems relatively modest from the exterior, the little brass bee knocker the only giveaway of the charm held within. Completely renovated, redesigned and extended in 2020, it’s now a surprisingly light and bright home. 

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The front hall leads right down into the largest room in the house, an L-shaped kitchen/diner/living area that’s flush with light thanks to a tiny, glassed-off exterior courtyard.

The kitchen is considerable in this tiny little cottage but it doesn’t seem overbearing thanks to no overhanging cupboard and a wall of units. A study, that also works as a music room or guest bedroom and of course, that raspberry red bathroom, rounds out the space downstairs.

On the first floor, a large dormer bedroom has been created, completely hidden from the street, a swell as another bathroom and a little roof garden. 

It’s jam-packed with storage ideas too, from under-seat storage in the dining area to cleverly designed seamless storage in the eaves of the bedroom, it’s full of well-considered design functionality as well as plenty of panache.

It’s so wonderful to see a small home take the gauntlet this year, as Suzie McAdam puts it,  “this home represents everything this competition is about, it’s the right end to the story.”

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