Regular Sunday night TV scheduling is back in swing with the new season of our favourite show, Room To Improve. Architect Dermot Bannon is back tackling a range of homes in need of a makeover while also dealing with the aspirations of their owners. Fulfilling their dreams is never easy but as always, Dermot finds a way. From strict deadlines to wishful budgets, the process of turning a “scrapbook of dreams” into a reality comes with its challenges. Not to be deterred however, Dermot, QS Lisa and the contractors get to work right away to make these dreams come true. Irish music legend Daniel O’Donnell and his wife Majella kicked off the season by asking Dermot to redesign their Kincasslagh home. Wanting an interior renovation, the couple looked to add light, warmth and comfort to an already idyllic country home. With the budget fluctuating and debates over bathrooms and wood, the redesign of the house finally got under way after some delays. With a rearrangement of rooms and the introduction of light in important areas, Dermot and his team were able to give Majella that homely warmth she so desperately wanted while also keeping the original feel that Daniel didn’t want to lose. Additions such as the Harvey Norman Fantasia (below), gave them that down to earth feeling that they both so dearly sought.
In the second episode we met Susan and Dave who were looking to add a luxurious extension to their home. Based in Fermoy, Cork, the house held a special place in Susan’s heart as she had babysat there in her younger days. The house, which was 170-years-old, was a sight to behold as it was but the couple felt they needed to give it a stylish, modern makeover. They wanted to add a whole host of 5-star features such as a swim spa, gym, sauna and granny flat as well as doing up the interior of the original home. While the idea of such a challenge might scare most people away, Dermot took the project by the scruff of the neck, utilising a large adjacent garden to the advantage of his design. By connecting the original home to that of the 3000 sq ft extension, Dermot was able to incorporate all of their ideas while also including a balcony that overlooked the picturesque town of Fermoy. By retaining the homes original charm while also including daring, contemporary aspects, Dermot succeeded even his own high expectations.
Episode three brought us Christine who was looking to turn her recent purchase, a lovely Victorian house in Clontarf, into a New York/Scandinavian styled loft. A blend of designs that challenged even Dermot’s depth of creativity, the job was hampered in the beginning by budget battles and design changes. With an open plan in mind and the ingenious idea to create space by joining the living room, kitchen and dining room together, Dermot was able to digest Christine’s 25-page long wish list and include everything she wished for. With Dermot’s ingenuity and Lisa’s budget rearrangements, Christine’s dream home became a reality over the course of the coming months. As she gazed upon her new home and all of its stunning features she said, “I can’t believe I live here“. She’s not the first to say it this season however as each owner was left with a sense of wonder and awe at the design and life the Room To Improve team were able to bring to each home.