Jennifer Sheahan and her late 1800s artisan cottage in Dublin has scooped the coveted title of Home of the Year 2021.
The seventh series of the RTE show saw the three judges – Hugh Wallace, Suzie Mc Adam and Amanda Bone – visit 21 homes across the country.
They chose Jennifer’s careful yet quirky restoration, which features a disco ball in the downstairs toilet, as the ultimate winner.
Jennifer is rightfully proud of the design of her late 1800s home. She wanted one of these cottages for a long time and was delighted when one came on the market in 2019.
It needed a lot of work as it was damp, had no central heating and the toilet was outside.
Jennifer did a complete renovation, knocked all internal walls, dug up the floor and lowered it plus added on an extra floor to make it a two-storey house.
There are clever storage solutions throughout this home. Jennifer describes her style as modern, playful and colourful.
She loves to see people’s reactions when they see a standout feature such as her 70s-style disco ball light in her brightly coloured downstairs toilet.
Jennifer said: “I feel… I don’t even know how I feel yet! Complete and utter shock – I’m floating on air I’m so thrilled to pieces I can’t believe it!
“My home is little and it needs to have a lot of dual functions so it might be small, but a lot can be done in a small space that’s really just made for me.
“It’s just incredible I would never ever have thought that it would be me standing here.”
Judge Hugh Wallace said: “You know arriving up to this cottage was a treat. You knew something special was going on!
“Entering the living/kitchen/dining area was terrific because it’s such a small footprint of the house.”
Judge Amanda Bone said: “Jen’s home is very cleverly thought out in terms of the layout, particularly the open plan kitchen, dining and living area and even though the ceilings are low, because of the light, it feels much more spacious.
“The home that won is all about what can be achieved with clever design in such a small space. Definitely a unique home and a well-deserved winner.”
Judge Suzie Mc Adam added: “It was always going to be extremely hard this year to pick a winner – the standard has been exceptional.
“I love that Jen’s home was packed full of personality – these functional areas and yet we saw colour.”
The final seven featured three other homes in the capital – Kate O’Driscoll’s restored period home, Sally Ann Mitchell’s cottage in Co Dublin and Kevin Desmond’s lovingly restored period city home.