This lady's story absolutely broke our hearts on RTE's Home of the Year
Home of the Year is known for setting our interior envy alight but Thursday's episode also left viewers teary-eyed as a Danish homeowner explained the story behind her unique Wicklow cottage.
Granny Gitte Trench said she made the decision to downsize and sell her family home to purchase her little cottage after her husband went into full-time care.
Speaking on the programme, the pensioner said that the move was very difficult and traumatic, but explained that renovating her house helped her to heal.
"I found it necessary to sell the home we had and downsize because my husband had to go into care. It's traumatic. It's difficult. I started to try and learn how to live without someone you care for and I found the house helped me to do that," she said.
Gitte, who is originally from Denmark, explained that she did not incorporate her Scandinavian upbringing into her cottage as she felt like elements of darkness represented how she felt about life without her beloved husband.
"I could never have a Scandinavian style again because my life has changed. I've changed. The whole idea of having white walls and sun pouring like when I was young and we were happy together. I could never live that way again. You need the light and the shadows and the dark walls in order to feel yourself a bit."
The judges were deeply impressed with Gitte's stylish and welcoming abode, which they said envelops despite being so small.
Home of the Year judge Hugh Wallace said he was envious of Gitte's "talent and skill" as he toured the Wicklow bungalow, which is heavily focused on art, one of Gitte's passions.
The dark kitchen came as an unexpected surprise to the judges who credited Gitte's choice of copper-look wallpaper and bronze sockets, which they said gave off warmth in the dark room.
An three-metre extension from the kitchen brightens up the space with two double doors which access the garden, while a clever mezzanine acts as the perfect spot for her grandchildren to play.
Gitte said her favourite spot, a yellow interior lounge with a high ceiling, was a place that really made her feel happy even on her darkest days.
"To feel like the house almost embraces you when you come in from the cold night, you light a fire and you feel well," she said.
"Maybe the future isn't so bad. Here I am. I can say I'm happy here. I think I've made that."
Gitte's Wicklow home was named Thursday's winner and will be entered into the final of Home of the Year.
Hugh Wallace said: "This homeowner has made the extraordinary out of the ordinary. When you go through that door and you see the quality of design."
Home of the Year is broadcast on RTE One every Thursday at 8.30pm but you can also catch up on the RTE Player.