Wednesday 28 June 2017

This lady's story absolutely broke our hearts on RTE's Home of the Year

Granny Gitte Trench's 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. Photo Credit: RTE
Granny Gitte Trench's 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. Photo Credit: RTE
Gitte Trench's Country Cottage: The judges were deeply impressed with Gitte's stylish and welcoming abode. Photo Credit: RTE
Gitte Trench's Country Cottage: A clever mezzanine acts as the perfect spot for her grandchildren to play.
Gitte Trench's Country Cottage: Upstairs in Gitte's clever mezzanine, which acts as the perfect spot for her grandchildren to play. Photo credit: RTE
Gitte Trench's Country Cottage: Gitte said her favourite spot, a yellow interior lounge with a high ceiling, was a place that really made her feel happy. Photo Credit: RTE
Gitte Trench's Country Cottage: The dark kitchen came as an unexpected surprise to the judges who credited Gitte's choice of copper-look wallpaper Photo credit: RTE
Gitte Trench's Country Cottage: Gitte explained that renovating her house helped her to heal. Photo Credit: RTE
Gitte Trench's Country Cottage: Gitte, who is originally from Denmark, explained that she did not incorporate her Scandinavian upbringing into her cottage Photo Credit: RTE
Gitte Trench's Country Cottage: The dark kitchen came as an unexpected surprise to the judges who credited Gitte's choice of copper-look wallpaper Photo Credit RTE
Gitte Trench's Country Cottage: Granny Gitte Trench's said she made the decision to downsize Photo Credit: RTE
Gitte Trench's Country Cottage: Granny Gitte Trench's Wicklow cottage Photo Credit: RTE
Gitte Trench's Wicklow cottage
Gitte Trench's Country Cottage: Judge Hugh Wallace said he was envious of Gitte's "talent and skill" Photo Credit: RTE
The judges were deeply impressed with Gitte's stylish and welcoming abode. Photo Credit: RTE
Patricia Murphy

Patricia Murphy

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.

Gitte Trench's Country Cottage: The dark kitchen came as an unexpected surprise to the judges who credited Gitte's choice of copper-look wallpaper Photo credit: RTE
Gitte Trench's Country Cottage: The dark kitchen came as an unexpected surprise to the judges who credited Gitte's choice of copper-look wallpaper Photo credit: RTE

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.

The judges were deeply impressed with Gitte's stylish and welcoming abode. Photo Credit: RTE
The judges were deeply impressed with Gitte's stylish and welcoming abode. Photo Credit: RTE

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."

Gitte Trench's Country Cottage: Gitte explained that renovating her house helped her to heal. Photo Credit: RTE
Gitte Trench's Country Cottage: Gitte explained that renovating her house helped her to heal. Photo Credit: RTE

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.

Gitte Trench's Country Cottage: Upstairs in Gitte's clever mezzanine, which acts as the perfect spot for her grandchildren to play. Photo credit: RTE
Gitte Trench's Country Cottage: Upstairs in Gitte's clever mezzanine, which acts as the perfect spot for her grandchildren to play. Photo credit: RTE

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 Trench's Country Cottage: Judge Hugh Wallace said he was envious of Gitte's
Gitte Trench's Country Cottage: Judge Hugh Wallace said he was envious of Gitte's "talent and skill" Photo Credit: RTE

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.

Gitte Trench's Wicklow cottage
Gitte Trench's Wicklow cottage

"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.

Granny Gitte Trench's 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. Photo Credit: RTE
Granny Gitte Trench's 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. Photo Credit: RTE

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.

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