Wednesday 21 March 2018

Dermot V Christine on last night's Room to Improve was the testiest battle yet

Dermot and Christine in happier times (after the project was completed), Room to Improve, Sundays RTE One 9.30pm
Dermot and Christine in happier times (after the project was completed), Room to Improve, Sundays RTE One 9.30pm
Dermot Bannon talking to Christine on Room to Improve
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

The budget is always a bone of contention on Room to Improve, but it's usually architect Dermot Bannon pushing his clients to stump up more cash to fund his lofty ambitions.

Not so on Sunday night's episode, however, as the client, IT manager Christine, didn't appear to grasp that her €130,000 budget only went so far (ie not very far).

She was not prepared to compromise on any of the requests on her 22 page wish list for the renovation of her €435,000 Clontarf home, which included underfloor heating, a meditation room, a large kitchen island, and a walk in wardrobe for her 100 pairs of shoes.

Not even the formidable QS Lisa could scale back Christine's plans.

"I'm not even going to get into this with Christine," Lisa told Dermot at the outset, "because it's fictitious at this point.  Realistically she needs more money to get what she wants.  She has a 22 page wish list.  She wants electric gates and paved and gravelled..."

When Dermot said Christine would be disappointed, Lisa replied, "I think it's a dose of reality now".

Unfortunately Dermot's original plan had to be reworked after the discovery of structural problems from crumbling walls to a woodworm infestation.  Christine preferred the new plan, much to Dermot's surprise.  But alas things did not go smoothly thereafer.

Many viewers took issue with Christine's apparent 'notions', but others came to her defence, pointing out that she simply knew what she wanted and Dermot seemingly made some decisions without consulting her.

Christine wanted a red brick wall in her kitchen.  Dermot wanted a white brick wall in her kitchen.  They agreed to build a sample of each side by side but Dermot turned up with the wrong red brick.  He then magically produced two of the correct red brick from the boot of his car when Christine objected.

Christine eventually went with the white anyway.

Dermot also ordered the windows without consulting her.  She wanted them handmade, which she couldn't afford, so Dermot ordered the affordable versions.  Christine did not know until they were fitted.  He also ordered a white kitchen when she wanted blue.

They also clashed over the kitchen island.  Dermot argued there was not enough space, but Christine was determined.  She got a mini one in the end.

It was exhausting to watch and was undoubtedly even more so for Christine and Dermot to experience together.

In the end Christine got pretty much everything she wanted, but she paid for it, with her budget stretching to more than €170,000 in the end.

As QS Lisa put it, "She did get everything she wanted but she paid for it."

Room to Improve, RTÉ One, Sundays at 9.30pm

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