First look: The stunning new home architect Dermot Bannon has bought for close to €800,000
TAKE a first look at the stunning home which architect Dermot Bannon has bought for close to €800,000.
Renovations to the beautiful semi-detached dwelling are set to feature on the next season of RTE's ‘Room To Improve’.
Dermot and his wife Louise and their three children are currently in rented accommodation close to their previous home in Drumcondra, Dublin, which they sold last year for nearly €700,000.
The makeover maestro and his team are planning extensive renovations to his new residence in the leafy suburb, which will push its overall outlay to an estimated €1 million.
Dermot’s new three-bedroom home was initially on sale for €795,000.
The house features high ceilings, original floors and doors, original fireplaces and stained glass windows.
From the elevated garden an entrance hallway leads to a front reception with a bay window, while to the rear a spacious dining area overlooks the large back garden which extends to 60 metres.
An adjacent kitchen / breakfast room leads to a utility area and side garage while upstairs there are three spacious bedrooms and a family bathroom.
Plans for the new development include the demolition of the existing single-storey garage and side passage and the construction of a two storey side and rear extension.
Further construction includes plans for a new dormer window and velux rooflight, extended front vehicular access and extended front driveway.
“My new house is close by to my old house, it’s a fixer-upper,” Dermot confirmed.
This is the third house Dermot (46) has bought in the Drumcondra area, having initially moved from his hometown of Malahide to a starter home on Hardiman road in the northside suburb before finding a nearby mid-terraced property on Bantry road, which he sold last year after 12 years living there.
“I work in television but I’m an architect and most architects aren’t that wealthy,” he said. “TV doesn’t pay that well. I don’t know where people think I’m getting this money from.
“They see the word ‘architect’ - they see that I do all of these homes and I work in television [and think] ‘He must be an absolute bloody millionaire.’
“I’m originally from Malahide and, although I’ve always said I love to live by the sea, I moved into the city because it was handy for work.
“You could walk to work. Handy for nightclubs and all of that. When our three kids arrived along, we kind of got ingrained in Drumcondra and we’ve never really left.
“The kids are in school there, they’re in Na Fianna (GAA club) and social clubs.”
He added: “I think it’s other people’s expectations of the lifestyle that I lead. Everyone was really shocked but my house is fine.
“People were always a bit underwhelmed where we lived. I don’t have huge needs (for the new home).
“I’m going to do something very basic. I just want a really well functioning house, it’s not going to be a huge house.”
Dermot initially told us that he would have to ask permission from his wife Louise (45) for filming to be done at the new property.
“It was broached. My wife is incredibly private and always has been. She always stands about 40 feet behind me in case a camera might see her. But we might do something with it. I know a lot of people would love to see what I would do with it,” he notes.
But he has now confirmed that filming of renovations will be included in the next series of Room To Improve.
This will be the 12th season of the hit show.
“People are compelled to [watch] it. The reason is because they’re spending huge amounts of money on their homes,” he replies when asked why it’s so popular.
“It’s homes and people love watching people’s homes. I think it ticks a lot of boxes. I think it’s the characters that are in it. I think it’s a really good insight into Ireland, and we try and scatter projects around the country.”
He admits that he did struggle as an architect during the recession, when he started his own practise just before the crash.
“I had worked in a big practice and I worked in big commercial projects,” he explains. “I worked in schools, that’s my speciality and I handed in my notice to set up my own practice in October 2008, so it couldn’t have been any worse.
“Lehman’s Bank had gone down, the whole world was falling. So I have only ever worked in recession - so I’m finding that things are good now.
“For years, I was driving down to Dingle and up and down country doing projects trying to make money wherever I could. There were a few very lean years where I was trying to make ends meet every year."
“I was incredibly lucky I had the TV show to fall back on.”
Dermot will fly out to Australia later next week to film segments for his upcoming Dermot Bannon’s Homes, which highlights spectacular properties around the world.
“This year we are doing a few in England, London and Cornwall. In Australia, we are doing an episode in Melbourne and an episode in Sydney.
“And our final episode is hopefully going to be in Scandinavia in December. I’d like to have a look at those log cabins in the woods and all that. Some of the homes (in the series) are big, some aren’t, but they’re well designed homes. It’s a cross section of what people think a super home is. If you think about what’s an amazing home for some people – for some people it’s the price tag, for other people its location, for some people it’s the design of it. So we are trying to cover a cross section.”