Family who were forced to stop building dream house during recession impress on Home of the Year
A family who were forced to stop building their dream house for more than four years after the recession hit impressed the judges on Thursday's Home of the Year.
Antrim couple Colin and Ruth Donnelly purchased their site eleven years ago, but had to place their contemporary build on hold after they fell on hard times, despite having started the project.
The couple, who have a son Garron (9), even placed the site and building on the market for a short time, but realised they couldn’t watch another family raise their children in what they felt was their dream home.
Speaking on the programme, building contractor Colin said: "It sat for three or four years. We just drove passed it. We’d come down the odd time to spray the weeds. Then things started to pick up again and we got back at it and finished."
Ruth said: "There’s been a lot of headaches and heartaches but we’ve got here mostly all by ourselves."
The modern architectural home, with its curved roof and stunning views across four counties, will now be entered into the final of the RTE programme, after impressing judges Hugh Wallace, Declan O'Donnell and Deirdre Whelan.
The barrel vault roof of the build is celebrated within the home's interior, with its double height ceilings, and cleverly laid out open plan spaces.
A burnt orange kitchen, a colour chosen by the couple's son, complete with an island, impressed architect Declan, who said the picture windows and sliding doors blurred the lines between outside and in.
The main bathroom of the home was finished with impressive stonework, and above the bathtub is a television, which added humour to the project.
Upstairs, and impressive mezzanine connects to the master bedroom via a bridge, which overlooks the lower level of the home.
Speaking of the project, interior designer Deirdre said the space was perfect for a family.
"What a fantastic surprise this home was. There were elements of fun and playfulness throughout. I love the way they captured those spectacular views. This is a super family home."
The Donnelly's home will join six others in the final of this year's programme which will be spread out over two episodes.
Home of the Year is broadcast on RTE One every Thursday at 8.30pm but you can also catch it on the RTE Player.