In this week's episode, the judges take a look at 2 very different homes; an old schoolhouse in Leitrim and a reimagined 18th century farm cottage in West Clare
New Yorkers, author and illustrator Jane Chambless Wright and her Husband, Brian Wright, a former advertising copyrighter, moved from America to Ireland 2 years ago and have renovated and restored a 19th century school house in County Leitrim where Easter Rising leader Sean MacDiarmuida was once a pupil.
Jane and Brian bought the schoolhouse online, without ever having seen it in person. They describe the renovation of the house as an organic process and have self-designed a bespoke home using upcycled, local and re-purposed materials throughout. They have also restored the original 19th century stonework on both the inside and outside of the house. Jane and Brian are passionate about breathing new life into this old building and maintaining its historical integrity which is very important to them. Key features include a balcony loft area which stretches the length of the building and the stairs, kitchen and large sliding bedroom door which are all made from one hemlock tree.
Entrepreneur Louise McGuane www.chapelgatewhiskey.com and her husband Dominic McCarthy nevillemccarthy.com split their time between London and West Clare. They live in an 18th century cottage that has been in Louise's family for generations, having originally been Louise's grandmother's home.
They carried out significant renovations to the home and connected the existing outhouses and the original cottage together. Louise and Dominic wanted the home to remain unassuming on the outside, but utterly modern on the inside. As a result, the traditional exterior of this farm cottage gives nothing away of the dramatic re-design on the interior with its cathedral height ceilings, enormous picture windows with beautiful countryside views and fantastic suspended fireplace. This is paired with a modern eclectic style which has been carefully curated by Louise and Dominic themselves.