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Room to Improve
Room to Improve

Programme 4: Whitehall

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Siobhan and Greg Fitzsimmons considered themselves very lucky when they eventually found a house in Whitehall to buy. It had been owned by the same family since it was built in 1925. "The house was a bit grim but almost all of the original features were still in tact" - and that was what sold it to Siobhan and Greg over a year ago.

They bought their 3-bed semi at the end of the boom and paid ¤560,000 for it. Despite the falling market and the fact that they are "mortgaged to the hilt". They managed to renovated the front of the house, both upstairs and down, but ran out of ideas on how to tackle the back. Now with a strict budget of ¤90,000, they want to tackle the remaining work with Dermot's help.

Siobhan and Greg are in their mid 30's with a young baby. Siobhan is a graphic designer and Greg, who trained in the Botanic Gardens as a landscape gardener, teaches horticulture to the visually impaired in St Josephs.

"She's a designer and he's a horticulturalist, same as my Dad, they know exactly what they want, they are the most ideal clients I have ever had" says Dermot.

Their home is north facing to the back. They need to extend their kitchen and ideally add a utility and wet room however they don't want to lose too much garden. The existing rear extension described - once upon a not-so-long-ago - by a zealous estate agent, as a sunroom is more like a shack "It's the worst room I've has ever seen" declares Dermot.

Dermot is normally confident about presenting a plan. But with a couple as design-literate as Greg and Siobhan, the stakes are that bit higher. "I just really want them to love it" says Dermot.

Building starts at the beginning of March. The extension is of such dilapidated quality it's demolished in 25 minutes and then the fun begins.

Dermot loves Siobhan and Greg's house almost as much as they do and he wants to use a range of unusual materials to craft for them, a truly unique home with everyone having such high aspirations for this house that the only thing that can keep them in check is the budget...

High expectations are reality checked on Room to Improve this Wednesday 24th June, on RTÉ One at 8.30pm.


Fact Sheet

Building Contractor:
Ivan Duggan
Inex Works
Mobile: 086 8326820

Building Supplies:
Thomas Street
Dublin 8
Tel: 01 4542200

Roof Light
Exitex Glazing Systems supplied by:
Robert Horne Plastics
Fonthill Business Park
Dublin 22
Tel: 01 - 4274917

Teak Semi Solid Engineered Board - Natural Oil Finish
Hardwood Floor Company
Sandyford Industrial Estate
Dublin 18

White High Gloss
Supplied by In House
Longmile Road
Dublin 12
Tel: 01 4266615 (Dermot)
(Fitted by Inex Works)

Teak Frames
Munster Joinery

Vitra Ireland Ltd.
Arklow Business Park, Arklow, Co. Wicklow, Ireland
Tel.: +353 (0)402 26500 /10 /12
Fax: +353 (0)402 91355

Farrow and Ball
Supplied by MRCB paints, 14 Cornmarket Dublin 8.
01 677 0111

Consulting Engineers
Barrett Mahony
Tel: 01 677 3200
Contact: Ciarán Kennedy

Budget Cost Advice
Michael Nolan Associates
Tel : (01) 8511405
e-mail :

Kitchen Table
Delvin Farm Kitchen & Country Antiques
Gormanstown, Co. Meath
Tel: +353 (0)1 841 2285

Eames inspired DSW Side Chair
Kids Panton Chair
Tel: +44 (0) 845 680 1323

Kitchen light
Canopy pendant light (white)
Leigh Harmer

"The Burbs' by Jay Cover
Nous Vous Creative Studio
Tel: +44 (0) 113 217 80 50

'Lavender Mist' by Jackson Pollock
Poster Print

J&J Picture Framing
18a Ranelagh Village, Dublin 6
Tel: +353 (0)1 497 1129

Paving Stone
Kilkenny Limestone
Paulstown, Co. Kilkenny
Tel: +353 (0)59 972 6191

Abwood Homes
Timore, Newcastle, Co. Wicklow
Tel: +353 (0)1 2810109

Tully Nurseries Ltd
Richardstown, Ballyboughal, Co. Dublin
Tel: +353 (0)1 843 3174

Green Expectations
Gerry Doran
Tel: 087 958 1863

Lawn turf
Dublin Lawn Turf
Tel: +353 (0)1 414 1956
Mobile: 087 264 7377

Courtyard stone
Albae White Pebbles 60-100mm

Outdoor lighting
Hicken Lighting
17 Lr. Bridge Street, Dublin 8.
Tel: +353 (0)1 677 7882

Webster's Catering
087 682 7950
086 1585 605

Greg Fitzsimons
087 9586300

Print Bureau
Siobhán O Reilly
Unit 23 Goldenbridge Ind Est, Inchicore, Dublin 8
Tel: +353 1 473 3567
Fax: +353 1 473 3568

Greg Fitzsimons and Siobhan O'Reilly and Baby Conor
Greg Fitzsimons and Siobhan O'Reilly and Baby Conor
Greg and Siobhan's new kitchen
Greg and Siobhan's new kitchen