Ireland's favourite architect Dermot Bannon has visited some of the most amazing homes around the globe, but when it comes to creating a "warm and inviting" kitchen, he reckons Irish households win hands down.
Dermot Bannon's Incredible Homes returns to RTÉ One next week. In the new 4-part series, he travels as near as London and as far as Australia.
Speaking to Ryan Tubridy on The Late Late Show, Bannon said despite his worldly travels, it's hard to beat an Irish kitchen.
"There’s nothing like an Irish kitchen. I think that’s something I love about Irish homes. Even in the homes that if you took a photo of it, you’d think that place is for the scrap heap.
"I don’t know how we manage to make the most incredibly warm, inviting, homely kitchens.
"I’m obsessed with kitchens! Actually, nearly in every Room to Improve episode it’s the one room that we focus on the most.
"I think we have something very special in a very social way."
Bannon, who was born in Malahide in Dublin, recalled how he grew up in a house that had a shed blocking the view from the kitchen, and insists even then, there was still a lovely inviting feeling to the space.
"Even in the kitchen where I grew up - my mum will kill me for saying this -she was really shy. She still is.
"So dad built a shed right up outside the back window. Anyone who knows Room to Improve knows that’s breaking every rule in the book!
"But there’s still a warmth in the house," he added.
"I think we have something very special. I’m constantly obsessed with looking at how it evolves, and making really contemporary modern spaces that are big and bright, but also don’t lose that ability to embrace a whole family.
"That’s something I think the world can learn from us," he added.
Dermot Bannon’s Incredible Homes airs on RTÉ One, February 10 at 9.30 pm.