Room to Improve is back and better than ever with Ireland's favourite architect, Dermot Bannon, creating diverse and beautiful homes, pushing budgets to their limits, installing glass windows like nobody's business, and inspiring some of the country's funniest tweets.
Claudia and Tom
This week, Dermot worked with Claudia and Tom, a young couple who have recently returned to Ireland after some years living abroad with their three children, eight-year-old twins and an 11-year-old.
The couple bought their 1920s bungalow with panoramic views of Tramore Bay in 2012 for €305,000, and after a spell of years abroad in Spain, Dubai and Germany they have been living in their home for a year. Although Claudia is originally from Germany, this move brings them closer to home in many ways, as Tom's father lives just 80 metres up the road.
Their influences are as unusual as the way they met: they crossed paths 15 years ago when Claudia worked as cabin crew for Tom - a pilot. Now, he is a cargo pilot for ASL and Claudia juggles the demands of being a stay at home mum, teaching Zumba to the Tramore locals three times a week. She also studies Feng Shui.
This was the first stumbling block for Dermot, as he tried to balance his design ethos with Claudia's fondness for the Japanese living style.
Despite the romantic and expansive views, the house is anything but sweeping, as rooms are dark and cramped and leave little room for the young family to spread out. With four bedrooms, a family bathroom, kitchen, living room and conservatory all on one level, the layout is pretty cramped and dark in this house. The kitchen is the size of a cupboard and the conservatory cuts off much of the view.
As much as feng shui was brought into the house, the relationship between Dermot and the couple was not harmonious at first, with his first two plans rejected outright. With a tight budget of €220,000 and an ... unusual request for a place to dry the family's wetsuits, this ambitious build turns out to be one of the most contentious of the lot.
As always, Irish Twitter was on hand to document the highs, the lows and the nation's grá for Dermot, and his grá for an auld window. Here are the best of the lot:
One good thing about tonights show we found out what happened to Hansen #roomtoimprove— TOMSO (@Mrtomso) October 6, 2019
Feng shui woman
Season 40 of Room to Improve
Reality vs Dreams
What happened to the shed??? #roomtoimprove— Karl Henry (@karlhenrypt) October 6, 2019
Room to Improve is one of RTÉ's most watched shows but it’s also one of the least watched shows cos everyone who is 'watching’ it is on twitter having the bantz #roomtoimprove— Graham Patchell 🇮🇪🇪🇺 (@GrahamPatchell) October 6, 2019
Obligatory Joe and Mary tweet