May 17, 2022

Home Design Consultant

Enjoy Home Design Consultant

Minimalist Dublin residence is fifth Home of the Year finalist

A renovated Dublin residence is the fifth through to the 2022 Home of the Year final.

Sarah Duggan and her fiancé Ian McNamee immediately spotted the potential of this period property, transforming it into the sleek city-centre pad that wowed all three judges in the RTÉ One series.

“It was in all its original form — we even had an outdoor toilet,” says Sarah.

The work involved replumbing, rewiring and reroofing the building.

“We did a full deepfit renovation,” says Sarah.

Sarah Duggan, Dublin.
Sarah Duggan, Dublin.

They stripped everything out, reconfigured the stairs and raised the ceiling up to the roof apex to allow light to flood into the home.

Sarah, who works in fashion, was inspired to decorate  in a minimalist style, using clean silhouettes and luxe fabrics. 

“Storage for us was key,” she adds.

“We wanted to bring lots of daylight in and to have a really integrated kitchen.” 

Sarah’s favourite spot is the sofa in the lounge. 

“It’s in a really sociable space, I’m able to chat to my fiancé when he is cooking or watch some TV and relax,” she says.

The house appeals to architect Amanda Bone as she approaches the front door. “From the outside I’m getting minimalist vibes,” she says, adding the living room is “perfect”.

Sarah Duggan's Dublin home. Pictures: Joe McCallion
Sarah Duggan’s Dublin home. Pictures: Joe McCallion

The monochrome interior with pops of colour pleases interior designer Sara Cosgrove, while the sophisticated touches, complete with some “bling” in the kitchen, catch architect Hugh Wallace’s eye.

All three judges are impressed with the light-filled design, particularly in the kitchen extension, featuring the large corner windows and rooflight.

“I think this is a brilliant example of what contemporary minimalist design can add to a period design,” says Amanda.

Sara also admires the interconnection between the rear terrace and the kitchen/living space and the porcelain tiles outside.

“It looks like an indoor finish but is perfect for use outside,” she adds.

The judges give it 28 marks: Amanda awards the property a perfect 10, Sara a nine, and Hugh gives what he calls a “tour de force of great design and style” another nine.

Emma Kelly and Ciaran O'Sullivan with their family.
Emma Kelly and Ciaran O’Sullivan with their family.

Emma Kelly and Ciaran O’Sullivan, Cork 

Coming in at a close second in this episode is the coastal Cork home owned by Emma Kelly and Ciaran O’Sullivan,  which receives a score of 27.

Emma, an engineer and interior designer, and Ciaran, an engineer, live in their 1970s bungalow with their children.

“We both saw potential in it,” says Ciaran.

The couple bought the property in 2013, having fallen in love with its location and coastal views. 

They reorientated and repurposed the space to create a south-facing aspect with the main living spaces facing the sea.

“We spent a bit of time in the States when we were younger and gravitate towards New England or Hamptons style,” says Emma.

“Over the years it’s morphed into a lot of things that reflect our personalities.” 

Ciaran especially likes the living and kitchen area which he describes as “vibrant” and which Emma calls “chaotic”.

Emma’s favourite space is at an antique table, which was a wedding gift from her mother and father. 

“He has since passed so it is nice to have something they have chosen,” she says.

Hugh immediately picks up the beach-house vibe.

“I think I’m in Provincetown on Cape Cod,” he says.

Amanda is impressed. “That is the best view through a home that I’ve ever seen.” 

The relaxed feel throughout impresses the judges.

“If I was a kid living here with my family I would be just thrilled,” says Hugh.

The colour palette gets Sara’s approval. 

“The colour tones in the space reflect the changing colour tones of the sea,” says the interior designer.

Emma Edmonds, Wicklow 

Emma Edmonds, an interior designer and colour consultant, lives in her  country cottage in Co Wicklow along with her Maltese terrier, Maxi.

When Emma bought the 1980s property it was in good condition but needed updating, so she ripped out the interiors, replacing them with her own anything-goes style.

“Most people love a minimal style, but I love a bit of fun,” she says.

Sara deems it “magical”.

Emma loves antiques and mixing new with old. She uses texture and colour in each room and loves that her home is always evolving with her.

The judges award Emma’s home a score of 22.

  • Home of the Year airs on RTÉ One at 8.30pm on Tuesdays and is available on-demand on RTÉ Player each week after broadcast