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‘It may not be to everyone’s taste’: Wicklow Farmhouse wins coveted Home of the Year title.

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A 150 year old farmhouse in Wicklow, in the family for four generations, claimed the coveted title RTÉ‘s house of the year last night.

ate and Shane Byrne were “over the moon” with the outcome of last night’s final as they beat competition from six other finalists to become the winners for their “home forever”.

The couple, who have a two-year-old son, Max, hope their 19th-century home will inspire others to see the potential of old farmhouses, with similar homes across the country.

They inherited the property from her husband’s parents, Carmel and Declan, in 2018. The couple undertook a major renovation, punching through all the small spaces and adding an annexe to create a U-shaped open plan living area with lots of natural light.

Show judges Hugh Wallace, Amanda Bone and Sara Cosgrove were particularly taken with the way they used wood for the new build, to make it stand out from the original farmhouse.

When asked what she thinks makes her home stand out from the rest, Ms Byrne said Irish Independent that old farmhouses like hers formed an important part of Ireland’s architectural heritage.

“I know Hugh Wallace made a comment in the finale about how important houses like ours are to Irish history. There are farmhouses like ours across the country that people look at and say, ‘Ugh, small windows, low ceilings, small rooms,'” she said.

“And what Hugh said was that our house showed what can be done with a house like this. Rather than allowing a piece of Irish history to fall into disrepair, there is an opportunity to convert them into modern homes suitable for families and contemporary living.”

The house was originally bought by Shane’s grandfather about 100 years ago and worked on by all the generations that have lived there before.

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“It was passed down to Shane’s father and then Shane and I and it’s a very traditional farmhouse. When we did the refurbishment we didn’t want it to look like a big, modern new build as that’s not the kind of house it is,” Ms Byrne said.

“Each generation has put its own stamp on it and this was our opportunity to add ours.

“Shane’s father’s health has not been great in recent years, so they anticipated the fact that this house would not be suitable for them in the future. They now have a beautiful new home that they are absolutely thrilled with and this gave us the opportunity to create a forever home for our family.”

Ms Byrne said it was a real family affair when it came to the renovations. She had to move in with her parents during construction, which allowed them to save for the construction work. Their families on both sides also helped with some of the work to be done.

It’s been a busy few years for the couple, who married in May 2019 and welcomed their son Max in November. They started work on the house in June 2020 and it took a year to complete.

Long time fans of home of the yearWhen they were first approached to participate, Ms Byrne decided to give it a try because she is “very proud” of the stunning home they have created. The fact that it comes with such a story makes it even more special, she said.

“It might not be to everyone’s taste, but it’s very representative of who we are as a family,” she said.

“As Hugh said, people inherit houses like this from parents and grandparents and they have so much potential. There’s real character in old houses that you can’t replicate in new houses no matter how hard you try.”

https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/television/tv-news/it-may-not-be-to-everyones-taste-wicklow-farmhouse-wins-coveted-home-of-the-year-title-41525119.html ‘It may not be to everyone’s taste’: Wicklow Farmhouse wins coveted Home of the Year title.

Fry Electronics Team

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