Jen Sheahan, and her late 1800s artisan cottage in Dublin, has scooped the coveted title of Home of the Year 2021.
The seventh series of Home of the Year saw the three judges Hugh Wallace, Suzie Mc Adam and Amanda Bone visit twenty one homes across the country but chose Jen’s home as the ultimate winner.
Judge Hugh Wallace said, ‘Today is really about celebrating seven extraordinary homes. I know I say the standard is incredible but this year my breath was taken away. You know arriving up to this cottage was a treat. You knew something special was going on! Entering the living/kitchen/dining area was terrific because it’s such a small footprint of the house. They created so much space in that area around the dining table with all their memorabilia pictures little bits and pieces and I thought it was terrific. The home has been re-imagined and oozes with the personality and style of the homeowner – the design, layout and functionality of this home was a real surprise. It has great functionality for a small home but even better – big personality and that came from the homeowner.’
Judge Amanda Bone said, ‘It was very interesting to be able to wander through peoples’ homes. I was gobsmacked at how creative Irish people are. This competition – it really shows me how passionate people are about their homes and the effort that they go to. Jen’s home is very cleverly thought out in terms of the layout, particularly the open plan kitchen, dining and living area and even though the ceilings are low, because of the light, it feels much more spacious. The home that won is all about what can be achieved with clever design in such a small space. Definitely a unique home and a well-deserved winner.’
Judge Suzie Mc Adam said, ‘It was always going to be extremely hard this year to pick a winner – the standard has been exceptional. There are some homes that have taken my breath away – they’ve created an incredible ambiance – perfect use of colour, incredible renovations – there are quite a few I’d like the keys to! I love that Jen’s home was packed full of personality – these functional areas and yet we saw colour. She even had a disco bathroom which I thought was so much fun. This home represents everything this competition is about, it’s the right end to the story.’
Jen Sheahan is very proud of the design of her late 1800s cottage in Dublin. She wanted one of these cottages for a long time and was delighted when one came on the market in 2019. It needed a lot of work as it was damp, had no central heating and the toilet was outside. Jen did a complete renovation, knocked all internal walls, dug up the floor and lowered it plus added on an extra floor to make it a two-storey house. There are clever storage solutions throughout this home. Jen describes her style as modern, playful and colourful. She loves that it is fun, comfortable and loves to see people’s reactions when they see a feature such as her disco ball light in her brightly coloured downstairs toilet.
Speaking of her happiness at winning Jen said, ‘I feel… I don’t even know how I feel yet! Complete and utter shock – I’m floating on air I’m so thrilled to pieces I can’t believe it! My home is little and it needs to have a lot of dual functions so it might be small, but a lot can be done in a small space that’s really just made for me. It’s just incredible I would never ever have thought that it would be me standing here.’
Speaking about the other six finalists Jen said, ‘It’s mind blowing – the creativity is incredible the different style in every home. Really, really impressive – it was wonderful to see it I could’ve stayed looking at those (photo displays of the other homes) all day.’
Look back at the other six finalists and runners-up in each episode here:
Episode 1 – David O’ Brien
Episode 3 – Saara McLoughlin
Episode 4 – Sally Ann Mitchell
Episode 5 – Kevin Desmond
Episode 6 – Tanya Lee Conroy
Episode 7 – Kate O’ Driscoll