Kate and Shane Byrne have lifted the coveted Home of the Year 2022 trophy for their 150-year-old farmhouse with modern extension in Co. Wicklow.
The property has been in Shane’s family for decades but when they moved in, in 2018, they knocked through all the smaller rooms and added an extension to create an open plan living space with lots of natural light. The family love the sense of history in their home and that their son is the fourth generation of the Byrne family to grow up there and that, in time, it will be a place for his own family.
The eighth series of Home of the Year saw the three judges Hugh Wallace, Amanda Bone and Sara Cosgrove visit 21 homes across the country but chose Kate and Shane’s home as the ultimate winner.
Judge Hugh Wallace said, ‘Arriving up you knew there was something special and walking through the door I just loved the hall. The scale and size of the kitchen was terrific and that big dining room table was smashing! It was amazing because once you went through that door you could just feel the heartbeat of this spectacular home. There’s the intangible which is so important – that feeling when you walk around the home: of the family, the fun, the history, the memories that are in that home – that’s what makes a home for me.’
Judge Amanda Bone said: ‘I thoroughly enjoyed traveling the length and breadth of Ireland experiencing the different topography the island has to offer which very much inspired the design of a lot of the homes. The views in particular from some of the homes were astounding, providing a constant reminder of what a beautiful country we live in. Seven homes made it through to the final but there were many more homes which truly deserved to be there. The winning home is a 19th century traditional farmhouse that has been refurbished and extended, this home is full of light, spacious, comfortable, uplifting and has a great connection with the surrounding landscape. Sometimes homes are all about how they make you feel and our winner just made you feel good!’
Judge Sara Cosgrove said: ‘Huge congratulations to the Byrne family and their Wicklow farmhouse. A hugely worthy winner of this year’s Home of the Year. For me, the home had wonderful flow and had a lovely combination of old and new. I loved the living areas in particular, the unique u-shape layout and seamless connection to the outdoor terrace and farm beyond. The bedrooms also had a very serene feel, with the baby’s bedroom in particular hitting a cheerful and uplifting note.’
Winners Kate and Shane said, ‘We are just so over the moon and blown away by the reaction to our home. For our farmhouse to make the final, never mind win is just so incredibly flattering. It is not something thing we could have ever imagined happening. Our house is a part of our family’s history and is truly a home, not just a house. For the judges to see and recognise that is amazing. For us a home is not about the size of your floor plan or budget, instead what’s important for our family is the feeling the house gives you and those that visit it. The other houses in the competition were beautiful and it’s such an honour to have featured alongside them. Just being part of the competition is such a great experience and one I would highly recommend.’
Look back to Episode One here
Look back to Episode Two here
Look back to Episode Three here
Look back to Episode Four here
Look back to Episode Five here
Look back to Episode Six here
Look back to Episode Seven here
Photography: RTÉ/Shinawil 2021. Photography credit: Joe McCallion