February 8, 2023
‘I am going to transfer there if Dermot Bannon designs our home’

When Amy O’Sullivan and Conor Dunne step into their newly renovated dream house, it is right into a design that balances previous with new, and merges Amy’s style for all that is smooth and up to date with Conor’s love for consolation.

The renovated century-old residence, in Tullamore, Co Offaly, is Conor’s late grandmother’s house, and the place his father grew up.

A 12 months earlier than, it sat empty. “One weekend I mentioned, I’d wish to go see this home you retain speaking about,” says Conor’s fiancée Amy.

‘I am going to transfer there if Dermot Bannon designs our home’
Conor and Amy with Dermot Bannon.

She instantly understood its attraction. “I simply liked it,” says the Cork native initially of episode one in all this season’s Room To Enhance on RTÉ One.

“For me, coming as much as Offaly, it’s beautiful that it’s a household house.” 

The property has been gifted to them by Conor’s dad and mom.

“We had been wanting again at textual content messages from a couple of years in the past and I might clearly broached the thought with Amy about transferring as much as Offaly and he or she mentioned, ‘The one means you’d get me up there may be if Dermot Bannon designs our home’ — so she has the proof, it’s there in writing,” he jokes.

As they prepare to satisfy Eire’s most high-profile architect, Conor’s fiancée Amy provides: “I used to be advised on the time that I’d severe notions, however look the place we’re.” 

Dermot sees the potential of the homestead the second he approaches the gate and is taken by one of many first areas they present him: “This was the kitchen — it was all the things actually — it was the kitchen, the sitting room, it was the place all the things occurred,” says Conor.

Dermot agrees it’s “an ideal open-plan room”.

“There’s a tremendous soul to this place,” provides the architect.

The couple have a price range of €320,000 all in — “new-build territory”, as Dermot says.

He reveals them a plan that goals  “to strike a steadiness between previous and new” and create a “shed home” that sits behind the unique farmhouse.

Contractor Ronan Scally and his crew arrive on web site in early June 2021 and the venture is accomplished 12 months later.

On the time of development, the couple navigate restrictions brought on by Covid lockdowns and as well as, navy police officer Conor known as away to serve in Kosovo for six months.

Throughout this era, Amy takes on your entire venture administration of the construct, whereas Dermot additionally tries to discover a compromise between the couple’s reverse tastes in interiors.

On the subject of the design, he retains the unique structural format of the previous farmhouse.  

The 2 current ground-floor rooms change into a bed room and a front room, with the porch repurposed as a brand new house workplace.

To the rear of the home, a brand new hall opens into a rest room at one finish, with a brand new entrance on the different.

This hall continues externally within the type of a shaded pergola with deep fins that body views to the yard.

At one finish of the extension is an open-plan kitchen, dwelling and eating area, south-facing with a vaulted ceiling opening out onto the courtyard.

On the different finish, there may be the utility and visitor bed room, whereas the primary ground of the previous farmhouse retains two current bedrooms and a rest room is on the brand new first-floor return.

Each Amy and Conor are delighted with the end result: The farmhouse has doubled in dimension with its new extension framed by a free-standing pergola — a Nineteen Twenties farmhouse reborn with all its previous appeal intact. “It’s nonetheless the identical home that it ever was,” says Conor.

The parlour as it was. 
The parlour because it was. 


The estimated price range is €319,233 with “no wriggle room in anyway”, says Dermot.

The contract worth is €340,000. 

The couple receives a €20,000 SEAI power improve grant, which brings the spend all the way down to €320,000.

The parlour now. 
The parlour now. 

Extras carry the overall spend on the finish of the venture to €326,000.

Amount surveyor Claire Irwin says the ultimate tally is “fairly outstanding for what we’ve acquired”.


With a view to fulfil the necessities of the grant the venture needed to obtain a B2 power ranking.

However it “went over and past that: this home is now an A2 power ranking which is kind of improbable”, provides Claire.

  • Room To Enhance airs on Sundays at 9.30pm on RTÉ One