There was a familiar face on last night's Home of the Year

By Aoife Valentine Secor 20-02-2019

Home of the Year is back for its fifth series and the first episode aired yesterday evening, featuring a familiar face to HouseandHome.ie fans!

Home of the Year judges Peter Crowley, Hugh Wallace, and Deirdre Whelan 

Over the course of the next eight weeks, judges Hugh Wallace, Deirdre Whelan and Peter Crowley will be examining 21 homes as they compete for the title. Last night we got a look inside the houses of the first three contenders: a self-built home in Co Down, a horse-shoe-shaped converted stable in Dublin, and an 1800s cottage with an extension in Co Galway.

The latter is the home of #myhouseandhome poster Dee Noone, or @behind.theyellowgate, as you might know her better. She lives in her Galway cottage with her husband Evan and their two dogs, and we've already had a nosey around her beautiful, daring home. See the real home tour here, and don't miss her budget breakdown on how she created her impressive kitchen on a budget of just €4,000.

They bought their small cottage in 2012, and four years later they began renovating and extending, modernising the old cottage and building an extension to bring a different feel to the existing cottage. Storage, an extra bathroom, and an open plan kitchen/dining area were top of their agenda, while maintaining the 'traditional' front of the house and introducing something more contemporary with the extension. The cottage still holds it original charm, and the quirky features set it apart.

Architecture was front and foremost in the self-built home in Co Down, where Robin Wilson lives with his wife Julie and their daughter Zara. Locally known as the 'Goldeneye' house, it's built on a sloping site that the couple originally bought in 2007, knowing they'd have a challenge on their hands. Their architect designed an upside-down home to capitalise on the view, creating a loft-style living area above the bedrooms. It's a contemporary concept that's carried through to the interior, with open-plan living, dining and kitchen area situated at the top of the house with a viewing platform above it. It was a striking example of modern, contemporary design.

The final house of the trio was located in the capital. Chára Nagle lives in the horse-shoe-shaped converted stable with her partner Alan Crosbie and their family. They bought the home in 2006, and has been living there with Alan for the last four years, but the building dates back to 1674. The pink exterior comes from their aim to make the renovated home a modern-day gingerbread cottage. The building is curved, so the couple had to have all the furniture specially made to fit the space, and the Wicklow artist's own art hangs throughout the space. They converted the downstairs conservatory into a master bedroom and added the round window. She had brass finished wardrobes and storage areas made throughout the house to maximise the space. Chára likes to create ‘stories’ and ‘moments’ throughout the house, which was obvious throughout the space.

At the end of the episode - spoiler alert! - House and Home favourite Deirdre's gorgeous gaff was the one chosen to head into the final. But one thing's for sure, if these are just the first three homes, this is shaping up to be a great series for homeowners looking for inspo. If you've got eyes on the Home of the Year prize after watching yourself, check out our interview with judge Hugh Wallace to see the top three things he's looking for as he examines each home for the series.

Home of the Year airs on Tuesday evenings at 8.30pm on RTE One.

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