Co Down upside-down house claims spot in Home of the Year final

An upside-down house in Co Down has claimed the third spot in RTÉ’s Home of the Year final.

n the third episode of the latest series, Aoife and Gareth Tolerton showed off their redesigned home which was built to make the most of the spectacular coastline where it is situated.

The house is an upside-down home, so the bedrooms are at the bottom and the living area is on top.


The Co Down house through to the final of Home of the Year. Photo: RTÉ

The layout aims to maximise the views and makes the most of the sense of light throughout the home.

Aoife, who works as an artist and graphic designer, took over the interiors and created a modern, minimalist, clean look which is softened by rustic elements of wood throughout.

The couple said they love the modernist, 1960s, rustic vibe which they aimed to re-create in their home.


The Co Down house through to the final of Home of the Year. Photo: RTÉ

The exterior of the family home contains a terrace which faces east to south, so it catches sunlight from morning to night.

Aoife said the open plan design of the house is “essential” for the family and “rain or shine the views are immense”, while Gareth described the location as “quite calming”. 

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The Co Down house through to the final of Home of the Year. Photo: RTÉ

The master bedroom also contains a standalone bathtub which faces the sea.

Aoife and Gareth scored a near perfect 28 out of 30 and judge Amanda Bone said she was “so happy that this home is through to the final”.

“I really felt that the homeowners and the home, they were as one. So for that reason, I gave this magnificent home a big, fat 10,” she said. 


Tipperary farmhouse Home of the Year entry

The next highest score of 26 was awarded to a farmhouse in Co Tipperary which judge Hugh Wallace praised for its “big, high ceilings; lovely farmhouse kitchen style”.

Denis and Máire Hennessey-O’Connor renovated their farm cottage over a two-year period and they live there with their children.

The couple said it was very important to them that the original feeling of the property was not lost, so they kept as many of the old features of the cottage as possible.

Máire is an interior decorator and she designed the interiors to be a balanced mix of traditional and modern.

She decorated the family home in a country chic style keeping it homely, cosy, relaxed with modern touches.

The latest series of Home of the Year began on February 15 and will air every Tuesday at 8.30pm for eight weeks. 

The series will visit 21 stunning homes in Galway, Wicklow, Down, Cork, Longford, Sligo, Kilkenny, Antrim, Kerry and Tipperary.