Room to Improve, Episode 4 of 7, RTÉ One, Sunday, March 11th at 9.30pm
At Portrane on the north Dublin coast, best friends and sisters Anna and Marion have returned from living abroad, to move back into their childhood home with their 81-year-old mother and Anna’s son Michael. But the house where they spent an idyllic childhood is in dire need of an upgrade if it’s to accommodate three generations of the one family.
Despite its enviable location on a private headland with spectacular views of Lambay Island – the vista is invisible, due to the orientation of the house.
Dermot comes up with a plan to unify a series of stone outbuildings and create a new structure with a raised level – which opens up the house to the sea-view it’s been denied since it was first built.
With a limited budget and boundless optimism, the irrepressible Anna and Marion attempt to save money by getting stuck into the demolition work themselves, but tensions emerge on site as their wayward sledgehammers start getting in the way of the builder.
Meanwhile, Anna and Marion’s mother relocates to a vacant unit in the family’s mobile home park next door – to observe the destruction of her beloved kitchen, as well as the progress on site, with a jaundiced eye.
The view can only get better.
ROOM TO IMPROVE (Series 11)
The nation’s favourite architect is back with a brand new series of Room To Improve. Backed up (and occasionally backed down) by the sobering influence and steely-eyed determination of no-nonsense QS Lisa O’Brien, Dermot sets out to create dream homes for a diverse range of clients in locations from the Dublin suburbs to the wilds of Donegal.
At a farmhouse in rural Tipperary, Dermot attempts to convince his clients – Cork-born Katie and local dairy farmer Padraig – to remove an internal wall and embrace the concept of open plan living, but he and Katie can’t seem to agree on anything.
At a 1960s ‘Semi D’ in Stillorgan, Dermot’s vision of a million euro ‘Malibu style’ house for Rory and Lorna from the west of Ireland descends into an ongoing battle over the style and position of the front door.
How will the urbane architect fare as he accepts a challenge from singer Daniel O’Donnell and his wife Majella to reconfigure their beloved home in Kincasslagh, west Donegal? Daniel pretends he couldn’t care less but, determined to achieve her ideal home, Majella proves more than a match for Dermot.
Time is not on Dermot’s side as he attempts to complete the unfinished renovation of a 1950s house in Killester, for Cliona, Micheal and their new baby.
In Fermoy, Dermot attempts a challenging combination of old and new for his clients Dave and Susie as he merges a high-end, luxurious extension complete with swim spa, gym and sauna with the 170-year-old mansion that Susie fell in love with as a teenager.
At the seaside village of Portrane in North Dublin, Dermot creates a workable home for three generations of the one family under the watchful, budget-conscious eyes of two sisters.
In Clontarf, Christine wants to bring New York style straight from the pages of a magazine to her traditional red brick terraced house. Dermot attempts to reconcile his client’s long wish list with a limited budget but QS Lisa suspects Christine’s dream may never be a reality.
There will be high expectations to meet, dreams to conjure, builders to placate, budgets to massage, clients to calm and visions to sell, as one single-minded architect comes face-to-face with seven of his most demanding builds yet.
Seven designs for life, but you know what they say about the best laid plans!