Home is where the heart is, they say, and I’m certainly very happy with the home I’ve shared with GG for over 30 years.

But I’m also fascinated by what other people have done with their homes. So I am always drawn to television programmes on houses, home make-overs and properties under the hammer.

Homes on TV

One of my favourites is Home of the Year on RTE where three judges visit three homes in each programme and mark each according to individuality, functionality and clever design.  One winner from each week goes through to the final and eventually an overall winner is chosen.

These homes (above and below) represent the personalities of their owners in many cases. Some have been lovingly restored/renovated; some are modern design and built from scratch. They vary from tiny country cottages to large family homes. I admire the owners who put forward their homes to be analysed and judged. It has to be difficult, because nothing is more personal than your home.

I was glued to the celebrity version of the programme when we saw inside the homes of well-known Irish people including author John Boyne who won the Celebrity Home of the Year.

And my penchant for looking at other people’s homes continued when watching well-known architect Dermot Bannon check out amazing homes in Australia in the first episode of a new series Dermot Bannon’s Incredible Homes on RTE One recently.

Peeping

Now I do have a curious streak…some might even say nosey. I have to admit that I love nothing better than looking online at the interior photos of houses for sale. Do any of you do this? You know how in some cases you can get a virtual tour of the house. I am always fascinated by décor and how, in some cases, houses are caught in a time warp.

Unusual Homes

So, when Chill Insurance sent me a link to its eBook entitled Weird and Wonderful Homes, I had to have a look…I mean, who would not want to live in a Flintstone House? I don’t fancy the featured Japanese house, however, which is so open that there is no privacy at all.  But I like the idea of living in that renovated castle in Drogheda in Ireland and all those steps would keep me fit!

My Home

Graham and I have only moved once and our main aim was to live near the sea. Being from the only county in Ireland that doesn’t touch a county that touches the sea (Laois), going to the seaside on a day trip in the summer was the highlight of the year for me. My dream was to live beside it – now the Irish Sea is a less than a two-minute walk away.

I find it healing and the sea in all its moods attracts me. There is nothing I like better than a walk on the beach or on the coastal path between Malahide and Portmarnock.

So, I suppose it is all about location for me.  I would absolutely love to re-decorate. I would not mind downsizing, but it would have to be nearby, near the sea and near the village of Malahide.

In the end, neither size nor location matter; it is who is with you. It is family, it is memories, it is love.

(In collaboration with Chill Insurance)