Home of the Year: Single-storey home surrounded by woods and sea views wins the series

The RTÉ property series visited 21 homes around Ireland to find the 2023 winner

Home of The Year judges Sara Cosgrove, Hugh Wallace and Amanda Bone. Photograph: RTÉ

A property celebrating natural wood and stone on Ireland’s Co Antrim coast has won RTÉ’s Home of the Year series. The judges Hugh Wallace, Amanda Bone and Sara Cosgrove visited 21 homes around Ireland to pick this year’s winner.

The properties ranged from reimagined semidetached homes to incredible renovation projects.

On Tuesday night, the outright winner was chosen from seven finalists – an architectural new build in Co Antrim.

Wallace said all the homeowners involved should be proud of their wonderful homes.


“Travelling across Ireland again and meeting so many homeowners passionate about creating beautiful spaces has been fabulous,” he said.

“After visiting 200 amazing homes over the last nine years of Home of the Year, I’m blown away by this year’s seven finalists.”

Homeowners Rob and Janice McConnell said they fell in love with site on the Co Antrim coast with its stunning sea views and woodland.

The couple decided to build a single-storey home and use as many natural materials as possible.

They said they were hesitant to put themselves forward for the popular show, but they were absolutely thrilled with the result.

“We were delighted with how the house looked; it was absolutely beautiful. We were blown away and it was actually quite emotional seeing our house on TV,” Janice said.

Janice said they wanted to use muted tones and minimalist furniture in order to keep the focus on their surroundings.

“We very much wanted to stick with the natural materials that we had used outside for the interiors as well and follow that through,” she said. “Obviously, there are so many windows so furniture is to a minimum.

“There’s not many walls to put furniture against in this house,” she laughs, “so that makes it feel a bit more minimal but we tried to make it flow with natural materials like wood and concrete floor and stone.

Rob said the couple drew inspiration from their travels, particularly their time in Australia, in order to plan their home with plenty of cost-efficient and eco-friendly design features.

“Ultimately, we wanted to set the house up that the living space was south-facing and, obviously, then we get the sun coming up in the morning. One, you get that light all day long, but also then you get solar gain,” he said.

“One of the things you’ll have sort of picked up on is the sustainability aspect of the home; we’ve got PEG panels, and we’ve got heat from a number of new technologies that are sort of driving a lower footprint of a home.”

He said building their dream home took blood, sweat, and tears, but sharing their home on the show had been “an amazing experience”.