Celebrity cribs – Irish style

RTÉ invites you to tour the homes of some of our favourite celebrities

Check out Eleanor McEvoy’s  period redbrick home in Dublin 8.

Check out Eleanor McEvoy’s period redbrick home in Dublin 8.

 

When you finally tire of Christmas movies and the endless re-runs, make a date with RTÉ’s Celebrity Home of the Year, a show that takes viewers into the homes of some of our favourite celebrities in a way a magazine shoot simply cannot.

RTÉ weather woman Jean Byrne’s house is very classically laid out with a formal living-cum-dining room warmed by antique furniture. She uses over-mantle mirrors to bounce light around the timber-floored room and has installed a roof light above the fireplace where, on a clear night, she can star gaze.

Only a Woman’s Heart composer, Eleanor McEvoy’s period redbrick in Dublin 8 really lights up the screen as she uses the entire house as a creative writing space

Artist Robert Ballagh’s elegantly artistic abode is a pair of interconnecting cottages in Dublin 7 that was designed by Boyd Cody Architects, while writer John Boyne’s book-filled building shows how you can use one of life’s great pleasures to stylishly decorate your home.

Cara Pharmacy boss Ramona Nicholas has a staircase and galleried landing that would give the fabled Tara in Gone With The Wind a run for its money. But it is Only a Woman’s Heart composer, Eleanor McEvoy’s period redbrick in Dublin 8 that really lights up the screen – in part because the house resonates with music – as she uses the entire house as a creative writing space.

Social space

When she’s co-writing with other musicians she likes to works downstairs in the social space, a pointed yellow brick area where the piano is located. Here a gallery wall is home to mirrors and photographs, most framed in red while a William Morris-esque patterned couch looks straight out of a Vincent van Gogh painting.

The kitchen is hived off this area, divided by a brick chimneybreast and here is where the musicians like to take a break, make coffee and allow ideas to percolate. Open display shelving for plates evokes the old-school Irish dresser and there is a gas-fire insert in the brick-fronted hearth. On a warm day the musicians will venture outside to the garden to play.

When the creative flow turns to a trickle Eleanor climbs in a hammock suspended from the beams and looks up at the sky through the roof lights to watch the birds in flight

When she’s writing for herself she uses a different method, preferring to ascend to a room she calls "the roof". Set under the eaves, the Toblerone-shaped attic space is where she sits down either at the desk and puts ideas down in a more formal manner using a pencil and paper; her next album, out in summer 2019, was written here.

When occasionally the creative flow turns to a trickle she climbs in a hammock suspended from the beams and looks up at the sky through the roof lights to watch the birds in flight. If that doesn’t help she’ll take a 180-degree turn and try the swinging seat.

Celebrity Home of the Year runs on Wednesday, January 2nd on RTÉ One. You can catch Eleanor playing songs inspired by 19th-century Irish poet Thomas Moore on Saturday, January 26th at the Pepper Canister Church, Dublin 2, as part of Tradfest.