THE LIMERICK Home of the Year contestants have fallen marginally short of the winning spot in the grand final of the popular RTÉ series.
Two Limerick families had secured a spot in this year’s final of Home of the Year, Saara McLoughlin with her family, and young couple Kate and Cian O’Driscoll.
Both families missed out on being crowned owners of Home of the Year, losing to Jen Sheahan and her late 1800s artisan cottage in Dublin.
However, before the final even began, both Limerick families expressed that they were just happy for the experience and no title was that important.
“There have been so many stunning homes that didn’t even make it to the final,” said finalist Saara, “I feel very, very lucky because there could have been so many other houses in the final instead.”
Kate expressed a similar sentiment saying “I’m just happy to get into the final. It would obviously have been great if we won but there are some houses that equally deserve it.”
Both homes were heavily praised throughout the course of the final episode in the series with judge Hugh Wallace saying of Saara’s house in Annacotty: “There is nowhere in this home that hadn’t been touched by the creativity of the homeowner.”
The Dublin home of Kate and Cian O’Driscoll, who hail from Raheen and Ennis Road respectively, also received high praise from the judges and even made it into the final three homes chosen by the judging panel. Judge Amanda Bone described the house as “calm and elegant with a clever extension”.
The judges had a tough time choosing the winner, with Hugh especially heartbroken to eliminate Saara’s home from the competition. “The individuality in this home, this show is Home of the Year and I think this is a home of the year,” he announced as he tried to convince the judges that Saara’s house deserved a winning spot.
Unfortunately, his convincing was not enough and Limerick went home empty handed. Limerick native, judge Suzie McAdam captured the mood of the episode saying: "It was always going to be extremely hard this year to pick a winner - the standard has been exceptional.”
As this season of Home of the Year comes to a close, Saara encourages Limerick people to enter their homes into the show and hopefully we can have a Limerick winner next year!