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Great House Revival RTE - Don’t Forget The Art!

26 Mar 2024
Great House Revival RTE

Shows like the Great House Revival tend to focus on all the big ticket items in a home makeover so by the time the owners get around to finishing details like wall art, often there just isn’t any budget left over.  Maybe we can help?

Hats off to Hugh!

Hats off to Hugh Wallace - he’s all over the RTE schedule at the moment, between House of the Year and the new series of The Great House Revival. Hugh is very watchable on both series, combining obvious expertise with buckets of passion and a friendly, approachable manner.  Occasionally he strays into a patronising “I know best” subjectivity but my sense is that’s often the producers just looking to stir things for a viral clip or something juicy they can build an advert around. 

Mary-Claire and Sully at The Parson's Cottage

The new series of The Great House Revival just launched and the first episode was a big hit.  Mental Health Nurse Mary-Claire and Carpenter Sully, took a derelict period house in Churchtown, North Cork and transformed it into a super-stylish home oozing with charm and character.  

What they achieved with the budget at their disposal was little short of miraculous.  It obviously helps when you’re a tradesman and Sully’s kitchen and stairs was a great advertisement for the quality of his work.  But it was also clear that Mary-Claire knew exactly what she was doing, making canny purchases and managing the whole process with not a hint of drama that usually accompanies these home make-over shows.  

Under Budget? Spend Some Money on Wall Art?

In an absolutely unheard of twist these days, Mary-Claire and Sully managed to bring their project in for €40k under budget.  Hello? I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of these shows with such an impressive underspend - they did an amazing job and there wasn’t a room in the house that didn’t look amazing.

My only thought was that the walls may have been overlooked when it came to framed prints or canvas prints.  And that’s not a criticism of Mary-Claire or Sully because I’m sure they will ultimately end up with fabulous wall art - they are too stylish not to pay attention to it. But generally, I often watch these programs and think the couple have run out of steam or budget by the time it comes round to looking at art for the walls.

It’s possibly also a reflection of how we buy art.  Yes, you can go out and buy some random stuff for your walls that just fits with the design.  But many people want to have framed prints or wall art on their walls that mean something significant to them.  It can take time to find the right pieces if you’re trying to do it in an authentic manner.  

For an old period house like Mary-Claire’s and Sully’s, I can’t help but feel some of our retro travel posters would have been a lovely fit.  But whatever they do, I’m sure they’ll do it with a commensurate style and their relaxed, no drama style that was so infectious. I wish them every happiness in their beautiful new home.

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