The RTÉ show breaks new ground with the series’ first ‘Flat’ and two pianos, but complaints about modern Irish cuisine hit a nerve

Anyway, this was a pretty big week. We saw our first apartment in this series – ok, a duplex apartment, but we’re desperate here. And we don’t have one piano, but two. Talk about exciting things.

The judges also seemed to be in better shape. Amanda stood her ground bravely when confronted with Tríona’s Cave of Creativity (don’t ask; I’m becoming a bit Amanda myself). Hugh stole marshmallows and hid in a guest bathroom, also called a toilet.

And Sara said: “We’re in Offaly but to be honest I felt like we could be in LA.”

That’s a phrase you don’t hear very often on Irish television.

Even Tríona knew there would be problems with her duplex in Co. Kildare. She is a maximalist. We were told that she returned from Vietnam in recent years, although we were not told what she was doing there. Anyway, now she’s an elementary school teacher and has more curtains, upholstery, painted furniture, and pillows than you can shake a stick at. There was a pattern on the fridge, which is a good idea when you think about it. There was also a white piano. It wouldn’t end well.

Tríona showcased her maximalist duplex in Co Kildare

Tríona’s love for her home was obvious. Even Amanda liked the kitchen, which looked wonderful. Sara said the lights were too low. Only Hugh seemed to enjoy Tríona’s home as much as Tríona herself.

The joy spread as the judges arrived at Rebecca and Eamonn’s converted bungalow in Offaly. Rebecca has a small grand piano and, perhaps a first for lifestyle television, was filmed playing it, albeit with no sound. Really the way how Home of the year are mysterious.

There was a brief disturbance when Hugh and Amanda argued about unnecessary architraves, as Amanda said. At this point, Hugh pretended to hide in the discreetly hidden downstairs toilet, which probably had plenty of storage space.

I wonder about the clashes between Hugh and Amanda: are they manufactured?

I also wonder what houseplants are – or home plants as we surely must call them. Do any of them look suspicious? new? If Home of the year If the drug forcefully enters my house, I’ll rush out, buy a wall of banana trees and hang up the costs.

Back in what passes for reality television, Amanda wants the world painted white and the Earth covered in a single layer of soil from the North Pole to the South Pole. That’s why she would always love Rebecca and Eamonn’s very attractive home.

But Sinead and John’s home, a 100-year-old suburban house in Belfast, was perhaps the most interesting. That was because, as John pointed out, the couple had done everything themselves. The obvious questions that follow this statement are: “HOW? How did you do everything yourself? What exactly did you do? And how come you’re still married at the end?”

John and Sinead outside their Belfast home on RTÉ’s Home of the Year

But there were no questions. Amanda became nervous about the hallway flooring. The kitchen was a focal point for all three judges. Modern Irish kitchens, our architect said, are all the same, and that was evident in this week’s episode – with the exception of Tríona’s. All modern Irish kitchens have an island and a large picture window. And that’s where I was offended because that’s what my kitchen has.

In Belfast, the judges felt Sinead and John’s island was too big and their small bistro-style table was too small. Don’t they understand that Sinead and John are too busy paying off the mortgage to have people over? Or that when they have people, everyone on the island eats? Sometimes I wonder where the judges eat when they’re home, but that’s unhealthy speculation.

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