RTE ROOM TO IMPROVE

Series 8 Programme Six - Nenagh

Sunday 8 March 9.30pm on RTÉ One GP, writer and budding musician, Dr Pat Harrold, his wife Marita, a physiotherapist, and their four kids returned to Pat's home town of Nenagh ten years ago and they've been looking for a place to call home ever since. In the last 22 years, they've changed address an incredible 17 times, shifting from Enniskillen, Mayo and Galway to Wales and back. The time has come to find the home to end all houses and as it happens, it's been in Nenagh all along.

Pat and Marita plan to renovate and extend the 1950s 3-bed bungalow where Pat grew up - a tiny, dark house currently occupied by Pat's 93-year-old mother Mary. But with three generations of the family to accommodate - each needing their own personal space - architect Dermot Bannon has his work cut out. Dermot plans a radical reconfiguration of the bungalow, converting the original house into a six-bed dormitory block with an all-new three-part extension block offering living, dining and communal space. With his clients insisting the house relates ideally to the existing gardens, Dermot also designs a floating wooden deck.

Early on, the budget is under pressure as Pat and Marita ask for a large home gym to be accommodated into their master bedroom, creating havoc with the existing roofline. Meanwhile, a Feng Shui expert is called in to 'harmonise' the various elements of the design - an ancient school of Oriental thought Dermot never encountered at college. Worse still, as the elaborate extension takes shape, Pat's not even sure he likes what he sees, comparing Dermot's design to the prow of the Titanic. And, with trouble below deck, can Dermot steer this project past the looming shadows of disharmony and design disaster toward safe harbour?

The 'Room to Improve' programme where I advised on the feng shui elements of the build broke all records and was the most watched programme of all of the shows in the entire 8 series since it first aired - and even beat the 'Late Late Show' in viewer statistics! Proof of the public's popular interest in feng shui. Dermot Bannon chose this episode as his favourite from the series of 8 programmes.