Dermot Bannon transforms Tipperary farmhouse on RTÉ's Room to Improve after overcoming stumbling blocks

Limerick school teacher puts Dermot to the test in Tipperary.

Dylan White


Dylan White


Dermot Bannon's plans for a 100-years-old farmhouse on half an acre of land in South Tipperary were branded “terrible” on Sunday night’s episode of Room to Improve on RTÉ One.

School teacher Katie and her husband Padraig Ryan married in 2016, before later moving into a farmhouse that Padraig inherited from his late uncle. “When we were dating first Padraig would come into Limerick loads but then he started milking on this farm and that’s way more serious. You don’t have as much free time on your hands, so that’s why I came out here,” Katie told viewers, before casting aside Dermot’s open plan brief for their home.

Katie wanted a “functional” approach, aimed at making the farmhouse more couple friendly and modern - four bedrooms, a dressing room, a downstairs bedroom, space for an eight foot long pink chaise longue and a living room were on her shopping list. As Padraig conceded, “she wants things done her way”.

But Dermot admitted that piecing together their ideas for the South Tipperary farmhouse, which has scenic views overlooking the Galtee Mountains, would cost double the initial €200,000 budget. Katie slammed Dermot’s brief, expecting it to be “more innovative”. She continued: “This plan is not right … It’s terrible. It's like a zero out of ten Dermot ... Back to the drawing board Dermot,” Katie said.

Dermot Bannon with Tipperary couple Katie and Padraig Ryan. 

After four months of alterations, deliberations and an increase in budget by €20,000, work commenced on the farmhouse. Dermot tried to persuade Katie that an open plan kitchen, living and dining spaces are the way forward, but she wanted privacy and refused to back down. “It’s not what the customer wants … I don’t like open plan .. we are getting the wall,” Katie reiterated. 

Stumbling blocks continued to prove troublesome as work continued on the farmhouse. Dermot couldn’t believe that a China cabinet was essential for the young couple.

Dermot and Katie then went on a road trip together to Limerick in a bid to cement their relationship. They met Katie’s mother, who gave us a clearer picture of where her daughter's love for China comes from. She told us how Katie organised the couple's wedding single-handedly and plans their trips.

Back in Tipperary, there was an issue with the window colours. “If I say black Katie says white. Everything I suggest, everything I do - if I’ve had a hand, act or part in it - it seems to be wrong,” a frustrated Dermot vented.

Dermot didn’t want the ground floor tiled throughout. “If Dermot likes it, I definitely don't like it,” Katie highlighted, leaving Dermot on the verge of walking away from the job. “I want them to have a nice home. I don't want to turn my back on it, but I’m very close,” he said.

A controversial staircase also added to tensions, with Dermot left feeling “irrelevant”.

But in the end, Katie’s delight at their newly renovated home shined through. “It's a new lease of life. It's a whole new home,” Katie smiled.

“Secretly, at the end of it all Dermot and I did get on well … We give him ten out of ten but don’t tell him,” she added.

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