West Cork's Terry goes to West Dublin for TV design challenge

October 22nd, 2017 7:10 AM

By Southern Star Team

Designer Terry O'Driscoll with his ‘rival', Julianne Bloomer. The two became great friends despite the competitive element of the show.

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A LOCAL interior designer has brought the best of West Cork to a three-bedroom semi-detached house in West Dublin.

Terry O’Driscoll is taking part in the hugely popular TV3 Showhouse Showdown where two designers go head-to-head transforming a shell of a house into a home in just six days. 

A native of Bantry, Terry has lived in a rural idyll at Toormore, between Schull and Goleen, for the last eight years.

His own home has been featured in several high profile interior magazines as well as The Southern Star and he also wrote an interiors column for this newspaper. 

After years working in the UK, Terry decided to return home to West Cork in 2003 to establish his own business, Peninsula Life & Design. Last May, TV producers asked him if he would take part in the show.

Terry admitted he was ‘a bit daunted about doing TV’ but knew it was too good an opportunity to miss.

‘I conquered my nerves and travelled to Dublin where I was up against Julianne Bloomer, who is a fantastic designer.

‘I had the advantage of working with terrific trades people and suppliers from West Cork – it really was a case of bringing West Cork to a three-bedroom semi-detached in West Dublin. 

‘All of us, together, made a brilliant team. Embellish Home Interiors in Skibbereen supplied most of the furniture, curtains, blinds, lighting and selected paints for the interior.

‘I chose all the downstairs flooring from Bantry Bath and Tile, while Kelly & Co in Bantry provided the carpets upstairs. 

‘Roger and Simon from Coverwell in Ballinhassig did the dining bench and the headboards and James at Pierce Hickey’s did all the framing in the house, along with the collage of mirrors in the main bathroom.’

Terry explained that he designed some shelving for the sitting room and an island for the kitchen and that Thomas O’Callaghan did ‘an incredible job’ in creating these bespoke pieces, which were carefully reassembled in the showhouse.

‘There are loads of people I would like to thank – they know who they are – but it would be remiss of me if I didn’t mention Kieran at Maps ‘N Charts in Schull who did some eye-catching artwork, specially for this project.’

Terry said he had watched the programme before and really enjoyed it. Clearly, he is not the only one, because during its last season, it was rated one of the highest viewed programmes in Ireland. 

‘One of the key attractions,’ said Terry, ‘is that you get two designers working on the same property with very different results. 

‘In the beginning, I remember I was very nervous because of the whole camera thing – I don’t even like having my photograph taken – but after a while you have to get over that and get on with the project because that, ultimately, is more important than the camera.’

Showhouse Showdown featuring Terry O’Driscoll will be broadcast at 9pm on TV3 on Tuesday, October 24th.

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