Co Antrim self-build wins Home of the Year 2023

Rob and Janice McConnell have lifted the coveted Home of the Year 2023 trophy for their architectural new build in Co Antrim.

In this article we cover:

  • Projects that made it to the final
  • Judges’ comments on the winning home
  • How the winners feel having lifted the trophy

The ninth series of Home of the Year saw the three judges Hugh Wallace, Amanda Bone and Sara Cosgrove visit 21 homes across the country, choosing Rob and Janice’s home as the ultimate winner.

The winning house is nestled in rich woodland and has stunning sea views. The coupled wanted their new single storey build to fit in with its surroundings by using as many natural materials as possible

The resulting modern home has panoramic sea, forest, and mountain views which can be enjoyed year round from a patio area with overhang.

“What stood out for me this year was the homeowners’ understanding of the importance of good design, of making the most of the orientation and connecting with the outside,” judge Amanda Bone said. She added the winning home was “all about capturing and reinforcing the spirit of the place, its setting, its connection with the landscape, this home lifts you up, it makes you feel good, it’s magical”.

“All the finalists should be so proud,” judge Sara Cosgrove said. “It was no easy debate and all of us three judges did not find it easy to choose a winner due this year’s calibre of homes. But the winner is truly outstanding and deserving from a design, functionality and sustainability point of view.” 

“After visiting two hundred amazing homes over the last nine years of Home of the Year, I’m blown away by this year’s seven finalists. They should be so proud of their wonderful homes. Roll on series 10 in 2024!” said judge Hugh Wallace.

home of the year 2023
Rob and Janice McConnell

Winners Rob and Janice said: “We can’t express just how amazed and humbled we are with being crowned winner of RTE’s Home of the Year 2023, especially in light of the magnitude of this year’s competition.”

“Never in our wildest dreams could we have imagined ourselves anywhere near this position before we embarked on our build journey almost six years ago. We love the show and the diversity of homes that it celebrates across Ireland.”

“People are amazingly creative, and Home of the Year allows us all to see what’s out there and what people are capable of. Whether it’s a new build, an extension or even a renovation, a home is a home, big or small, it’s how you and your family feel in it that matters most.” 


Ciara McMahon and Richie Hannify: Modern mid-century home in Dublin 

Cliona and Derek Hosty: 1930s semi-detached home in South Dublin 

Peter and Eileen McGuigan: Edwardian home in Belfast  

Jacqui and Rob Naughton: Renovated village home in Mayo 

Sara and Neil Austin: Victorian home in Co Down 

Catrinel and Stefan Cadare: Victorian house in Kilkenny 

You can catch up with all the episodes of Series 9 and earlier series of Home of the Year on RTÉ Player

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Written by Astrid Madsen

Astrid Madsen is the editor of the SelfBuild magazine. Email

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