Home renovation

Great House Revival: TikTok star Maryrose Simpson defends home renovation on RTE show

TikTok star Maryrose Simpson insists she won’t let bregudgers bring her down after a dramatic overhaul of a 200-year-old home she inherited has led to online trolls accusing her of to have caused something resembling his “murder”.

ut Maryrose’s renovation of the house she left behind in a will from her grandmother won the approval of architect Hugh Wallace on RTÉ’s Great House Revival.

The three-bedroom house in Stradbally, Co Laois, has been in the family for over five generations.

Maryrose’s father died when she was 12 and she treasured every detail of his family home. But lockdown delays and soaring prices have pushed her to make tough choices and drastically alter the building.

The end result is a fully modern home and office for his online career, and all within a lovingly restored exterior that reinvigorates the historic streetscape.

“I think you’ll always have people – if I didn’t or if I did – who had opinions.

“I kind of appreciated that there were people there who would have done things differently, but ultimately this will be my home and I want it to reflect me as a person as well,” says Maryrose (33 years).

“So I looked at some of the comments but I’m having great deliberations even with my family and friends about what this person said and it’s really good to take all of that into account, but I have everything factored in almost before I ever did anything.

“It’s quite important in the city, it’s a bookend. One day I was walking out the front door and there was a vendor coming out of the store and he started applauding me. I said ‘are you applauding me?’

“He said ‘you’ve done a great job, it’s a pleasure to meet you’. The outpouring of love I’ve had is beautiful.

Its original budget was initially €200,000 to €250,000, but grew to over €320,000.

“It was a huge undertaking. What you don’t see on the show is that there was a whole year before I went through the whole planning process and got permission and stuff like that,” he points out. -she.


Maryrose Simpson with Hugh Wallace

Maryrose Simpson with Hugh Wallace

“It really started three years ago and I decided to draw up plans. At this point the house wasn’t even in my name, I was still paying the acquisition tax for capital and sorting out all that stuff, with my grandmother’s will and how she wanted to divide it all up.

Maryrose points out that there is a lot more that has gone into the renovation of the house than what was shown in the program.

“You see 50 minutes in the show, but that’s the last three years of my life,” she notes.

“There were three months of confinement, where deliberations and discussions took place and I brought in the right people to advise me on what to do.

“When you start removing fabric from a building, you start realizing ‘this wall isn’t stable’, ‘this wall is connected to this other wall, so that means if you remove this wall, this wall must vanish.

“So it starts to get worse very quickly and with an old building you sign up for that trip as well. And when you’re doing a renovation you’re thinking ‘what does my trip have in store for me’.

“Because you walk into a building and, yes, you have beautiful wallpaper in front of you, but (you wonder) what’s under the walls and how are those walls still supported, etc. You don’t know until you start taking one layer at a time and luckily it ended well.

“Where I am now, I’m sitting in the house, and I’m warm and cozy. I love the house. I feel every essence I felt when I first walked in here, it will always be there. my grandmother’s house and I still feel very connected to her.”

She reveals that she basically had to empty the house.

“When I pulled out all the furniture and all the memorabilia and everything, all I had to do was look at the orange carpet and the pink wallpaper, and you start to realize there’s very little that I can return to the original time of 200 years ago”.

“Because people had very little at the time and these houses were for workers, they were very simple houses,” she adds.

Maryrose is the middle of three children and her boyfriend has now moved into the house with her.

“My grandmother and grandfather were city business people,” she explains.

“People wonder what happened to all the other furniture. It’s basically supported, but that’s a whole other project in itself. You spend thousands of dollars to fix something, to give it the life it deserves and the history it deserves.

Maryrose runs her own quirky business, Ladybug, which offers freebies to women during their “time of the month” with a €9.99 subscription including postage.

“I started the business about seven years ago and at that time I guess menstruation wasn’t very common.

“But the world has moved on a lot and I was thrilled to be part of an early conversation. Like pushing it into the media, to, I guess, shift that tide a bit and recognize that rules aren’t taboo, we should talk more often about what is happening to half the world’s population, and that is something that should be celebrated.

“Over the last couple of years I think there are two companies in Ireland that have implemented something similar which is great to see because again it was a place that had very little innovation or spotlight on him. And I’m excited to see that, and maybe even encouraged other people to start this business or other businesses.

“A month before I started my business, a business in the United States started, but I think it’s gone now. They were called We Flow. Then a French business started about a month later. I thought it wasn’t great that three entrepreneurs in some kind of global eyeliner all had the same idea.”

It now ships to over 23 countries around the world.

“In your subscription you get the products you choose from the website, so you can choose between tampons and pads and then you have a selection of bamboo, cotton or Always tampax brand. Plus, I add chocolates and herbal teas just to be a little kind because something isn’t always 100% welcome,” she smiles.

In addition to working for Shopify, Maryrose has amassed over 270,000 followers on TikTok.

“Over the past two years, I’ve been documenting renovations to my home, so that’s well done. Before that, I started documenting my life, or showing the work I do from home and doing daily videos or blogs. I wouldn’t say I have a particular niche, it’s just the Maryrose channel, I have a lot of interests,” she says.

As a resident of Stradbally, she is also delighted with the return of Electric Picnic to the town.

I was very young when it came to Stradbally, that was 15 or 16 years ago,” she recalls. “It’s great for the city and I would support it. We had concerns about this last year. My mother owns the local newsagent and she had concerns. This year seems like the right year to bring him back and everyone is in a better place. We are delighted to have him back. »

*The Great House Revival is available on the RTÉ Player, and is Sunday evenings on RTÉ 1 at 9.30pm.

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