Moving House has long been recognized as one of the most stressful experiences one can encounter in life. Add to that the work involved in giving your new home a complete makeover, and stress levels are likely to go through the roof.
However, that is exactly what Jacqueline Rooney and her husband Scott did when they decided to buy a rundown bungalow in the picturesque coastal village of Rostrevor, Co Dawn.
Annoyed at the prospect of having to take on a project that required so much work, Rooney didn’t even want to see the house to begin with.
However, once she saw the views from the upstairs windows, she realized that the building had the potential to be an amazing family home.
“We first went to see the two-bedroom house in the summer of 2016,” says Ronnie, who is a professional artist. “It was an inverted shape [with bedrooms on the ground floor and living space on the first floor] I was initially hesitant to even watch it at first, as the price was so high and I knew it needed a lot of work to do.
“But as soon as we entered [to the first floor]We met the most breathtaking panoramic views of Carlingford Lough and the Cooley Peninsula as well as the Morne Mountains, so it was love at first sight for all of us – and in our hearts, we knew we had truly found the ‘one’.
Before finding the perfect home for their family – which includes children Finley (6 years old) and Evan (5 years old) as well as Buddy “the racy cockerel” – the couple had no idea building a house or even renovating it. They only knew that they wanted to live by the sea and in a quiet place. So doing a project of this scale was totally unexpected.
“We used to live in the countryside outside Banbridge, which is about 30 minutes from where we are now,” says Ronnie, who runs her own gallery and in-house shop in the village, while Scott is a barista with Horsebox Café in Rostrevor Square.
“Our old house was beautiful but it was really too far away while also close to a busy road, so we knew that for the convenience of family life we wanted to find an accessible place in the village or town. We have always dreamed of living near the sea and we wanted a better lifestyle for the family In terms of location and lifestyle – but we weren’t intending to renovate and certainly not build.
“However, the new house needed to be completely demolished and the stairs remodeled. It also needed a double height extension, new flooring, electrical and plumbing – works. We removed the entire roof and removed almost all existing walls to rebuild the house in order to create our forever home.”
Besides moving home, having a baby is one of the most important moments in life, bringing equal measures of turmoil and joy. So, while each of these events changes the course of life, having two events at the same time can be incredibly challenging—and this was the case for Jacqueline and Scott, whose second child was born just days after they closed their soon-to-be sale. – Create a new home.
Within a few months, work began on the project and about a year later they started decorating the interior of what is now a five-bedroom family home, before finally moving in.
“We received the keys to the house a few days before the birth of our second son in December 2016,” says a mother of two. “Then we arranged to meet with an architect to create the design of our dreams – then work began in April 2017 and we hired a contractor to oversee the mega project in the future.
“Building was completed in May 2018 and that’s when the fun started for me – I studied interior design along with my degree in fine arts, so I couldn’t wait to introduce my personality and color throughout our home. This included designing our bespoke nautical kitchen with A golden island, choosing accent tiles and colors and adding antique pieces to compliment the modern interior, we wanted to give a nod to both the past and the future.
“We finally moved home in the summer of 2018 and felt that all of our dreams had come true. We found ourselves living somewhere where we woke up to stunning panoramic views that we could enjoy every day.
“So we love everything about our new home as well as our friends and family, who love spending time with us here. The wraparound porch in the open plan living area celebrates the stunning views and is a great entertaining space for us as a family and everyone who enters our home. It was all the hard work and no We can be happier.”