The Perfect Catch
Ireland's Homes Interiors & Living Magazine|June 2021
Food lovers will know Marty O’Neill of @dishyouwerehere for his cooking, but he also owns a beautiful home by the shore of Strangford Lough on the Ards Peninsula.
Born and raised in Newtownards, Marty was familiar with this area of the Ards Peninsula and often drove past this house with its advantageous location overlooking Strangford Lough. Therefore, when the sale sign went up, he couldn’t resist a closer look.

‘I was actually heading off on holiday to Boston and Cape Cod the next day when I heard that the house was for sale. I couldn’t let the opportunity of viewing it wait until I got back, so I arranged to meet the estate agent at the house the next morning. I literally took a quick look around before driving to Dublin Airport.

‘The house was derelict and in need of a massive amount of work, but I knew it had so much potential and put my offer in while boarding the plane. It was accepted. I sold my own house within a matter of weeks and as they say the rest is history.

‘I lived in the house throughout the entire renovation. That was four years ago now and I can’t say given the choice that I would do it again! What is now the spare bedroom was where I slept, ate and lived. As for the bathroom, this was the first room to be revamped. Apart from replacing the window in here, there was no structural, only decorative work to be done. With these two rooms to live in, the rest of the renovation work went on around me. In fact, for three months there was no roof – which was quite an experience!’

Helping Marty bring the vision he had for this existing property to life was architect Gareth Boyd at County Antrim-based 2020 Architects.

‘At the time I was looking for a modern design and one that was a bit different. I knew from seeing previous examples of their work that 2020 Architects would be able to deliver exactly what I was after,’ explains Marty.

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