Building the nest in Co Mayo

Before they start a family, couples are often drawn to building their own home, which happened to be the case of Jason and Nicola O’Donnell.

Nicola and I are both from the local area, have jobs here, and knew we wanted to stay put to start a family,” says Jason. “We were lucky to have a fabulous site with amazing views. My parents had the foresight to buy the land next to their house when it came up for sale.”

      “We started our journey buying magazines, watching various house programmes, and using social media to create mood boards and follow house accounts. Visiting the Selfbuild shows was a great help too,” says Nicola. 


Written by Astrid Madsen

Astrid Madsen is the editor of the SelfBuild magazine. She previously held the same role in an Irish trade publication, before that she worked at the National Standards Authority of Ireland. She graduated with a BA in Urban Studies from Columbia University in New York and holds an MBA from the Instituto de Estudios Bursatiles in Madrid. France of origin, she now lives in Portarlington, County Laois, where she's taken on the task of renovating a listed building! Email

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