From Gone with The Wind to Celine Dion, this beauty is an all- singing all-dancing showstopper, says Tommy Barker
Monkstown, Cork Harbour - €925,000
THERE’S almost a sense of deja vu arriving at the gates of this Buncoille, Monkstown large family home: it was built at the same time, and to a similar design, size and site layout as another large family home right next door, and which went to market at a similar price level two years ago, asking €950,000.
One of about a half dozen individual and impressively sized houses in a cul de sac west of Monkstown, and overlooking Raffeen Creek, bird sanctuary and enormous whirring windmill blades near Pfizer, this second Buncoille arrival is a well-finished, whopper of a family home, built in 2007/2008, just before the Celtic Tiger put a stop to the gallop of such substantial builds.
The six homes here, high above the road, are all on decent sites too, and while the home next door had been a corporate let in recent times, and was done to a very slick, highly glazed contemporary palette, this latter arrival is less flashy, slightly more traditional, but equally done to a top level, with a range of high-end appliances and finishes.
Most notable is the grand, in fact very grand, floating and curving staircase in oak, making quite the statement when encountered in the marble-tile inner hall, or viewed down from the landing above where the handrails continue their sinuous curves.
Entirely made of walnut, it’s quite the statement piece and topped the wish-list of the vendors, reckoning it would feature in family album gatherings, and possibly even wedding ‘leaving the house’ photography.
With more than a hint of Gone with the Wind, it was done by specialists Design Warehouse in Cork, and is indeed quite the show-stopper, in a very central position in this two-storey 4,500 sq ft build.
Its owners now have scattered adult children for the most part, and are ready to downsize, and it’s new to market this September guiding €925,000 with estate agent Malcolm Tyrrell of Cohalan Downing Associates, who also sold the next door house two years ago.
Next door was on 0.4 of an acre, vacated, and shows on the Price Register at €710,000: “they did very well getting it for that price”, Mr Tyrrell now remarks on the launch of this five-bed build.
Design is by Pat Cashman of Midleton, and features include lots of glazing, especially to the rear, some feature corner windows with double aspect, sunny balcony terrace off the master bedroom for harbour views.
There’s also a central, stone-clad entrance, underfloor heating and a concrete Ducon slab at first floor level for sound suppression... ironically enough in a home with surround sound, and outside speakers in the gardens. (The private vendor is an Irish businessman, who’s also a terrific bass baritone singer, having sung in US stadia, and was invited to do a duet at a Stateside private birthday party with Celine Dion. His ‘Danny Boy’ has reduced rooms to tears, for the right reasons, of soul and pathos).
Lesser singers, so, can fall back on the surround sound to have this house’s large rooms swell to the sound of music.
And, for those of at least a modest musical ability, there are five power showers in which to practice one’s scales.
Four of the five bedrooms are upstairs, one with en suite is downstairs for adaptability, there’s also a wet room/shower off the large utility, a separate guest and the main family bathroom has a Jacuzzi bath for good measure: little wonder a home of this level of service needs a plant room.
Main rooms spin nicely off one another: the real core of this Buncoille home is the 20’ by 15’ kitchen.
It has marble floors marble worktops, a six oven Aga, three electric ovens, a Neff microwave, a Neff coffee machine, and a half’n’half Fisher and Paykel dishwasher to clean up after all that culinary activity.
Oh, and as the owners don’t like American fridges, in place of that now Irish staple and their ice dispensers is a large Liebherr fridge, next door to a Norcool ice machine, so cool it’s hot, and the utility has a further freezer and half fridge, so catering for parties is never going to be much of a problem.
Painted solid kitchen timber units are by cabinet maker David Kiely, and the kitchen’s long island has a long, unpolished and irregularly-shaped section of walnut up on top, which came out of the woman of the house’s father’s wood-working workshop where it had lain unused, and has been given pride of place within her home.
This warm and inviting room (underfloor heating serves it well, as well as the Aga’s calorific output) has a breakfast/seating area in a corner window setting, and then off toward the house’s centre is a long dining room, with sliding doors to an enormous long sandstone-paved sun terrace.
Continuing this direction, you’ll come to a double-aspect lounge linked to the dining room, and it has a feature curved wall (to accommodate the swell of the stairs on the other side of the wall), coved ceilings and a white marble fireplace.
Then, glazed double doors open to an end room, a family room, holding a capacious red leather sofa. (Ever wondered when you go into furniture showrooms and see some of those enormous sofas, and wonder just how people fit them into their homes? Well, they have homes of this size, it appears, so a sense of scale is put back in kilter again, even with a six-seater.)
Once you’ve made your way up that sweep of stairs, the extra large landing has a remote-controlled Velux above to let light into the core, whilst ranged off the landing is a master suite with built-ins, walk-in dressing room, en suite with twin sinks in a marble surround, an office, and three further bedrooms, two of them en suite.
There’s a large, floored attic for storage with access, and keeping it all thrumming is a pressurised water system, and a new boiler has been fitted for efficiency’s sake.
The half-acre is extensively landscaped, and planted up with birch, laurel, palms and ferns, with lots of parking in a wide, sloping tarmac drive with central water feature.
This Buncoille setting is within a stretch of Monkstown along the water’s edge, and handy too is easy access to Carrigaline, and to the N28, with major employers at Ringaskiddy.
The location’s pleasantly rural, but close to services, says Malcolm Tyrrell, with commute options back to the city including via Monkstown, or Raffeen or via the Shannonpark roundabout/N28.
VERDICT: All singing, all dancing.
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