City chic at Kyle Street

This renovated house will appeal to first time buyers seeking city centre living, writes Trish Dromey.  

Kyle St, Cork City - €165,000

Size: 66sq m (720sq ft)

Bedrooms: 2

Bathrooms: 1

BER: G

Best Feature: City chic

The owner of this three-storey terraced house at 9 Kyle Street in Cork city centre didn’t just renovate her property — she gave it personality.

Typically the purchaser of a run down properly will gut the exterior and make everything as modern, new and shiny as possible. That, however, was not at all what this owner, who runs a vintage clothes shop, wanted.

After purchasing it in 2011, she did gut the exterior but adopted a reuse and recycle approach to fitting it out. “I found fireplaces, doors and tiles in salvage yards and bought much of the furniture in car boot sales,” says the owner, who put up lace curtains on her front windows, not just for functional reasons.

Her house had been built in 1890 and she decided that she wanted to keep it as original as possible.

In her own highly individual style, she painted her front sitting room pink and for contrast, she added an old dresser which she painted woodland green.

An elaborate Victorian fireplace sourced from a salvage yard and some old-fashioned green glass light shades helped her achieve the look she wanted. Final touches included pink chintz curtains, a green chair and a vivid red rug from a flea market.

The easy option for the small kitchen might have been cheap and cheerful modern units but instead, she opted for an old-fashioned cottage style look with black and white chequered tiles, open shelving, under sink curtains, a traditional plate rack and a dresser.

Although it looks authentically old it was completely redone. “When we started, we demolished an old toilet and lean-to kitchen at the back and rebuilt,” says the owner, explaining that her brother who is a builder did a lot of the work and also built the kitchen shelves.

Renovation work on the 720sq ft house took six months and included replacing the floors, rewiring and replumbing, putting in a shower room on the first floor as well as fitting double glazed windows on the ground floor.

For the first floor bedroom, the owner chose again chose a pink colour scheme and put in an antique cast-iron fireplace. A bright room with two original sash windows, it has painted timber floorboards and two pairs of chequered Laura Ashley curtains — one of the owner’s few new purchases.

The second floor bedroom has been decorated in a dramatic shade of dark blue. It also has painted timber floorboards, two original windows and a walk-in dressing room area. Redecorating involved putting in an antique fireplace and removing, cleaning and putting back original the timber panels on the ceiling.

During renovations the house was also fitted with gas heating. The house’s G BER rating was achieved before the owner bought it, so it is likely to have improved.

Outside the kitchen at the back is a small yard. Although the property doesn’t have a garden it does have views of colourful flowers since it’s directly across the street from not one , but two, pop up gardens created by local community groups on disused sites.

Guiding at €165,0000, the property is on the market with Andrew Moore auctioneer who describes it as “atmospheric, cosy and tastefully and sympathetically restored.”

He says it’s the type of property which appeals to young first time buyers want to live in the city centre.

“We don’t have a tradition of this here — but we are seeing more young people, especially Europeans buying in the city centre — it’s a new niche in the market”

VERDICT: Affordable, central and highly individual

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