Bigger, better, bolder — 3 is the magic number

Well-located No 3 Cleve Hill is the real deal for those who don’t want to do any work to get into a place to call home. Tommy Barker reports

IF you want to know what No 3 Cleve Hill off Blackrock Road looked like before it more than doubled in size, you don’t have to look too far — next door’s No 4 will do as a flavour, and that’s also up for sale.

As a result of the side-by-side sales, there’s almost a “before and after” comparison on offer. Or, call it “how the other half live” if you like, although a “mere” €200,000 or so separates the options via agent Malcolm Tyrell of Cohalan Downing.

Still in its original size and format (bar having two reception rooms opening one to the other) No 4 Cleve Hill is a clean four-bed buy for doing up, now or later on, priced at €340,000 and with 1,214 sq ft on offer.

No 4’s got oodles of further potential, and a quick scan through Cleve Hill’s niche series of cul des sacs will reveal a variety of extensions, from the very modest to ultra-contemporary, and all shades in between and on-going.

But, bigger, better, bolder than its other “half” (yet not brash), No 3’s the real deal for those who love Cleve Hill’s location just off the Blackrock Road, yet who don’t want to do any work to get into a place to call home.

No 3 was bought back in 2003 in a basic state on a corner site to the Blackrock Road, and its owners got stuck into its transformation in 2005, more than doubling it in size to now stand at 2,665sq ft of sheer quality, usable family living space. Price guide is €540,000.

The extension doesn’t quite dwarf the original semi-d; in fact it looks like another two-storey house has been grafted on with a linking section between them, done in a matching dash and roof tile with lots of glazing a feature.

And, in truth, there’s virtually a whole new house on the go in the new-build section, so much that it’s almost a surprise to find rooms yet to discover back in the original section, which now has the same level of finish upstairs and down as in the modern wing, albeit with smaller rooms.

Engineer Donal O’Donovan gets credit for bringing it all together in an efficient manner, and making the central entry hall this home’s real heart. It’s home to an elegant double height hall, with graceful walnut staircase done by Stanley Brown of Design Warehouse, in walnut, with mezzanine gallery under glass roof panels that do, indeed, flood the house’s core with light.

Oak boards are used to floor the entire ground level for visual cohesion, bar the ceramic tiled kitchen floor and the expansive home’s left hand side now has a study, a 16’ by 15’ lounge with white marble fireplace and French doors. This leads into a 33’ by 14’ dining-kitchen area, with part-glazed curved roof to draw light to the kitchen’s rear, and there’s further deck access from the dining end of this useful family space. And, as a sign of the heat to be garnered from this room’s aspect, an air conditioning unit has been installed to cool things down in summer.

No 3’s kitchen was done by Celtic Interiors, with some feature steel finishes, and appliances are high-end Miele for the most part, units are topped with black granite and internal doors to the utility (more Miele gear here for the laundry) are walnut.

The ground floor also has a TV room with fireplace, and this room’s used as a play space by the young family, there’s a guest bathroom, along with a further 9’ by 8’ room that, well, they haven’t really found a use for yet. Cloaks? Boots? Sports gear? Den?

Trot up that fine staircase, and the quality doesn’t diminish a jot: there are three bedrooms off to the right, a very good family bathroom with a bath tucked way in an alcove, and a large corner shower across in the wider section.

Across the landing’s graceful balustered bow is the private, main 16’ by 11’ master bedroom with a double aspect, en suite with twin sinks and a power shower, and a high-capacity dressing room/walk-in wardrobe.

Wait, it’s not finished yet — there’s another floor to go, with good stair access to a converted attic room atop the original house section.

With a Velux for light, there’s a 13’ by 9’ study/playroom up here, with wall storage, TV point and eaves access.

Finished, inside and out, to a T (agent Malcolm Tyrell calls it an exceptional home), No 3 has good double glazing and insulation levels, a central vacuum has been installed, and buckets of space — as much as 15 rooms in all, not even counting that great hall, stairs and landing core.

VERDICT: No 3’s just about got everything bar acres of lawns, and this possible deficit is made up for by lots of useful landscaped outdoor spaces, with plenty of greenery and colour in the planting.

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