This cottage-style home on 11 acres has a modern touch — and stunning vistas, writes Trish Dromey.
VIEWERS who visit Cinn Sleibhe close to the shore of Lake Inchiquin in Clare will be impressed by the scenic views and surprised by the modernity of the cottage-style property as well by the scale of its 11-acre site.
Architect-designed, the three /four-bed single-storey house comes with a B1 energy rating — which is pretty high for property built in 2003.
Because of its location on a site which looks out across the lake to Mullaghmore and on to the landscape of the Burren, planning permission wasn’t easy to obtain for the owner who had bought an old farmstead with 60 acres and a ruined cottage.
“We had planned to face the house with the stone from the old cottage but this was not permitted. Instead we put some of it in the porch and got a local stonemason to use it build us a beautiful fireplace in the sitting room,’’ she says explaining that the size of the house was also stipulated in the planning permission.
When it was being designed, very high priority was given to energy-efficiency and it was fitted with has a high level of insulation as well as underfloor heating. “In the beginning it had geothermal heating but this year it has been changed to an air-to-water hump,’’ says the owner, pointing out that back in 2003 energy-efficiency technology was relatively new and quite hard to source.
Shaped a little like an upside-down T, the house has a long wing with a kitchen and a living room at the front and another one at the rear for the bedrooms.
Looking out on to the lake through two large windows is a long oak-floored sitting room with a vaulted ceiling, Velux windows and a double-height stone fireplace with a solid fuel insert stove. The kitchen/diner alongside it is similar in height and size and has ash fitted units with granite worktops and an island unit.
At one gable end, off the kitchen, is a shelved unity room which has a doorway through to a wetroom. Off the sitting room at the other end is an office/playroom or bedroom which is now being used as an office and an art studio by the owner who has been inspired by the views to take up painting.
In the wing at the rear there is a bathroom as well as three bedrooms including one with an en suite wet room.
The gardens around the house have been professionally landscaped and include a large patio as well as a multitude of flowerbeds and a large detached garage. There are pot plants and pink rose bushes and orange mountbretia as well a large yellow hebe plant in the front bed which put on a good display for Douglas Hurley of DNG O’Sullivan Hurley when he turned up to take brochure photos.
Prior to building the owners sold the land behind the house for uses as forestry but kept the best 11 acres at the front and side for the gardens and for paddock which are now used for grazing Connemara ponies.
“As the crow flies we are only around 200 or 300 metres from the lake. Looking down from the house, which is built on the brow of Cliften Hill, you can see over to Mullagmore and the wind turbines in Derrybrien. At nigh you can see the lights of Ennis Crusheen and Gort in the distance.
She says it’s not just the views that are worth looking at, there is also a “whole variety of wildlife”, adding: “We get hares and red squirrels coming on to the patio in the morning and all kinds of birds. Once a massive stag with beautiful antlers came and stayed just outside the fence for a few hours.”
Cinn Sleibh, although tranquil and scenic, is just 17 kilometres or a 15-minute drive from Ennis. Corofin, three-and-a-half kilometres away, is the nearest village.
Quoting a guide of €399,950, DNG O’Sullivan Hurley say this is a contemporary home in a stunningly scenic location within easy reach of Lahinch, Ennis, Limerick and Galway.
VERDICT: Successfully combines cottage-style prettiness with a very modern finish and energy rating.
Inchiquin, Co Clare
Size: 163 sq m (1,650 sq ft)