‘Cois’ the ideal place to put up your feet

Packed with global treasures from the world’s travel hot spots, this Glounthaune harbour-side gem will float your boat, says Tommy Barker.

Glounthaune, Cork

€680,000

Size: 230 sq m (2,476 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 4

BER: B3

Items brought from work, and travels, abroad, grace the walls and corners, of 33 Cois Chuain, representing most of the earth’s continents, quite a few of its hot-spots, and many are reminders of jobs postings abroad...before the homing instinct to return to Irish shores kicked in about a decade ago.

Some of the eye-engaging trove here were brought back as carry-on luggage (including a hefty table lamp: the airline must have been having a forgiving, kindness day); more went into suitcases and several – such as some novel, tall and slender pride-of-place garden figures with inset red glass were shipped home, all the way from New Zealand.

Many are treasured reminders of travels, whether for work or pleasure, and the owners recall a long-term posting in the very early 2000s, to a Gulf state, when the then-fledgling family emigrated, two-year child in arms, with just two suitcases, no more.

Those travelling light days are long gone. It will take a bit more than a couple of suitcases now to move all the memorabilia, and furniture and especially the art, when the time comes to move out.

That could come sooner rather than later, as No 33 in Glounthaune’s high-end Cois Chuain is new to a Cork trading up market, likely to be deemed one of the best of the year to-date, in true walk-in condition.

The owners – one of whom has proud Kerry roots – are seeking to trade down, aiming to buy smaller in the city with children now headed into the college cycle, and to match that with a base back in their beloved Dingle.

That attraction to Dingle is evident in many spots within No 33, in fact, as they’ve a family connection to that town’s highly-regarded Greenlane Gallery, which highlights the work of artists on the Dingle peninsula.

In absolute pride of place is a Dingle town streetscape in oils, showing the original family home there of the woman of the house at No 33. She has it up on a wall just inside the front door: “if the house goes on fire, I’d go for the painting, and my husband would go for the children,” she quips. Or threatens? That Kerry connection clearly runs deep.

The family bought here at No 33 Cois Chuain about 10 years ago, and say they weren’t even looking in particular at Glounthaune, they fell first for the house and only then for the location, which they highly rate for community feel, local school and services, and easy proximity to the city, by road and by rail.

The development itself was done by Lanes Builders, and designed by Hogan Architects in the early to mid 2000s, delivered on a warm, south-facing site above Glounthaune village and its commuter rails station.

It comprises about 60 detached houses, of varying sizes.

They include a few bungalows, but the common trait in reality is that they more or less ranged from big, to very big, and some were just whoppers, soaring past 3,500 sq ft and spreading over three levels in height.

While there’s a commonality in terms of finish, typically chunky dash and red-brick skirts, there’s a lovely diversity of styles, as well as several entry/access points to break it down into smaller neighbourly clusters interlinked with pedestrian paths.

Quite a few owners have gone on as well to alter, extend, thus there’s very little repetition, despite being a 60-plus house development, and some serious individual landscaping has also kicked in, rapidly adding maturity to it all.

No 33’s buyers or a decade or so back liked the fact this particular house was one of a very few directly accessible from the main road/hill rising up from Glounthaune (as opposed to being ‘deeper’ within Cois Chuain, above the bridge and facing over to century-plus old beech trees.

And, being restless types, they went on to extend it not once, but twice. Both times it was at ground level, west to the back, and south onto the gable, and both of these extra rooms gain an extra airiness and loftiness, thanks to vaulted ceilings.

They didn’t stop at that. They also removed some internal walls, thus opening up the kitchen to a dining room, with breakfast bar divide, and that ‘simple’ change made an enormous difference to the sense of space, and to the daily routines of family-friendly life, with some extra seating areas opened up along the way too.

They also upgraded the kitchen, done by Glenline in a mix of contrasting walnut and painted doors, appliances are by Neff, and worktops are walnut, and black granite, with granite splashbacks too, while the suspended extract over the gas hob on the breakfast bar is a bit of a visual feature in its own right.

Internal doors are, in the main, painted white with clear glass in their core, so light bounces throughout, aided and abetted by a multitude of contemporary framed mirrors, while, come evening, the extra expense gone into lighting fixtures comes into its own.

Along the several stages of extension and upgrades, the couple also opted for solid walnut flooring in much of the expansive ground level, with nary a door saddle to break to flow.

That’s the case, bar the two steps down to a sunken level in the feature gable end lounge, distinguished by tall vertical windows, with a triple aspect, wide, wall-mounted gas fire and a few extra Veluxes on high for extra light and good measure.

That lounge is reached via a study, and separately there’s also a living room, with Stovax gas fire insert in a plain white surround, and that room also opens to a light-flooded, triple aspect sun rooms, with recently upgraded large picture windows for unobstructed garden and patio views, with a large sliding door, all in grey coloured triple glazed sections from Munster Joinery.

And, to go with this new, more contemporary look at the exterior rear of the house, the owners also opted to paint the red brick at the lower surrounds in a pale grey: it’s effective, and a contrast to the retained red brick on the home’s front facade.

Estate agent Jackie Cohalan of Cohalan Downing has just launched No 33, at €680,000 and she sings the praises of her vendors’ “great attention to detail. The house had been continuously enhanced and added to so that the end product is artlessly flooded with space and light,” Ms Cohalan says, adding “all ground floor rooms are generous, usable spaces flowing with charm and class.”

Also at ground are a utility and guest WC, and the centrally-set, carpeted stairs has an exposed hardwood bull-nose at the bottom, a kink turn on its way to the first floor, and, above are four very comfortable, carpeted and relatively standard-sized bedrooms.

Two of these have en suite bathrooms, with an all glass, sandblasted door to the en suite in the master bedroom, which also has a walk-in wardrobe, and, again, decor levels, quality of light fittings etc is uniformly high.

It’s likely that a good two-thirds of No 33’s overall c 2,500 sq ft ft is at ground, and at one stage the occupants drafted up plans for a two-storey extension also, which would have added extra first floor roominess.

But, as it’s all of a sudden ‘downsizing’/rightsizing time and Kerry as well as the city is calling, they decided not to act on this further measure.

Kicking off viewings, selling agent Jackie Cohalan says No 33’s presentation is exemplary, and externally it’s looking just as good and engaging as it is inside.

The gardens are well-laid out and quite extensively planted, the very large patio terrace is west facing and a heat-trap, there’s a level lawn for ball-kicking, and high, sloping shrubbed beds, which only require minimum maintenance the owners say.

As their boys have matured, they’ve taken out their original garden playhouse, and the trampoline is gone too, the secure garden shed though is still in place, out of sight. And, the distinctive slender ‘Stonehenge’ sculptures shipped all the way from New Zealand are also here, for the moment at least: if buyers like them, they can be ‘negotiated’ for.

Asking price for the walk-in order No 33 is €680,000, and the Price Register shows the last three Cois Chuain sales all over the €700,000-price mark, with the caveat of course that no two homes here are identical and size alters widerly too.

The most recent was last year, when the three-storey, six-bed 2,900 sq ft No 24 went vastly over its €685,000 launch price, keenly bid to change hands within months at €760,000.

VERDICT:

 

Being left in ship-shape by savvy, house-proud owners.

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