French-style farmhouse is pretty as a picture

Rural dwelling done by UK couple in style of old French farmhouse, finds Trish Dromey.

With its green shuttered windows, this pretty farmhouse near Mooncoin in Co Kilkenny looks exactly like the type of traditional Irish cottage you might see on a postcard.

Like many other renovated rural properties around the country, unsurprisingly a UK couple has unsurprisingly renovated it. What’s more unexpected is that they decided to renovate their Irish cottage French farmhouse-style.

“We first came across the property in a newspaper in 1991. It was derelict with no windows or doors and had no water or electricity. It was just a shack but the roof was immaculate,’’ says the woman of the house, whose move to Ireland was in part prompted by the fact that she had an Irish father.

Despite its lack of basic facilities, the property, which dates from the 1850s, had many attractive original features including a large inglenook fireplace and timber-beamed ceilings. It was these and the character of the old farmhouse which attracted the owners. They bought the property, moved to Mooncoin and began renovations.

“My husband is a stone mason and we were able to do a lot of the work ourselves,” says the owner adding that they had experience in renovating cottages. Keeping it as traditional as possible with latched doors and beamed ceiling, they decided on French rustic style décor.

To achieve the desired effect they decorated with throws, cushions, artwork, mirrors and bric a brac, painted the ceiling beams and the woodwork, finished with colourful curtains adding a red and white check table cloth in the dining room. The owners were also thinking of French farmhouses when they hung the pretty window shutters.

Access to the property is through a porch, opening into a classic country style dining room which has a large original brick fireplace fitted with a stove as well as a ceilings beams and some timber panelling on the walls. The sitting room alongside it is a comfortable space decorated in turquoise and cream which has a large brick fireplace with a stove. To complete the rustic effect the owners have added a pair of painted rocking chairs.

The kitchen, with cream units, tiled worktops , hanging utensils and timber wall lattices looks traditional and pretty with a delph filled dresser.

The first floor has a bathroom with wainscoted walls and the three high-ceilinged bedrooms, all dressed up to look charming and cottagey. The largest one has an en suite shower room.

Giving consideration to practicality as well as prettiness during the renovations the owners put in double glazed windows and oil fired central heating.

Once they had finished in the house they set to work on the third-of-an-acre site, planting it masses of pink roses and nasturtiums, putting down a pathway of sleepers and turning an old well into a stone feature.

The old farmhouse has a graveled courtyard with selection of old buildings. To the front there’s a lawn and a sheltered decking area and, at the rear, a south facing garden with pebbled pathways and a patio.

Guiding the property at €235,000, auctioneer Michael Guiry says it has been tastefully renovated. “It’s the type of property which could very well attract another UK buyer, but could also be bought as a holiday home,” he says. Located at Dournane, it’s within a few minutes drive Mooncoin village and 13km from Waterford city.

VERDICT: Une jolie maison de campagne as well as a pretty Irish cottage.

Mooncoin, Co Kilkenny

Price: €235,000

Size: Sq m 125

( 1,345 sq ft)

Bedrooms: Three

Bathrooms: Two

BER: E1

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