Size: 257 sq m (2,753 sq ft)
Number 43 Dewberry was pretty much already up to scratch when its current owners bought it back a decade ago, but they took what was already a popular, upscale house type in the Mount Oval development and made it even better for their busy, all-in family life.
Relocating to Cork in 2008 from Leinster, they’d already rented the 2000-built family home for a short while from its previous owners.
Thus, they had a very good idea of what worked for them, and what didn’t, and they acted accordingly, in a subtle, sensible series of small structural alterations that raised the game in terms of day-to-day use.
It worked terrifically for them, with three sports-committed sons, for the school-going, sleepover, and party years.
And, now, all of a sudden, with a nest thinning out due to college commitments, it’s downsizing time, and the expanded, 2,750 sq ft home is up for sale, with a guide of €740,000 quoted by Ann O’Mahony and Florence Gabriel of Sherry FitzGerald.
It feels every bit of its square footage, without having rooms or even levels that don’t get used. There’s a point on the first floor landing when you look left and right, across this level’s four bedrooms (two with en suites) and main bathroom, and just appreciate how accommodating it all is, even without going up the extra flight to two more, good-sized rooms and yet another bathroom.
Back at ground level, it’s the reconfigured floor plan, with its main L-shaped open-plan flow of rooms that really impresses. It now goes front to back on the right hand side of the house, about 26’ in depth, and then takes a turn to also go from one side fully to the other, about 32’ wide, with the refashioned kitchen and island as its absolute pivot.
No 43 Dewberry was originally built as part of the large-scale O’Flynn Construction Mount Oval development, which went on to deliver over 800 homes after its start in the late 1990s, in one of Cork’s most impactful new homes developments, and pretty much now all wrapped up.
(Coincidentally, No 43 comes to market this month, just as the same developers, the O’Flynn Group, prepare to kick off their Ballinglanna, Glanmire, development of 600 homes, very much geared up here and at Dunkathel House close by, for quite another long time to come.)
Built day one as a three-storey, six-bed home, Mount Oval’s No 43 Dewberry’s ‘B’ house style was already both tall and wide and accommodating, so it didn’t really need a whole lot more space added on.
Instead, the family added a slender side utility wing, and pushed part of the back of the house out a few feet more, and they removed a couple of internal walls at the back (there had been a compartmentalised dining room/study here in a corner), thanks to the supporting cast of some steel RSJs.
It works really well as a result, the owners enthuse, as a mix of open plan and linked spaces, with a family lounging spot between the kitchen and dining ends by double door to the back garden, while there’s a more comfortable, all-in-together family room down two steps from the kitchen’s other side, with walnut flooring, low-level seating/storage, shelving for memorabilia, sports trophies, photos, and art, and a bay window faces the front.
This family room has direct hall access, and is also now floored in walnut, while the other side of the house still holds the originally proportioned drawing room, quite traditionally decked out, with coved ceilings, oak floor, gas fire, and a set of solid double doors for entry; it’s quite the private, evening, ‘withdrawing’ space.
All its first-floor four bedrooms are doubles, the master bedroom which faces the west-aspected front of the house is both en suite and has a walk-in robe, and a rear-facing bedroom gets another en suite. All four got built-ins during the 2008 refit.
The attic level’s two further rooms, with a mix of Veluxes and dormer windows fore and aft, are also a decent size, and over the past decade have been, variously, quiet spaces for study for school and college exams, play rooms, dens, and rec rooms, for sleepovers, without imposing negatively on the floors beneath.
No 43’s set in a short, cul-de-sac run of about a dozen detached homes (several of them also subsequently extended to the back, in a variety of styles), that give it a slight air of remove, and it faces west to a sloping green stretch, with the houses in Mount Oval’s Clonlara section glimpsed through the winter treeline.
On the same stretch, Sherry FitzGerald sold 46 Dewberry, which was just under 2,000 sq ft, last May asking €520,000 — it sold by in June at €595,000. Back in 2015 they put the similarly sized 39 Dewberry for sale, asking €480,000 and selling for €590,000.
The setting provided a safe, outdoor play and games section for the cul-de-sac’s younger residents, note the departing owners of the 2,700 sq ft six-bed No 43, appreciative of their decade here, starting their own house hunt, and ready to go smaller, with the drive to roll up their sleeves for a makeover again, if needs be.
Spacious and well above par.